Dungeon Magazine Summary: Issues 126-150

Again, if I don’t list an issue it’s because there was nothing too notable about it.

Dungeon 128
Shut-In is a delightful little urban adventure. Guarding a little old ladies house, the thing has more atmosphere than, say, every Ravenloft adventure ever, combined. The Swan Street Slicer. Mute halfling. A town working itself in to a frenzy over the escaped murderer. A bitter old woman in a wheelchair. Good stuff. This thing would have me, as a player, bouncing up and down in my chair in anticipation.

Dungeon 129
Murder in Oakbridge is a murder mystery that, while overwrought with text, gets most of the organization right for an adventure of this type.

Dungeon 130
Within the Circle has a nice intro & wilderness section, but fails utterly in the dungeon that’s supposed to be the focus.

Dungeon 133
Ill Made Graves has a viking theme and “feels” right. Lots of callbacks to classic tropes, like chucking things in lava crows, shattered remains of a dead kings magic sword …

Dungeon 134
Home Under the Range is a farce about herding giant beetles, cattle-style, through the underdark. Linear set pieces, but short and allows for stupid plans to be designed and executed.

Dungeon 136
Both Tensions Rising and And Madness Followed have good things to reccomend them, from factions to sandbox play, but ruin it with WAY too much text. More than usual. Which is saying something.

Dungeon 139
Urban Decay has a gritty vibe going on with meat pies made of rats. It’s event/lair based but has some nice gritty urban imagery.

Dungeon 140
The Fall of Graymalkin Academy is kind of like the Battle of Hogwarts, with factions. Nice magic school vibe, but could be rewritten to provide a more evocative atmosphere.

Dungeon 142
I was fond of Masque of Dreams, a ball that gets attacked, but it needs more structure to make it worthwhile.

If you like set-pieces then Here There Be Monsters has some good classic trope ones. It’s linear as all hell, but good for that.

Dungeon 144
Lightless Depths had a great alternative underdark thing going on, but was IMPOSSIBLY long otherwise.

Dungeon 145
The Distraction wants to be a sandbox but fails in almost every way.

Dungeon 146
Escape the Meenlock Prison is only interesting in that is crosses a line, morally. You’re hired to go to a black prison and escort two prisoners to another location. Weird.

Dungeon 147
The Aundairian Job is a sandbox bank heist. It’s a little moderny for my tastes, but that can be handled with some on the fly retheming.

Dungeon 148
Automatic Hound has a nice meta thing going with villagers and roleplaying. Too long, but done right this could be a great difficult social adventure with an almost LotFP ending.

Dungeon 149
The concept in War of the Wielded is nice: it takes intelligent swords to their logical extreme. Linear, but factions of intelligent swords engaged in a centuries long war with wielders as pawns is a great idea.

Twisted Night has some good imagery and a nice horror vibe. Needs a rework to make it coherent.

Dungeon 150
Kill Bargle is a nice exploration dungeon, which makes sense because it’s essentially a dungeon taken from the early days of D&D.

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1 Response to Dungeon Magazine Summary: Issues 126-150

  1. Roland Volz says:

    Again, as an Eberron fan, I feel the need to mini-review the ones from this era of Dungeon.

    Dungeon #129, Murder in Oakbridge by Uri Kurlianchik
    “A killer has come to Oakbridge, and she wont stop her murderous campaign until she exacts revenge against a group of ex-carnies who have come to Sharn in an attempt to start new lives in the aftermath of the Last War. An Eberron adventure for 5th level characters.”
    — I like this one a LOT. Part of the adventure is a mini-sandbox setting of a city district; with work, you can use this one early and lay the groundwork for some good PC interactions later, when people they know start dropping dead.

    Dungeon #133, Chimes at Midnight (retroactively Part One of the Victor Saint Demain Trilogy) by Nicholas Logue
    “The brilliant (if somewhat eccentric) detective Victor Saint-Demain has put more criminals behind bars than any three other inquisitives. But when the master sleuth fails to get the recognition he deserves, he sets out to prove to Sharn that it can’t live without him. An Eberron adventure for 5th level characters.”
    — I like the setup for this one. A jail-break occurs right at the start of a festival, so now killers are at large in a city already in chaos. The adventure is a little too railroady for my taste, especially near the end, but I feel like there’s a lot to rip off here. It’s also got some similarities to Shut In from issue 128, so you can get some extra mileage from your subscription and maybe tie them togetherx, or use Chimes to fill out Shut In.

    Dungeon #136, Tensions Rising by Ryan Smalley
    “An airship carrying vital secrets has gone down in the Starpeaks. Now the PCs must race a sinister necromancer through a labyrinth of treacherous canyons to retrieve the information before it falls into the wrong hands. But dolgrims that live nearby have other ideas. An Eberron adventure for 4th level characters.”
    — Not bad, but not that memorable. The walls of text are disconcerting, but the personalities of the opponents are good.

    Dungeon #143, Riding the Rail by Christopher Wissel
    “Lightning rail rides in Breland are never as relaxing as they should be, especially when the coach is being used to transport a monolith hauled from the mysterious depths of Xen’drik. An Eberron adventure for 5th level characters.”
    — I stole the maps and basic set up for my own uses. This would be much better with a little more “Murder on the Orient Express” thing going on, a wasted opportunity.

    Dungeon #147, The Aundairian Job by Craig Shackleton
    “A powerful artifact lies deep in the vaults of a House Kundarak bank. Can the PCs steal it without getting captured in the process? An Eberron adventure for 5th level PCs.”
    — Not terrible, but very moderny vibe. I feel like it’s close to Eberron in feel, but misses the mark somehow.

    Dungeon #150, Quoth the Raven (Part Two of the Victor Saint-Demain Trilogy) by Nicholas Logue
    “Terror grips the city of Sharn. A serial killer stalks the streets and catalogues his slaughter in the annals of the city’s newspaper to the delight and horror of the readers. To catch this elusive criminal, the PCs must match wits with an old adversary. Even beaten, scarred, and imprisoned, Victor Saint-Demain is determined to have the final word. This sequel to issue #133’s “Chimes at Midnight” is an Eberron adventure for 8th level characters.”
    — Extremely railroady.

    Dungeon #151, Hell’s Heart (Part Three of the Victor Saint-Demain Trilogy) by Nicholas Logue
    “Undaunted by the recent failure of his protégé in “Quoth the Raven” Victor opens a dark final chapter in his plans for vengeance. The mad inquisitor’s coup de grace not only deals the party a lethal stroke, but also includes his own redemptive rise to heroism as well. A madhouse of killers and deadly traps, plus a doomed future as fugitives and enemies of the Brelish crown awaits those who cross Victor Saint-Demain. The time is nigh for a final showdown with one of Khorvaire’s most dangerous criminal masterminds. An Eberron adventure for 10th level characters.”
    — Basically, at this point, you’re a character in a novel.

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