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Title  After the End 1 - The Penumbra
Author  BigBordan
Submitted / Updated  11-03-2004 / 09-01-2005
Category  Dramatic
Expansions  Requires All Expansions (SoU & HotU & CEP)
Setting  Vagabond Island, an island nation drifting through the Forgotten Realms
Gameplay Length  2-4
Language  English
Level Range  Intended for characters that have finished the HotU official campaign
Races  Any
Tricks & Traps  Heavy
Roleplay  Medium
Hack & Slash  Medium
Classes  Any
Scope  Part of Series
DMNeeded  No DM Required
Single or Multiplayer  Single Player
Max Character Level  27
Max # Players  01
Min # Players  01
Min Character Level  25
Content Rating  Teen
Alignments  Any
Several months have passed since you defeated Mephistopheles. You enjoyed some renown as the hero of Waterdeep, but, despite the epic nature of your deeds, you faded from the public eye rapidly. However, this period of relative peace in your life would not last long. A messenger delivered a letter to you one afternoon, a letter that requested your immediate assistance. The message's writer was a man named Vinscott - a duke in the aristocracy of Vagabond Island. In his letter, Duke Vinscott explained that he had discovered a plot that could provoke a disastrous civil war which would drag the entirety of Toril into chaos and destruction. The Duke wanted to prevent any of these events from coming to pass and, having heard of your exceptional skill, asked you to travel to Marble City, the political capitol of the island, and meet with him. After carefully considering the request, you hired a sailor to take you to Vagabond Island...


Submitted: 11-03-2004 / Last Updated: 01-12-2005
Submitted: 11-03-2004 / Last Updated: 01-12-2005
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Comments (253):

  1  2  3  4  5  6 .. 9 Next>

Posted by Bianca at 2011-09-23 00:43:29    Voted 10.00 on 09/23/11
Very good job!
Everything you do has a meaning...

Posted by Razide0506 at 2010-05-08 07:29:28    Voted 9.00 on 05/08/10
It took me a while to warm up to this module - I'm not a fan of puzzles, and visually, it was unimpressive to start with. However, the more I played, the more I got drawn into this unusual little module. I found myself intrigued by the story. How did I get to the island? Who is Isstavan? Why is he trying to kill me? Who is he working for? The dialogue and characterization are the real high points of this module. The NPCs in this module are quirky and unique and interesting, and their dialogue really brings them to life. Grunk and Yapp, in particular, were fantastic. The author actually made them funny, which isn't something I've seen much of in other modules. The journal entries are also well-written, and the module comes with an excellent walkthrough as well.

The module didn't quite succeed at being survival horror though, mainly because my PC was a bit too strong, even though he was only level 25 (I tried restarting with a weaker character, but found that he was too weak), although the final battle was difficult in that I couldn't hit my opponent. Also, I found some of the puzzles annoying, and probably the main weakness of the module is that you pretty much need to consult the walkthrough to get through it. The module relies on you doing certain things in a certain order, and in some cases, those things are fairly non-intuitive.

It's a real shame that the author never completed the series, or even went on to do the next module, because this was a really nice piece of work.

Posted by eLDeus at 2010-02-05 04:34:04    Voted 8.50 on 02/05/10
Thx for the great journies! Very interesting compaign! Thanks a lot!! 8+

Posted by Mirgalen at 2009-12-20 05:19:04    Voted 9.00 on 12/20/09
Not an easy task to make an outstanding module in a genre dominated by masters like Erik Karlsson 'Berra', Stefan Gagne or thegeorge. Yet, BigBordan did a pretty good job and his first published module even today does fully deserve his HoF status.

I did not found many flaws after completing this with my virtually unbeatable monk.

- No sequel
- Had trouble with two "puzzles": How to trap one creature and how to defeat the "dragon"
- The item strip is lame (as always) it would have been better/easier to disable the two spells/item properties


Everything else is top notch.

Posted by Kilvain at 2009-04-12 06:15:51    Voted 9.50 on 04/12/09
A fun module. Too bad a sequel apparently isn't in the works.

