D&D Adventure Review: Goblin Slavemaster

Oh gods, where to begin…

To the right is the preview page of Goblin Slavemaster, one of the first of many poorly-prepared and formatted adventures we’re likely to see in coming days on the DMs Guild. Let me make myself clear: The DMs Guild is one of the most awesome concepts ever, and I’m very much looking forward to what people release on it.

This, however, was not one of the products that I was looking forward to. I’m not sure what an “excitign adventure” is, but if you want one that pushes all my buttons about good writing and editing, this is it!

I was almost disappointed upon downloading the actual product to discover that the image wasn’t actually the first page of the adventure. It’s just a representative image. The first page is actually filled with adventure text. There’s no title page, we just leap straight into the adventure.

For Jesse Popovich, the author of this adventure, editing, punctuation and accurate spelling are things that happen to other people.

The goblin slavemaster is a tale of the goblin boss Gniakz and the begger dwarf Theatic it takes place just outside the town of Emberpost.
Goblin Slavemaster, first paragraph.

The adventure sets the players the task of rescuing the daughter of Theatic from a goblin encampment. It features a small town, a cave that leads to the goblin stockade, and the stockade itself. I’m not familiar with the program that drew the map and did some of the text, although some of you might recognise it:

The adventure ideas aren’t bad ones, but they’re certainly incompetently presented. There are ideas here I like, especially the placing of a time limit on the mission and the details of how long each path takes to resolve. Those are elements that make the decisions of the players have consequences, something I’m very much in favour of.

And then, I’m faced with the unedited text…

If the PCs take bodos’ route it takes them 4 hours to reach the cave they will fight an encounter of 2 goblins patrolling in the forest, followed by an encounter with a black bear who is not outright hostile but feeding on a rotten deer corpse it will add an additional hour to avoid the bear.

Is the adventure a complete loss? No, it isn’t. There’s material that is good. There’s just not very much of it. It’s a five-page PDF, with two blank half-pages.

There will be worse adventures than Goblin Slavemaster to come. If the author can pay more attention to the little things like spelling and grammar, perhaps I might even look forward to more of his releases.

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