Adam’s Wrath (1994)

I picked this one because when I flipped through it, I saw a section heading that read “Sea Hag Summer,” and I laughed and I figured, really, how bad could this one be, right? It’s Adam’s Wrath (1994) and it is the final publication before the soft reboot of the Ravenloft line post-Grand Conjunction. It sure is a Ravenloft module, of that there is no doubt!

So those hags? Well, after a shipwreck, they’re there to kill the PCs so Ravenloft’s K-Mart Victor Frankenstein can resurrect them as flesh golems. After that, it is a classic event crawl with the PCs acting as instigators for the REAL story playing out between Frankenstein, his creation Adam and Frankenstein’s mostly dead wife. I never really thought of Ravenloft as a Monster of the Module sort of arrangement, and overall the line probably isn’t, but this module is definitely working hard to make the case that is should be.

I don’t know that I agree. I don’t think Ravenloft ever effectively figured itself out, but at least it is full of great ideas. This module is essentially a poor re-enactment of Frankenstein, a novel with an unambiguous central theme that the module seems to miss, since the doctor here is a strangely sympathetic figure and Adam is, well, pretty monstrous. Why either of them caught the attention of the Dark Powers is beyond me, but whatever the reason, putting these two in a duet of equal evil is an unwelcome subversion of the novel. This is a bummer, because I really like author Lisa Smedman’s other Ravenloft work — Hour of the Knife and Castles Forlorn are some of the line’s best moments.

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