Posted by hfrank at 2009-03-19 17:30:56    Voted 9.25 on 03/19/09
OK I finally managed to get into the adventure. The mod has the potential to be a 10, but I gave it a 9.25 for several reasons. Penumbra is almost the right title; "penultimate" would have been fitting. It plays like the next-to-last draft of an Official Campaign adventure. For me, at least, it needs a final polish in some areas: (1) Without the walkthrough, it would never have occurred to me to have my character USE the bed in the inn. Likewise, I think that there's insufficient information without the walkthrough to send a PC running off into the Corsair Swamp to obtain a ghostberry. (3) Again, without the walkthrough, what would prompt a PC to seek a dead portal at the crystal ball and then to summon the shadowbeast on the revived portal? Absent the walkthrough, these decisions are as random as the Monty Python character deciding to chase off to Sardinia in the Olympic Hide-and-Seek sketch. Finally, the module is both too linear and insufficiently linear. The latter embraces my earlier comments; the former is the lockstepped order in which certain individuals must be encountered in order for the adventure to proceed. The key example is, of course, that the bed in the inn must be USED to trigger conversations with the residents of Moorwick Manor.

And, of course, there's the small issue of the overarching campaign being truncated at the end of Chapter 1. No follow-up. Where's Plague of Iron . . . ?

Posted by hfrank at 2009-03-16 17:31:35    Voted 9.25 on 03/19/09
I'm not sure I downloaded the same module as the players who made comments. Perhaps I have a corrupted file. All I find is two areas, Greenflow Village that has exactly four buildings, only three of which are accessible, and Greenflow Pass, which is . . . nothing. Two strips of lawn with some water in the middle.

What's an adventurer to do, spend the evening in lively conversation with Fert at the Rusty Nail?

Using the DM tools, I see that there are indeed some other areas . . . or, at least one, the Moorwick Estate. But where is the Marble City? Where is Duke Vinscott?

Evidently I am missing something--right now all I see is a map with no labels (even the signpost is blank!) and no way to get anywhere.

Posted by Li-Zakien at 2009-02-24 15:26:42    Voted 10.00 on 02/24/09
I Just made my First Log in To can rate and congratulate You for this Module! (even if you no longer check), It's just Excelent, like been playing Really a continuation of the Premium Original HOW Campaign. Excelent Characters and story, i was so hooked with it that was really sad when realize that isn't a published second part. Thinking now I Realize that it may be a bit short, But it took a time to solve most things the first time. I did find it Annoying in any way, it's not a simple Hack and slash, have good balance between Roleplaying, Battles and Tricks. Reminded me to Alone in the dark too...
Oh and... Istavan GreyHeart ROCKS!

Posted by Gerald82 at 2009-02-16 11:13:45    Voted 8.75 on 02/16/09
Very good module, enjoyed playing it a lot.
Did you ever publish part II, BigBordan?

Posted by MikeLM9215 at 2008-07-28 10:56:44    Voted 7.00 on 07/28/08
Very claustrophobic module which appears broken in many places. Despite dayse of trying, some things just wouldn't trigger. Had to cheat way to end, and didn't get portal to next placer module. Lots of complex scripting.
The road to Ravenloft is paved with good intentions.

Posted by dubh at 2008-04-12 14:13:58    Voted 7.00 on 04/12/08
Curiosity: the idea for the map comes from Tenerife?
The module is interesting, but too similar to an adventure game (it reminded me of "Alone in the dark")

Posted by fardoche77 at 2006-11-23 18:09:26    Voted 10.00 on 11/23/06
Thank you so much! I really had a blast. And it's rare that I have nothing to criticize... Everyone, try this mod now!
Take your time, don't expect anything like HoTU and be prepared to think!

Man, I know this is late, but I would play a sequel even if it's on NWN2

Posted by xbook at 2006-10-17 22:21:34    Voted 10.00 on 10/17/06
anyhoo do i begin at lvl 27 or the default lvl of my character

Posted by xbook at 2006-10-17 21:45:20    Voted 10.00 on 10/17/06
i have a CEP 2.0 but dont have a CEP 1.50 and dont know where to download it

Posted by mrizzo at 2006-08-04 11:14:06    Voted 9.75 on 08/04/06
Great Mod. I had no troubles at all. Can not wait for the part. I hope it will be soon. Thanks great job.

