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The Clockwork Queen - Adventure $2.95
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Julie Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2019 10:48:51

A fun and flavorful adventure, but the ending could use more fleshing out. I like that it offers multiple options for handling various social/roleplay situations, as well as suggestions for tailoring the difficulty of fights.

I ran this for a group that included veterans with decades of experience and a ten-year-old playing her second game, and all had a great time. It's perfect for kids, newbies, or anyone whose tolerance for scary stuff is unknown. The rooms of the clockwork tower offer a variety of challenges, covering all three pillars of the game (exploration, combat, and social interaction). The NPCs are colorful and well-documented with notes on roleplaying them. The fact that there are different paths through the tower also gives the adventure some replay value.

One very welcome feature is a separate image file of the symbols used for navigating the clockwork tower, making it super-easy to create a handout for the players. The maps are also included in a separate file, but they're not really formatted for virtual tabletops, and the scale is not given (comments on the adventure here mention that they are drawn on the assumption of 10-foot squares).

With one caveat about the presentation of the ending (explained in the spoiler section below), I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. I would happily run it again.


I don't object to the fact that the ending is loose, because different groups are going to approach the situation differently. But I could really have used a sidebar quickly laying out everyone's position once the true state of affairs is revealed, and especially, a quick summary of Xander's opinion of the situation would have been super-useful. He's the key to the whole thing, so talky groups like mine are very likely to want to know how he feels about Brynlee and Tereene; the answer is only suggested, and it's buried in other text (the assumption seems to be that Tereene will do all the talking, but my group insisted on hearing from Xander directly). The adventure also doesn't specify how long Xander and Brynlee have been married--the answer to that question greatly affects the tone of the whole scene.

If your group is likely to just push the red button without talking to Tereene or Xander first, or if you work out the answers to all these questions ahead of time, you won't have any trouble with the adventure. But I was running it on just a couple of hours' notice, so I was caught off-guard and had to improvise.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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The Clockwork Queen - Adventure
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