Mini-Dungeon: We All Start Somewhere…
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. Oh, and the series now comes in an archive that also contains…*drumroll* a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that’s pretty amazing
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.
Let’s face it – if most of us were to embark upon the life of an adventurer, we’d not look for Rappan Athuk, the Darkest Dungeon or a similar hell-hole to start off our career. We’d start looking for something that feels like we can actually survive it, right? Well, the complex near Raakayras is exactly one such place – relatively peaceful, yet manageable…and other adventurers will probably have taken care of all those really nasty threats…right?
Well, things aren’t always as they seem: The complex depicted still sports some nasty traps and is the result of an aftermath of the deeds of a particularly nasty wererat, who poisoned wyrmling eggs contained in protective vats of acid…well, all but one, who since then proceeded to eliminate said scoundrel as well as the most dire of threats from the vicinity. Relaxing in an acid bath, slaying the remaining wyrmling will be a challenging endeavor…and actually one that may destabilize the region, beginning the campaign already with an emphasis on consequences I tend to enjoy.
Trap and hazard-wise, modifications of effects and unique obstacles are pretty damn cool, though one instance of the word “damage” missing constitutes a minor hiccup…or something that got left behind due to word-count-restrictions.
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. The .tif version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art – kudos!
Stephen Yeardley’s introductory complex presented here is challenging and the final boss can be downright brutal…but then again, it can also be a great kickstart of a new campaign, already featuring the potential for Diplomacy, for reaping what one has sown and for a contextualization of the mini-dungeon within one’s preferred campaign world. Considering the limitations of the series, that is pretty impressive.
Overall, this represents a fun first module to throw at players in a new campaign and thus receives 5 stars.
You can get this inexpensive mini-dungeon here on OBS!