Winghorn Press’s The Low Crater is a 16-page adventure for 6th-level characters. It involves a lot of kobolds.
For those new to D&D, kobolds are well-known as a low-level foe that are typically slain in great numbers. Well, most of the time. Some kobold tribes become masters of making traps, and become very well-organised and able to take on even high-level parties of adventurers. The kobolds of the Old Guard in Gary Gygax’s Castle Greyhawk campaign are one such band, and “Tucker’s Kobolds” (described by Roger E. Moore in Dragon 127) were another.
With The Low Crater, Winghorn Press brings us another band of well-organised kobolds.
The adventure includes quite a number of traps, as might be expected. (It’s rather amusing to see one key entry that specifically mentions that it isn’t trapped). However, this adventure doesn’t rely merely on the basic Monster Manual kobold. It also includes some of the higher-level kobolds as well as other creatures allied with the kobolds. In so doing, it becomes a different matter than the kobolds described in “Tucker’s Kobolds”. Yes, it can be a dangerous adventure, but it isn’t of the same flavour as those earlier bands. This relies more on more dangerous foes than just good tactics and traps.
It’s an inventive adventure, with some excellent encounters. Yes, it’s a dungeon crawl, but it’s an entertaining dungeon crawl!
Although the adventure is mostly well-written, it has a few typographical errors. Interestingly, although the adventure provides a number of monster stat blocks, there’s one trap description that just refers the DM to the DMG. I would have much preferred the full trap description to be in the adventure; I will typically run an adventure with the MM open, but I rarely reference the DMG in play. A few of the descriptions lack one required detail or another. How long does oil burn for?
The DC for spotting most of the traps is likely to be quite achievable for most parties, although a couple of traps don’t have a DC mentioned. There’s one trap involving a tripwire that is totally evil, however, and I delight in it. Yes, the players automatically spot the tripwire, but it’s what happens next that makes it so much fun! (Well, at least for DMs like me…)
The Low Crater isn’t without its flaws, but it has a lot of fantastic invention in it and an ending that will likely surprise the players. Recommended.