Mini-Dungeon: Shadows of Madness
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 to d20pfsrd.com’s shop and thus, absent from the pdf.
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.
Wizards strive as wizards are wont to do, for knowledge – and much like dwarves digging too deep, they are prone to being destroyed by this thirst for knowledge. Exactly that has, alas, happened to a wizard names Tibor – and now the PCs have found a stair amid the rubble of his former tower.
In this small dungeon, the PCs will find strange notes and fight disturbing, shadow-templated foes and ultimately, save a medium -who was kidnapped by shadow-infused bugbears to facilitate the planned retribution of said aforementioned wizard -who now, driven mad by soulslivers, constitutes the boss of this dungeon.
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 basics of the stats are presented when they deviate from the hyperlinked statblock – as provided, they should be enough to run all creatures but the boss sans consulting them.
Michael Smith delivers a nice mini-dungeon here – with a neat theme, relatively diverse combat challenges and even a bit of talking and a trap + a dangerous item, the mini-dungeon provides essentially what one can expect from the format – a relatively fun, short romp. While falling slightly short of the conceptual brilliance of some installments in the series, I still feel justified in rating this 4.5 stars, rounded up by a margin due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this nice mini-dungeon here on OBS!