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Mini-Dungeon #054: Uneasy Rests the Crown'd Head
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/24/2017 04:22:49

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! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Better yet: GM-friendly version of the jpg's included as well!

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This is a direct sequel of "Ne'er trust the white wolf's tameness", but works perfectly as a standalone offering. The PCs venture down into a sinkhole, only to find an air membrane on water that can cling to the PCs, providing 60 minutes of air... -1 minute per round of strenuous activity, so they should better manage their precious air supplies......oh, and the less minutes remain, the more is their visibility impeded, which adds a really cool tactical option to the whole proceedings!

Now, the PCs can engage in plentiful 3D-combat here, as the complex is new and intended to be nothing less than the start of a new aboleth outpost, created by two brethren of this loathsome race. From a breach to the elemental plane of water and its guardian to other watery foes, traps, swarms and finally, the battle against the bosses, this is a diverse, challenging and extremely evocative mini-dungeon.

Conclusion:

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 .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley's excursion to the realms below the waves here is fantastic: It provides the means for interesting and rarely faced foes in a thoroughly fantastic environment. The air/vision mechanic is well worth scavenging and could carry a whole mega-adventure complex...in fact, that's what I'll use it for! It is impressive how much flavor and coolness the author has once again squeezed out of these precious few words - and how much fun. 5 stars + seal of approval. Get this!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #054: Uneasy Rests the Crown'd Head
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Mini-Dungeon #053: Ne'er Trust The White Wolf's Tameness
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/24/2017 04:19:26

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! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Better yet: GM-friendly version of the jpg's included as well!

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon can be run as a sequel to "Look not with Thine Eyes, but Thine Mind", but works just as well on its own. The PCs continue their descent into the bowels of the earth, teleporting into a lethal trap, where multiple, deadly guardians must be bested to escape the "Wolf's Eyes" - a kind of guarded teleport trap. Free f this challenging gauntlet and its powerful golems and swarms, the PCs have to make their way through the lethal traps of "the wolf's jaw" - and from here on out, things only get more foreboding, as remnants of horrific fates, 4 random encounters you may or may not use, and a terribly injured group of adventurers speak of worse things awaiting in "the wolf's mind" - a part of the complex where the way leads further below. It should also be noted that this mini-dungeon has a potential, direct way out of its confines at this point...

Conclusion:

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 decent, but not as good as the best in the series. The .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley sports a nice quasi-puzzle, some challenging traps and foes and a thematically concise and interesting mini-dungeon here. No complaints, well worth getting - 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #053: Ne'er Trust The White Wolf's Tameness
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Mini-Dungeon #052: Look Not With Thine Eyes But Thine Mind
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:14:50

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! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Better yet: GM-friendly version of the jpg's included as well!

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon can be played as a sequel to "There are more Things in the Planes and the Earth", but it works perfectly fine on its own as well. After having braved the weird complex and witnessed an elder thing talking to Formians, the PCs now explore a complex where the insectoid creatures represent the none-too-pleasant opposition - random encounters are provided as well, 4 to be more precise, but it should be noted that, from a blind monk to a termite swarm, a caulborn and aether elementals, the opposition found within these halls is rather diverse and fun.

Conclusion:

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 decent, but not as good as the best in the series. The .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley's latest installments of this sequence of loosely connected mini-dungeons has a diverse and fun array of foes, a neat atmosphere and generally makes for a cool, fun dungeon. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #052: Look Not With Thine Eyes But Thine Mind
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Mini-Dungeon #051: There Are More Things in the Planes and the Earth
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/21/2017 11:11:36

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! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Better yet: GM-friendly version of the jpg's included as well!

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This can be used as a sequel to the previous mini-dungeon "When goblins die, no comets are seen", though it can also be used on its own. The very entrance to this complex is trapped with a suggestion to "leave and never return", establishing a sense of foreboding dread that the complex then manages to expand - from traps with insanity mist to cairnwights and slithering trackers, the caverns contain some nasty tricks; and yes, burrowing can actually yield treasure...if you know where to look. At one point, the PCs will also have a chance to witness an elder thing, which retreats courtesy of aggressive formorians.

Pretty cool: The mini-dungeon contains 4 nice little random encounters to keep up the pressure.

