The Curse of Sapphire Lake by Neal F. Litherland
A Monster Hunter Tabletop RPG for Your Next Campaign
The Curse of Sapphire Lake is a short monster-hunting game for levels 1-2 PCs (player characters). There is no cap for the number of players that can play. This 5E compatible game is a suspense thriller that will have the players guessing up until the bitter end. Players must choose their Motivation: Blood Debt, My Home, Monster Hunter, or Legend Seeker. The choice in Motivation will determine the initial storyline for the players in how their characters meet and possibly which ending they choose.
Players that choose the Motivation of My Home (or possibly Blood Debt) will start in Kingsbridge. Players with other Motivations will be required to explain why they have come to Kingsbridge, as it is not a town of travel or trade. These direct Motivations make for streamlined gameplay and help to keep the players on the storyline, rather than going rogue on the plot. A great device to help GMs keep the story moving in the right direction without stifling the players.
The goal of The Curse of Sapphire Lake is to slay the grundhelm and free Kingsbridge from its reign of terror. The success of hunting this monster down will determine the fate of Kingsbridge. The inhabitants fear for their lives; failure to kill the monster may mean Kingsbridge could very well become a ghost town once more.
This is a winding one-shot game that gives players options that truly change the storyline, for better or for worse. There are three endings to the storyline, and of course no spoilers! but players must be sure of their choices as many can lead to failure and death. There are several options put in place for the GM as well. Even players that seek to go rogue, or players that have a night of bad rolls can rest assured there are several attempts the GM can make to help the players discover the clues and get them back on track. The guide goes to great lengths to make sure that players are able to experience the story and discover the necessary clues to track the monster.
In addition to outfitting the GM with an arsenal of "saving throws" for their players, the guide also gives the GM flavor text they can give their players when revealing new plot points in the story. Adding to the ambiance of the game and taking the improv weight off the GMs shoulders. A perfect game to play when the GM is feeling burnt out and their players need a change of pace.
Colorful NPCs add to the excitement of the hunt, from the hardened warrior headman Siegfried, to the whimsical and "touched in the wits" Lindara. These fully developed NPCs allow for interesting gameplay that makes players want to engage with the NPCs. The storyline route will change depending on who you talk to, and which checks your rolls can make. Even in repeat gameplay, there is a lot to unravel with this storyline.
Sometimes the "epic long campaign" can fizzle out. One-shot games like The Curse of Sapphire Lake are a great way to reignite the fire of game night and even inspire new ideas for future gameplay. Newbies, whether the players or even the GM, can feel comfortable picking up this game and playing without much preparation. The guide provides all the necessary information and tools. The party only needs to bring their dice.
The Curse of Sapphire Lake is a great one-shot game for players who are looking for a monster-hunting legend with all the bells and whistles. The storyline will keep the players guessing and has multiple endings for repeat gameplay. The easy to use guide makes this a snap for GMs and players of any experience level. Give this game a go!
By: Neal Litherland
Editor: Michael Ritter
Cover Design: Brian Berg
Cartography: Brian Berg
Layout: Brian Berg
Editor: Michael Ritter, Cover Design, Cartography, & Layout: Brian Berg, Artwork by Tadi Lithuong & Rick Hershey
Published by Total Party Kill Games, LLC. 1st printing, September 1st, 2018. All rights reserved.
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