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Fiery Grog Tavern
by Karen F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2019 13:25:10

This has been a great supplement to my games; I have used the Fiery Grog challenge several times, and all the characters and hooks have been a great inspiration!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Grog Tavern
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Madness of the Rat King
by Clayton D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2019 12:13:38

I ran this in two sessions for a group of 4 PCs and everyone had a great time. The tone is unique, the monsters memorable, and the treasure evocative. The main issue I have with this adventure is the layout of the PDF making it difficult to use at the table.

Just sitting and reading the book before running, it read a bit campy to me with all the ridiculous rat hybrids. However the perspective is much different for the players at the table: it's hard to read a "spider rat" as silly when one has just dropped from the ceiling and is hugging your face. The panic and paranoia generated by these wild hybrids was much more effective than I expected, so I progressively leaned harder into the weird and dark elements as the adventure went on. This weirdness was all the more effective given the bone-standard fantasy plot hooks: missing boy went searching for a priceless artifact, rescue the boy and maybe find what he was looking for.

The treasure in the adventure is excellent. Even though I gave some of the items different stats and effects to fit into our game, the items each had enough personality that I could change the specifics and still keep the flavor. That's some good writing. A few of the items have built-in puns or jokes. Again these read as campy when read in a vacuum, but during the course of play they served as welcome comic relief punctuating the escalating horror of the adventure.

I very much appreciate the author's treatment of the eponymous Rat King and his familiar, Nibbles. For each, the author presents clear motivation and desires, giving the DM wide latittude to roleplay these as three-dimensional characters instead of dungeon obstacles to be steamrolled. Even the "insane," violent, kidnapping, mad scientist Rat King is somewhat of a sympathetic character if the PCs are able to get him to talk. Depending on how much of the cavern they've explored prior to that encounter and thus how much paranoia they are feeling, the PCs may even realize that keeping the Rat King alive may be key to preventing an even greater threat...

All of this plus high-quality maps in a PWYW package makes this a killer deal. I am rating this 4 of 5 stars however because the layout of the PDF was continually distracting to me DMing at the table. The text is very dense on these pages and the various rooms' descriptions are all visually similar in the "chambers and encounters" section, making it very hard to keep one's place while using the pdf at the table. My players experienced certain details in different places than they are keyed on the map simply because I accidentally read from the wrong text. I'm capable of changing things on the fly so it worked out, but I often found myself pausing to find the text I wanted to read. Given that this is an electronic PDF and extra pages thus cost nothing, I feel like the author missed an opportunity to add some space and art to break up the text and make it easier to use.

My other issue with the pdf is minor, more of a suggestion to the author. It's awesome that the maps are distributed as hi-res images along with the pdf, but that makes the relatively hi-res map in the pdf superfluous. Scrolling past the map in the pdf takes several seconds and on lower-powered devices such as tablets and chromebooks, again leading to undesirable delays when using this book at the table. My suggestion is to use the lowest acceptable resolution in the pdf when you're also distributing the maps separately.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Madness of the Rat King
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Madness of the Rat King
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2019 09:44:39

Solid work. The maps alone are worth the price. I have to add extra words so I can post this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Grog Tavern
by Robert M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/28/2018 16:47:06

I quite enjoyed this tavern. The NPCs had a good level of detail, and the hook to the "Madness of the Rat King" worked well. The bar fight mechanic was a lot of fun as well. I haven't finished taking the characters through the MotRK module yet, so I won't rate that yet, but it seems good as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Grog Tavern
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Madness of the Rat King
by shandani c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2018 12:51:23

I love this adventure! I've run it twice to great success and everyone loved it. I think it's clever and creative and funny. I recommend it to everyone who asks me for a recommendation of a one-shot, and so far, everyone has come back and said that they had a great time with it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Madness of the Rat King
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for running it and recommending it to others, Shandani! That means a lot to me :)
Madness of the Rat King
by Karen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2018 07:15:42

I ran this in conjunction with The Fiery Grog Tavern as the first adventure for a group of new players. They enjoyed exploring and really latched on to the mystery of the old cult. It provided a good challenge with the explodey rats in particular that created a good balance of not being too letal but still giving a sense of danger.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
The explodey rats are my favorite :) Thank you for the review, Karen!
Madness of the Rat King
by Alex U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2018 16:45:46

This was a bit different than what I expected, but in a good way. It was a bit dark, but the roleplaying oppertunties are great and the overall product was well thought out. I have an ongoing campagin and had already introduced a hook for a similar module. Upon reading this product, it had much more depth thatn the original and I now plan to use it as a second layer to the wererat problems. The mapping was detailed and creative. I would reccomed this product as a good value.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for the recommendation, Alex!
Madness of the Rat King
by Tad D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2018 22:29:58

An entertaining, witty short site-based adventure.

The Good: There is much to like about Maddness of the Rat King. To begin with, the map of the cavern in which this adventure is set is gorgeous and well laid out. An attentive party will discover more than one route to the lair of the "big baddy". Likewise each part of this cavern is distinctive, having its own unique features, providing a more colorful and varied dungeon delve than might at first be expected. The same can be said for many of the adventure's encounters. There are multiple new "mutant" rat baddies herein to grapple with, some of which allow for moments of humor.

Another virtue of this module is the way in which it rewards problem-solving and clever role-playing. There are a couple of items of treasure which are difficult to retreive. There are means of retrieval built into the module that a clever party may uncover, along with suggestions for how the treasure might otherwise be retrieved. Likewise there are at least a couple of opportunities for the party to overcome an ecounter through diplomacy rather than violence, and receive a boon in doing so.