Conclusion:

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 decent, but not as good as the best in the series. The .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley's exploration of these realms below is interesting and the challenges and obstacles faced are fun and create an interesting mini-dungeon, well worth a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #051: There Are More Things in the Planes and the Earth
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Mini-Dungeon #050: When Goblins Die, No Comets are Seen
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2017 04:34:47

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! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Better yet: GM-friendly version of the jpg's included as well!

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

This mini-dungeon can be run as a sequel to "Doubt not that stars are fire", but can also stand on its own. After delving into the coldfire-infested tunnels in the previous module, the party dives into the dark, where they'll encounter the remains of a tribe of dark folk, fighting wights...and the tunnels also contain horribly weakened goblins and a complex with traps aplenty in the remnants of a mysterious complex

Conclusion:

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 .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley's take on exploring these weird tunnels makes for a fun and interesting sidetrek that makes for a neat, fun little romp. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #050: When Goblins Die, No Comets are Seen
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Mini-Dungeon #049: Doubt Not That Stars Are Fire
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2017 04:29:27

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! Yeah, that's pretty amazing! Better yet: GM-friendly version of the jpg's included as well!

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right! This can be used as a sequel to the "Pit your Wits" mini-dungeon, but works well on its own: Following a mutated goblin attack, the PCs have to go down the pit, the walls aglow with coldfire...and worse, there is a deadly substance...and this coldfire substance has mutated the local goblins into goberrations - a variant, weaker faceless stalker...and being too close to the substance is really painful. Dried coldfire can result in a similarly horrible mutation for careless PCs and within this place, raging rubble, cerebric fungi and worse await...but there indeed is a way down...but do the PCs dare continue?

Conclusion:

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 .jpg version included here, which you can easily cut up and hand out to the players as they progress is a huge bonus -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley shows what an awesome atmosphere you can generate with a few monster reskins and some deadly terrain. This is a deceptively hard little mini-dungeon and makes great use of the environments. The mini-dungeon is fun and evocative and certainly worth the low asking price. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #049: Doubt Not That Stars Are Fire
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(5E) U01: Dark Days in Stoneholme (Fantasy Grounds)
by Bryan K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2017 07:01:30

A decent overview/review by someone else can be found in the PDF version here : https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/145615/U01-Dark-Days-in-Stoneholme?site=&test_epoch=0&manufacturers_id=4409

Anyway, I decided to run this in my custom campaign as a starter, breaking it up into 3 parts, (each chapter being a part). So far I've run the party through Chapter's 1 and 2. Let me say, there is a lot of content in Chapter 1. I ran it in 1 session, cutting out a lot, since I wanted it down to 3-4 hours. (aiming for one session per chapter). First chapter was definitely interesting, and the city has a lot of buildings for players to go to, so prepare accordingly. I had a player ask numerous Dwarves about the large statues out front and simply wasn't prepared since I wanted to run the session as a "brawler".

In any case, it is going well. Chapter 2 offers no map, so instead of using theatre of the mind, I found an underground tunnel map to use and turned it into a scout & cartographer mission to try to find the safest way to the Temple for Chapter 3.

I am planning on running Chapter 3 this Friday and I can't wait!

It definitely has a good amount of content for the price, and as a DM I am hooked, and while debating getting the next piece, there is no FG module for it, and I definitely can't justify the price for a PDF (when a FG MOD would) when after running the first part can just brainstorm how this second part would play out specifically in my homebrew setting anyway. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203140/5E-U02-Murder-in-Stoneholme

I so far would rate this adventure 4 to 4.5 out of 5. I think it is pretty good and adaptable, but due to the details takes a thorough reading to understand how you'd want to implement it, especially in a homebrew world/setting. It could possibly use a few more NPC names /details for Stoneholme itself (Chapter 1), especially at this price, but definitely has a good story and seems to have good flexibility as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
(5E) U01: Dark Days in Stoneholme (Fantasy Grounds)
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Mini-Dungeon #047: Stowaway on the Singing Sea
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/09/2017 07:10:34

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 .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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

And now for something completely, radically different! This adventure takes place mostly with the PCs cooped up in a crate, with rations, portable hole for...ahem...necessities. Two weeks. Even if you fast forward that, it'll be interesting if you just briefly mention each day and wait for your PCs to interact a bit. I'm serious. If you have good roleplayers in your group, this'll be pure gold. That being said, there is a reason for this unorthodox way of travelling. You see, the PCs have been hired by law enforcement to catch captain Elloise Drake in the act, with the means of granting her crew amnesty. Thus, they stowed away on her vessel...and once the crate's opened, the PCs explore the pirate vessel, catch it in the act of piracy and may use their social skills to make more of the crew turn against their captain. And yes, furious fight included. Sure, you can play this as a fast-forward one-big-encounter type of scenario...but if ran as provided, it can actually provide easily a full gaming day's worth of fond memories.

