A great adventure, looks good, really interesting ideas with the location. My only disappointment was that there weren't more maps for the later parts of the monsters' complex - creating my own would be okay, but I prefer not to do work if I can!
As a lifelong DM (since 1978) and huge fan of the S-Series modules, I was excited when this premium edition hardcover came out in 2013! I do enjoy it - it's great to have all the adventures in one tome and I've run them straight out of it several times. The pdf is good too - easy to read, print from and most importantly - it's easy to search!
I do have several complaints, however... The "premium edition" (both HC & pdf versions) missed the opportunity to include the gorgeous color covers (front and back) form these classic adventures. The artwork from the original artists (David C. Southerland III, Jeff Dee & Erol Otus) are some of the best in the hobby's long history (plus S1 & S2 had TWO covers - monochrome & full color) - and WotC has missed an opportunity to preserve them as color plates. The biggest shame of all is that the stellar color plates from the original S3 module are reproduced in black & white, which really doesn't do justice to them at all (they're grey and grainy)....
As a lifelong DM (since 1978) and huge fan of the A-Series modules, I was excited when this premium edition hardcover came out in 2013! I do enjoy it - especially Skip Williams' stellar A0 Danger At Darkshelf Quarry, the author's prefaces and the way it looks on my old school RPG shelf (it's a gorgeous book!). It's great to have all the adventures in one tome and I've run them straight out of it several times. The pdf is good too - ieasy to read, print from and most importantly - it's easy to search! My only complaint, and it's a minor one. The "premium edition" (both HC & pdf versions) missed the opportunity to include the gorgeous color covers (front and back) form these classic adventures. The artwork from the original artists (Jeff Dee, Jim Roslof & Erol Otus) are some of the best in the hobby's long history - and WotC has missed an opportunity to preserve them as color plates. The A0 cover is only hinted at (as a thumbnail on the removable cardboard that came with the HC). What a ...
A fine example of the OGL at work.
Artwork is beautiful, maps are handy and descriptive, and the adventure overall is well-paced. Does a nice job of balancing the "comforting" feel of being "standard D&D" with unique elements that make it different and original.
The only (very mild) criticism I would make is that stats for opponents (whether taken from the MM or later in the adventure) make you flip to another page or pull out another book, but I suppose it helps conserve space.
I loved the adventure.
Granted, I am a noob (both as a player and as a DM) but I thought this was a fantastic story.
Yes, it is a campaign for level one characters, but it is by no means a cakewalk. The primary antagonist is very unique, powerful, and difficult to find. I would say the campaign is not so much encounter oriented as it is political. This adventure gives the players a few unique challenges (at least in comparison to the linear, encounter based "adventures" that I'm used to playing with my awful DM friend)....
Great book. Makes a fun read. I bought it and I'm sure the 'sense' of it and the beautiful maps will get used. This is a simply organized decent value book. Every page has a beautiful 'old school' hand drawn map and a little background. Thats it. You can add your own anything else on top of that. The next page, Dyson will do what he does best, another map.
Then there is a digital appendix with each of the maps (88 pages) with just the maps - suitable for printing. Once you're clear on what you're getting it's a great deal. Lots of fun maps. It has application for gamers who do modules or home brew. Its a good sample to learn Dyson's style with a minium of web hunting.
And, because I appreciate this: pretty, pretty, pretty! Dyson is on the web and seems to genuinely enjoy talking about gaming and maps, and more maps. I recommend this pdf....
This is the heavily censored 2013 version, which does have the benefit of being a modern digital copy which allows copy/paste to work. Making it easy to personalize for you own use. It is disappointing that the reference sheets are not a modern digital copy, but the older low quality scan which is hard to read and does not allow copy/paste. That is why I can only give this four stars out of five, since it would have required very little effort to have provided the updated reference sheets too.
In any event, with the ability to copy/paste the text, add back the censored material, format and print your personal copy, it is a great value.
As always, they should be deeply ashamed that they watermarked the product. This is called insulting the customer....
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