Also laudible is the fact that this module offers a host of new and interesting items for the party to play with. There are multiple items of magical and mundane treasure to be had, some of which require enginuity on the part of the party in order to profit from.

Finally, there are plenty of opportunities for further adventure hooks and storyline developments offered up in the pages of Madness of the Rat King, particularly if used in conjunction with Fiery Grog Tavern. For a module advertised for 1 to 2 sessiosn of play there's enough material here for a creative GM to utilize for many sessions to come.

The Bad: While the layout and formatting of this module are more or less good, if simple, this module really could have been better edited. I counted multiple instances of omited or redundant words. In certain places formatting could have been better (e.g. on the first page the sub-heading on the righthand column of the page is not flush with the top of the page for some reason). These are minor details that detract somewhat from the overal quality fo the product. Also, beyond the map of the cavern there are no other images within this module. Had this been a paid rather than simply a PWYW product, I would have deducted a star from my rating based on these shortcomings. However in light of the fact that this is a PWYW product I'm willing to overlook these figure faults.

Conclusion: This is a solid introductory level module, albeit one with some minor issues. I enjoyed the creativity of the design and the lgiht-hearted humor (I know at least one other reviewer did not, but that just goes to show that you can't please everyone). I do agree with other reviewers that this module really benefits from being run in conjunction with Fiery Grog Tavern. This is a module that I woudl consider running at my own table, which is perhaps the best endorsement I can offer of any product.

Tad Davis, Ars Phantasia Press



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you so much, Tad! Not only is it a kind review, but also going into detail on what specific things you liked and disliked helps me tremendously to get a better understanding on how I can improve in future products. I appreciate you taking the time to write this.
Fiery Grog Tavern
by Tad D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2018 13:48:35

The Fiery Grog Tavern is a very colorful locale complete with evocotive visual and historic details that hint at the Tavern's violent history, interactive NPCs which will keep the party on its toes, a couple of fun skill challenges, a dancing Merfolk and a potential job. Oh, and the maps that accompany this supliment are fantastic! I was impressed by how much was actually packed into this 10 page suppliment. There's enough content here to easily take up a whole evening of role-playing. Whether this is used as a standalone location, or as a segue into Maddness of the Rat King, this is a great little product. Very high value for the PWYW pricing.

Tad Davis, Ars Phantasia Press



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Grog Tavern
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Madness of the Rat King
by Dave L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2018 18:54:43

This short module was good fun. I ran it in two sessions for a party of two fourth level characters (my daughter (8) playing a wood elf moon druid and her NPC friend who is a stout halfling champion fighter). The hooks are decent, the cavern denizens are very creative, the custom magic items are really neat. I like how the author includes full stat blocks for the monsters and suggestions for difficulty level for each encounter. The boss battle is challenging and is not what you might expect. Great for a one-shot or to be inserted as a side quest in an ongoing campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Madness of the Rat King
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Creator Reply:
I'm glad you and your daughter enjoyed it, Dave!
Madness of the Rat King
by Victoria F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2017 15:14:49

Just finished running this adventure with my party at work to kick off our first campaign. We had a lot of fun with the module. It had a lot of lighthearted humor in it while not being immersion-breaking. The map is gorgeous, I think it set a standard I may not be able to live up to in the future. :) The text was well laid out and easy to follow, I had minimal prep time every week. The loot offered in the module is also very good, I love interesting items and there were several here. I also reccomend getting the Firey Grog Tavern supplement. It gives the adventure a good base to start from. The plot hooks were also very useful, I'm taking several things out of the adventure to become important bits in the campaign.

I hope you design and offer many more adventures to come!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for the kind words, Victoria!
Madness of the Rat King
by James M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2017 18:54:28

Easy to drop into any campaign. Fun. Flexible. Provides possible future hooks. Great maps.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Glad you enjoyed it, James!
Madness of the Rat King
by Jeremy G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2017 02:59:46

First off, the maps that are drawn for this adventure are gorgeous. Props to whoever was the artist. I am feeling the urge to have them printed up on an actual mat for play, with permission from the creators of course. Second, the adventure is well written. There is just enough simplicity to act as a stand alone side adventure that can be thrown into any campaign, and there are enough little secret bits that can be used to expand the world your campaign takes place in. The story is fun and simple, the stakes aren't too high which makes it weigh less on the adventurers. I cant wait to run this in my campaign for my friends

edit: If you get this adventure, I highly recommend you also get the Fiery Grog Tavern by this same author. It includes a beautifully illustrated tavern filled with NPC's and some good hooks for getting your players to want to go on the Rat King adventure



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
The maps were created by the very talented Ross McConnell at http://2minutetabletop.com/ ! I highly recommend checking out his site; he has many free maps available and the rest are only $1. Best of all, the free ones are licensed under Creative Commons so you can print it / do whatever as long as it's not for commercial use. I'm glad you enjoyed the adventure too! I can take credit for that part :)
Madness of the Rat King
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2016 13:43:05

A fun adventure that takes the "kill rats in the cellar" trope and does something cool and interesting with it. There are some lighthearted comedic elements that wouldnt' work with some campaigns, but should be easy enough to modify or eliminate if you want a grittier adventure.

Finally, the maps are absolutely top noch - what I would expect to find in a AAA product from a major publisher, not as an add-on to a PWYW product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
As someone that grew up playing games like Baldur's Gate, the "kill rats in the cellar" is a trope that is dear to my heart. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Madness of the Rat King
by Mehran B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2016 12:04:37

Really great presentation for a fun little mini-adventure with some light comic elements - fully customisable to slot into a low-level campaign as a one-off/short adventure. I appreciate the work that went into this PDF/module and look forward to seeing more from the author/publisher in the future!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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