The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs (system neutral)
This module is system-neutral and clocks in at 2 pages – all content. Structure-wise, we have a basic 3 locations – each of which sports a brief read-aloud text, a more detailed elaboration of the respective area and then a couple of different dangers that the GM can use. Creatures are explained, with notes like “medium damage, high health”, notes on “moves” and “impulses.” Additionally, each of the 3 sections sports sample treasures (using gold standard, just fyi).
All right, and this would be as far as I can go sans going into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.
All right, only referees around? Great! Let me paraphrase a part of the setting the scene section:
“To the South there are twisting, jagged ravines covering the barren earth like lashes on the back of a whipped prisoner. The lands provide no crops or lumber…[…]…Crawling up from the bowels of the earth are the chitinous and undulating Ytroth Larvae, devouring and churning up the ancient stone below. They rest like colossal cicadas against the cliffs. Within their stomachs and hearts have accumulated the riches and artifacts of civilizations long dead.”
Stoked yet? Yeah, guess where the PCs are going? The first location would be the maw, where parasitic scrapworms, corpses of failed Ytroth miners and sudden convulsions and flexing jaws may spell doom for those brave or foolhardy enough to dive into the larvae’s titanic jaws. Within the stomach, beyond the esophagus, there are guthawks circling the insides and bug-like tinsniffers are dangerous as well…oh, and have I mentioned the acid lake undercurrents constantly changing the topography? Via a rend in the stomach, the PCs can make their way through a coagulated tunnel to the heart, where molefolk bloodcultists roam and heart valves or spasms may prove fatal for those tiny fools crawling through the place…a fact well known to the degenerate molefolk…
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups beyond minor punctuation hiccups. Layout adheres to a 3-column horizontal landscape format and the pdf sports 3 nice, thematically-fitting pieces of stock-art. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. It also has no cartography, but once again, doesn’t need it courtesy of the amazing prose.
Karl Scheer’s humble pdf shows that you do not need rules, nor room or word-count to deliver something truly amazing. Heck, it doesn’t even have branching paths and still is amazing! The environment is awesome, the complications cool and the prose is absolutely inspiring. The pdf is inspiring and costs a lousy single buck – and there are very few such small dungeons/adventures that come close to this in quality. Need one gaming day worth of an amazing environment, glorious prose and fun? Look no further. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this cool mini-module here on OBS!