The Haunt is an adventure for characters of 4th or 5th level, by Phil Beckwith.
This is a horror themed adventure. The heroes venture into a haunted manor that once belonged to a general, and now is the lair of a really old night hag. There are a few adventure hooks to throw to the characters to make them go there, and some of them speak of a gem with necromantic powers.
The layout and editing are good, with only a couple minor errors which definitely don’t affect the running of the adventure. The product is divided into three chapters. The first one is the introduction, which contains the backstory, a few adventure hooks, and a bit of advice on running the adventure. The second one is the actual story, with descriptions of the various rooms the characters will explore. The third one is the epilogue, which has two possible outcomes based on how well the characters do on the combat encounters. Finally, there are two appendices containing a map of the manor, one for the DM and one for the players.
The encounters seem balanced. The enemies used in the adventure, and the way they are used, contribute in maintaining the horror theme, especially a rather creepy doll. It should be noted here that, even though 4th level parties can play this adventure, the encounters are going to be deadly for them. It’s nothing bad, but a DM should keep that in mind.
There are a couple of puzzles in the adventure as well. The first one is there to split the party. It’s meant to add to the suspense, which it does I believe, but this also increases the danger the characters are in.
The second one is more intricate. In fact, it’s a puzzle that is meant to deactivate a trap that is already active and posing a possibly major threat to the characters. I like that because it doesn’t leave an infinite amount of time for the players to solve it. Of course, there’s always the chance the players won’t be able to solve it(not everyone is good with numbers) but the adventure takes that into consideration.
There is a bit of art in the product. The cover art is pretty nice and promising. The rest of the art blends into the background of the pages, with pieces depicting some of the things the characters may come across(including the creepy doll; I really don’t like dolls and particularly of the creepy variety). I’d like to note here that the resolution of one the pieces seemed to be a bit low. I don’t know if it’s a problem on my end but I did check with two different PDF viewers and got the same result. All the other pieces looked fine. The map of the mansion is good as well. There is one version for the DM and one for the players.
Overall, The Haunt does a good job providing what it promises. I believe the author did a good job capturing the horror flavor and convey it to the DM who will, on their turn, convey it to the players. While it’s a setting agnostic product I think it would be a good addition to the Curse of Strahd adventure.
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