Conclusion:

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 -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Justin Andrew Mason's "Stowaway on the Singing Sea" is a classic module that depends on whether it is perceived as a blast or as bland on both the GM's prowess and the player's temperament. Roleplayers willing to depict the journey will absolutely adore this gem and indeed, as a kind of break, as a means of taking tempo out of a campaign that seemingly runs from time-limit to time-limit, this works phenomenally well. You know your players better than I do - can they cope with such a set-up? if so, they'll love it; if not, you can fast-forward through the two weeks of set-up, but you'll lose out on the impact of the finale when it hits. This is, more so than most modules, a matter of taste.

In fact, if it has one neutral weakness, that would be that exploration of the pirate vessel does not really yield advantage when turning the crew - some one-sentence angles for key-crew-members to turn them would have been the icing on the cake. Still, this represents a great example of how cool a module you can craft even with a minimum of space. 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #047: Stowaway on the Singing Sea
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Mini-Dungeon #048: Pit Your Wits
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/09/2017 07:07:56

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 .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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

The PCs arrive at a well-known mining operation's base...the issue, though, would be that it's gone. In its stead, there lies a chasm filled with inky blackness, the result of an elder thing's "planer[sic!]" ship crash-landing there - the fall of the ship has resulted in truly strange creatures - like giant crickets covered in glowing toadstools. Highly volatile fuel left on planks may ignite at a touch, moss has transformed in mindslaver moss; a goblin was turned into a monstrosity of warped legs with tentacle-like bits; intestines have congealed into a slug-like thing and what was once a half-dragon troll living nearby is now something completely different - investigating the strange crash-site will certainly yield some seriously interesting, horrific foes...and can be seen as a masterclass example in practice on how to properly reskin monsters to make them feel fresh and new. And yes, random encounters included.

Conclusion:

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 -and even better: A KEY-LESS VERSION sans the annoying letters/numbers is included as well for full VTT-compatibility!!!. The pdf does sport one nice piece of original full-color art - kudos!

Stephen Yeardley proves that he can do the horrific just as well as the creatively weird here - the mini-dungeon shows with perfect ease how you can reskin monsters and make them truly unique encounters, how you can logically and cohesively establish a thematic leitmotif in a mini-dungeon and run with it. This is a fun excursion, particularly so for fans of science-fantasy, dark fantasy or horror - with only minimal emphasis changes, you can easily ramp up the respective components. While this mini-dungeon is thus not necessarily brilliant, it most certainly represents a more than fun low-level excursion for such games. My final verdict will hence clock in at a well-deserved 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #048: Pit Your Wits
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Mini-Dungeon #046: The Gallery of Gears
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/09/2017 07:02:14

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. This one does not come with a .tif extra map, just fyi.

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

The dreaded summoner Vlexigorn, known for the delight he takes in enslaving demons, was about to meet his match, when the kolyarut hunter Lanthanus was on his trail. Unfortunately, the summoner has managed, with the help of his vrock-aide Chor-da ta'al, to get the better of the kolyrut and use his portal to escape to Mechanus - the resulting instability has the creature on the clock (Get it? Mechanus...clock? Sorry, will hit myself for that one later...) and stranded in the material plane -he can't return for now and in 3 hours, he'll be banished here! The wounded outsider thus beseeches the PCs to enter the clockwork world of Mechanus and stop the vrock.

