5E Mini-Dungeon: What Canst Work I’ Th’ Earth So Fast? (5e)
This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a 5E-mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map and all item/monster-stats hyperlinked and thus, absent from the pdf, with only deviations from the statblocks being noted for the GM. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains…*drumroll* a .jpg-version of the map, in both GM and player-friendly versions!
Since this product line’s goal is providing short diversions, side-quest dungeons etc., I will not expect mind-shattering revelations, massive plots or particularly smart or detailed depictions, instead tackling the line for what it is, a helpful tool in the GM’s arsenal. Got that? Great!
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.
Deep beneath a mine, the PCs have ventured into a cavernous grotto steeped in ancient magics, a place throbbing with pulses of indigo energy. Magical energy moves rocks of its own accord in a potentially lethal flurry and the local fauna is deadly. To complicate matters, a duergar mining caravan is currently harvesting raw materials here, providing further challenges for the PCs. Now, unlike in the PFRPG-version, the monster selection can obviously not draw from the same wealth of critters, which does somewhat detract from the appeal of the module. In a nice move, the AAW Games crew has countered this system-immanent shortcoming somewhat with the inclusion of the monster stats of both adult void dragon and smaragdine golem from Kobold Press’ fantastic Tome of Beasts. Alas, we do lose the nice little random encounter table the PFRPG-version offered and the space the creatures take up does mean that the individual entries for the keyed encounters are somewhat shrunk down – 3. and 4., for example, have been collated into one.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes sans bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Cartography is full color and nice. Huge plus: We get a GM AND a Player-version of the area in which this takes place, providing full VTT-friendly compatibility.
We have a return to form here for Stephen Yeardley. In just a few words, he manages to evoke a tight atmosphere, chooses smart adversaries and sports a couple of unique tidbits. Now, the module loses a bit of its appeal, courtesy of the decreased creature array 5e offers when compared to PFRPG. While the pdf does manage to partially offset this in Chris Harris’ conversion, the mini-dungeon doesn’t wholly manage to reach the level of coolness of the PFRPG version. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.
You can get this mini-dungeon here on OBS!