Thanks to the boost from Sabre River we can continue into the Master level modules. Basic tends to be about doing dungeons, expert takes players into wilderness exploration, while Companion mostly surrounds player kingdoms. Master goes beyond all of that and starts getting serious about going to other planes of existence.
Fantasy tales are filled with stalwart animal friends that are a vital extension of the hero themselves. Such paragons of virtue as Argos and Odysseus, Naga and Korra, and even Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. These obviously exceptional animals have that extra something regular examples of their breed and experience lack.
In the rigours of Classic D&D adventures our animal friends do not fair well, being used for little more than luggage carriers, mounts for fast travel, or in bleak times, as emergency rations. It’s time for that to change. As the AD&D system stretched into the 3.x to 5th editions some benefits were bestowed on animal companions, granting them supernatural powers, but do you have to be a druid or a ranger to have a really cool dog? How come a sylvan scout cannot have a bear for a loyal friend?
As I expected, Expert level caused a serious slowing of XP gain, so even though the party entered the expert levels well over levelled, they are entering into the Campaign levels well under levelled for the content. Most of the modules are for level 15+ characters but the party varies from level 9 to 13. Still, they are a good group that works well together so we are pressing on as is.
The party has finally completed the Basic modules, and have overlevelled to an average of level 6. I’m not concerned much by that going into the Expert modules as things will begin to equalize soon. These adventures will have to be played out of numbered order so that the level cap for the modules can be adhered to.
Let’s continue the journey through the last of the ‘Basic’ selection of Dungeons & Dragons. As I said in the previous review set, these are my own personal thoughts and feelings which I’m sure not everyone will agree with. I hope at the very least it offers a guide for GMs to help them pick adventures appropriate to their group and play style. It should also offer some thoughts to help them develop their written content.