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Trail of Cthulhu: The Rending Box $5.95
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/07/2017 07:48:22

This adventure comprises the final revelation in Graham Walmsley's series of Purist adventures. This may sound a little strange, each adventure has been presented as a one-off with the recommendation that you use the pre-generated characters provided with each one (given that they will probably be mad or dead by the end of the adventure anyway). However, as a group of players (rather than as their characters) your party may play all of them and so see the underlying strands that culminate in the revelations of this adventure.

It all concerns an antique box, which the Investigators are asked to take from London to a contact up in the Lake District, a professor who studies folklore. Put it this way, this box makes Pandora's Box look like a benign ornament. After explaining the background, what there is to be discovered and the 'spine' of the adventure, we meet the pre-generated characters. You'll have to transfer them on to character sheets before distributing them to your players, but they do come with ample background material that gives them ready-made reasons to get involved. Finally before the adventure itself, there are notes on the main NPCs including their background and notes on how to role-play them to effect.

Then it's on with the adventure, detail upon detail, clue upon clue, leading the party inexorably on to their fate. At some point, probably, they will open the box. Don't push them (most Investigators will not need to be persuaded to take a peek), although there are some hints to help whet their curiosity if they seem reluctant. That's when the fun really starts. Delightful suggestions are given on how to present just how weird the contents (and their effects) are: this is something you can have a lot of fun playing out. Everything builds to a climax, out in the woods... and however the party deals with it, the ultimate ending is the same. You ought to have players, never mind their characters, freaking out.

A fitting climax to the series, with good backlinks, and an excellent adventure in its own right. There are a couple of errors a good proof-read ought to have caught, otherwise presentation is excellent, with some interesting handouts linking in the previous adventures.

[5 of 5 Stars!]