Bride of the Black Manse & The Floating Oasis of the Ascended God

Bride of the Black Manse has to be one of the best Goodman Games modules.  I’ve been waiting forever for the players to reach 3rd level so we could try it out, and it was as swell as I had hoped.  The adventure is built around an interesting time mechanic: Every hour the bell tower rings and the conditions of the manse change and build towards the final scene at midnight.  It made a good mix of free-exploration and rail-road as the players  explore the mansion setting with less and less freedom each hour and are finally forced to face the boss, a devil and his horde well illustrated by Peter Mullen.  As always, the art in this module is excellent, and the Kovacs cartography looks good.  It has all the hallmarks of a good Goodman game:  Neat-o themes, cool location to explore, undefinable monsters with cool powers, meaningful choices to make, and only a little bit of treasure.  I liked how the devil’s throne begins spitting out gold and gems like a slot machine in the final scene, but my players were ready to get out of there and not willing to risk their life further for a few more coins.  The real reward is surviving!

Our second game that night, after inserting cider and PBR, was the Floating Oasis of the Ascended God.  This one has a unique setting that kept the players on their toes, weird un-nameable foes to battle, and instead of gold our heroes get a sip from the pool of longevity.  The adventure had a mythic quality to it as the players appear to be in an after-life, rubbing elbows with deceased spirits in search of redemption.  I loved it.

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