Mini-Dungeon: Chrome Devils of the Swamp
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.
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.
A fiery comet has fallen into the nearby swamp and rumors abound regarding the strange devils that have ventured forth from its insides. Indeed, within the swamp, the dungeon is composed of a strange alloy, sports an eerie glow…yep, this very much would be a crashed space-ship, with several kind of robots serving as the opposition to be faced by the PCs. Here is something cool: Doors improperly forced open, droids destroyed – all matter, for the analyst AI that is the BB”E”G can result in enemies coming close. The set-up is amazing, though the “Alert check” that the pdf mentions looks like something is missing there…DCs? At least the AIs I know of don’t have that feature/as part of rules-language. Similarly, I’m not sure why a grid of potentially deadly light is based on Dex-checks, instead of Ref-saves…worse, one deals plasma damage (which is nonstandard – usually, that means half fire/electricity, but that should be specified in the pdf)…and it’s a Fort-save to halve, which makes no sense to me, but all right.
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 solid, but not up to the best in the series. This time around, we get not jpgs or player-friendly versions, which is a down-side.
Stefanos “The Netlich” Patelis’s science-fantasy crawl has all the makings of 5 star + seal of approval: A great backdrop, a cool, consistent leitmotif, some evocative terrain features, etc. – at the same time, a couple of choices are weird – when something should obviously feature a tech-use, UMD or Escape Artist, when saves feel strange…then we unfortunately have a mini-dungeon that is a mixed bag from a reviewer’s perspective. Don’t get me wrong – a moderately experienced GM can run this as something truly amazing, but I can’t rate that. As written, I can’t go higher than 3.5 stars for this one, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.
You can get this science-fantasy mini-dungeon here on OBS!
While my review is based on the PFRPG-version, the 5e-version can be found here!