Monday, February 18, 2019

Review – Beneath Kra'adumek by Venger As'Nas Satanis

     Kra'adumek is a preview of Venger's upcoming Cha'alt kickstarter. He offered it as a free download a couple of weeks ago and I grabbed it off DriveThru.
     A small dungeon, consisting of 17 separate encounter areas, it's full of unique monsters and Venger's trademark weirdness – with hardly any sleaze.
     He provides a quick overview of the Cha'alt background and Kra'dumek in particular, including Magical Mishap tables, details the PC's will know, rules for advantage and recommended charcater numbers and levels. The Noteworthy Details section could use some logical organization – it's an ordered list of all of the above. Not a big impact in this product, as it's only one page, but would be difficult to follow if it went on for two or more pages.
     The adventure hook is straight forward, the characters and other citizens have all been mind controlled – in super HypnoToad style – for years. That control has been interrupted, so it's time for some payback. This works well for a one shot and may be the recommended intro to Cha'alt (I don't know). I could see, in an episodic campaign, having the characters come to their senses there with no idea how they arrived. But overall, I would treat it as a one shot if you don't have Cha'alt.
     The encounters are well written, giving the DM plenty of info to extemporize role play when applicable. There are a couple of encounters that will wipe the party out if they go into the wrong place – there's warning of trouble ahead, but hack and slash parties will bull ahead into deadly trouble. Because that's my kind of group, I think I'd modify the hook a bit and have the characters trying to rescue the sacrifices or prisoners in the more 'civilized' area of the dungeon.
     New spells and weapons are well detailed and he has a nifty new (well different from The Isles of Purple Haunted Putrescence) stat block format. But I have to assume he's using an ascending AC system as it's never called out. Of course, I don't really care what the numbers are there, it's been years since I last ran an adventure using the game it was written for. I just convert them to suit.
     Overall, a solid little dungeon. But I'm deducting a skull because it won't be easy to drop into another campaign and the information organization issues.