5E Mini-Dungeon: Nekh-ta-Nebi’s Tomb (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. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains…*drumroll* a .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that’s pretty amazing! The dungeon’s number-less version of the map doesn’t sport any deceptive trap icons or traps – kudos, though the place where the secret doors are can still be gleaned by proximity…but if you conceal that part, it works well. In short: Full, proper VTT-support and help for guys like yours truly that can’t draw maps.
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 tomb of Nekh-Ta-Nebi can be used as its own tomb of a minor noble or as part of a bigger complex, if you’re for example running Gary Gygax’ Necropolis, Dunes of Desolation or Mummy’s Mask. The complex itself is pretty much a straight-forward Egyptian-themed dungeon, complete with giant scorpions and mummies.
Alas, while hyperlinking is consistent herein, the monster choice is significantly less diverse than in the PFRPG-version – at least a reskin would have been nice here.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches apart from some properly linked hyperlinks not being color-coded/highlighted – cosmetic hiccups. 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. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art – kudos! The cartography, with player and GM-VTT-maps, is nice.
Jonathan Ely’s Tomb of Nekh-Ta-Nebi is as straight-forward a mini-dungeon as you’ll get for the theme – it is solid in its theme and execution and there is nothing wrong with it. Conversely, it also is kind of unremarkable. No room, hazard or encounter really blew me away and the overall complex left me unimpressed. Now this may well be the jaded bastard in me speaking, but I found this mini-dungeon lacking in anything remarkable that sets it apart. While this means that this pdf probably fits into every Egyptian-themed scenario, it also left me thinking that I can brew a scenario like this up on the fly. This is further exacerbated in the 5E-version, with undead hyena and the like falling prey to a lack of templated creatures – what we get here are vanilla undead. Kyle Crider’s conversion isn’t bad, but the pdf does lose the few components that kinda set it apart for me. Compared with Kobold Press’ legendary “Last Gasp”, it falls really, really flat.
Time-starved DMs may still consider this worthwhile, even though I, as a person, didn’t. As a reviewer, I can value the solid craftsmanship, though, and for the time-starved DM, this might work. hence, my final verdict clocks in at 3 stars.
You can get this module here on OBS!