Adventure Review: Stonefast

Mithgathr Entertaiment’s other free D&D 5E adventure is a conversion of a BECMI Dungeons & Dragons adventure the author designed some time ago. It uses the Stonefast map from the 1992 Basic Boxed Set, as well as a few suggestions from that set for stocking it, but is otherwise entirely original.

I am also happy to report that it is a much better adventure than The Sylvan Temple, although the author’s use of “Encounter Worksheets” to list the monster stats at the end of the adventure (24 pages of a 35-page adventure!) remains problematic, especially as the numbers of monsters are only given in these work sheets – the adventure text has “stirges” and you have to go to the worksheet to discover there are six of them. As there are also a lot of blank worksheets due to a foolishly standardised format, this means you have a lot of wasted space.

The best thing about the adventure are the room descriptions, which are properly evocative of the style of the Basic adventures. There are a few odd grammatical usages (“Roll 1d6; on a 1 through 5 that many orcs are woke”; I’d use “awakened”), but for the most part the adventure is well written. It’s mainly a dungeon to explore with traps and monsters to face, but I’m not averse to such basic adventures if the setting is well-realised.

The adventure uses a few new monsters and hazards: Wehrgelb mold, which uses a “save or die” choking attack, Tiger Beetles and a Carcass Scavenger (i.e. Carrion Crawler) are the primary ones. The idiosyncratic way of presenting their stats reduces their usefulness, unfortunately, especially as only an XP value is given and not the Challenge Rating; I’ve converted the XP value to the appropriate CR values in my descriptions below.

The encounters range greatly in their level of threat. A CR 8 dragon is the major foe of the adventure, and three sets of animated armour create a challenging encounter for about level 4 characters. Two tiger beetles (CR 1/8) would be hardly a threat at all. The dragon, at least, can be surprised and flees when reduced to half hit points; however, the much greater danger it poses in 5E than in the original D&D rules makes it not quite appropriate within this context. No suggested level is given for the adventure, but I’d probably want to take in four 3rd level characters and be alert to adjusting the numbers of monsters encounter to better challenge the party.

All-in-all, this is a much better effort that The Sylvan Temple, but it isn’t without its issues.

One comment

  1. Pingback: The Great List of Dungeons & Dragons 5E adventures | Merric's Musings

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