by Moritz Mehlem
for Brave Halfling Publishing
The Mountain King terrorized the cozy village Larm until he was driven from his hideout by a group of inexperienced adventurers. Now, nearly a year later, he’s posing a threat to a young village on the borderlands. He has settled down a few miles north of Larm and is attacking ships that travel the river, Dolm. Thus the trade between the capital of Dolmvay in the south and the Dwarven Kingdoms is in peril.
This is a pretty simple *hack* based tournament module. The players are given the mission of stopping the newly returned Mountain King. He’s set up a base near the Dolm river and is causing problems by raiding traders. The players go to his base and then go through it, room after room, hacking down all of the occupants. At the end it’s possible to find a couple of hidden treasures. The layout of the fortress is almost completely linear. Each room has two doors, the one you came in and the one that leads to the next monster to hack down. The last room has four doors. Yeah! All full of monsters. Boo! The points gained from hacking down an (unavoidable) trio of ogres are 650. The points gained form cleverly avoiding an initial encounter are 30 … clearly the goal here is to kill things. Not too surprising since that’s what the mayor told you to go do, I guess. Just not very interesting for anything other than tactical play. The magic items are standard, as are the mundane treasures, as are all of the monsters. A new monster is theoretically included however it only shows up statted as one line in a table with, evidentially, no unusual attacks or defenses. I really wish people would just take a standard orc and give him a lower AC, higher HD when they did this. The world probably doesn’t need another generic humanoid race.
One thing I do like here is … the Dolm River! Dom shows up in the Village of Larm module and in the Dolm River module. This is actually a really nice thing that ties all of the modules together. The end of all of this is that I now feel that the Dom has a real life of its own. It doesn’t do anything other than show up on the map and get mentioned in the hook in this adventure, but that doesn’t matter. Seeing the river again is like seeing an old friend again. A lot of module series try to do things like this but don’t seem to get it right. This module series, as well as the Bleak Tower in Ironwood Gorge/Sanctuary Ruin, both do a decent … but even Ironwood didn’t make me smile when I saw it. Dolm did. I dunno, go figure … I guess the designer has done a good job in his series in making the river a supporting character in some and a star player (Dolm River) in others.
This is available on DriveThru.