Monday, February 7, 2011
Tomb of the Iron God: A DM's Review
As you know I recently ran Matt Finch's Tomb of the Iron God as the first adventure in our Northern Reaches Campaign.
Having DMed the adventure, I thought I'd post some short comments and observations for those of you who might run the module at some point in the future.
**Stop reading now to avoid spoilers**
In short, I loved this as an introductory adventure. There are opportunities for a TPK on level 2, but overall this is a great exploration style adventure.
I really like Finch's prose: clean and concise. He gets right to the detail and avoids long winded speeches and such that bog down DM preparation.
There were a couple points where I thought modification and edits were needed. I think the large encounters on level 2 required some larger rooms and the revolving floor room could have been explained differently/more effectively.
I really love Finch's idea of crypt alcoves throughout level 2. Searching these alcoves, and tying that process to turns and random monster rolls, was a great idea and fit the style of an introductory-level adventure.
I do have two qualms with this adventure, and these are realatively minor. First, too many of the rooms on level 2 have exactly the same one-sentence write-up. I understand that there should be some sameness to the crypts, but even a slight tweak here or there was needed. Halfway through the level my players recited the sentence back to me before I could finish it. If you are DMing this adventure I'd advise minor edits in advance of play. Finally, this adventure really, really needs an interesting NPC. Throughout the adventure I felt this was a glaring miss in the adventure and could have facilitated some great role-play. Perhaps the Iron God took pity on one of the priests? Maybe the old guy who drags the death cart to the monastery was spared? I dunno. I think it would have been great to have an interesting NPC.
Overall, Finch wrote an excellent adventure. I can recommend the module to fellow DMs without reservation.