Cavern of the Obelisk, D&D adventure review

By Travis Legge
Self Published
5e
Levels 4-6

At the eastern village of Vorudislav, the adventurers are commissioned by a local logger who was expecting a shipment of wollahogs from the Ivanov farm, a day’s journey to the north west. As the adventurers head toward out in the direction of the farm, they discover a terrible fate that befell Jonas Ivanov and his hogs…and a sleeping threat to the people of Vorudislav.

Yeah, I know. Two 5e reviews in a row. I’ll get back to the OSR in the next one. I saw this new one by Travis and, since he’s pumped out about ten thousand adventures since the last one I reviewed, I was hopeful that things had improved.Let’s see, a good summary would be …

This 26 page adventure uses three pages to describe a six room cave. I am such a fucking idiot.

*sigh*

Ok, level 6’s, you are being sent to a farm by a logger. It’s day away and some hogs are late that were supposed to be delivered. Your reward is 2gp. If you bargain and roll a 20+ then you can also have 20 arrows, but without the quiver. Look, I know the power curve in 5e is different, but isn’t this a little ridiculous? Why is the party even considering this? I guess 2gp is generous for walking a day to check on some hog delivery, in certain economic conditions in which gold inflation from adventuring parties has not hit hard yet. But, the party? “Check on some hog delivery for 2 gp.” Seriously? I guess, if you want to play D&D tonight then you’ll do it.

You get to the farm, I guess. The farm is never mentioned again after the intro except to say “when the party arrives …” They seen a tall black obelisk and a cave 50’ up in a cliffside. There’s blood on the snow. There’s absolutely NO mention of a farm or anything like that. But, I guess this is the farm? At first I thought the farm was in the cave and then I thought “how the fuck does he get his hogs 50’ up the cliff?” But, no, that’s not the case. As best I can figure, there IS a farm, completely unmentioned after the intro, located near the obelisk. And the cave had 2 ghouls in it that never bothered the farmer or his hogs, I guess. Anyway, the cave has some oozes in it. They attack you and try to drag your body up the cliff, 50’. 

Let us pause here. 

That part of the adventure did not have to suck. About this time I got a real heavy The Thing picture in my mind. “That is not a dog!” Imagine an ooze not as The Blob, but as The Thing oozes. And someone stuck in one, being dragged up the cliff side to the dark cave opening. That would be some scary shit! And later, inside, at the final room of the cave, #5, you have “an Ice Warden completing it’s host imprint on Joan [(the farmer)].” That’s CLEARLY something out of The Thing. Oh man, I love the thing. The imagery or the oozes in it, the paranoia, it’s fucking great!

But that’s not what this is. This is a dumb three page combat adventure. Absolutely NOTHING is done to play up ANY evocative aspect. Even though a significant part of the page count (not taken up by pregens) is monster stats, there are NO monster descriptions. Not even in the monster description section. There is NOTHING to spark the DMs imagination, for them to riff off of. Not a single word AT ALL. It’s just a monster. It’s just something to stab because it’s the stabbing time of the adventure now. You get quite verbose 5e monster stats, with all powers mechanically described, but nothing that would lead to the wonder and joy of a D&D experience. No opportunities to play up the mimic nature of the Ice Warden (whatever the fuck it is). No paranoia. No good descriptions of pseudopods or what the “imprinting” means/looks like. There is just nothing at all there. 

This is just some sloppy ass work, padded beyond belief with pages of the mechanically monster stats and pregens. And the pregens don’t even have good personality notes, the way CoC pregens would at a convention one shot. “There’s something weird about Barry, you just can’t put your finger on it …”  “It’s because I’m poor issn’t it?! That’s why you don’t like me?!” … says the The Thing imposter luring the party to the ice cave lair …  THAT would have been good pregens. 

Just more garbage.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is four pages. That drow chick on the cover has nothing to do with the adventure, at all. No ide why it’s there. You don’t really get to see anything of the adventure. Cause then there’s no fucking way yo uwould buy it, would you?


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/340741/Cavern-at-the-Obelisk?1892600

No, I’m never ever ever gonna speed again. Give the juice to me Bruce!

Mmm … Pimento cheese and whiskey for breakfast. Delicious! Fuck you Lox & Capers! I wish to announce that I have transferred my affections to another …

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7 Responses to Cavern of the Obelisk, D&D adventure review

  1. squeen says:

    Byrce, you should write that Thing adventure. Give yourself more than an hour (or whatever you’ve used for time-limit in the past).

    Just polish the hell out of that gem of an idea and get someone else to do the layout donkey work.

  2. Jeff V says:

    Looks like this is a Scarred Lands adventure. That setting has tons of flavour. It’s a shame none of it made it into the adventure.

  3. Stripe says:

    How did this not rate The Worst?

    “Ok, level 6’s, you are being sent to a farm by a logger. It’s day away and some hogs are late that were supposed to be delivered. Your reward is 2gp. If you bargain and roll a 20+ then you can also have 20 arrows, but without the quiver.”

    “You get to the farm, I guess. The farm is never mentioned again after the intro except to say ‘when the party arrives …'”

    “Absolutely NOTHING is done to play up ANY evocative aspect.”

    “That drow chick on the cover has nothing to do with the adventure, at all.”

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