5E Adventure Review: Putting a Krampus in the Holiday

Frank Schmidt has released a large number of adventures for AD&D and 5E under his Adventures in Filbar imprint; Putting a Krampus in the Holiday is his (free) 2015 Christmas special and is designed for level 1-3 characters.

The adventure begins with the players asked to investigate the disappearance of a gnomish adventurer, who vanished after fiddling with some magical items he’d recovered from his latest expedition. The structure of the adventure is linear, with one encounter (typically combat) following the other as the players follow the missing gnome. It’s all pretty simple.

And yet, it’s effective. I probably wouldn’t run this for first-level characters (unless I particularly wanted them to die), but for second- or third-level characters it looks challenging and enjoyable. The concept of the adventure and the explanation for the gnome’s disappearance are both well done. Assuming the players succeed, it ends on a suitably festive note.

The major problem with the adventure comes from the way stat-blocks are handled; the author still presents spell-use in the old AD&D style rather than the modern 5E “slot” style, which while useable does feel odd, and the formatting of the stat blocks is clumsy – look at how the bonuses for ability scores are handled:

There are a lot of problems with this handling of stat-blocks (and indeed the stats don’t really correspond to how we expect the mathematics to work.) Despite this, they’re still useable. As long as there’s enough detail for the AC, HP and Attacks, I’m fairly happy; I just wish the ability scores were better formatted.

The writing is mostly good, although it could benefit from more editing. The layout is basic, but functional.

Overall, it’s a nice adventure with a few Christmas trappings, worth having a look at.

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