… Spurred by stories of restless spirits, the party soon finds themselves staring down an invading force of oozes, slimes, puddings, and jellies all in the service of demons! Worse still, the ancient dwarven lords that once protected this underground library and mining operation have been horribly transfigured by the infernal powers at work, and linger on as deadly spirits and automated guardians who are tortured by their station and forced to repel the intrepid adventurers!
This 37 page adventure has about seventeen room rooms on about eleven pages and includes a small town. Featuring sewers AND dwarf ruins, the DM text gets quite long. Pruned WAY back it would be an ok adventure.
While expanding the (very small) towns sewer system workmen break through a wall. Monsters and oozes start to appear. Adventurers were sent in and most got slaughtered. The party is sent in to clear things out and bring back the other bodies. There’s some undead, ghosts, and a Juiblex worshiper down there.
Dwarf ruins and sewers. *sigh* Once upon a time the world was full of wonder and there were ancient ruins attributed to no one .. or to cockroach people. Mystery is a good thing; it leads to a sense of wonder. Tired tropes are not a good thing.
The town provided is small, really just a village (with full sewer system …) and is Just Another Generic Fantasy Town. It’s text is expanded some to be fleshed out, just as the default hooks are. There’s nothing special going on with the town or hooks, just a little more information than usual. That little bit extra does wonders though for cementing ideas. Its right around my tolerance level in length, maybe a bit over the line. It does have a nice little events section, for what happens when the partyrests and/or takes their time. Ooze attacks and so on, with just enough detail to get the DM going. Nice length to them, short and terse with a few details, and it’s a good resource for making the place actually seem alive.
The dungeon map is mostly linear. The DM text for the encounters can be LONG. It’s full on “this used to be a …“ and “the plan was for ….” and lots of tactics, etc. But … nestled in each one there DOES tend to be a short little section that actually contains the room description. It’s not a masterpiece of evocative, but it’s a cut above the usual dreck. You just have to find it in the other text.
Here’s an example of the DM text. This is one paragrapgh in a six of seven paragrah full column room description: “The original idea was that water was stored in the cisterns, and could be heated or cooled through mechanisms that acted upon water in the shallow depression — a sort of pool or channel for water to flow through — but the exact nature is lost to time and damaged parts encased in the earth and other accessways throughout the complex that are now unreachable.”
But … here’s the first half of the first paragraph also, for comparison: “Two immense cisterns dominate this open warehouse- style room, standing in a shallow depression forming a channel that could move water through underground pipes. Iron pipes run along the length of the cisterns up into housings in the ceiling. Each cistern includes a lid”
That’s not too bad if it were standalone text. And then, of course, there’s three and half more paragraphs of text. Ug.
This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is twelve pages. Page seven shows you the town event chart, while the last three pages start to show the adventure proper. The text just gets longer.https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241414/The-Darkness-Beneath-Dalentown–Swords–Wizardry-Edition?affiliate_id=1892600