Review: Into the Violet Vale

This one I have been meaning to do for about a month but I am glad I got some time to do a short review on this one. I ran this game at MACE this year and am glad that I can look back now and give it a review.

Into the Violet Vale: by Monte Cook
Violet Vale is a short one shot adventure. Great for Con games or an introduction to the very weird world of Numenera.  The artwork is great and as always I love the sidebar style of extra tidbits and page notes for references that Monte does better than anyone else in business. The adventure comes with six pre-gens for the game or you can make or bring your own. If you run this adventure and it is the first time that you are using the provided NPC’s Be sure to look over the cypher list. This will keep surprises to a minimum. as well as if you have first time players you will be better equipped to answer any questions they may have about what their cyphers do. If you are a newer GM I highly recommend an extra one or two read troughs of this adventure before running it. The strange nature of the violet vale and the Reglae can throw even an experienced GM for a loop.
The plot of the story is designed for convention play and drops the group in what would be the midpoint of most games. The players have their objective and now must return home with it. And the stakes are high that they complete their mission lives are on the line. Between them there lies the violet vale and any of your captives followers. To complicate maters their captive has no desire to willingly be walked back to her death.
As the players make their way home with their prize they stumble into the veil. This is an environmental encounter with trap like quality’s that will take the party some creativity to overcome. There is a ton of RP that can happen while in the Veil as well as a formidable threat trapped with the players as well. This can make for some very fun off the cuff encounters and tense moments that make the Numenera system and the tales of the weird that it is known for shine.
With the nature of the Vale and how easy it can be for some players to become frustrated with the environment you have to be prepared in convention element on how you handle the vale itself. The good news is there are a few tips that Monte leaves GM’s in the side bars and such to help keep things moving.
As the adventure moves on the party will begin looking for any port in the storm. The port they will find is not happy to see them. But if the group can come to an arrangement they might find a faster way out of the veil. But it wont be an easy one.

PRO’s:
This is a great con game with potential to be run over and over and rarely see the same outcome each time. Also with each running I imagine that the Vale would become a cooler and cooler place while the GM would make it their own. Breathing much more life into the story with each telling.  With its sandbox nature it will prove very rewarding to most audiences as long as the GM keys on what his players want out of a game at the table.
for an existing game and not a con game. This would be easy enough to adapt into an existing story without much issue.

CON’s:
This game has tons of potential of losing a GM and his players fast if unprepared.  Not only does this Glimmer center around being trapped in an area and affected by pockets of space/time & location. This can prove to frustrate players quickly. As well as some GM’s may have a hard time running the veil itself.
Thankfully Monte gave some troubleshooting tips to running this adventure.

Would I recommend it ? 

If you are not comfortable with sandbox style games and thinking on  your feet. I can not recommend this game to you as a GM. This will frustrate you to no end.
I would only recommend this to experienced Game Masters that are comfortable running sandbox style games.  If this is you. I would put this High on your to get list. The story is good the Violet Vale is a great concept and honestly you could adapt the story into just about any setting even if you don’t want to run it in Numenera. I would also add if you are looking for a good convention game to run. This is a good game to add to your con game library.
As for myself this is one that I will be tucking in my Convention go to folder.
Thanks for another great product Monte !

Where can I get it ?

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/133401/Into-the-Violet-Vale?term=Into+the+vio

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