This is a short adventure. The intro/backstory is interesting however that’s not enough to overcome the brevity and plat nature of the adventure. Not by far.
Once upon a time there was a great bird who lived in the mountain, the Jub Jub bird, covered in golden treasue. One day it flew too close to the lake and a great fish leaped out and swallowed it. The fallen treasure is why is why the lake and fish sparkles. Or so goes the legends of the people who live by the lake. But now a great fish HAS surfaced, and has been swallowing fishermen! The villagers need help before they starve!
This is a very small adventure, about half plot based and half site based. The party will arrive in the village and speak to a retied adventurer (Ug! I HATE retired adventurers!) to get the low down. A giant fish is swallowing people and now a group of goblins are raiding it! A goblin raid then occurs, and the party hopefully tracks them back to their camp. A brief role-play later they find out about some caves the goblins were kicked out of, and have a six room adventure. That’s it.
Jub village isn’t really described. It only exists as a place to have a problem and for the old man to relay six of seven points to the characters. The goblin attack, by six wolf-riders, serves only as a plot point so the party can question one of them and track them back to their camp.There’s a nice little wilderness map, but no wandering monster charts. The goblin camp could be combat oriented or role-playing, but it really is just a place for the party to leave about the caves they need to go investigate, that the goblins were kicked out of by some dwarves.
The cave is a ‘star’ nap. One chamber with five others surrounding it. There’s not really much to it. Just some dwarves to kill, a giant spider, and that’s it. There are some prisoners, the captured fishermen, in a room near the Submarine/fish that captured them . Yes, a submarine fish. Yes, gnomes are involved. This touches on two more themes i don’t in modules: tinkers and tech. I loathe the whole ‘gnomes make clockwork/steam things’ meme in D&D. It was never interesting to begin with and now it’s completely overused, a crutch. The tech thing is absurd. Why make a submarine look like a fish, or even be a submarine? It could be magic cloud, or a potato sack. Both of those are more interesting than D&D-world things that directly mimic technology. Interestingly, I don’t have a problem with the technology in Barrier Peaks, or ASE1, maybe because they are not trying to imitate something else. They own their background. Submarines do not, they imitate. Badly. I’ll take whimsy over tech any day of the week. Flying carpets? Cool. Riding giant wasps? Cooler. Flying machine that looks like a helicopter? LAME.