Thursday, March 19, 2020

Commentary & Review of Mayfair Games Role Aids Module 'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne For Your Old School Campaigns.

"It was one of those missions that you instinctively knew would be trouble; one that will lead to a lot of blood spilled- yours. And it didn't help to have the villagers spreading rumors and making up stories. Sometimes being in the service of a Druid is not healthy, for even wile the sune shines bright, you're led into the SHADOWS OF EVIL"

717 Shadows of Evil is a ROLE AIDS Adventure For 3-6 Characters at Skill Levels 4 to 7. Suitable for use with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons*. Celtic Culture, Druidic Background, New Magic, Two Major Adventures from the back of cover of Shadows of Evil by  Stephen R. BourneShadows of Evil by  Stephen R. Bourne came out in  Eighty Four. This is a fantasy Greco Roman Celtic adventure with some very dark undertones for various Druid covens in the adventure.

Shadows of Evil by  
Stephen R. Bourne is a Greco Roman Celtic themed adventure with a core of  Roman Empire goodness; "Between 500 and 400 years B.C., the Celtic World was at its peak. Celtic culture covered most of Western Europe, including France, Britain, Germany, and the northern lowlands, and it extended eastward almost to the Black Sea. There seems to have been, however, a sharp line dividing it from the southern societies about the Mediterranean. The Celtic presence was more of a culture than an empire. The Celts lived in a very decentralized societyone might say that they had a stateless society. The first Celtic traces in Britain appear as early as 750 B.C., roughly corresponding to the late Bronze Age. The first tribes came from continental Europe, and by400 B.C. they were dominant throughout Britain. The Celts were an early Iron Age people, and with superior metallurgy for weapon-making, they swept through the country in a relatively short time. Although much of their culture and technology suggests otherwise, the Celts have been called "barbarians." Unfortunately, the word barbarian conveys images of uncivilized savages, naive primitives, and moral inferiors. Such was the view of the Romans and the Greeks who wrote about the Celts in their own time. When studying an ancient people who did not speak for themselves (through written records) it is important to understand the bias of others who wrote about them. Julius Caesar, for instance, left fascinating accounts of Celtic society. However, his account is suspect because he did not enter Britain in 56 B.C. to study the Celts, but to conquer them! In the main there are three sources of information on the Celts of Britain: Archaeological Evidence: ruins, unearthed tools, weapons and other diggings such as burial grounds or huts. Legends and Folklore: as found in various books such as the Irish vernacular texts written in medieval times (after 500 A.D.). These old Irish books represent the first attempt to record the Oral Celtic Tradition. Testimonials: from Greek and Roman scribes."

The basic adventure draws the characters into a world of dark irony &  Celtic magick. The cartography & layout is typical Mayfair Role Aids. Shadows of Evil by  Stephen R. Bourne  is the perfect adventure module to run with Castles & Crusades The Codex Celtarum. Seriously the dungeon master is gonna have to do a bit of a mix of systems but this is really where Castles & Crusades shines as a table top OSR semi clone Siege.

This module is Advanced Dungeons & Dragons evil druid heaven. 
 'Shadows of Evil by Stephen R. Bourne takes the PC's into the world of a very uneasy occupied Roman Britain. This makes  Shadows of Evil because its a module geared for first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons lines up perfectly with Castles & Crusades Codex Classicum making this a perfect campaign line up with Stephen T. Bourne, & Martin F. King's module 'Evil Ruins'. I covered that review yesterday. 

There's more then enough room in Castles & Crusades to run the PC's through the full gauntlet of
of encounters & horrors to get a true feel for the awesomeness of  'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne.

Because this is a Roman occupied fantasy Britain in 'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne  this module could easily be ported over to Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg's 
Auran Empire campaign setting. Roman occupied fantasy Britain becomes a vassal colony country of the Auran empire. The module moves along as planned & events play out with dire repercussions if the PC's are not careful. 

In Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcererers of Hyperborea rpg  'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne   takes on new connotations as the PC's have to navigate a former Hyperborean empire colony now manned & ruled by the human counterparts of the Hyperboreans. The Keltic elements & Druidic adventure bits take the PC's deep into the heart of a sore spot with the humans occupying the former lands of the Keltics.

 'Shadows of Evil' could be linked up with the basic events of the Swampgate community to draw attention to the plight of Keltic peoples within the former Hyperborean empire now human dominated. This makes the druids very nasty indeed with a very dark history. 
 'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne   isn't perfect but it fits the niche of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Celtic weirdness nicely. The second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons book HR 3 Celtics while not necessary could be used as a far reaching addition to the Mayfair Role Aids module. HR 3 Celtics could give additional background, setting material, & even possible campaign expansion. 

All in all I found 
 'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne  to be a fun and enjoyable adventure romp with all of the Druidic danger & Celtic weirdness that I've come to expect from this underrated adventure writer & designer.

 'Shadows of Evil' by Stephen R. Bourne is available through Amazon right here! 

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