Upon entering the place, the PCs will at least find the bloody remains of the summoner - which alas, means that the vrock is now free-willed. Really weird: Bypassing the gears that claimed the summoner's life requries a Dexterity check - not a Ref-save, not an Escape Artist check...I don't get it. The exploration of the small complex depicted here...is somewhat weird. The depictions of bellows, scrying devices and the like are flavorful...but you can't do much with them. There is a control device for portals...and it needs a DC 28 (!!!) Intelligence check to understand. Again, weird - not Knowledge (engineering), not even Knowledge (planes) - straight Int versus DC 28. That being said, it is pretty evident why the complex, as such, isn't that detailed or engaging - the mini-dungeon basically is a prolonged boss-fight, with relatively detailed tactics given for the vrock - which I'd generally applaud. At the same time, however, a "permanently active electrical field" is supposed to keep the vrock in line. Guess what? Vrocks are immune to electricity. he could just LEAVE. Heck, his tactics even mention him using the electricity as a shield...but not how much damage that would inflict to PCs braving the field.

Another logic-bug: Vrocks can at-will greater teleport, teleport into the PC's back, finish the kolyarut. In short - if you swallow the premise, this can be a fun module; but if you don't and look closer...then it just makes no sense.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches on a formal side. 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!

Jonathan Ely can and has done so much better. The premise is cool; I like the gear-studded map and the adversary and his strategy is neat. The strange ability checks when you'd expect saves or skill checks are weird...but don't weigh as highly as the stretches expects you to swallow. I can get the "immensely lucky"-angle for the portal; it's the premise of the adventure. Strange stuff happens. However, I don't get why the module wastes precious word-count on the back-story of an irrelevant, ostensibly high-level summoner who has no loot (WTF?) and no bearing to the plot whatsoever.

The dungeon, ironically, is sterile - it has almost no interaction points and those that are here bear no relevance to the, admittedly cool boss fight....that remains cool unless you start thinking, when suddenly, it stops making any semblance of sense. The adversary's tactics are aimless make zilch sense to me; the vrock's not stranded, the kolyarut's wounded, he's free two greater teleports and we have a PC-failure on our hands. Even if you'd argue that the vrock wants to infiltrate Mechanus, it makes no sense, he'd just have to use spores, then teleport away until the timer's elapsed. His whole motivation makes no frickin' sense. As soon as you start questioning anything in this mini-dungeon, even tangentially, you'll see it coming apart. I love the idea here - but the execution is extremely flawed. My final verdict will clock in at 1.5 stars, rounded up for the idea that a GM can scavenge and the nice map. Plot-wise, this is a wreck.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #046: The Gallery of Gears
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Mini-Dungeon #045: Peril at Lamiaks Bridge
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/23/2017 01:50:31

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. This one does not come with a .tif extra map, just fyi.

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Lamiak (singular lamia - somewhat unfortunately named, considering we already have lamia in PFRPG) would be nymphs with the webbed feet of a duck, while mairuak would be friendly giants - both btw. taken from Basque mythology, so the name-convention conflict gets a pass.

Anyway, this is basically a nice and interesting, pretty fairy-tale like encounter: You see, the lamia have built a bridge cross a stream, with the map depicting the vicinity. The stone the bridge was taken from, however, is uncommon and was stolen from a mairu (aptly named Peril), who jealously guard this type of stone. He and his brothers Wrath and Sorrow are about to demolish the bridge, while the two lamiaks are about to unleash their fey tricks. It'll take some negotiation by the PCs to defuse the situation sans it coming to a violent resolution... That being said, the encounter can be resolved by adept PCs pretty smoothly, which may render this encounter a rather brief affair.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches on a formal side. 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!

Justin Andrew Mason's encounter here is fun; the tapping into a none-too-often employed mythology is appreciated and a GM that can capitalize on the wonder and fairy-tale-ish nature of this set-up can certainly make this work as a fine and memorable roadside encounter. At the same time, the encounter doesn't have that much meat on its bones. RAW, a single check can resolve it, which feels somewhat anticlimactic. This is good and, in the right hands, can shine...but similarly, it can fizzle pretty badly. A more complex negotiation situation would have helped making this more captivating.

Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up, but only barely due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #045: Peril at Lamiaks Bridge
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Mini-Dungeon #044: The Ascent of Tempest Tower
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/07/2017 04:25:02

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. This one does not come with a .tif extra map, just fyi.

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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

On an open plain, surrounded by a devastating lightning storm stands one single tower - the eponymous structure contains an artifact, the heart of the tempest. To gain access to the tower, you must first deduce that the 4 symbols (represented on the map) hidden on the door correspond to energy types and then inflict said damage types simultaneously to the structure - only then, you can have access to the structure and brave the advanced stone golems, the devastating flame vortex and finally brave a tempest behemoth to reach the artifact - which may be the only way to deal with that powerful evil in your campaign's end-game!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches on a formal side. 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!

