Written for Gen Con 2008 and presented in the traditional 'three rounds' format of a competion scenario, this is based on some of the D&D 3e releases in the Dungeon Crawl Classics product line, but sufficiently original that it's just about playable by those who have encountered them. Presentation is very traditional as well, as anyone familiar with AD&D scenarios will agree.
The first part is called Idylls of the Rat King, and is largely based on the D&D 3e adventure of the same name, with details changed to accommodate the AD&D ruleset. The main thrust of the adventure is the exploration of four levels of an abandoned (at least by its original owners) silver mine, and you are given several ways to entice the characters to go there. There's plenty of support for the DM, including detailed background and well-organised encounters; while all those encountered in the mine have reason to be there and lives to lead... if only they weren't being interrupted by pesky adventurers! It's a good solid dungeon crawl in the classic mould.
The second part is an original adventure called The Scourge of Silverton, and draws characters back to the site of the previous events - perhaps quite swiftly, as the first part is designed for 1st to 3rd-level characters (those starting as 1st-level will reach 3rd during it) and this bit is for 3rd to 4th-level ones! The mining town of Silverton has begun to recover quite nicely after that abandoned mine was cleaned out, but news of their growing prosperity has brought more unwelcome attention to the area. There's the added twist that if you are using this as a follow-on to the earlier adventure, this newcomer has a reason to seek revenge on those who cleaned out the first abandoned mine... and he has, of course, taken up residence in a different disused mine! Here he plays a game of cat-and-mouse with the characters, testing their strength and resolve: and they thought they were there just to rescue some hostages. The end of this episode should point the characters to the final part of this scenario.
This final part is Revenge of the Rat King, and takes the characters to Soulgrave and a dungeon that is the culmination of the revenge plot hatched against them and designed to ensure their capture! If you have not run the preceding two parts, consider it a dungeon designed to deal with any good characters that happen along instead. Cunning, creativity and teamwork will be needed to deal with their enemy; this is a dungeon that is no mere crawl but requires thought to succeed.
Taken as a whole, this is almost a mini-campaign which, while aimed at low-level characters, should prove a worthy challenge, combining a strong plot with traditional dungeon crawling, plenty of monsters to fight but a chance to exercise the mind as well as the sword arm!
Return to Saga of the Rat King 1e version page.
Reviewed: 31 May 2009