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The North Road - 01 Death and Taxes

5 Reviews (5 Stars)

The North Road - 01 Death and Taxes

Finding a module to run for your fantasy tabletop role-playing game is sometimes hit and miss. You want an adventure module that will entertain your RPG group, that will hook them with an interesting story, great characters and memorable encounters. You don’t mind doing prep, but you really don’t want to have to rewrite the whole thing to fit with your style of gaming, your group’s current levels, the rule system you are playing, or because you always have had to do that with previous modules.

Getting your players to engage beyond a single quest and to build a campaign they will want to keep returning to play is important. However, you don’t want everything to be prescriptive and you still want to be able to add your own flavour and make it your own.

You don’t want to have to drop all aspects of your homebrew world, or your house rules that have taken so long for everyone to agree upon and get used to. You also don’t want to spend hours having to bend a module to fit what you have already achieved, or to have characters start again from level 1, or whatever level the module prescribes.

If you are new to being a game master or dungeon master for your group, adventure modules can be quite complicated beasts to wrestle with. This makes it difficult to actually learn the skills required to be a good game master and to begin to create your own successful campaigns. You just want something you can actually run straight out of the book.

We at Quest Givers found that traditional modules for tabletop role-playing games tend to lack certain important components. Components that lead to frustration and having to take the adventure apart and put it back together again so that it works for your group. For beginner game masters this becomes quite a daunting task as you don’t really know how to do this and the game rulebooks give little in the way of instruction on how to actually structure a story or how to flow from scene to scene.

The first thing we found lacking was a consistent structure to the story, an easy to grasp and simple to relay structure to build interest and continuity with the players. We also found most modules don’t really give you an idea of how to portray NPCs. There is no dialogue to help you figure out how they should speak, how they carry themselves in the environment of the story and how they react to player input.

Adventures usually tend to be built around a monster encounter and the game world lacks depth and continuity, leading to player disinterest and murder-hoboism. We don’t like being lured into a purchase that lacks substance, ending in a pile of RPG books that are only ever good for picking a handful of ideas out of. Death & Taxes gives you, the game master, a wonderful starting point to a 12 episode campaign. You will find enough detail and depth to the setting to get the players to truly invest in your game and return for the next session. The group begins in a seaside fishing village that is under the burden of over taxation.

Death & Taxes is system neutral, so you are free to use any system that embraces a fantasy genre. The adventure will work for characters of different levels, so you can include it into your game at any point. We introduce a monster that is not in any monster manual, but you will enjoy creating your own stats for to be just right for your players. We only give the flavour and style of the monster; you get to do the juicy bits.

The culture of the game world, while different from most, will not be completely alien to most home brew worlds, or settings of major game systems. You will be able to easily insert this realm as another area of your world as if it had always been there. Interesting political structures, strange cultural differences and a different approach to a society that will give the players the sense that they truly are in a foreign land.

Characters and monsters are loosely described so you are able to flesh them out with your own details, change the level of severity as you see fit, but maintain the flavour of the character and its role in the story. The story provides detailed responses to character questions and plenty of rumours and utterances by the local populous to build a background to events.

The story unfolds as you read it through the first time, so you get an idea of what the players will experience when they play. The module is written in a style reminiscent of the old “choose your own adventure” book series. The narrative is event driven, so you can easily allow the players to find their own path and then use the next event to propel the story forward. Learn a little of the history of the place in books that detail more about the realm the characters find themselves in.

If you are new to being a game master, our YouTube video series will help you through the motions of putting together a great, fun and exciting game. If you are a veteran you will learn some of our philosophies of role-playing and what to expect from our approach to module design.

Any purchase you make on this website helps to support the future production of content. We are grateful for your support and want to continue to give back to you the kind of adventures you want to run for your group. New modules, more videos and RPG tools for you to use in your games.

Death & Taxes is the debut module from Quest Givers, the collaborative effort of DM Scotty (Scotty McFarland from theDMsCraft) and TheDMG (Gareth Q Barrett from theDMGinfo).

