Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Review: The Overrun Mines
The Overrun Mines was written by +Shane Ward under the 3 Toadstools Publishing banner. It's a low-level adventure, for 4 characters of levels 1+ using the Labyrinth Lord & B/X rule systems.
Available in PDF only. It is 15 pages long. 1 for the cover, 2 for maps, 6 for the adventure, 1 for author bio, 2 for pre-gen characters and 3 for the OGL. It's well organized and easy to read. It uses a two column format. For the PDF is is formatted on regular sized paper (8.5" x 11"), but I printed mine out on zine form (shocking I know) and I can read it fine.
There are 5 pieces of art, including the cover. Shane grabbed them from openclipart.org. The art is simple and small. While the art doesn't add to the adventure it helps break up the text giving it a light and fun look.
Shane has kept the details generic so you can place it into your campaign easier. A mine near a town. It's all that it needs. And you'll be shocked to hear that the adventure is underground! There are two levels of mines to explore.
Mines have been overrun...like the title reads. But there is a twist to it. Something I could definitely play on in my campaign. I won't go into details to spoil the fun.
There is a rumor table, which is very good. There is a lot of little things going on and if the players take the time (and the ale) to listen they'll get a pretty good idea of what is going on and what to expect.
heh, you gotta love an adventure starts with a set of rules for when your characters die.
Underworld Day Rules
An interesting addition, a table of random effects from spending time in the underworld. Each player rolls a d20 each day to see what boon they receive or what penalty they suffer.
There are two simple, line drawn cave maps. Shane uses some crosshatching to help define the areas. I would have liked to have seen a darker pen to make them pop a little more. While there isn't much detail, there is enough that a little more definition would have helped.
An underground adventure that consists of two-levels, with 22 encounter areas. I think a party should be able to get through the adventure in a single session (2 - 4 hours).
I think Shane captures the essences of an old school adventure with The Overrun Mines. He keeps the adventure straight forward. A GM can pick up this adventure and run it in five minutes. But like a good old school adventure, GMs can integrate the adventure into their campaigns and add the layers of intrigue into it with little effort. There is a political slant to this adventure that I could see myself run with. What's also fun about the adventure is there are several different types of encounters. The players will have a variety of things to hack at. And there is enough elements within to keep every class busy. It would be handy to have a diverse crew when entering the mines. I like the touch of having the pre-gen characters in the back. With them, running a pick-up game would take no time.
Grab yourself a copy of The Overrun Mines at RPGNow, it's only .50 cents. While you are there, also check out his other short adventure, The Caverns of Ugard. It is a PWYW product. It's a 12 room underground adventure with the added bonus of his entry, Assault on the Thieves Guild, Shane's One-Page Dungeon 2014 entry.