Posted by zekenator at 2006-06-27 00:52:43    Voted 9.75 on 06/27/06
Absolutely fantastic, will the next part "A Plague of Iron" ever be released??

Posted by mikerush at 2006-06-21 19:03:05    Voted 9.75 on 06/21/06
This is the first module that I have downloaded from the Vault, and it rocks. I am so ready to continue this story, and sad to hear taht it might not be completed.
This module was a whole lot of fun! I was reminded of paper and pencil games when you really had to think about where do I go/ what do I do next?
Also note: a very good wlakthrough is included, so if you get too stuck you can get a hint as to what you forgot about.

Posted by kobamw at 2006-05-13 03:19:59    
Jon, I think that all what you wrote is discounted in the rating given to the module (that means about 10:). I as well had many hard times and sometimes I just felt really stuck in the middle of the mod (in fact i still am). When first mods appeared tey were very often marked with high ratings, because they were better than NWN. It was because of the variety of stories and soon enough because creators had access to better tools to make them. But also they were more interesting. Try to compare today's high-rating-hall-of-fame with those let's say one or two years old. Most of the oldest would be given substantially lower mark, wuoldn't they? It is all about they were much better ten what we had at the time. And this mode is exactly about it. I decided to play it, because in the description I read that it is meant to be the module for epic characters without sending you into outerr space to some planar realms to fight gods, devils, saving or destroing whole worlds. And it appears it succeeded! Even though my opponents are very tough they are mundane! Someone finally reaized that there can be more than one epic character in the whole Toril! And just after I killed a dozen of dragons, two gods, five devils and destroyed so many demons that I have already lost count I can't stand against some shadowy creature! And first time since my mid levels I can't just run through all the traps because I have evasion - epic character set them up. Even though all you wrote is more or less true it is at least EXTREMELY refreshing to play this mode. Hence the rating given.

Posted by John_everyman at 2006-04-23 13:00:24    Voted 9.00 on 04/23/06
Holy bajeebers, batman! Fantastic mod!....Few comments though:

First: I did like how well you set up the story in the beginning, other mods I kinda want to leave before they even begin, but yours kept me hooked from the start. However, I didn't like how you made the whole story of the first mod a side quest. It was like: Wow, I went through ALL of that and then NOW I am off to do what I was originally set out to do. Despite that , everything about the story was superb.

Second: I loved how the story was created and how you did things. It was like I was playing resident evil inside D&D with neverwinter nights. Wicked cool how you would go through a huge mansion killing stuff and solving puzzles. I liked how it was jump right in and do stuff instead of hours of talking with poeple.
Third: Loved the scenery. Really well done, never got bored with areas.
Fourth: Just a comment: Put in more of a variety of things to kill and make it a tad harder (I started out with less than the perscribed level and had to set it to very difficult to enjoy more). Plus put in less of those spiders. They were sooo annoying.
Fifth: WHERE IS THE NEXT PART???? Don't keep me waiting.....give it to me now!
"If honesty is the best policy, then, by elimination, dishonesty must be the second best policy."

Posted by G4briel at 2006-04-20 16:58:21    
Based on Jon's comments, I can see some of what he is saying, but my bigger question is where is the next part, I want to move on beyond the sandstorm and see what is lined up next, then I'll make my decision about the module...

Posted by warren ( ) at 2006-04-18 13:17:49    
Great. Thanks!

Posted by Jon ( ) at 2006-04-16 20:27:51    
Man, did I play the same module everyone else did? I thought this module, although it had potential, wasn't up to the mega hype that everyone reported in previous posts.

To wit: it needs a LOT of work and is NOT deserving of a "Hall of Fame" award in my opinion. (Although it has a that potential with some more work.)

I will admit gladly that the story is AWESOME. It really pulled me in and my hat goes out to the designer for spinning such a good tale.

More cool points for the animation scenes which were entertaining and well scripted. Thumbs up on this as well.

That said, this is where my positive endorsement of the module sadly ends. It really has a LOT of logistical issues with it that makes it not a lot of fun to play.

The worse problem is the scavenger hunt mentality. You find yourself going from one place to another place and back again a 1/2 dozen times just to advance. (Without any real hints as to where to go next..) Many rooms can only be opened up with a mysterious key or puzzle which you spend hours finding or solving only to find another otherwise empty room with yet more keys and puzzles.

