11 The Caves Below Keep Quiet By Charlie “Chopshop” Queen
A small cavern dungeon below an old monastery features monks that took a vow of silence and the notes they left behind. The mechanic of following notes and a sound trap with an IRL component is very fun. It would have been interesting to see it extended further, perhaps with having table talk trigger wandering monster rolls (after telling the players of course) as a gimmick for the dungeon as a one-off. The treasures could also fit better with a silent order, as it doesn’t make sense that they would have an item to talk to crows if they refuse to talk.
This small tomb has a number of traps and tricks for the party to fight past, hoping to catch raiders in the act. It turns out the patron is the one intending to raid the place and betrays them. The real treasure is hidden behind the fakes that their patron steals, but I am confused as to how the iron bars blocking the way to the fake treasure is opened. Also, the themes in the tomb are all over the place with lots of scorpions with little pay-off and a random ship. Unless it is supposed to be a reference to the parable of the scorpion and the frog, but that would need a little setup with the supposed “heir” to this patriarch and some frogs (maybe in the terracotta room?).
13 Pizzaquest By Jesse Dryden
A small campaign world outline based on pizza puns with some generic quests and pizza themed monsters. I would have liked to see a more focused quest or puzzle for the adventurers, all the hooks given are vague and would require extensive DM preparation to run. What is the text of the leg of the knight covering up, is she meant to be seeking vengeance for her slice? I assume the knight is the queen of the missing slice, given that her name isn’t listed anywhere else.
Players come upon a situation where barging in alerts the pirate crew and they being to escape. The challenge is the players either stopping their exodus or getting on board before the ship flees. It does feel like the entry limits the players options to destroying the pulley system, as the rowboats have such a low speed that they could only gain a slight bit of ground on the ship in the first two rounds. After that the ship goes the same speed or faster. I would probably revise the rowboats to go slightly faster so they can actually be a viable method of getting on board. Perhaps I would also add other ways to slow down the ship, maybe triggering explosive barrels that force the ship to spend longer in the cave before exiting.
Casino heist setup is well executed with plenty of routes, secret doors, guards, and avenues for the adventurers to apply leverage. If I were to run this, I would offer more ways for players to learn of the rumors, perhaps having a spot or spots that could be investigated to gain each rumor, in addition to buying drinks or bribing people to learn them. The randoms should be changed to complications, maybe have them come up when players fail a check, throwing a wrench in their plans possibly.
Scammers pretending to have dug up a giant corpse draw the attention of some actual necromancers. The players can come in to help save the two brothers, but the timing is very tricky and they will likely not even know they are on a deadline until it is too late. There is quite the windfall if the players find the scammers ill-gotten gains but the spellcasters listed for the cult aren’t given and descriptions of their powers or numbers.
Mysterious events keep happening at the zoo, with animals gaining weird abilities overnight. The players are called to investigate, staying in the zoo overnight to try and figure it out. I would have liked to see more written down methods for the players to get clues, with plenty of extras as sometimes players can miss or misunderstand clues. Leaving the final confrontation of the octopus vague and undefined is also a big missed opportunity.
18 Looking glass hills By BROLL
A crashed alien spaceship with some random mutation/evolution abilities is struggling to fix its pilot. The players can investigate the crashed ship if they can figure out what is going on. The font makes the entry slightly difficult to read and there must be some translation issues as many of the sentences don’t seem to make sense.
This entry sets the stage with an outline for a sci-fi heist, although the details are generic enough that they could easily be switched over to high or low fantasy equivalents. It is missing many of the elements that make up a heist such as specifics on the security measures, escape methods, and the plans of the defenders/rivals. It gives generic statements about who has what, but I didn’t even see anything about where the crystal starts, moves, or changes hands that would present an opportunity for the players without the DM having to create those details themselves.
Cave hazards are given evocative depiction with both room description and small sketches. The encounters are a little boring, but the flavor can work well for either a low-magic setting or one with some kind of history tied to primitive people. I like that the hidden objects were not required for advancing, but purely lead to optional rewards or hints at the backstory of the cave.