The Adventure is written for characters between level 8-12. It uses the standard rules for experience gain. A small party of 8th level characters is going to probably have a hard time with this adventure, and a larger group of characters of that level is going to struggle with it, but it’s an interesting, entertaining struggle.
The hook is a fairly straightforward adventure hook, some kids have gone missing. The town knows who’s responsible. They need a party of adventurers to handle some business and make some coins for their trouble. With some easy directions, they are off and running to make some easy money off some trouble making humanoids.
This adventure is broken up into four primary sections, and each one features an escalating series of murderous kobolds. Each encounter area escalates in reasonable ways and each one presents a surprisingly credible threat to adventurers that you wouldn’t normally expect. Kobolds are devious, and with the right amount of time and prep work, they can be amazingly dangerous. The kobolds are up to something, and the recent disappearances are part of a larger plan at work. The characters have no idea what they’re walking into, but the money they make isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort to handle the situation before it gets more out of hand.
The adventurers have stumbled into real deep trouble in this adventure, and they’ve likely created more problems than they ever expected. At the very least, an undead monstrosity has been created, and it’s loose in the world. What’s worse, it’s creator is aware of how to make more of them. This is a problem that will require some time and effort out of the party, or they can walk away and let all sorts of hell rain down on the locals. There are plenty of follow up adventures and encounters you can build out of this.
What I like about this adventure
The Author of this adventure puts on a masterclass in two key aspects. Putting together a complicated encounter area that has responsive enemies and reactive elements is a hard thing to do, and each one of these parts features an example of this. The monsters are extremely clever and act with thoughtfulness and are reactive to changes in their environment. This is an excellent example of how encounter areas like this should be assembled to provide creative and thoughtful challenges to players. (The Fact that they’re a blast is pretty awesome as well)
The Second major aspect that is superb is that this adventure takes what is normally a low level encounter (kobolds) and turns them into a credible threat for mid level adventurers. They do this by playing on the strengths of kobolds: cleverness and trap building. The kobolds also have a variety of useful allies, special members of their race, and some other very clever options at their disposal to be devastatingly dangerous to adventurers.
Issues with the adventure
I have a couple of minor concerns with this adventure. This adventure requires the DM to have an extremely firm grasp of how each encounter area triggers and what happens when. Rolling the encounters as they are written requires you to plan ahead and read, and trying to run these without planning is a recipe for disaster. Read a lot, make your notes, and understand how the parts interact with each other before you try running. The other half of that is that while the encounters themselves are fairly tightly scripted, there is room to improvise and make changes if the situation needs it.
Killer Kobolds is an action fueled romp that puts brave adventurers nose to nose with extremely intelligent adversaries. It’s an excellent showcase for how to put complicated encounters together and some insights into how intelligent monsters operate inside a dungeon. The complexity of it requires preparation and planning, but it’s a hell of a ride with the right foundation. Even better, it gives the adventurers clear ideas of what to do next, and a healthy respect for how dangerous even low challenge monsters can be in the right situation. I give this adventure 5 stars, and i enjoy Mr. Petrecca’s work. I am interested in perusing more of his work and i will likely be spending more time on DM’s Guild checking him out.
[5 of 5 Stars!]