By RP Davis Aegis Studios O&O/BX Levels 2-5
A long age ago, beyond mortal memory, a forgotten people built a watching post and refuge atop and within Wyvernseeker Rock. A hundred years ago, an adventurer named Olaf Wyvernseeker claimed the Rock for his own and set out with companions to clear the lands thereabouts. They were never heard from again. The upper chambers of the Rock are a convenient lair for a Giant Rhadogessa and its spider servants. Still, it’s got to be safer than climbing the cliff. Right?
This six page side-treckish adventure has five linear rooms. It has some decently evocative text, but misses on several aspects, like stat check puzzles. It’s ok for what it is, but nothing I would seek out.
This is a short side-trek/obstacle “adventure.” While following a stream through the forest you come out to find a sheer cliff wall, with a waterfall. Next to it is a small cave with a weird arch entrance. Go through the arch, up the stairs, through the five rooms, and come out on top of the cliff. Sadly, that statue from the cover doesn’t make an appearance.
The text in this isn’t too bad, at least the descriptive text. “Hewn into the face of the cliff is an arch, around which are carved mystical runes too weathered to decipher. Through the arch is a cave. Niches line the walls of the cave, each just large enough to contain a humanoid skull.” That’s not too bad. Short, a little evocative with hewn, niches, weathered, etc. Likewise room two says “Thick dust carpets the corridors. Clearly no one has walked here in centuries. Tiled mosaics of water creatures riding waves line all the walls.” I could do without the “no one has walked here” stuff, but thick carpet of dust and tiled mosaics give a decent touch to the description. It abstracts at times, like “ornamental pool” and so on (a few more/different words would have been a better description) but the text, at least the descriptive test, doesn’t overstay its welcome. And it’s not bad read-aloud, or read-aloud at all.
It starts to fall down in some of the mechanics. That arch over the cave entrance, and another one, is an ability check puzzle. Meaning that you can’t decipher it through actual play, you have to roll a stat check to bypass. Three times. Three successes and you decipher all of the runes (again, abstracted) and you can pass. Fail a check and take some static damage. That sort of stuff encourages mix/max play, where the challenge becomes building a character within the rules rather than player challenge. If you want a stat check to help decipher the puzzle then that’s ok in my book, by making the challenge ONLY about ie rolling and character optimization during build encourages the wrong type of play. You do get a skeleton next to the puzzle, to hint the trap is there. That’s always good. I even liked the description: “Huddled against the base of the door is the skeletal remains of a Wild Folk clutching a spear.” Hudled, remains, clutching a spear. Not great, but good enough.
The map is a small Dyson one, as I alluded to in the “five rooms” note. And it’s not numbered. I get it, the map/adventure is linear and therefore this doesn’t HAVE to be a deal breaker. I don’t hang on Dyson’s every word, but I hazard a guess that he’s not going to loose his shit because you added room numbers to his map. Anything more than two-ish rooms probably should have room numbers. I hate having to figure this shit out during play. “Which room was this again? Let me count …”
It’s a short adventure, the main DM text hangs around a little long, but the descriptions are decent. The puzzles are too stat-based. It’s short. The concept here is a decent one; a little rework from the designer/editor and it could have made it to No Regerts.
This is $1 at DriveThru. And alas, there is no preview. Stick in a preview!