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. Big plus: This mini-dungeon comes with a key-less .tif player map as well as a high-res GM map for VTT-use – kudos!
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.
And now for something completely, radically different! This adventure takes place mostly with the PCs cooped up in a crate, with rations, portable hole for…ahem…necessities. Two weeks. Even if you fast forward that, it’ll be interesting if you just briefly mention each day and wait for your PCs to interact a bit. I’m serious. If you have good roleplayers in your group, this’ll be pure gold.
That being said, there is a reason for this unorthodox way of travelling. You see, the PCs have been hired by law enforcement to catch captain Elloise Drake in the act, with the means of granting her crew amnesty. Thus, they stowed away on her vessel…and once the crate iss opened, the PCs explore the pirate vessel, catch it in the act of piracy and may use their social skills to make more of the crew turn against their captain. And yes, furious fight with a potent foe included. Sure, you can play this as a fast-forward one-big-encounter type of scenario…but if ran as provided, it can actually provide easily a full gaming day’s worth of fond memories.
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, and the inclusion of a key-less map and VTT-capable options is a big plus for me.
Justin Andrew Mason’s “Stowaway on the Singing Sea” is a classic module that depends on whether it is perceived as a blast or as bland on both the GM’s prowess and the player’s temperament. Roleplayers willing to depict the journey will absolutely adore this gem and indeed, as a kind of break, as a means of taking tempo out of a campaign that seemingly runs from time-limit to time-limit, this works phenomenally well. You know your players better than I do – can they cope with such a set-up? If so, they’ll love it; if not, you can fast-forward through the two weeks of set-up, but you’ll lose out on the impact of the finale when it hits. This is, more so than most modules, a matter of taste.
In fact, if it has one neutral weakness, that would be that exploration of the pirate vessel does not really yield advantages when turning the crew – some one-sentence angles for key-crew-members to turn them would have been the icing on the cake. Still, this represents a great example of how cool a module you can craft even with a minimum of space and Kyle Crider’s conversion does a great job maintaining the original appeal. 5 stars.
You can get this unconventional mini-module here on OBS!