5E Adventure Review: Resurgence

Resurgence is the third part of the first Hillsfar trilogy from Baldman Games, playable as part of the D&D Adventurers League. It is a curious adventure, which while being perfectly adequate, doesn’t quite manage to hit any heights. Its chief problem is that it doesn’t do a very good job of building tension.

As this adventure is the climax of the trilogy, the lack of tension is disappointing. The adventurers must find and close two portals that could be used to invade Hillsfar, but the investigative elements are purely perfunctory: you visit a location that gives you all the information you need to find the portals. There’s not even much role-playing needed. It’s just exposition.

At the first of the challenging locations, you must defeat a drow and an ettin to succeed. A few commoners are in danger during the battle, but it is a simple encounter; unfortunately, the location of the battle – a temple to Llirra, Goddess of Joy, which doubles as a festhall, doesn’t affect its play beside giving many pillars and tables to hide behind. The closing of the portal feels mundane, with only a few easily-slain drow coming through as the battle progresses.

The second portal’s location is more interesting: at a Red Plume barracks that has revolted against the First Lord. Unfortunately, there are only a very few Red Plumes in the barracks, and they’re don’t have an organised defence. There’s the possibility of a little role-playing, but it doesn’t feel weighty enough.

The finale proves a let-down, as, for the second adventure in a row, you get to witness the Big Bad run away while you’re unable to chase her, instead you have to deal with her minions. As they’re yet more fighters, it doesn’t feel like there’s much wondrous here, nor much of a threat.

Resurgence is an average adventure, which abandons the wonder of the previous instalment and ends up being quite dull. The promise of an investigation falls flat – there’s no investigation involved – and closing the portals ends up being quite prosaic.

It does have some good NPC descriptions, and it’s nice to see the First Lord coming across with a real personality. The action, however, is sorely lacking.

If you’d have to make skill checks to close the portals whilst in the middle of a fight and also have to deal with weird energy effects going on? That would have been exciting. This isn’t.

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