Recent entry into the publishing scene, Blackbyrne Publishing gets things started with a bang with this Pathfinder version of their 4th Edition original adventure, “The Hidden Current”. Today I will be looking at the PDF version of this module which can be purchased from DriveThruRPG in either PDF or print versions.
Weighing in at 73 pages, at first glance this would appear to be one monster of an adventure. Flipping through the pages however reveals a pleasant surprise. The first three pages are given over to the cover, forward, and title page. After that we have about 6 pages of great background material on the town of Boarland Falls as well some history of the area and setup for the adventure. The adventure itself occupies 21 pages and is followed by a 2 page quick sheet of monster stats to reference during the encounters. Now here is the best part. The last 41 pages are full-color map tiles for each and every encounter! No having to worry about drawing a map for your encounter or trying to make it work with the tiles you have, everything is here. Just bring your own tokens or minis. That alone provides a great value to this module.
For story we have a very solid 1st level adventure at hand. Without getting into spoilers, the PCs have a chance to do some good deeds, uncover nefarious plots, battle ancient evil, and generally make a name for themselves with the local populace. While this is part one in the publisher’s Dark Veil campaign arc, it is generic enough to stand alone without any change. The background for Boarland Falls and the surrounding area is very well fleshed out and could serve as the perfect base of operations for a new adventuring group. The village is along an established trade route, but is still in a very frontier area so the opportunity for a GM to craft adventure is definitely there.
The artwork presented is nothing special with the exception of the cover which is a very striking piece. The interior maps however are very well done and correspond to the included map tiles, making setup very easy.
NPC’s are presented with background, personality, mannerisms, and hooks aplenty. I would personally feel very comfortable roleplaying any one of them without having to full flesh out a persona myself.
Encounters are all presented with CR, participants, and total xp. Each area is fleshed out with flavor text, and area features including illumination, terrain, and treasure. The encounters and areas are very easy to follow.
Overall I can honestly say that I would recommend this adventure to a GM looking to start a wilderness campaign. Whether or not you want to follow along with the Dark Veil campaign arc is just an added bonus. For me, the excellent background and maps provided for the area make this the perfect campaign kickstarter for either a new GM or one pressed for time.
Disclaimer: I won this pdf in a contest held by the publisher and as such it has been provided free of charge.