Author Topic: REVIEW: Beneath the Twisted Tower (by Tony Valasquez)  (Read 1852 times)

Offline Olivier Leroux

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REVIEW: Beneath the Twisted Tower (by Tony Valasquez)
« on: February 01, 2009, 05:31:48 PM »
Beneath the Twisted Tower
by Tony Valasquez

Reviewed by Susan McKinney

   This was based on a p&p module.  Your party of adventurers is hired to clean out the dungeons and caves below the palace.  You encounter all sorts of evil denizens.  Traps, encounters and cool icons all make this a very interesting dungeon crawl.  The design was very well done with no technical glitches.  Interesting and new icons added flavor to the story.

Mycroft: 8

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: Beneath the Twisted Tower (by Tony Valasquez)
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 10:02:13 PM »
This was a nice little module.

Writing is good, but with the occasional typo. Some anachromisms were annoying, though. "Commies" and "westerns"? No, thanks.

Area design is quite good. Most maps are huge, and I like the fact that the caves are not mazes or conveniently packed into 16x16 squares. The Castle was a bit of a mess, though, but may be a reflection of all the rebuilding referenced to.

Combat is quite easy, even against my old enemies the Drows. But then they have been toned down in this module, and you won't face packs of the default spell spamming Drows.
There are hardly any "normal" monsters. All have weird names like "Mud Men" or "Mongel Men" and some with totally exotic names. I'd think an official TSR module would have standard Forgotten Realms monsters, or maybe the author of the FRUA module was just being creative?
Some areas have an annoyingly high random encounter frequency, but the combats are quick and easy, so I didn't edit down the frequency.

You'll get lots of +1 weapons and some other magical items.

My party completed the module with about 20,000 XP.

There was quite a bit of original art.

Oh, and Elminster butts in in this module and will train your lvl 1 characters and even provide a vault for them.

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: REVIEW: Beneath the Twisted Tower (by Tony Valasquez)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 11:14:27 AM »
Beneath the Twisted Tower
By Tony Valasquez

Reviewed by Milosh Gulan

Do your heroes dare to face menace deep beneath Shadowdale?

Travel to Shadowdale and discover its secrets...

1. Story:                   9 -     Nice all around, Shadowdale and most that is in it is there and is well presented.
2. Presentation:       9  -     Very good. Everything was good and i just enjoyed exploring around. Maybe it could be better but it is almost there, a bit funny and just slightly unfinished but done with style.
3. Combat:              9   -     Very good, there are lots of new 2e monsters that are included but not always with good icons. For example Gambado and Piercer.
4. Rewards:             9    -     Very good, Interesting, my group started with arquebuses and ring of protection +3, what more not to wish on first level :)
5. Programming:     10   -     Great. This is mostly due the fact that all module was so well fit in FRUA, that felt even a lot better then playing real one.
6. Playability:          9   -     Very good, though not perfect because of original module not being done so good.
7. Artwork:             9   -    Very good. It is really nicly done.
8. Music:                 10   -    Good. 
9. Bug-free:            10   -    Very good, everything works.
10. Inventiveness:  9 - Very good
Overall:                  9.3  -    First I have to say that this is very nicely converted module for FRUA, it is much better then I have did running it in tabletop version, and it is true to its written original. It is a good and solid FR adventure I guess for low level party. Bad thing about it is that original module is not so well done in my opinion. Problem with it is that it is for 1st level starting party but in fact it is for 3-4 levels because of the hard traps all around. Also players need to explore large underground that is mainly empty with lots of secret doors and traps (which is not that interesting for them as they are expecting furious adventure), and are given no clues what they will face except the promised reward. Now after lots of years and few tries (before this one I have played another FRUA version that didn't worked) I have finaly realized what those mistakes are, and I will try to explain my point of view. I think characters shouldn't enter beneath the Twisted tower until they reach level 2 because they will have hard time and probably get killed. They should learn about history of Shadowdale and level up instead.

History of the Shadowdale is about how it was Drow outpost for thousands of years and that elves eventaly defeated in their wars (I think about 7000-8000 years but can't find the link now with years). Characters should find some clues that drow elves want to retake it again, probably some elven artifacts ect ... here are some links that are about that main story about Shadowdale and Drow elves, good elves and later humans then some pictures of it and one famous sword Warblade

After leveling up to level 2 party should try to explore underground beneath Twisted tower but there is not much to do there to level up party members to level 3 or 4, thing that they will surely need for final battle. Still this module made it all possible and actualy stayed true to original module so I am still surprised that it all worked out very nicely together with very interesting happy ending. What more to ask, there is even that famous mage Elminster to be met :).

Edit: I have found the link that explains what was happening at least it is starting to do that
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 11:36:17 AM by Milos Gulan »