Shrine of Serpents
This AP-plug-in clocks in at 23 pages, 2 pages front cover (it’s also the last page of the pdf), 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction/how-to use, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 14 pages for the module herein, so let’s take a look!
This module is intended to be played between module 3 and 4 of the Mummy’s Mask AP and is targeted at 8-10th level PCs, but, being a dungeon, it works equally well in any quasi-Egyptian context or in any context that uses a certain Sword & Sorcery aesthetic.
That out of the way, this is an adventure-review and as such, it contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
All right, only GMs around? Apep, an ancient god of serpents and darkness those in the know regarding Egyptian mythology (or fantastic literature) should know, has remained important in the dark and despicable depth of Osirion’s underbelly – there are always the evil and desperate that will worship entities like this…and a cult of the dread deity has recently started preying upon unwary travelers. Whether by accident of commission, the PCs will stumble over the hidden, eponymous shrine of said cult – and it begins with an array of visuals that is impressive indeed – walking into the deadly gullet. It’s classic and could come straight from a visual novel adaptation of the classics of the Sword & Sorcery genre.
The exploration of the eponymous shrine of the serpents does feature a total of 11 different locations, which do include unique traps and even mythic adversaries, consciously designed to be pitted against non-mythic adversaries and balanced appropriately. Beyond the lethal rangers of the cult, powerful and deadly clerics and the classic gigantic anaconda, the dungeon offers a significant challenge for the PCs, as the read aloud text and the adversaries breathe the spirit of swords and sorcery.
Beyond this classic component, the BBEG of the module is intriguing: The module also features divs as well as an unique rakshasa as a boss that should certainly challenge the PCs.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ beautiful full-color 2-column standard and jams a lot of text into its pages. The pdf features gorgeous full-color artwork and the module’s cartography is in full-color and nice indeed – and yes, it does come with a player-friendly version. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Alex Riggs’ Shrine of Serpents breathes the spirit of Sword & Sorcery I adore and still features the classic, evocative visuals of Egyptian/serpent-themed creations. The most intriguing part, though, to me lies in the fact that the challenges are immaculately designed to be challenging and diverse. While skill monkeys could use a bit more to do, the dungeon as a whole manages to make the classic theme to feel relatively fresh. While personally, I would have enjoyed a slightly more pronounced emphasis on the serpent-theme within, rescuing prisoners and the mechanical challenges render this module a fun take on the classic serpent-themed dungeon that excels in particularly in its combat challenges – though, again, slightly more on the terrain-side could have made this book truly great. As written, it is an impressive take on the classic trope. In the end, this module feels like a worthwhile purchase for a lot of GMs out there – adaptation to basically any context beyond Mummy’s Mask is ridiculously easy – just plug and play, no hassle. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, though I have to round down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
You can get this neat little plug-in module here on OBS!
You can directly support LG creating more Egyptian-themed AP plug-ins here on patreon!