Mini-Dungeon: The Scrag Queen’s Sanctuary
This pdf clocks in at 2 pages and is a mini-dungeon. This means we get 2 pages content, including a solid map (alas, sans player-friendly version) 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 couple of years ago, this little druidic stronghold has been overrun by a horde of trolls – no in ruins, the subterranean parts of the complex still remain – and actually manage to provide a concise exploration experience: From molds to strange, magical rooms to track the movement of the stars – the flavor of an old magical complex is captured well, with the traps and objects complementing the flavor. Beyond the rank and file trolls, however, it is the boss that deserves special mention, being the eponymous scrag queen…and a black half-dragon, to boot! Attacking from a pool of putrid water and with an actually effective flight plan, taking care of the BBEG of this mini-dungeon is trickier than one would expect…as she escapes in another pool, which is connected to a secret part of the dungeon! Knowledge skills, just fyi, help filling the blanks the PCs may potentially have and yes, the terrain actually *is* relevant in this one. As a minor complaint electronic users of this file should be aware of: One critter is not hyperlinked; it’s a common enough one, though.
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. It should be noted that here, I have seen the artwork before in another context, but to make up for that, the map’s more beautiful and detailed than usual, which is actually a plus for me.
Jonathan Ely’s venture to the scrag queen’s sanctuary is a fun, inexpensive sidetrek that sports atmosphere, a challenging boss and thematically fitting obstacles. A statue erected for a traitorous druid may even raise some follow-up questions, if you so desire. Anyhow, this module stands and falls with the boss; don’t get me wrong, the rest is nice, but the villain here is the most intriguing component and makes for an nice, fun challenge with some neat tactics. The mini-dungeon can be inserted without much hassle into a given context, just fyi. How to rate this, then? Well…I’d kinda be inclined to settle on a final score of 4.5 stars and round down…but ultimately, particularly considering the limited space available, what has been crammed into these 2 pages is pretty impressive and well worth of rounding up.
You can get this nice mini-dungeon here on OBS!