Pearly Prison of the Crocodile Queen

By Maximillian Hart
Self Published
OSE & 5e
Levels 3-5

A town has asked you to rid it of a monstrous menace, but it seems some barnacled druids have gotten to the creature’s lair first. Will you ally with the druids, aid the temple’s lizardfolk defenders, or delve straight down the sinkhole to challenge the crocodile queen herself?

This ten page adventure uses four pages to describe a sinkhole dungeon with thirteen rooms. 

So, there’s this giant sinkhole. A couple of hundred feet deep. Caves in the side of it. Old temple the the bottom of it. The bottom, full of water, is SWARMING with crocs. Including a giant one … our titular queen. The locals take some food and treasure there every so often to sacrifice. The last group didn’t come back. So you’re do gooding. Turns out some druids have started attacking the place, so, you’ve got the druids on one side and the lizardmen who live there and worship the croc on the other … all arranged around/in the sinkhole.

The sinkhole map is fine. It’s hand drawn and tries to show a kind of 3d image, with passages and rope bridges going up, own, and around the sinkhole, along with chambers and so on. It takes a second to grok but then it’s ok. And, the rope bridges and cave mouths and such, with the croc swarm looming below, make for good company. Or, as the lizardmen say, if you talk to them about the missing villagers, who it turns out slipped and fell, they “were eaten by crocodiles upon hitting the water. It was hilarious.” Nice bit of text there. The formatting here is similar to Dungeon Age’s excellent tree-colum system with boxes, underlines and bolding. It’s a nice hybrid of text and formatting to make things pretty clear. Maybe not as much as a Dungeon Age adventure, but it gets close.

Ok, so, two factions, with the druids in control of the upper part of the sinkhole and the lizardmen the lower part. And no order of battle for either. So, slaughter away with your stabbing and no one is going to come out to play. THis relates to a general lack of interactivity beyond combat. While theres a reaction table, nd some faction notes, everything else is going to be limited to stabbing someone and/or maybe clearing some rubble. At one point there’s a missing goblet on a pedestal. Obviously missing. Replacing it gets you nothing. And there are several setup like this. Prompts to do something. That result in nothing. Just stab a stab a stabboy stabbing up your stabs. You could lose a stab. You could lose a stab.

Descriptions are fact based. If it’s underlined or boiled it gets a sentence in the read-aloud. “This room extends deep into the limestone walls and becomes a natural cavern. Holes of various sizes dot the floor. Incense burning in a thurible set on the floor in the center of the room cannot quite mask the faint acrid smell that lingers in the air. A number of dead lizardfolk litter the floor” Not bad. Gets the job done. Not particularly evocative either. 

The beginning of the adventure tells us that “Chance: If the text says there is, say, a 1-in-6 chance of something occurring, roll 1d6, and on a 1, the thing happens.” Wonderful. Value added.

It’s fine. A little one dimensional. It reminds me of a 4e adventure, with a location with some quirkiness and a couple of groups of people to stab. You want that? Here you go. The promise of the map, though, is held back by the issues mentioned and the lack of depth/size to the dungeon. A larger space, a little more complexity in the map, more rooms … it would allow things to breathe. Mini-dungeons have to be spectacular to be any good at all. 

But, hang on, I want to talk about the main thing in the adventure: the fact that the bottom of the sinkhole is full of water and SWARMING with crocs! And 10k in gold under it all … So, we’re gonna collapse the beginning tunnels to block shit off, and then shoot arrows at the queen untli she submerges. Maybe we kill her. Maybe not. Anyway, then we start dumping in poison and poisoned animals. Kill all those normal crocs. Pump out that fucking water. Sure, water from the elemental plne surges “up and down” it. But, hey, thats the story of mankind. Bringing order to the entropy of the elements. At least long enough to get that fucking loot at the bottom in the most low risk way possible. Combat as War motherfuckers.

This is $4 at DriveThru.The preview is all ten pages, so, good job on that.

This entry was posted in 5e, Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Review, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pearly Prison of the Crocodile Queen

  1. Sevenbastard says:

    Nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure.

  2. Lance Toth says:

    “1d6 rounds after the players win a fight in this room, both factions will move 1d6 warriors here from the closest area they control. The side arriving earlier gets a bonus to surprise.” Or something along those lines is a simple system to simulate the players weakening factions.

  3. Libra says:

    Probably bespeaks my stabby-stab zest for stabs, but I really like this one a lot. The writing is just the right amount for me, and the format is easy to work through, too. I’m a sucker for simple lizard folk adventures. Shadow over Innsmouth flavor of the Brine druids—flat out awesome.

Leave a Reply