The silver mines run deep under the Unterbrook, unearthed by the clever hands of man and dwarf and the wealth has flowed like never before. But such wealth tends to draw unwanted eyes, and such excavations to cross powers best left asleep. Recently, all contact with the mines has been lost and a brooding silence settled upon the Unterbrook. Even the goblins shun the region. Plunge beneath the mountain’s roots and learn the mystery of the silvered caverns.
This 24 page adventure describes a mine with two levels and 24 rooms. It’s a Tuckers Kobolds kind of scenario, with ambushes and masses of low-HD opponents. In other news, I continue to have no patience for verbose, unfocused writing.
The Trolls may own the printing press, but its an editor that they need. Column long rooms, four paragraphs for an empty room. My intolerance for obfuscation seems to be growing. Building two in a old watch tower. It gets a paragraph of read aloud and then three more of additional information. There is a body in it, long decayed and picked clean by buzzards so you can’t tell what it was. But … we do know it was on guard duty and was killed by snakebite. Well, the DM knows this, the players have no way of knowing. What’s the point of this? The history of every rock and patch of lichen? The room has a cast iron stove in it, connected to a flue that juts out of the roof, with kindling in the room, and salt residue. It’s literal fucking trivia. The adventure does this sort of shit over and over again. It is COMPELLED to tell us the history of every little item encountered, as if it fucking mattered. You know what matters? Running the fucking game. You know what matters? Things the players will interact. Actual items related to actual play. The inability for writers to recognize this is one of the most frustrating experiences you can have. To see something this obvious, that happens over and over and over again. No Exit indeed.
How about a list of normal supplies? Want to know what’s in a room? How about a kitchen? A mining supply room in a mine? Have no worries, Davis is here to save you! Exhaustive lists of mundane room contents are included almost everywhere! Now you too can know what’s in a pantry! Joy! And to think, you’ve lived your whole life knowing this without the padded text of this adventure.
This is bad writing. It’s bad design. It’s some misguided appeal to realism. It has no place in the adventure. It’s only useful if it adds value to the actual play.
And this is to the detriment of the actual play value of the adventure. At one point there’s a steep stair over a chasm. A chasm that doesn’t show up on the map. It’s exceptionally confusing trying to figure out what is going on. Ledge … what ledge? Chute? Chasm? None of it is obvious AT ALL.
I leave you with two choice examples of text from the adventure. The first rivals Forgotten Realms for being incomprehensible. The second describes another point of trivia that has no bearing on the adventure.
Unbeknownst to the Leonhirdz, the mining operation alerted a Therafak (see New Monsters) living nearby. The Therafak bided its time and awaited an opportunity to do something. With the war in the south brewing, the Moorzeepin informed members of the Magdole Gang of the operation and they in turn informed a raiding party of Zjerd that had begun operating in that region of the Unterdrook. A Zjerd war
The kzarkim used several trullmirst to dig out holes in the walls leading from Room 2 to Room 4. They then stacked the planks and lumber over the holes in Room 2 so that they were not readily apparent. The idea was that, if anyone enters the mines and goes up to Room 3, the kzarkim can sneak out of the holes in here and ambush them.
This is $10 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages. The last couple give you a good example of meandering writing style compelled to explain everything.