Although this product follows the standard format of earlier 'Battlemaps Lairs' books, with 3 beautifully-detailed rooms for you to drop into an existing adventure (or to build an entire adventure around, if you are inspired by them), there's the welcome addition of a fully-detailed Bad Guy who may be found there... or for that matter used elsewhere if you prefer.
The three maps presented in this book are a graveyard, an outer balcony or terrace and the mausoleum itself. All seem to be in a fairly poor state of repair, battered and abandoned for a considerable period of time. When getting ready to print, you have the choice of 'empty' - basically the bare structures (and no tombstones in the graveyard) - or the normal bits and pieces, and there are both colour and greyscale versions to choose from. You can also print the entire complex on a single page, or have each of the 3 sections on a page of its own.
The villain provided is Jhntehnn, Ghoul Duke, who was a fighter and tomb robber before he became a ghast - perhaps when investigating this very place (indeed, that's one of the scenario suggestions given - that the characters are hired to find out what happened to the last lot of tomb robbers to visit the mausoleum). As well as full statistics and notes about his special abilities, there is sufficient backstory and tactical information for you to make him come - well, I'd have said 'alive' but that's not quite appropriate for a ghast! - to make him become a real and potent threat your players will remember.
Overall, a nice place you can drop into any campaign - a deserted tomb somewhere little-visited outside town. Either hire the characters to take a look, give them a few rumours (treasure works well here) or just let them come across it when travelling... maybe it's raining so hard that even somewhere as uninviting as this is preferable to lurking under a tree overnight!
Return to Ghoul's Mausoleum page.
Reviewed: 15 October 2005