A reminder: if I don’t list an issue then it doesn’t have enough redeeming qualities for me to mention it. I didn’t accidentally skip them.
Dragon Hunters has some nice faction play in it and perhaps some murky morality (in a fun way, not a punitive way) that need some work to get some good use out of it. Quite above average for Dungeon.
Racing the Snake is NOT what I am looking for in an adventure, but if you want linear set pieces then you could do A LOT worse than this one.
Maure Castle, updated to the new rules. The layout is terrible and Kuntz needs an editor with a spine. It’s also classic D&D exploration, which is quite rare.
Mad God’s Key is a plot based adventure AND it doesn’t suck AND it’s in Dungeon! Very flavorful and good imagery throughout and worth digging through the text.
Raiders of the Black Ice has a great variety of encounters and good winter vibe.
Touch of the Abyss and Fallen Angel both have some high points, but both suffer one or two good ideas that are not followed through on.
Unfamiliar Ground is a linear crawl, but its has some good weird stuff and order of battle for enemies.
Fiend’s Embrace features a ruined castle in a cold swamp and is quite a bit more evocative than most Dungeon adventures.
Fiendish Footprints has some linear elements, but also has a multi-entrance dungeon and interesting scenes/encounters in that linear environment.
More Maure Castle, with the usual Kuntz faults. But the “highlight” is The Whispering Cairn, the AGe of Worms kickoff. Not a bad little dungeon, for a plot thing.
This squares with my fuzzy memories of things. Not a single worthy adventure in the Shackled City AP, is there?
Nope, which is a shame, because Cauldron itself is pretty cool. I ended up using the city maps and notes and running a completely unrelated adventure.
As an Eberron fan, I feel the need to review some of the Eberron modules in this era. Such as they are.
Dungeon #113, Queen with Burning Eyes by James Wyatt
“Take your first exciting foray into D&D’s newest campaign setting with a deadly exploit in Sharn, City of Towers. Descent into the ruined undercity to face the legacy of the daelkyr, aberrations from the evil plane of Xoriat, and come face to face with the Queen with Burning Eyes! An Eberron adventure for 1st level characters.”
— Crap. Utter crap. I think they reskinned a crappy “undercity” module with Eberron elements to make sure something got into the magazine.
Dungeon #115, Steel Shadows by Keith Baker
“A killer stalks the warforged of Sharn. Some say the murder is a vengeful spirit, while others blame human bigotry and fear. Can the adventurers expose the truth that lies hidden in the city’s depths? A D&D Eberron adventure for 7th level Characters, from Eberron’s creator.”
— I liked this one. My own hypocrisy takes the form: the closer Keith Baker’s name is to the top of the masthead of a product, the more I like it. This one feels like a good murder mystery. I’ve run it a few times, and it’s a little too easy to figure out.
Dungeon 117, Fallen Angel by Keith Baker
“On Olarune 9th in the 918th year since the founding of the Kingdom, one of the city of Sharn’s floating towers fell from the sky, crushing much of the Godsgate District. Now, a band of bestial savages searches Godsgate for the remnants of a broken statue, pulling the PCs into a plot that could destroy Sharn itself. A D&D Eberron adventure for 4th level PCs.”
–This one mentions some interesting terrain complications, but then never makes the most of it. It has a great feel to it.
Dungeon 123, Crypt of the Crimson Stars (Shards of Eberron Part 1) by Andy Collins and James Wyatt
“Rumors of an Eberron dragonshard of enormous size and power have reached the city of Sharn. Unfortunately the shard is concealed within a Talenta Plains tomb located below a camp of cruel halfling nomads and their dinosaur pets. An Eberron adventure for 6th level characters.”
Dungeon #124, Temple of the Scorpion God (Shards of Eberron part 2) By James Wyatt and Andy Collins
“An insane villain plots ruin deep beneath the city of Sharn. In order to save the city, the PCs must find the one thing that can stop him. An enormous Siberys dragonshard hidden somewhere in the jungles of the lost continent of Xen’drik. An Eberron adventure for 7th level characters.”
Dungeon #125, Pit of the Fire Lord (Shards of Eberron part 3) by Andy Collins and James Wyatt.
“A madman hidden deep below Sharn plans to tear open a portal to the Sea of Fire. Can a band of heroes reach him in time to save the city from conflagration? “Pit of the Fire Lord” is part three of the three-part Shards of Eberron campaign arc. An Eberron adventure for 8th level characters.”
— The final crap.