Mini-Dungeons: Neotomas’ Paradise
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 apart from any deviations from the linked base creature/NPC.
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.
So, beggars have been vanishing and thus, it falls to the PCs to venture forth into the sewers to find them – and yes, they may contact a disease more horrible than filth fever here – which is a nice deviation from the tired “contract filth fever”-routine…after all, bubonic plague is so much more unsettling. Exploring the dark caverns, the PCs not only have to brave rat swarms, they will also encounter a ghost of a slain beggar before finding the culprit of the disappearances – a nasty wererat slaver on a recruiting spree and by now transformed were-rat beggars…oh, and yes, the PCs can walk into a gelatinous cube.
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 pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art – kudos!
Michael Smith delivers a sewer level, but one of the good ones – with lighting, environmental hazards and actual chances for social interaction and some minor investigation, it is quite impressive to see what he managed to cram into these two paltry pages. In fact, this is pretty much an example in many ways on how you can render such a tired trope work, even when hobbled by the strictest page-count imaginable. This mini-dungeon was absolutely fun for its brevity and deserves a final verdict of 4.5 stars, falling short of the round up only due to the absence of skill-related obstacles herein – swimming, climbing etc. and minor terrain hazards beyond would have made this even more impressive.
You can get this neat mini-dungeon here on OBS!