By Joseph Mohr 1e Levels 15+
Rumors have reached the adventurers about the recent discovery of the legendary Throne of the Gods. This epic level journey will take the adventurers to places of unimaginable danger. But the adventurers may not be the only ones seeking this artifact.
This 34 page adventure describes a two level dungeon with about thirty rooms that has the Throne of the Gods at the End. Or, as the cover states: “The THrone of the Gods.” It is basically just a series of fights. Monster Zoo, with padded writing.
What is a D&D adventure? A series of challenges to overcome? But if that model is adhered to too strictly, ot literally, you can get a flat adventure. Just a series of rooms with monsters in them. Or a series of puzzle traps. Or a series of riddles. Or … Whatever. It’s hard to argue that those elements are not a part of D&D adventures but when the D&D adventure starts from that framework I think you get substandard work.
And that’s the case with this adventure. It doesn’t feel like a real place. It doesn’t feel like it started out as caves, or a throne room, or whatever. It feels like it started out as a series of challenges to be overcome. Room after room of high HD monsters. Roc’s. Mind Flayers. Beholders. Dragon Turtle. Devils. Titan. NPC Parties. It’s a monster zoo of high HD enemies.
The designer does say that high level adventures are hard, and I would agree. I’m not sure anyone has cracked that nut. It’s certainly one of the largest unsolved issues in D&D. A dungeon full of monsters to hack doesn’t do it.
To it’s credit it doesn’t gimp the party. But it’s really just room after room of monsters to cut down with a couple of dead-ends or a puzzle/evil alter or two. It feels more like a 4e adventure with its focus on combat.
And then there’s Maude. Err, the text. ¾ of a column to describe a dead body. Padding the text with phrases like “Should anyone climb up the statue and inspect the mouth of it they may find a …” or “Should you use divine magic then you learn [something irrelevent.]” Or telling us, at a certain pit, that a Monk may be able to reduce their falling damage through the use of one of their powers. Well, yes. Why tell us that? Do you also explain how to use Thac0 in every combat, noting it was optional in 1e? Or how MU’s cast spells?
This is available, freely, at Dragonsfoot.