5E Adventure Review: Depths of Felk Mor

Rod “Sacrosanct” Waibel’s Depths of Felk Mor is an ambitious product. 236 pages of adventure takes a lot of devotion to create. The adventure describes the caverns around Felk Mor, a subterranean settlement inhabited by several clans of humanoids. Nearby is the temple of Remahotep, an ancient god of evil. About half of the page count is the adventure text, the rest of the book contains maps, hand-outs and artwork.

The adventurers begin in the surface lands above, where they learn of giant insects attacking nearby travellers. Investigating this leads them into a series of caves and tunnels that eventually lead them to Felk Mor, where they learn of the Cult of Remahotep’s activities. From there, they must explore the old temple in order to rescue the kidnapped son of a noble and stop the ancient god from manifesting in the world.

My appreciation of the adventure is severely hampered by its writing style, which is often clumsy, and the lack of a good overview of the adventure’s structure. It’s not helped by the initial encounters being in a nest of giant ants, with almost 54 encounter areas describing the nest – of a total 259 encounters in the entire adventure. The nest isn’t without merit. There’s a nice horror subtheme that gradually becomes apparent through the use of the Mrav, creatures created by Remahotep that combine humanoid and insect features, but overall the first section feels underwhelming.

Thankfully, the sections dealing with Felk Mor itself are a lot better. The various tribes of humanoids are well-described, allowing DMs to understand their motivation and to use them to drive adventures as the players ally with one tribe or another.

The temple has numerous areas of interest that can entertain players. Unfortunately, the cultists and Remahotep have no personalities or goals to speak of, save to bring back Remahotep – and nothing they do in the adventure seems to advance that at all. There’s certainly nothing the players can do to stop it. In one chamber, they have an encounter where they must face the avatar of the god and his High Priest. The chamber must be accessed through a teleporter for which the players need a password, so it’s possible the players will feel that they’ve earned it, but I don’t feel that the adventure properly builds up a sense of the impending threat beforehand; this must be added by the DM.

The adventure has a copious amount of excellent black & white artwork, and the maps are mostly clear (although I’m not sure where the water areas are in the tunnels that are meant to be partially flooded). As noted, the editing has a number of significant issues. The actual layout of the encounters is excellent, clearly displaying important features for the DM, but grammatical and phrasing problems with the text cause comprehension problems.

Depths of Felk Mor attempts to present a super-dungeon in an Old School style. I believe it needed more development to allow it to work better. It has many memorable encounters, but it feels less than the sum of its parts. I appreciate the effort that went into creating the adventure, and the clans of Felk Mor provide some good opportunities, so a good DM will be able to build on what is here; the usefulness of this adventure will depend greatly on your ability and desire to tinker with it.

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