Against the Cult of the Bat God by John Bennett is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, the supplement is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content. This supplement is an adventure for 5th level characters set in the small village of Oakhurst in The Lonely Coast mini-setting.
This is a sixty three page PDF available from RPGNow at the regular price of $8.99 but was purchased at the reduced price of $0.40 as part of a special bundle. The supplement is also available as a print on demand softcover for $14.09 or as the PDF and softcover combined for $16.09. Print versions are also available from sites such as Amazon. The supplement comes in two versions, one optimised for print and the other for screen.
Two pages are the publisher’s standard plain front and rear covers and there is also a third, similar, page, three pages are the front matter, Open Game License and Contents, the latter also including lists of stat blocks by CR and traps by CR, one page is a standard Reading Stat Blocks which explains how these are set out and one page is another standard one, Using this Adventure, which has details on how the encounters are laid out, reading trap blocks and identifying treasure, both mundane and magical.
The Lonely Coast is a two page summary, including a full page map, of the Lonely Coast.
Oakhurst At a Glance is a two page overview of the village, including a map, notable locations and NPCs, demographics, marketplace, villagers, village lore and a short table of whispers and rumours.
Notable Locations is two pages and describes those from the list in the previous section in more detail as well as having a sidebar on the local werebats and a stat block for an NPC.
Life in Oakhurst is a single page on trade and industry, law and order and a short table of events, as well as a stat block for a werebat in werebat and in hybrid forms.
Investigations is the first part of the adventure itself and opens with a full page title. This section starts with two pages covering the background to the adventure, a synopsis of how it should play out – it is flexible but has a deadline – three different hooks to get players involved and details of the deity, the Bat God, worshipped by the local werebats.
One page has the timeline for the adventure itself. Although there is no specific path for players to follow, as they may do things in different orders, their foes have a distinct timeline which affects the adventure.
Another page has the introduction, how players can solve the mystery, a table of whispers and rumours and how to investigate the werebats.
Two more pages cover certain parts of Oakhurst and the people there who can be questioned and what their likely responses are.
Two pages have random happenings in the local wood, including an ambush launched by werebats, which has notes on scaling it up or down by one level.
Another two pages have an event that happens the first night. Finally in this section there is a d100 table with 25 results for sights and sounds in Oakhurst.
Dominion of the Wearnes starts with another full page title. There are eighteen pages which describe the werebat’s manor house and the dungeon beneath it. There are random encounters possible here as werebats may return home at various points, which makes the location seem living not static.
This is then followed by another ambush, which will happen after the players explore one of two places. This has information to scale it up or down by one EL.
Cliff Area is a single page and is the location of the ritual area, with a map of the area itself, followed by five more pages on the ritual and location, with details again on scaling the encounter up or down by one EL.
There then follows one page on wrapping up the adventure and further adventures, including if the players manage to survive but fail to prevent the release of the Bat God.
The last section, Play Aids, begins with a full page title. There is then a full page unlabelled map of Oakhurst followed by six pages of pre-generated characters, one per page. These are the same characters, at different levels, as those included in Road of the Dead and Dark Waters Rising.
Against the Cult of the Bat God in Review
The PDF is extremely well bookmarked, with major and minor sections linked, and the Contents are hyperlinked, making the supplement easy to navigate. The text maintains a two column format and a number of errors were noted. These were largely grammatical in nature, where the wrong word or tense had been used. As well as the maps, there are a number of black and white illustrations. Some of these were custom and some would appear to be stock, especially the portraits of the pre-generated characters.
The Lonely Coast is duplicated from both that supplement and others in that setting. Oakhurst At a Glance, Notable Locations and Life in Oakhurst are almost totally identical to the same sections in Village Backdrop: Oakhurst – there are only minor differences. As these are all the contents of that supplement, if Against the Cult of the Bat God is owned there is no need to purchase the backdrop. The actual adventure itself, excluding details on Oakhurst, the Lonely Coast and the pre-generated characters, takes up roughly half of the supplement.
All the encounters follow a standard layout which is explained at the beginning, making the adventure consistent in its presentation. Having the details provided to scale the encounters up or down one level makes it fairly flexible as well. The adventure is located in the Lonely Coast but with a little tweaking it, and indeed the entire village of Oakhurst, could be placed in another setting, making it relatively setting neutral. The adventure is also not purely linear in nature; there may be a fixed timeline in which to prevent the freeing of the Bat God, but players can do elements in the order they desire, probably based on their investigations. Against the Cult of the Bat God is another decent adventure and it can be found by clicking here.