I choose The Strangling Sea to kick off my new Eyes of the Stone Thief campaign, not just because it was a published 1st level adventure that I could run without much prep but because it is an excellent adventure and tailored towards GMs who are new to running 13th Age. While I am not new to running 13th Age, it was still nice to have the extra advice in the adventure to guide me as I gear up to running an ongoing campaign that I hope will cover 1st through 8th levels.
Major spoilers for The Strangling Sea adventure follow, obviously. I'll do the review first and the recap of my players second, so that readers who just want a review of the adventure don't have to stick around for the hi-jinx of my players.
The structure of the adventure worked to my advantage, as I was able to have the first session focus on character creation and then have the introductory section of the adventure with the quest giving, the travel montage (still one of my favorite 13th Age GM techniques) and arriving at Firgin's to find it under siege by thugs dedicated to the Lich King. Having an easy, introductory fight right after character creation gave me a good chance to let the players get comfortable with their PCs various mechanics and the thugs they fought also had some nice mechanics to introduce players to how 13th Age combat works, or as the adventure puts it...
The thugs’ various 1-point damage effects are meant to memorably annoy the players, making victory all the sweeter when it comes.Then the PCs talked with Firgin, learning what he knew and many of the group developing an incredible distaste for him and his predilection for talking about his many water color paintings. Still, they managed to get the info they wanted from Firgin on Inigo and to talk him into letting them use his magic boat that hones in on Sharpe's location. I was able to end the first session with the PC arriving at the weedmat of the Strangling Sea.
While trying and mostly failing to be subtle about it, their selfappointed spokesman here, the thoroughly drunk but wily swashbuckler Clendennon, tries to learn how they got here.
- Elizabeth Clawchoke, Lich Baroness residing in Drakkenhall
- Malaggar Lyme, Dark Elf emissary to the Emperor, currently visiting the court of Drakkenhall.
- Corgak the Bruiser, Half-Orc thief and thug who killed an agent of the Prince of Shadows and stole a magical key.