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Friday’s 4E Freebie: Haruuc’s Tomb by Wizards of the Coast

Kings know that the throne and the sword are jealous lovers. A king born to the throne may grow to love another, but the king who fights his way to the throne already has queen and mistress both.” ~ Lhesh Haruuc Shaarat’kor (Word of Traitors, Prologue, Don Bassingthwaite)

This past week, Wizards of the Coast released a free side-trek, Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure, which can be download from the official site. The side-trek is based upon events that occur in the Eberron novel, Word of Traitors by Don Bassingthwaite, and was adapted by Craig A. Campbell into module form.
word of traitors cover
Now I must admit, I am not a World of Eberron aficionado, and my experience with the Eberron Setting is limited to my experiences with the Dungeons & Dragons MMO. But I did like the setting, and actually plan to do some crossover adventuring there with one of my current D&D campaigns.

[On a side note, I enjoyed playing DDO quite a bit last summer, and it was my “rebound” MMO after I had my “break-up” with WoW. WoW and I are still not on speaking terms, which is just as well, as I really find my writing projects and developing my blogsite to be way more satisfying than playing Warcrack.]

But even with my lack of play experience in the Eberron Setting, I downloaded the module and gave it a good read, and decided it was worthy of a place in my Friday 4E Freebie collection.

Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure
  • Designer: Craig A. Campbell
  • Editing: Bart Carroll
  • Illustrations: Michael Komarck
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
  • Year: 2010
  • Media: PDF (12 pages)
  • Price: FREE

Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure is a FREE side-trek designed for five 7th to 8th Level Characters, and based upon the Eberron novel Word of Traitors by Don Bassingthwaite, and is compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 4E. The adventure is set in the nation of Darguun, which is part of the World of Eberron Campaign Setting, however with some minor editing, it can be adapted to almost any world setting. The adventure contains two combat challenges and a skill challenge, as well as suggested adventure hooks and ways to expand the side-trek into a full-fledged adventure.

The production qualities of the adventure are excellent, with detailed maps and nicely formatted stat blocks. To assist Dungeon Masters further, all the encounter maps can be recreated using tiles from the Sinister Woods and Hall of the Giant Kings Dungeon Tile Sets.

As the Author implicitly states in an introductory sidebar:

This short adventure is inspired by events and characters presented in Word of Traitors. To that end, it replicates some aspects of the novel. Several monsters are statistics blocks that recreate the villains in the story, and the entire adventure is inspired by a pivotal encounter in the book.

Although care has been taken not to spoil important plot elements in the novel for this adventure, some would consider even the slightest aspects of this adventure to be spoilers. If you are reading or plan to read Word of Traitors and wish to avoid such minor spoilers, don’t continue reading this adventure. You have been warned.

Out of respect for Readers who might wish to read the novel, I will also refrain from spoilers, and keep the review as general as possible.

The combat encounters in Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure are nicely designed, and solid challenges for an 8th Level party of adventurers. While the adventure claims to usable with a party of five 7th Level Characters, I would strongly recommend that they be well-equipped, and utilize good teamwork in order to complete this side-trek without a fatality.

Although I have not read the novel, Word of Traitors, so cannot comment as to how well the adventure plot points and NPCs follow the book, I did find that the unique “named” monsters used in Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure were well designed, and have some very cool and exciting powers. These named monsters will have no problem proving themselves as worthy foes against a group of Player-Character Heroes.

The Skill Challenge was also well designed, and once again showcases what an amazing tool this sort of non-combat encounter can be when crafting an adventure. I have a feeling that many 4E Dungeon Masters will be using the Skill Challenge in Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure as a template for crafting similar obstacles to be overcome in their own dungeons.

Overall, Haruuc’s Tomb: A Novel Adventure is an excellent side-trek, and I strongly recommend it for a download, regardless of whether you use the Eberron Campaign Setting or not. It’s got solid writing, a straightforward plot, and is well-designed, and best of all, it’s FREE! Without a doubt, it is well worth the hard-drive space – and it does not hurt to make picking up the Word of Traitors novel an enticing idea.

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!


About The Author

Editor-in-Chief
Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.

Comments

One Response to “Friday’s 4E Freebie: Haruuc’s Tomb by Wizards of the Coast”

  1. Craig A. Campbell says:

    Craig Campbell, the author, here,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the adventure. It was a collaboration between myself, Bart Carroll at Wizards, and Don Banningthwaite, the author of the novel.

    If you’d like to see more content like this on DDI, let Bart Carroll know.

    Craig A. Campbell

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