For 4–5 Characters levels 5–6
Somervel’s autumn rains lasted longer than usual, and the resulting winter floods impacted more than expected. Some distant pale-forts haven’t been heard from in months, being cut off by the linking of frozen rice paddies, flood meadows, leas usually inhabited by cattle, and rivers that run though Somervel’s territory. Parties are charged with taking supplies to these border posts and bringing anyone severely injured home.
Somervel’s pale-forts are like beaver lodges; earthen mounds on islands in the marshlands. Each covers a wide area, is surrounded by a wooden palisade, has quarters below ground, and has a single central watchtower. Torni’ s tower fell in the recent storms, and the guards missed Akka, who infiltrated the fort and killed them all. Now this is her home, and she is recruiting…
5E Mini-Dungeons are single page, double sided adventures for 5th Edition which are setting agnostic and are easily inserted anywhere in your campaign.
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– June 21, 2017
An Endzeitgeist.com review
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 .jpg-version and a .tif-version of the map! Yeah, that’s pretty amazing! The dungeon’s number-less version of the map doesn’t sport any deceptive trap icons or traps – kudos, though the place where the secret doors are can still be gleaned by proximity…but if you conceal that part, it works well. In short: Full, proper VTT-support and help for guys like yours truly that can’t draw maps.
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.
Somervel has not been treated kindly by the seasons – its pale forts, somewhat akin to beaver lodges, earthen mounds on islands in the marshlands, have been isolated for quite a while – most of the complex is below ground, with one tower jutting forth from the mound. Torni’s tower has fallen to the seasons and when he PCs are sent to investigate the place, they are greeted by a haggard female – but that’s just the beginning of the trouble.
Turns out the female is a disguised night hag who not only single-handedly (or better: single-clawedly) took the fortress and slaughtered its inhabitants, she also makes off to rouse her ogre, ettin and troll minions, some of which in states of drunkenness (which is accounted for by the mini-dungeon with nice quick and dirty 5e-rules!) and prepare her detailed and rather awesome tactics – while in 5E, she doesn’t collect stirges to throw at PCs, she instead gets will-o’-wisp allies. What about speaking tubes? Yeah, smart! So, the presentation provides the roster of inhabitants, the rooms and the tactics of the night hag – all in all, providing a surprisingly awesome and best of all, organic mini-dungeon against foes with unique tactics and in a distinct backdrop.
Here’s an issue in the 5E-version – the pdf does not specify how good the hag is at her ruse; here, we would have had a great chance for a bit of social skill use, but we, alas, don’t get that.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches apart from the hyperlinks – there are quite a few that don’t work, which is a bit annoying. 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 pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art – kudos! The cartography, with player and GM-VTT-maps, is nice.
Stephen Yeardley does it again – this mini-dungeon is inspired, cool and does everything right: From an awesome, unique locale to smart adversaries and a surprising amount of fluff crammed into the scant few pages, this mini-dungeon is concise, logical ad downright awesome. The hyperlinks aren’t always properly implemented, which can be slightly annoying. Kyle Crider generally did a good job in conversion, though the pdf does lose a bit in the tactics department. It’s not bad, mind you – not even close. But the PFRPG-version just made me cackle with glee, where this one only made me smile – it’s nice, but if you’re playing both systems, the PFRPG-version is the better one.
This notwithstanding, we still have a nice mini-dungeon here, well worth a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.
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