Cottage on the Long Road is an introductory adventure for 1st to 3rd level characters, by Travis Legge.
Last week I reviewed a 20th level adventure. I wanted to balance things, so for this Wednesday I decided to review a low level one.
The adventure begins at an inn outside of Waterdeep. There, the adventurer’s are approached by a tiefling and are asked to investigate here home. She claims that her neighbours aren’t very welcoming and they have been harassing her. That may be true, but there’s also something else creating issues around her home.
In this adventure you will find content from all the three pillars of adventure, and that’s important since it needs to show as many aspects of the game as possible to new players. Most of the social interaction takes place at the beginning, when the players are still at the inn. Then, once the characters have reached the tiefling’s home, the other two pillars, combat and exploration, come in.
Most of the adventure from this point forward takes place in a small dungeon beneath the tiefling’s home. There’s a trap, a dungeon hazard, and a few monsters to fight. The difficulty of the monsters varies, ranging from skeletons to a spectator. This means that not every combat encounter is going to be easy. Especially if you run the adventure for 1st level characters, it could be deadly.
The product features some really nice, and detailed, black and white art pieces. As for maps, there are two, one for the area around the tiefling’s home and one for the dungeon beneath it. Also, the second half of the product features the two maps mentioned, but in colored 8×10 blocks. These are meant for print and play purposes or to be used in a tablet. That also explains the large size of the PDF.
The adventure features an inn as the starting place for the adventure. It comes with a very interesting story about its owner, which can definitely be used outside of the adventure. Another detailed NPC is the tiefling of the story, that also comes with a stat block. There’s a new a new background included as well.
A couple of notes
The writing of the adventure is good. The only editing error can be found in the trap segment, where it’s not clear if there are three or four darts triggered.
An issue I have is that there are no Monster Manual or Dungeon Master’s Guide pages mentioned. There are no stat blocks included so it would be very helpful if there was at least a page reference for the monsters.
Now, this one is more of a personal note. If you are a new Dungeon Master I believe you can run this adventure without much difficulty. However, you should study some of the monsters a bit. The spectator, especially, is a monster that needs some extra attention to be ran well and it would help a lot if you knew what it’s capable of before running the adventure.
Finally, another personal suggestion is to run the adventure for 3rd level characters and there are two reasons for that. First, I’ve already mentioned that combat be deadly. Combat in D&D 5th edition can be quite deadly at low levels, and this adventure proves that. The second reason is that, since this is considered an introductory adventure, for the purposes of this review I’m assuming it will be used for new players. That’s why it’s a good idea to use 3rd level characters, because that’s when most classes get their archetype. This will give the players the opportunity to see how the classes work.
Overall, Cottage on the Long Road is a nice introductory adventure. It’s length is good enough for a one shot, and provides content from all three pillars of adventure for new players to experience. If you want to introduce new players to the hobby using a one shot, you should give this adventure a look. Just keep in mind my suggestion about using 3rd level characters.