|Cover art for the Dark Waters adventure|
Dark Waters has two chapters. Chapter 1 sets the scene for the overall adventure and takes the form of a pre-programmed, follow the map type of adventure. It reminded me of the Tunnels and Trolls solo adventures of my dim and distant youth, or the slightly more recent Fighting Fantasy books, albeit rather shorter. I haven't looked at Chapter 2 yet, but this is rather more faithful to the original 4AD random dungeon generator but with different tables more aligned to the marine theme of the adventure.
I will not give a blow by blow account of my Chapter 1 adventure as it would be a bit of spoiler. Suffice to say the adventuring party of Albanac the Warrior, Flandrian the Cleric, the Dwarf Uthacar and Zandemar the Wizard joined forces once more in search of the leader of the corsairs who was hiding in his underground lair. There were some tense moments either in combat with some of the boss level monsters or dodging traps. Zandemar finally levelled up to Level 2 having managed fail all his previous levelling up rolls in the previous adventures. Flandrian too levelled up while the real "star" was Alabanac who became a Level 3 Warrior and would be known as the "Iron Wind" due to the way he sliced through the opposition. Uthacar on the other hand would be known as the "Unready" due to the almost unbroken run of ones in combat.
I quite enjoyed the programmed adventure but I think I prefer the random generator approach as you really never know what is going to come next. Having a theme to the game does help though. Where I think 4AD is interesting is in the way the characters start building a rather rudimentary backstory which could be used to spur the imagination if ever a wider RPG or wargame campaign were ever to be generated.
I hope my next instalment of Dark Waters will not be too long delayed.