The Black Monastery

So Frog Games wants reviews of their stuff and I’m more than happy to oblige. I’ve already professed my loved of the Encounter Decks and I’m sure other folks have posted about the usual suspects like the Tome of Adventure Design (which I do have and love). But I wanted dig deep and way back to ancient module that resurfacing in my mind. That is none of than the Black Monastery. This is an old (2011 or so) module and one of the first Frog God products that I bought. So with that in mind, it does hold a special place and there’s other reasons that it’s bounced back on my radar but more about that later. And I will do my best avoid any spoilers.

So what’s The Black Monastery? Well, it’s an adventure for characters 7th to 10th level. There’s a little wiggle room on this and there’s even some advice on adjusting it to the level of the characters. It’s basically haunted/cursed monastery thanks to the heresy and bad things that original monks did. So it’s creepy and “deserted”. To add to the feel (while there’s a normal style wander monster table) there’s the Strange Noises and Ghostly Effects Haunting random tables. While these alone don’t have anything to threaten the party, it will set them on edge and start looking for things that may or may not be there. Additionally, there’s some special (optional) rules on how magic works within the Black Monastery.
There’s a wide variety of monsters and encounters within the Monastery. There’s standard monsters that you’d expect in any dungeon and since the place is cursed and haunted, the party will face all sorts of undead and demons. Throw on top of all that some puzzles and just plain interesting encounters. Remember I said no spoilers but one room is labeled as the Goblin Urinal. That may make it sound all tongue and cheek. And there’s plenty of places for a GM to interject their own brand of humor and horror. And monsters well there’s some new one’s (at that time) plus some takes and unique variations for more familiar monsters. I know this is vague but like I said. No spoilers.
Now there a couple of downsides. The main thing is that’s it’s an old module and therefore only available for Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder (5E Edition please? Hint. Hint.) The other the place is big not quite megadungeon size but still big and there’s almost too wide a variety of monsters. But that’s something easy for any DM to work around.
There’s a reason that this one popped back on to may radar. See I told you that I’d say more about it later and here we go. Tegel Manor is coming out soon and The Black Monastery is some cool that could be thrown down the road from the Manor. Heck, I’ve had the random idea of throwing in Tegel Manor, The Midderlands, and Frog God’s The Blight into creepy campaign.
So there you go. An “old” module does deserve a second look and shouldn’t be forgotten.

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