This 10 page PDF (13 with OGL declaration & Credits, Front & Back covers) presents a single ?room? encounter from the The Dungeon under the Mountain adventure module series, available from 0one games (A self-confessed nigh-endless dungeon full of innumerable monsters. why? no one knows.). The Fungal Corridor, Room 12 of level 1, is presented in this PDF. However, it can easily be adapted for use in other adventures by the GM.
The PDF itself includes some introductory text explaining the ?Rule the Dungeon? features of the document, which I?ll cover in the next paragraph, a brief history of the Dungeon under the Mountain of which this ?room? is part, a bit of history on the ?Fungal Corridor?, stating that the players may have heard references to it in other parts of the dungeon. This is followed by a description of the corridor, and a section detailing the fungus encrusting its walls, and the traps & hazards to be found in the corridor, as well as descriptions, stat-blocks & play info for the monsters inhabiting it. Finally, a GM?s map and four page battle map is included. The map features the corridor, which, from the secret door, opens on a large narrow cavern falling away 40 feet below, with a rickety rope bridge leading down into it, with a corner just beyond that, turning to the right, leads into a further 90 foot section of corridor abutting a dead end with a chimney & rope ladder leading up into room 8 of The Dungeon Under the Mountain, or whatever the GM chooses if not using that module..
The room, trap/puzzle, & encounter information?s utility is greatly increased by the ?Rule the Dungeon? feature of the PDF. Taking advantage of the layer feature of PDFs, a GM can scale the encounter to be low, mid, or high level, which makes the encounters roughly CR4, CR 7, and CR 9 respectively. By selecting which level of challenge they want from a drop down list accessed via the ?Rule the Dungeon? button image, the encounter stats automatically change to scale to that level. This feature can be used on the encounter as a whole using the master ?Rule the Dungeon? button, or on individual elements, such as traps/puzzles, skill checks, and monsters, using the small ?Rule the Dungeon? buttons by each section. This is great feature which really increases the value of the product, making it more attractive for GM?s not using the The Dungeon under the Mountain adventure. As in other 0one products, the map features on the GM Map & battle map can be individually toggled on or off as well, further increasing the usefulness of the product for GMs. Finally, there is a notes page in which the GM can record his own notes for the adventure, notes that will be saved with the PDF and thus can be reloaded and reprinted with ease.
As stated the corridor consists of a large, narrow cavern traversed by a rope bridge leading 40 feet to the floor below. The major feature of this corridor is its namesake fungus, which is highly flammable, and soft and spongy, absorbing sound, but making climbing and tracking easier. At the corner of the corridor is a magic mouth, that will attempt to draw the players by a message mentioning gold, where a zombie centipede swarm makes its nest. This can be a tough encounter if the players blunder into it, as the swarm can?t be killed with normal weapons, and being undead can?t be affected by charms or similar spells, instead requiring fire, or some other area effect to deal with effectively. However, using fire will cause the corridor to erupt in flame after the fungus catches fire, and fill with a thick oily smoke, thus further limiting their options.
The zombie centipede swarm is a fairly tough opponent due to the problems with using fire to combat it, due to the fungus, and the need for area effect weapons, at higher levels, the players will have to deal with up to 6 of them, though text only mentions five, and misses the 2nd one. Also, the fungus write up is buggy, as it lists an attack modifier when, as a swarm, it automatically hits any target caught within the swarm. The amount of damage is correct, however. Also, it lists a DR against slashing weapons, despite the fact that as a swarm, it is immune to normal weapon damage. Also, it lists the swarm as CR 9, when it should be listed as CR 6, EL 9. And it lists a single swarm as being CR 4, when it should be CR 6. Also, the use of the Zombie template is dodgy.
The PDF is laid out in 3 columns, using a blue font for section headings, bold fonts in black for text headings, with a nice readable serif font for the body. Each page also features a nice page header with the title of the product. There are various bits of pencil sketch style ?filler? art within the document, which are used dynamically to fill in empty text created when the ?Rule the Dungeon? features are used, all of which is decent. Overall the layout is clean and readable, and adjusts to the dynamic features of the text without problems.
Overall this isn?t that compelling of a product for GM?s without the The Dungeon under the Mountain adventure, as it is more of a stop to somewhere interesting, and the room to which it leads isn?t defined. The application of the layer feature, which is normally a strength of 0one products, is less compelling here as the main encounter write up is dodgy at higher levels. The fungus is moderately interesting, as is the new spell, fungus patch that is included; the corridor itself could make interesting fodder for a GM to adapt for another adventure. If the GM finds the corridor map and the fungus interesting he will find this product useful, however the value of the encounter itself is lessened as it is only a stop to somewhere more interesting, somewhere which isn?t defined. . If the GM has the adventure, then this is a much more compelling purchase.
<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: flammable fungus, fungus patch spell. Rule the Dungeon feature rules. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: several grammar mistakes and spotty editing. Corridor doesn?t lead to anywhere interesting, Dodgy monster writeups. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Disappointing<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Disappointed<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>