Justin Andrew Mason's high-level mini-dungeon has it all: An artifact, an evocative location, powerful foes, required high-level magic to best it. This would be pretty much an instant recommendation...but it has two issues, one of which is an RAW game breaker. One cube needs to be subjected to "shatter damage", which does not exist. Worse, the tower can only be accessed by inflicting multiple damage types - one of which is holy...which does not exist. RAW, there is no way inside. Granted, both can be handwaved by a competent GM, but still - that should not happen and seriously tarnishes what would be one interesting high-level set-piece. Still, in spite of loving the complex, I can't let these slide. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars and I can't round up for it.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #044: The Ascent of Tempest Tower
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B24: Young Minds
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/20/2017 10:00:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 41 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC,1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 36 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This module, like Colin Stricklin's previous offerings in the series, takes place in the city of Hordenheim, which is...let's say, peculiar. If you have missed the excellent "Death & Taxes" and "For Rent, Lease and Conquest", I'd strongly suggest getting them. The form a kind of unofficial trilogy and while they all are self-contained, their collective does paint a very interesting picture of the city.

All right, this being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, still here? Great! So, Hordenheim has a bit of a different take on undead and monstrous humanoids and is pretty much a cosmopolitan city - and as such, it should come as no surprise that the place does have its own university, Leverinac Metropolitan University (LMU) - it is here that the module takes place, with the campus being depicted in a truly gorgeous full-color map, player-friendly version included with and without compass-needle and name, so if you just want to scavenge the map, no problem.

We begin this module in perhaps the funniest scene I've seen in a module for quite some time. The adventurers are staffing a booth at a job fair, extolling the virtues of their chosen profession. I am not kidding. This can be absolutely hilarious for anyone who has ever had to staff a booth for a job fair...and the very concept is similarly just so funny to me. And it gets better. During the job-fair, dean Derthag Dwarfeater is introduced- Yes. He's an orc. Obviously. Oh, and PCs can witness a harpy pranking a minotaur and have I mentioned Professor Fugglestone, the zombie lord teacher? No, I am not making that up. Better yet, it is said zombie lord who...expires (???) permanently. The PCs are tasked with finding out how the zombie lord was destroyed.

Thing is, among Fugglestone's notes the PCs are handed a hand-out, an anatomic drawing of an intellect devourer, alongside several notes. You see, intellect devourers are described as hedonistic creatures, but require a host body to properly feel the respective sensations. The dean assumes such a creature to have infiltrated the campus, obviously underestimating the decomposition of a zombie host body sans animating forces/brain. The irony of an intellect devourer eating a zombie's brain...once again is exquisite. It will hence be the PC's goal to infiltrate the underclassmen and find sudden changes in personality etc. and root out the parasitic creature.

For the purpose of this, the PCs receive magical rings that revert them to age 17 (with minor stat-adjustments) - and the stakes are high, for, according to the notes, young may well hatch soon and replace the minds of some of Hordenheim's most brightest! The PCs receive specially prepared alchemical nasal swabs they can use to find the right persons...but ultimately, getting people to agree to that will not be too simple. After all, a panic should be damn well avoided!

While the rings are detect magic-proof, the intellect devourer can still detect other items - so investigating the creature will not be simple. The PCs will have to juggle their courses and investigative duties (schedule of courses, in this, the semester's last week, is not too busy). The schedule, just fyi, represents another cool handout.

The investigation itself is basically a fun sandbox - the respective areas do have their own read-aloud text, with a plethora of different pupils and instructors provided in a nice array of fluffy write-ups - from head librarian to bookish minotaurs and clumsy ogre, the array presented is nice. Rumors, both useful and patently false, circulate - and two factions, delinquents and honor students, will seek to recruit the PCs to their causes. The cool thing beyond that backdrop would be that three sample suspects, in detail, with different evidence and encounters, are depicted: The arrogant hall monitor, the elderly, mean-spirited janitor (who is also a mite) and the ettin-coach all have their own challenges and interactions and can lead organically to one another - when played at a con, you can just run one; otherwise, putting them in an organic sequence is very easy - and the different factions have different goals associated with the respective suspects.

