5E Mini-Dungeon: The Lapis Maiden of Serena Hortum (5e)
This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a 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. Unlike most 5E Mini-Dungeons, this one does not come with VTT-maps or player-friendly iterations, which is a bit of a bummer.
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. Got that? Great!
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.
The desert village of Serena Hortum is the backdrop of this module, with a local named Nadia looking for her missing sister – a beauty named Alucia. The trail leads to the estate of a merchant (a mage) called Bodigar – though, inside, the PCs are in for a nasty surprise: Bodigar has indeed abducted Alucia and his mansion does show enough indication of his depravities – the worst of which would be the statues in the garden, which also feature fair Alucia, transformed into stone by his pet basilisks. Bringing the vile merchant to justice will be an interesting task indeed!
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 surprisingly good for such an inexpensive pdf, but there is no key-less version of the map to print out and hand to your players. The pdf does sport one nice piece of b/w-art – kudos!
Justin Andrew Mason’s Mini-Dungeon is compelling – either as straight-forward hack and slay or as an infiltration, this one offers a nice story, a cool backdrop, diverse challenges and even a bit of social interaction, this is a great example of what can be done with a straight-forward, smart application of the limiting mini-dungeon-formula. Kyle Crider’s conversion of the module is generally interesting and solid, though I wished it made more use of 5e’s simple and easy to modify Stealth mechanics, but that may just be me. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this nice mini-dungeon here on OBS!