Generally I like puzzle modules and although it sounds like it might be fun to the right player, the reality is that in execution it's so overdone it's just tedious and irritating.

The puzzles themselves often are lacking any real clues as to how to solve them. Sometimes you can have the answer to them in hand yet those answers are so vague you wonder how anyone could actually make the connection without reading the walkthrough. There are so many times I caught myself saying "OK, NOW what?" with no discernable leads on how to find the answers on my own. If the guide wasn't enclosed, this would have been a total washout.

As it was I left the module feeling somewhat angry. The sense I got from the creator was a certain amount of sadism due to the many treasures that couldn't be redeemed, puzzles that weren't made to be solved, and areas that were difficult in getting into that ultimately led to .... nothing!

Even so, this wouldn't have been too bad except the entire module was so treasure light anyway, it really made me sit and wonder why I stuck with the whole thing. Maximum work with minimum payoff.

Except for that AWESOME storyline, there is no real reason to play this module unless you want to spend 3-6 hours being toyed with, bored, and vexed only to come back with virtually no treasure to justify your experience.

Again, my hat goes off to the story. It is certainly the only reason to play the module. Too bad this was made to irritate players instead of having fun.

Posted by The_Abbot at 2006-04-11 23:45:33    Voted 9.50 on 04/11/06
Thank you thank you thank you!

I really enjoyed this module. The puzzles were all smart, yet you put just the right amount of help to solve them.

I don't know if all the battles were hard becuase of my character or just they are. I wanted to play a cleric of Mask, so i was Rogue 12, Cleric 12, Shadow Dancer 2. The easiest battle in the game for me was the final one ( I didn't have the shadow beast to bother about and could combine a harm spell with a stealth attack ).

Once again Thanks.

Posted by damohonda ( ) at 2006-04-05 02:56:56    
I have managed to beat the bad guy (istavan was it?) and the shadow beast disappears. So therefore I can't kill him. I never had chance to brew the potion... and therefore help the ghost... just how do I do that? I went to the alchemists table but no luck. Also I could not find the letter to Cassandra and I have turned that place upside down.. Before I start the next bit, Anybody have aqny ideas of how I do the above?


Posted by damohonda ( ) at 2006-04-04 06:59:41    
I am a level 20 wizard level 7 barbarian. How do I kill the shadow dragon?

Posted by web4web at 2006-03-11 12:56:44    Voted 9.00 on 03/11/06
I love this mod, but how in the sam hell do you kill the dragon! Geezzzz
Honey Rydrallen
Red Dragon Disciple
Crazy, Sexy, & Cool

Posted by web4web ( ) at 2006-03-06 04:49:04    
Much fun, I enjoyed it. It's hard to find quality mods for high level characters - however, this is one of them (good mod for high level characters). Thank you!!

Posted by Snugiraffe at 2006-02-28 03:15:05    Voted 9.75 on 02/28/06
Way to go! I enjoyed this mod immensely. Grunk and Yapp had me in bits (myself being a linguist, they reminded me of many people I know). The story's great, can't wait to see A Plague of Iron.
I didn't give it a full ten because some of the quests don't really need fulfilling to complete this mod, but the mod makes you do so nonetheless (perhaps necessary for the next mod?).
I also eneded up doing nearly everything in the wrong order which meant that names were mentioned I couldn't do anything with until later and some of the information gained was superfluous because I'd completed the relevant subquests already - but that's upon my own head and not meant to be negative criticism. You got me with the mirror, I'd never have gotten out without the walkthrough :)
Thanks for the great work, the soul forge was a neat little idea. My Dwarven Defender is an absolute tank now!

Posted by KrazyKuts at 2006-02-27 19:13:30    Voted 9.00 on 02/27/06
Very creative! I loved the dialogue, plot, design, all of it. Good job. (This is the first mod I've rated, or liked this much.)
God is wahsome!

Posted by acamantor at 2006-02-04 06:35:24    Voted 9.00 on 02/04/06
Very good example that a epic adventure doesn't need to be hundreds of 20 level orc and trolls. Congratulations!

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