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DD-01 The Darkness Beneath Dalentown for 5th Edition
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2019 17:14:16

When Tim was looking for reviewers over on the ol Twitter, Sebs actually connected us and when he described The Darkness Beneath Dalentown I got very excited. I'm usually not big into dungeon crawls, but this had such an OSR vibe to it that I really dove in and loved the feel of the encounters and narrative. I thought the pacing was good and the mini-bestiary at the back on oozes and jellies and slimes was fantastic.

However, I do think there are some things holding this adventure back from its full potential, and they are mostly design choices. I really think that it was benefiting from its OSR feel early in the book, but the addition of color maps and art threw it for a loop and completely ruined that feel for me. The font choice also feels very clinical and off-putting, not really honing in on that grungy fantasy feel. And I really would stress some sort of background - whether it be a color or the traditional parchment feel - to make this book complete.

Overall, The Darkness Beneath Dalentown is an adventure designed for OSR lovers and first-time players, but once you open the pages it falls short. Sure, the adventure itself is a really great pulpy dungeon-crawl with suspense, intrigue, and drama - but the lack of visual and design cohesion really stopped it in its tracks for me. I think with some hefty design updates, this will turn into an overall fantastic piece.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 10



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
DD-01 The Darkness Beneath Dalentown for 5th Edition
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review, Cameron! I appreciate the feedback on the layout; that's an area I'm constantly trying to improve, so your comments are incredibly valuable.
DeScriptors RPG: Definitive Edition
by Patrick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2019 16:30:42

When I first looked at this, I got a bit concerned that I’d struggle with what to say about it. In a nutshell, DeScriptors isn’t for the gamer who likes a lot of crunchy mechanics or excessive tracking. However, it is perfect for those who favor an emphasis on improvisation (comedic or otherwise), narrative, and sitting down to play a game without pouring through several source books for a handful of unique ideas. If that’s you, grab this game and get started. You can play this with a pencil and a notepad and nothing more. If you have an eidetic memory, you wouldn’t even need that much.

Read more: https://www.nonzerosumgames.com/descriptors-a-word-game-micro-rpg/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DeScriptors RPG: Definitive Edition
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The Darkness Beneath Dalentown for Swords & Wizardry
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2018 10:34:44

This ticks all the boxes for me. I love adventures that foreground a specific kind of monster. In this case, it's oozes, and pretty much all the oozes are here.

The location also works for me. The author encourages you to locate downturn in your own setting (which, as someone who runs a homebrew world, I really appreciate), but on the other hand, the town is developed enough that I don't feel like I need to rebuild.

The adventure hook is intriguing, and includes a previous adventuring party who tried (and failed) to clear the dungeon. The survivors of this party are still milling about town as NPCs, and provide ample opportunity for the players to get information through role-playing. It occurs to me that this failed party could also be a teaching tool. If your players are not used to old-school gaming, they could learn a lot from the previous party's mistakes.

And while subterranean ruins full of oozes would be worth the cover price in and of itself, the module's main villain is a more complex and intelligent, with a great backstory and motivation, bringing in the Faceless Lord of Oozes himself. And while the demon lord (rightly) doesn't make a direct appearance, this adventure could easily lead into direct conflict with him later, at a suitably high level of play.

And to add further complications, there are two other factions at work in the dungeon, making it possible for the players to choose sides, gain allies, play groups against each other, or just die fighting a war on three fronts.

Particularly exciting is the optional mechanic for stocking the abandoned library with potentially valuable, powerful, or dangerous books. Left entirely to the DM's option, this section can be used to reward players for through searching, punish them for pointless dallying (some of the books are cursed, and searching provokes Random Encounter rolls), or a little of both.

If this module has a flaw, it's that the maps were created using Dungeonographer, and show the aesthetic limitations of that system. But I use that program myself, so I can't really fault the author there. Also, the bulk of the oozes were taken from Tome of Horrors Complete, and it might have been nice to see some completely original monsters.

Basically, if you love oozes and sewers and diseased rats, this is a short, tight, but well structured module you can easily drop into your existing campaign and even use as a springboard for further encounters with slimes and the demon lord who rules them.ThisThis ticks all the boxes for me. I love adventures that foreground a certain type of monster, in this case, oozes. And this adventure uses pretty much all of them.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Darkness Beneath Dalentown for Swords & Wizardry
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for the review and valuable feedback! Regarding the maps, we have gone back to the drawing board and have plans to update them. We are backers of Inkwell Ideas' Patreon that supports their -ographer programs with new tiles and features, so we know that Dungeonographer can do even better than what we showcased in this module. You'll see updates in the coming weeks/months as tweak and perfect this module, before (hopefully!!!) releasing a POD version here on Drivethru! Thank you again for the kind words and criticisms. Matthew and I truly appreciate it!
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