5E Mini-Dungeon: Throne of the Dweller in Dreams (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.
All right! The PCs are contacted by artificer Vythis Targain, who hires the PCs to investigate an ancient tomb complex. Inside the complex, the PCs can find a weird throne – and have already entered the realm of dreams, where a puzzle based on gems (unfortunately, trial and error) awaits. I like the puzzle, I loathe the lack of options to find out how it works.
In the complex where invisible stalkers, a spirit naga and a vrock must be defeated, the PCs can unearth dream rods – one ruby, one sapphire and an emerald…and if they solve aforementioned puzzle, they can escape the dreams and use these rods to insert them into sarcophagi in the first room, where they were teleported first into dreams, resulting in a challenging final encounter versus wraiths.
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 original full-color art – kudos!
Justin Andrew Mason’s mini-dungeon is one I really wanted to like – I love the inclusion of a brief puzzle and the pdf manages to instill a sense of antiquity in spite of its brevity and breathes the spirit of sword and sorcery – though the pdf loses its leitmotif in Kyle Crider’s conversion. 5E does not have the same array of unique´, thematically-linked critters and it shows here. At the same time, I did like how the rods to be found were codified as proper magic items. With 2 ioun stones and 3 rods, some conservative GMs may consider this to be a bit loot-rich, though. However, trial and error puzzles are unpleasant, particularly when the codified rooms by rods would have made for a great way to provide subtle, logical hints. As provided, the mini-dungeon instead, as much as I like it, feels more opaque than it should be. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3 stars.
You can get this mini-dungeon here on OBS!