13th Age Monthly: Sharpe Initiatives: Earthgouger (13th Age)
This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s…wait.
Wait a second. This is actually a small module, so from here on out reign the SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
All right, only GMs here? Great! Remember my review of “The Strangling Sea“? Well, the PCs may have made the acquaintance of notoriously unreliable and downright nasty inventor genius Inigo Sharpe. Well, the dwarven explorer Greta Silvervein has found something – a massive construct, but none of the regular folks knows how to get it going. Enter the famously obnoxious genius, who promptly deciphered the thing to be one of the missing earthgougers from the 10th age. With trademark arrogance, Inigo botched the activation of the construct, slurring his umlauts and the resulting catastrophe was only exacerbated by the derro entering the fray.
So that’s the task – get rid of the derro-issue and then reactivate (properly!) the earthgouger and move it back to the tender care of Greta. Sounds simple, right? Alas, nothing is too simple when the derro are involved – from traps to their own insane tactics – you see, the problem is that, even with more care, the machine is hard to control…and more derro and a vast chasm loom alongside a special boss, depending on the primary icon that employed the PCs – servants of the archmage get a different boss than those of the dwarven lord – nice! (Plus, sadistic GMs can throw more than one boss at the PCs…)
It should also be noted that veterans of “The Strangling Sea” will have a some nice Easter-eggs and follow-up options going on here.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to 13th Age’s 2-column full-color standard with nice full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Cal Moore’s short scenario here is a nice, fun romp with some pretty cool adversaries and a fun, fantastical mission/back-drop. Particularly if players have played “The Strangling Sea,” at which point the small nods and follow-ups become some much more rewarding. That being said, I really wished this sported as least a small schematic map of the area/earth-gouger – while the dimensions become apparent from the text, the fact remains that this nice module felt a bit more opaque than it would have been with a proper map.
This does not make this brief module bad, mind you – though I wished the non-combat challenges and piloting the earthgouger would have gotten a more detailed success/failure/control-mechanism. All in all, a nice, inexpensive module well worth of a final verdict of 4 stars.
You can get this nice module here on OBS!
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