Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Celestial Chronicles, Part I

My vote: 8.5 (Good, qualified recommendation)
Character: included lv. 6 human rogue
It all begins with what you find in this rock.

This is an interesting little module.  It tells the story of a young archaeologist who lives in an ultra-oppressive regime.  While archaeologists aren't exactly known for their rebellious nature in most settings, here, historic knowledge is repressed and guarded by the regime.  This can place a archaeologists in a precarious spot if they "dig too deep."  In this tale, our protagonist uncovers an amazing artifact...but just as she does so, things go horribly wrong.

The story and setting are interesting, and has loads of potential.  I wasn't as excited about the execution of the module.  Most of this adventure takes the form of a linear escape run, where you battle your way through a series of (fairly repetitive) encounters as you flee.  Combat is frequent, but not very challenging.  There is a significant part of this module that uses an entirely different setting, which is a cool twist and I won't spoil it (though I will say it had a certain Ressikan feel to it--if you must know, look it up!).  But even there, you end up traveling on a long, linear path, battling repetitive encounters once again.  There are absolutely some cool moments in this module in which you, as the player, really don't know what is going on (in a good way), and a few characters that are interesting and could be developed a great deal.  The custom music is nice, as are some of the scripted cutscenes.  But overall, I kind of felt a bit lukewarm toward the mod.  I would love to see a more well developed module in the future, however, because the ideas behind the story are terrific.

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