By Daniel J. Bishop Crowking Press Labyrinth Lord Levels 2-3?
“This is the second installment of the Dungeon of Crows. This area includes some nods to HP Lovecraft, a group of brigands, and some other fun stuff. It is fewer areas than the first (29-52), but has a higher page count because the areas take more write-up.”
This is the second installment of a megadungeon … and the project stopped at this “level.” Here’s the link to the first review; the issues and features are essentially the same. There’s about 25 rooms in this installment.
So, really overwritten, way too much text for each room. Same read-aloud issues with a focus on dimensions, etc. And still the same great interactivity/depth to each room.
But first, a note about room relationships.
This adventure has several places where details in a room are important to know about BEFORE someone reaches the room. One room notes that the corridor leading up to this has blackened bones in it. Another notes sentries that should be visible from the hallway/approach, or light sources that should be visible. Another notes that the trogs in the room investigate noises in a nearby room … that comes before the trog room. In each of these cases there are details that the DM need to know BEFORE the party reaches the room. There are several way to accomplish this. In the “room before the trogs” you could put a note, stating that the trogs are alerted, etc. You could note light effects on the map, or sentry locations, etc. Or note in the room before it that you see light ot a sentry or something. I’m a big fan of map detail for hints/clues to the DM, but there are lots of techniques. But you need to do SOMETHING. “Oh, yeah, there a massively loud rock concert going on” is not something you want to tell the players for the room with the connecting door.
And, a note about grouping areas. This installment starts with a couple of rooms left over form the goblin dungeon in the first installment. It’s separate from the rest of the area discussed in this level. It really would have been better to keep those in the first installment. As is, they are clearly out of place, thematically AND in relation to the other rooms on the map.
On to the good.
It still does a decent job cross-referencing rooms from other rooms, notable examples excepted. But, as a main focus, it feels like each room was really thought about and there’s some great interactivity in the rooms. In rooms near the stairs to Level two there are notes that wanderer encounters have a chance of coming from that table instead of the Level one table. The designer looked at the map and that made sense so they put it in. There’s another room with some methane gas … and your torches/flames turn blue when you enter it. Little hints of what’s to come for those paying attention. A pit has a flooded bottom, it can extinguish your lights like torches and lanterns … and has an entrance to sublevel 1a (not included.) Wanna worship at the evil alter instead of tearing it up? There’s a little sidebar about the players becoming worshippers! It also does a great job with masses of enemies. There’s a room full of spiders. 38 of them, but only a 2 in 6 chance they will come down from their webs and attack … but they go in to a feeding frenzy if someone is bit and all 38 mob someone. Great!
So, yes, it does have fourteen line empty room descriptions. If this could be pruned WAY back, so it was easy to use at the table, it would be a great little adventure. As is, amnay of the encounters are great, full of ideas and interactivity and thoughtfulness that doesn’t seem generic.
This is Pay What You Want with a suggested price of $2 at DriveThru. The preview is only one page, the cover, and therefore obviously shows you nothing of what you’re buying.