5E Adventure Review – Bleeding Gate: Amalgamation

In the Forgotten Realms, there exists a secret society known as the Peacesmiths, with 47,417 members scattered over Faerun, which is run out of a small underground settlement no-one has heard of called Emudomier. What do they do? I don’t know. They’re apparently Emudomier’s champions and master negotiators, and they’re going missing.

The characters are hired to investigate. Or rather, they’re hired to visit Raan, question her, and investigate the suspicious noises she’s heard in the sewers.

Who’s Raan? She’s a friendly basilisk, but the person hiring the party doesn’t bother informing them of this fact. So, when they discover her fighting a gibbering mouther, there’s the possibility of confusion and hilarity!!! (And the party might kill the only lead they have).

Raan asks you to find where Takwen has run off to. Takwen is a child who is also a were-yeti, not that Raan will tell you that (are you seeing a theme here?). Her friend Kirshi (a real yeti) is in danger. Not that the party get told that. But there’s a helpful image for the DM (see right).

Following Raan through a tunnel brings you inside a giant Gibbering Mouther which has absorbed all the animals in a nearby forest, and brings you face-to-face with an evil dwarf. In fact, he’s the twin of the Paragon. Once you get outside the mouther, you get to meet the Paragon, a pregnant tiefling, a talking snake, and a grocery-store owner and get utterly confused with who they are, what they’re doing here, and what this adventure is about. And thus ends the adventure.

The adventure? Bleeding Gate: Amalgamation, the second part of a trilogy that is a D&D Adventurers League-legal adventure released as part of the Con-Created Content program.

It is a disaster of an adventure. It’s playable – just – but its author, Ma’at Crook, has no idea about presentation, story logic, how to explain what the hell is going on, or make anything comprehensible for the DM or players. The final encounter sees the level 1-4 characters fighting a 11th-level spellcaster with access to harm and blight. For a laugh, I had the NPC cast harm on a PC. It’s fine – harm will leave the PC with 1 hit point. Admittedly, it might have also reduced their maximum hit point score to 1, but luckily the character made his saving throw and didn’t have to spend the last couple of rounds hiding under a rock. Putting that encounter in a Tier 1 adventure? Ridiculous.

The less said about the artwork, the better. Actually, some of the interior artwork is cute, but the style is misjudged. The cover art is a train wreck.

Here’s a few things this adventure could do to make it better:

  • Have a proper introduction so the players know what they’re doing.
  • Have a synopsis of the adventure, so the DM knows what he or she is doing.
  • Introduce each of the non-player characters properly.
  • Explain how the characters relate to each other so the players could understand the story.
  • Have the person hiring them turn up at the meeting rather than make it into an intelligence (stupidity?) check about whether the PCs will pick a lock for no apparent reason or not.
  • A sense of pacing

Here’s a few things this adventure could exclude to make it better:

  • The art
  • The super-secret organization no-one has ever heard of before
  • Stupidly impossible encounters.

And it could be hoped for better formatting and dialogue. But I don’t expect it.

You can see within it a few ideas that would make a coherent story, but the author had no idea of how to put it together.

I had two tables running this adventure. None of us could believe what we were seeing. Amusement came from the utter awfulness and randomness of it all.

Life is too short for adventures like this. Unless you’re making MST3K: Roleplaying Edition. Avoid.

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One Response to 5E Adventure Review – Bleeding Gate: Amalgamation

  1. John Thompson says:

    At a glance, I thought, “Oh, did Pendleton Ward from ‘Adventure Time’ do a DMs Guild Adept Adventure? Look at that benign looking gibbering mouther!”

    According to the above, I could not be more wrong. Shades of the original “Mega Man” box art!

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