Beyond all of that, the timer's ticking and a barroom brawl with a chimera ( student at Trots Tech), a grand game of the local football-stand-in Hurly and an overachiever summoning hellhounds and fiendish dire lions at the same time...so yeah, beyond events and free-form investigation, much like a good Persona-game, you'll have such events to juggle. The intellect devourer, once unmasked, may well try to panic and escape, trying to save its brood - but the witlings have hatched...and promptly consume their parent and make off to the ceiling looking for prey. Fulfilled faction objectives during the module will help the PCs establish their standing - the more respected they are, the more help they'll receive...and they'll need all the help they can get to prevent a full-blown body-snatcher scenario! The module ends, thus, hopefully with a graduation...and hey, when they unmask, the PCs may actually have gained a proper cohort!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no grievous glitches. Layout adheres to AAW Games' two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports several nice full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the cartography and handouts are high quality and neat.

Colin Stricklin's third Hordenheim module is absolutely phenomenal and proofs that he knows what he is doing. One or two can be happy coincidences; three? Not so much. This module is one of the most hilarious and bonkers modules I've read in quite a while. It is rewarding, imaginative and has some many moments that made me smile, so many cool and creative ideas, it simply is a joy to read. It also can be a pretty amazing module to run for older kids that are not fazed by intellect devourers as a concept; ages 8+ should work well for all but the most sensitive of kids. That being said, adults will absolutely adore all the cool jabs at the education systems, high-school/college/university-stereotypes, etc. - this module is funny on so many levels and provides a thoroughly evocative change of pace.

Absolutely amazing. Seriously, get this module and get the first two as well, while you're at it! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval and the module, courtesy of its unique premise and creative execution. If you need a good laugh and a delightfully irreverent and unconventional module, this one delivers! The premise could carry a whole mega-adventure!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
B24: Young Minds
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Mini-Dungeon #043: Thelamos
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2017 07:47:26

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 .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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

The complex herein would best be situated under a major settlement, where the existence and new occupancy of such a place would make most sense. By means of a winding staircase, the PCs can enter a place that, ultimately, is woefully disgusting - so pervasive is the stench, that from the get-go, we have a chance to be sickened....and yes, there are traps, for this place is the new base of the Sons of Arratoi, a notorious band of thieves - which, coincidentally, also consists of wererats! Exploring the complex is btw. less of a cakewalk than you'd assume - while it is very much possible that capable PCs can catch the perpetrators unaware and asleep, they will need to be good: Beyond traps and a rat swarm, dungeon hazards and the like, a well-hidden true treasury, accompanied by a "proper" boss can be found.

Conclusion:

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! If you're using hyperlinks, you should be aware that, strangely, in this one they don't seem to be working.

Jonathan Ely's Thelamos is a generally challenging, fun little sidetrek. The obstacles are diverse enough to render it an interesting sidetrek and the pdf employs challenging terrain, fun foes and a reward for particularly diligent PCs. It is, as a whole, a nice, easily inserted and challenging module for anyone looking for a somewhat icky little sub-dungeon. Barring serious complaints, this receives a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #043: Thelamos
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Mini-Dungeon #042: The Dreamer's Shrine
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2017 07:45:57

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 .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.

...

..

.

Still here?

All right!

Hidden away under a place of learning, the cultist hideout was crafted from a previously used tomb and has since been used in different ways and expanded. The complex presented makes sense from an game-world internal point of view: Perceptive PCs can e.g. find a way to not sumble into traps and the like, making the complex feel sensible as something that is frequented by the living. Beyond having the chance to find a ghost who demands that evil be evicted from his resting place, these rooms now basically contain the shrine evicted to Cthulhu, including doom prophets. Their magical equipment does receive proper names (nice touch!) and a cursed array of gibberish may put the sanity of PCs foolish enough to read it in peril...

Conclusion:

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!

Jonathan Ely's "Shrine of the Dreamer" is a perfect example for a sensible, unpretentious mini-dungeon. The structure of the place makes sense; the module offers a bit of combat, a bit of exploration, a chance for social interaction, rewards being smart, etc. - there's not much more you could ask for. Easily inserted (and adapted to other evil deities, should you require that or prefer another evil deity), this very much is a neat example for a useful and consistent sidetrek. My final verdict will be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mini-Dungeon #042: The Dreamer's Shrine
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