The premise for this adventure is simple: a recent earthquake has exposed a long-buried structure and for whatever reason, the party goes to explore it. Needless to say there's all sorts of bad stuff around and the looming threat of evil being released across the land to goad them on...
The material for the DM includes an overview of the adventure, scaling information, wandering monsters, several ideas for how to get the party to investigate, background information that can be discovered through a little research, and even notes on translating inscriptions within the ziggurat. Well, it's been buried a long time and nobody speaks that language any more! There's also a bit of background story, which may or may not be revealed during play.
There are various ways that the party can get to the ziggurat, once they have decided that it's worth a look. However, no more than a brief outline is given, you will have to come up with the details yourself as the adventure itself begins just as they arrive at the ziggurat. There appears to be a localised storm brewing over its apex, but that's the only way in... and from the outset, there's plenty of opposition to the party's investigations. Indeed traps and monsters are present in abundance throughout the ziggurat.
Everything is explained clearly, with all the information, explanations and game mechanics you need to run each encounter supplied just where you need it. In certain places, as well as a verbal description, there is an illustration to show to the players. As the party gets deeper into the ziggurat, things get progressively worse and - especially if they haven't guessed what's here - weirder. Spirits abound and any paleontologist would have a field day with all the ancient bones. And right at the bottom? Suffice to say, something that the party will really, really hope stays dead!
Every creature here is indeed here to be slain, not interacted with. There's some loot to be had, but rather low considered the difficulty of obtaining it. There are quite a few new monsters, which are given a full write-up at the end as well as having an outline within the body of the text where you need it. There's no follow-up adventures, there again if the great evil escapes there is unlikely to be much of a future for anybody.
Quite an interesting delve based on an unusual premise, but definitely for those who like deadly hack'n'slash delves... it's an excellent example.
Return to The Sunken Ziggurat page.
Reviewed: 1 August 2018