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Madness of the Rat King
Publisher: Maniac Brews
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!]
Madness of the Rat King
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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
Publisher: Maniac Brews
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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Forest Crypt (night)
Publisher: New Horizons
by Tad D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2018 13:13:01

A professional quality product at a PWYW price, what a steal. The illustration itself is gorgeous, depicting a hilltop churchyard with five (recently?) dug graves, one of which looks to have been freshly excavated. At the bottom of the cliff is a road which is surrounded by forest. Along the western side of the road are what appear to be four crumbling mausoleums, one of which is covered in lit candles. This could easily be dropped into an existing campaign as a one-shot encounter whenever the party is travelling along a forest road. A great product at a great price. Hope to see more from this publisher.

Tad Davis, Ars Phantasia Press



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Forest Crypt (night)
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Isometric Dungeons : Down into the Sewers
Publisher: Epic Adventures Maps
by Tad D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2018 13:12:17

Down in the Sewers is a single level (isometric) sewer map intended for a single session of game play. The pdf offers a blank, a numbered, and a B&W version of the map, as well as a GM notes page for keying the map.

In terms of its usefulness one must understand that this is more of a one shot scenario. With that in mind it's a very well laid out sewer system with varying levels of height and remnants from former and current inhabitants. One could easily design a quick scenario around this map and plug it into virtually any fantasy setting. So it's a useful item for a GM to have in his or her arsenal. What's more, the artwork is simply incredible, as is true of all of Maxime Plasse's work. All in all a great little product reasonably priced at a mere $2.99.

Tad Davis, Ars Phantasia Press



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Isometric Dungeons : Down into the Sewers
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