The 3.6Mb PDF is 30 pages (including the cover). It contains black and white and full colour images, but is reasonably printer friendly.

Warning: This work contains graphic and/or extremely violent scenes. The content is not intended for children and should be considered adult in nature. It may contain horror, torture, violence, murder, death, conflict, psychologically disturbing and other adult themes. Discretion is advised

Running the module - Mini Terrain Domain

Discussion of "Death & Taxes":

"Rogues in the House", swords and sorcery, heroic fantasy podcast (Ep5). The discussion of Death & Taxes begins at 29:10

Bungwirez YouTube video discussing his experiences with Death & Taxes with his RPG group.

Roll for Damage discusses Death & Taxes with a Q&A

Reviews of The North Road - 01 Death and Taxes

5 Stars - Mike Westerbur - [2020-03-19]
I have started running this campaign for our group and we are really enjoying it. The system neutral layout is awesome. I am plugging this campaign into a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying set of rules and it is working flawlessly. Keep up the great work boys, Looking forward to many more sessions with this campaign! Mike

5 Stars - David Sanders - [2019-02-20]
The biggest stand out to me on this module is the amount of work put into it and the system that is used. It very well thought out with multiple dialogue possibilities and out comes with NPC interactions (uses skill based system for dialogue to dive deeper into the reach story) . The depth of detail put into this module gives it a gritty paranoid feel. The dialogue and possibilities feel organic. It gives you a great base to start with but allows for a homebrew feel with the options left to the DM/GM. Great work guys keep them coming!!

5 Stars - Tim Reisinger - [2019-02-10]
My players engaged like never before been playing Dungeons and Dragons for 5 years with my group and they loved the character's method of speaking. This is a great resource for new DMs to create a great roleplay experience with very litte prep time. Read the module, create the NPCs stateblock and play. For experienced DMs 20 minutes of time reading the module is all that is needed. For any game system, these modules can be a great starting point for a session, campaign, or expanding a homebrew world. Having played the first 4 modules the story evolves as it is played, there is plenty of information in these modules for whereever your players want to take the story. I am adapting the story for another system my players want to learn. DMG and DM Scotty have combined years of gaming to create a great resource for any GM/DM to use.

5 Stars - Jason Scranton - [2019-02-10]
Death & Taxes is a magnificent work of art and adventure. I've been a long time fan of both Gareth and Scotty and this adventure is top shelf material that you can "actually run." I have so many RPG books which are basically to long to read to the point that they are impractical, BUT this book is tight, easy to read, and actually useful. It provides a great cultural feel with rumor and random utterances which are easy to access, I just really can't express how cool the art and format delivered is. No matter what system you are playing this book will be an asset on your shelf. Gareth and Scotty if you're reading this, don't stop writing these!

5 Stars - Kemper Straley - [2019-02-07]
I've always been a fan of the DMG and DM Scotty's work. They're highly creative guys who understand the nuances of fantasy role-playing. North Road: Death and Taxes didn't disappoint. Both of the authors did a wonderful job of developing a system agnostic game that could be run on practically any fantasy role-playing system. The module might even have some application for solitaire play (kinda like a choose your own adventure book). Further, the authors emphasize storytelling and role-playing over hack-and-slash- something refreshingly welcome in a world where role-playing games have become fixated on combat encounters. Interior art is excellent. Gareth's line drawings are crisp and clear, reminiscent of Arnie Swekel's style in 1990's 2nd edition D&D. Scotty's photos of crafted terrain serve not only to fortify the text, but to serve as inspiration for DM's interested in crafting terrain when they run this adventure. Criticisms of the module are few. It has a bit of a different way of presenting the material than standard modules, which can make it initially confusing (but which can also add value if a person wants to run this in a solitaire version). However, once the entire module has been read, all confusion will generally be cleared up. Barnett and McFarland have succeeded in their first outing as writers of fantasy RPG modules, and I look forward to reading the rest of their work.

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Product Info

Price: USD $6.99
The 3.6Mb PDF is 30 pages (including the cover). It contains black and white and full colour images, but is reasonably printer friendly.
5 Reviews
Add to Cart

Product Info