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Dungeons & Dragons 3e: Idylls of the Rat King

Idylls of the Rat King

This was the one that started Goodman Games's successful line of Dungeon Crawl Classics, in which they claimed to be attempting to create the feel of the original 'dungeon bash' adventures of early D&D. Despite the rather depressing introductary statement that stated the NPCs were merely there to be killed, the line has actually produced excellent role-playing adventures which combined the best parts of Dungeons & Dragons as it has evolved over time.

In this adventure, a bunch of 1st-3rd level characters arrive (presumably while going about their own business) in the remote mining town of Silverton, whereupon their aid is enlisted to clean out a deserted mine full of rather nasty and aggressive wererat goblin bandits who have been making a nuisance of themselves in the area. Once your characters are in Silverton, three different ways are suggested for getting them involved - only one of which involves that stand-by of being approached in an inn. Indeed, the whole adventure is full of helpful suggestions for the DM, laid out clearly so that they are ready to hand just when you need them. A comprehensive, yet concise, backstory sets the scene for the DM, and provides him with local knowledge to let slip in conversation should the characters chat before rushing off to storm the mine.

However, conversation over the beermugs is not why we are here, and the rest of the product consists of a whole four levels of abandoned silver mine to explore. Well, 'abandoned' by its original miners - there are plenty of others in residence who really don't want to be disturbed. Everyone has their reasons for being there, and their own plots and plans to be busy with, but they would rather attack intruders than debate with them. For each room, there is a clear description of the contents and inhabitants, with detailed directions as to how they will react and fight once the characters enter. A novice DM should feel confident with this level of support, while a more experienced one will be impressed with every detail being to hand when he needs it.

If you are looking for a low-level adventure full of excitement and strenuous combat, in a well-designed situation where everyone has a good reason to fight, then look no further!

Return to Idylls of the Rat King page.

Reviewed: 31 August 2008