A Mini-Dungeon adventure for 4 Level 8 PCs
In an incredible piece of opportunistic pilfering an exotic noblewoman (actually a Rakshasa Marais in disguise) was “relieved” of a valuable necklace (actually a Rakshasa Raktavarna in disguise) by a young pick-pocket called Dodger.
When the authorities told the noble “lady” and her “brother”(also a disguised Rakshasa though in this case one of the so called “Common” types) that they would not be able to recover their stolen necklace the two Rakshasas decided to take matters into their own hands by adopting new disguises and then using them to set up a mini Thieves’ Guild in the sewers, one that specialises in helping young pick-pockets with their career aspirations.
The female Rakshasa, the Marais, now disguising herself as “Nancy”, acts like a bawdy cockney gal who enjoys a good drink and a sing-song while she gathers young strays around her with a kind word and a meat pie (since most of them are starving). When she fi nds likely pick-pockets she sends them down for mentoring and protection to her brother “Fagin” who, being the “Common” Rakshasa now disguised as an elderly twisted rogue, looks after his “little wascals” until space in the hideout gets a bit tight and he is forced to send one off for “special training”.
It’s all a bit below the Rakshasas dignity and the Raktavarna would laugh its head off if it ever found out what was happening but in the end it’s the best that they could come up with and when all is said and done they are gradually working their way through the city’s young pick-pocket population. In the meantime the Raktavarna, realising its precarious position, has chosen not to reveal itself to Dodger while it waits for a possible rescue, using instead its Suggestion and Charm Person spells on him while he sleeps in order to prevent itself from being fenced.
Mini-Dungeons are single page, double sided adventures for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game which are setting agnostic and are easily inserted anywhere in your campaign.
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 of the map, in both GM and player-friendly versions!
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, a helpful tool in the GM’s arsenal. Got that? Great!
This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.
Okay, so in a masterstroke of the old adage of „opportunity creates thieves“, a young pick-pocket named Dodger managed to steal an amulet. Problem #1): The target is a marais rakshasa. Problem #2): The amulet is actually a raktavarna raksaha. The evil outsiders, alas, have failed to reclaim the “amulet” and as such, they have set up a mini thieves’ guild, a coaching service for aspiring criminals of sorts, one that obviously resonates with the Dickensian overtones that you expected from the title. This is, once you think about it, rather hilarious, and indeed, when the pdf notes how one of the rakshasa in disguise looks after his “little wascals”, of the mighty marais disguised as a bawdy cockney gal, you’ll be hard-pressed to swallow your inevitable chuckle.
The adventure itself begins when the rakshasa asks the PCs to “stop the thief” – actually, she finally noticed dodger and attacked him, but he managed to escape. Provided the PCs survive catching up with Dodger, they’ll have to deal with “Nancy” – and after that, the adventure flips aand has Dodger recruit the PCs to free his fellow young thieves from the new “guild.” Infiltrating the guild and stopping the evil outsiders will not be an easy job.
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 nice. Huge plus: We get a GM AND a Player-version of the area in which this takes place, providing full VTT-friendly compatibility.
This is an utterly delightful, hilarious example of an excellent mini-dungeon; full of literary allusions, as seen through the lens of gaming, this is challenging, hilarious, challenging and utterly amazing, ranking as one of the best mini-dungeons in the whole line. It is baffling how much flavor is crammed into these 2 pages. Oh, and it’s been written by none other than Richard Develyn, you know, the man who writes the 4 Dollar Dungeons; the brilliant author whose modules regularly manage to get the first spot on my Top Ten lists. (Yes, you should absolutely own all of his modules; apart from his first one, they’re all masterpieces in one way or another.) Yeah, once you realize that, you probably won’t be surprised by how good this is. 5 stars + seal of approval, given without any hesitation.
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