Dungeon Magazine #104

d104Dragon Hunters
By Peter Zollers
Level 7

This is a jungle adventure, a search for a “dragon/t-rex that is attacking a human fort. The core of the adventure is rather linear but the elements around it allow for SUBSTANTIAL freeform play. The linear nature of the “core” adventure is almost a pretext to what is actually going on. Unfortunately, most of the content is aimed at the core adventure. Prince Dickcheese was exiled by his mother from the north to a jungle land. He wants to hire you to go kill a dragon that’s been attacking the fort. (Actually a t-rex.) Along the way you get in a couple of centaur fights and then find a temple with some centaurs and the t-rex. Kill the t-rex and centaurs and head back to the fort to get your reward: a land grant. You get one months grace on taxes. Turns out though that Prince Dickcheese was appropriately named. After being helped by the local centaurs and wild elves, when they landed here, he killed a bunch of the elves and most of the centaurs and enslaved the rest of the elves. The remaining centaurs killed the t-rex’s baby hatchling and planted the body next to the wall, to take revenge. Seems the centaur massacre put the centaur leaders son in charge and he wants REVENGE, but the rightful heir is around also, and willing to listen, maybe, to reason. Further, the soldiers in the fort, while fiercely loyal to the prince, also have this subtext thing going on where they know things have gone over the line with the massacres and enslavement. For those keeping the count, the faction list is: the prince, the guard captain and the soldiers, the evil centaurs, the good centaurs, and the t-rex, the local (evil) bugbear tribe, and, maybe, the prince’s mother. You see, one of the hooks, the only decent one, has the Queen asking you to go check on her son; she exiled him but still harbours some love for him.

This is all a great environment for an adventure and if it were expanded upon, just a little, you’d have a dynamite locale for adventure. I’d tone down the princes haughtiness a bit, toss in some more “neutral” towny NPC’s so the place was a real trading post/wilderness fort, toss in some more quirkiness for the soldiers, change the text to be less generic and more specific, particularly for the aftermath of the t-rex attacks on the fort. Lots of factions. Murky morality. This one has potential.

This was the last of the three adventurers Peter appears to have written, all for Dungeon. That’s too bad. All three of his adventures were significantly above the average for Dungeon Magazine.

The Demonskar Legacy
By Tito Leati
Level 8

Adventure Path!
Mostly forced & linear combats. The party is caught up in a tax protest that turns in to a riot. From there they are invited to a meeting where they find out that if a missing paladin isn’t found soon then Cauldron, the core city in the adventure path, will invade a small town nearby and probably destroy it. There are two opening fights, neither really forcing the party to get involved, but it’s clearly meant to get the party rolling dice as goody goodies. From there its off in to the jungle and some REAL forced combats, and then a small dungeon complex that is just a hack fest. A small puzzle then leads to the paladin and one more final combat. The text here is L O N G and ads little to no value, either in scene setting or helping the DM. The mob/tax riot thing is nice, as are the (brief) views of the tensions between the townfolk and the ½ orc mercenaries/town guard. There’s a decent scene with the “good guy council” that has a couple of members getting in to an argument and showing SOME sign of a personality, but it doesn’t really impact the linear nature of the adventure. I would find this hard to use, because of the verbosity, even if I did like these kind of linear hack-fests.

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3 Responses to Dungeon Magazine #104

  1. Beoric says:

    I remember this about the adventure paths. The beginning, end, and overall arc were interesting, but the middle was drek. And leaving out the middle was an issue, because you had to wade through several adventures of wall of text to figure out what elements were key to the endgame, so you could pluck them out.

    Which made it not worth it to run the AP at all.

  2. Jeff says:

    Dragon Hunters is one of the few Dungeon adventures I’ve ever run as part of a campaign (run a few more as one-shots when I was stuck for an adventure) and we all enjoyed it. I agree with the review that it is above average for Dungeon.

  3. groody says:

    We also ran Dragon Hunters as part of a stitched-together campaign, and it was great. Lots of difficult decisions and debate. The party in the end negotiated and convinced the LE prince to help ship him out to a Pirate Town, from where he staged his successful displacing his mother for the throne.

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