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.
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