A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Avalon Haunts #1

Avalon Haunts #1 by Maria Smolina is a role playing game supplement published by the Avalon Game Company for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content as a result. This is the first in a series of supplements that describe haunted locations.

The supplement is available from RPGNow for $2.99 but was purchased at the reduced price of $1. This is a nine page PDF which lacks bookmarks. One page is the front cover, one the front matter, one the Open Game License and one an ad for other supplements.

Avalon Haunts #1The supplement begins with Frigid Treasures of Moosehold (which could also be considered to be the title). This is slightly over a page long and is background flavour. It describes the former settlement of Moosehold and its ruler, Hrodgeirr. Said ruler was a good leader and defeated an unseelie host in battle, winning several items from its leader in ransom. Following Hrodgeirr’s death, his sons were less capable, and Moosehold fell to invaders, and is now haunted.

The rest of the supplement describes the haunts of Moosehold and associated items. There are four haunts, all connected to the flavour piece that went before. One of the haunts, if destroyed, will become a moose steed and two will become useful magic items, one of which is new.

Finally, there is a section on creatures, which provides four possible combat encounters that could be had at Moosehold whilst dealing with the haunts, making the haunts rather trickier to deal with than if the players were being left alone.

Avalon Haunts #1 in Review

The PDF lacks bookmarks and, even though it is quite short, these would have been useful, given the number of different sections.

The text has a single column format for Frigid Treasures of Moosehold and a two column format for the rest and, as is unfortunately common in supplements from this publisher, really needed proofreading properly before publishing. There are numerous errors in the text. These errors aren’t spelling mistakes, which a spellcheck would easily catch, but grammatical in nature, such as missing words (words like “the” and “with” are often skipped). There are far more of these than there should be in a supplement of this size, with many occurring on a page. The page backgrounds are in colour, making it look nicer but harder to print and the only art is some filler.

The flavour piece at the beginning is really nice (even if it has many errors) giving a useful history to the haunts that make them far more than just a random collection of haunts but something with an actual history. How a GM shares this flavour isn’t covered, but there are ways of doing so, such as lore checks.

The haunts themselves, being tied into the story, are also quite interesting. Some are pretty difficult to destroy, but that is quite common as well. Given that players can get some useful items from destroying the haunts, they shouldn’t be too easy to lay to rest.

Finally, the idea of making the area more dangerous with other encounters will certainly make Moosehold more memorable.

Moosehold itself is an interesting and evocative location that should not be too difficult to drop into a suitable cold barbarian or similar location in any setting. It does lack a map and a GM would need to come up with such. At $2.99, the supplement may be a bit more expensive than similar ones, but it was worth $1. The biggest problem is by far the sheer number of errors in the text which should have been caught and which tend to break the flow of reading. If these can be overlooked, Avalon Haunts #1 is a nice supplement which is worth getting when on offer and can be found by clicking here.

 

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