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Escape The Lair $10.00 $3.50
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Escape The Lair
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Escape The Lair
Publisher: DARK BY DEZIGN
by John B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/23/2018 16:58:14

TL/DR: 75 pages of Tomb of Horror style dungeon romp for Pathfinder, or easily converted to 3.x or even 5e, with tons of great artwork, player handouts, and great looking cartography that will work well for VTT use.

Escape the Lair may have a simple name. Escape the Lair may have a simple plot. Escape the Lair may even have a simple villain. But what Escape the Lair does right, and what it has in spades, is a series of challenging encounters where players will need to use their brains more than their dice to prevent a total party kill. The villain for EtL is a lich, a twisted and evil one that seems to enjoy mentally torturing creatures as well as physical tortures. The lich taunts the adventurers that attempt to enter his lair, fully aware at all times of their progress. The lich has a demented mind, and it shows in the various puzzles and obstacles that he set up in his death-trap "lair". If the party survives this dungeon, they can count themselves fortunate.

Pros:

  1. Non-linear series of unique and interesting encounters that challenge the player's brain as much as the character's stats.
  2. Really good cartography that sets the mood and would work well for VTT.
  3. Lots of player handouts that evoke the proper mood as the lich taunts the characters and frustrates them to get them to make mistakes.
  4. Plenty of content for the price, a bargain!
  5. Easily converted to other systems especially flavors of DnD like 3.5 or 5e.

Cons:

  1. This could be a pro if you really want a true Tomb of Horror experience, but this dungeon probably will kill off a party of level 4 characters. I could actually see a TPK on the very first encounter being a strong possiblity. Be sure to bring a cleric.
  2. The setup as written for how the party gets into this adventure to me felt a bit contrived. I think if they discovered the caves on the mountain peak themselves and just decided to explore without any forknowledge of the "lich" would make for a better story, but YMMV. This kind of "Hook" is something almost every DM has to change anyway so I didn't take off any points for this.
  3. I would prefer to have high detail JPG files of the maps separate from the PDF but in a pinch a screen shot of the PDF page will work for VTT.

Conclusion: This is billed as part 2 of a series of adventures, however, there is little to no connection between the story presented in Escape the Lair and the one from Escape From Skullkeep Prison. A DM could probably make a connection if desired, but this actually works better as a stand-alone dungeon. This could easily be a starting point for a campaign that will end with a final confrontation of the lich villain who set this lair up, and perhaps Dark by Dezign will put out a follow up for this that does that very thing. I would recommend playing with characters that are at least level 5 so they have access to some decent spells and abilities; they will NEED it, trust me. Balancing issues aside, this has some really wonderful traps and encounters in it, and your players will be both thrilled and perhaps killed... haha... better keep a few backup characters on hand. :)

Highly recommended if you're looking for a challenging dungeon that will put your player's dungeoneering skills to the test. Not recommended if your players are babies that can't take a TPK. :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you very much for the entertaining review! I LOVE your idea about using the separate jpgs to use as player handouts in the way that you said. I am really going to try and carve out some time to ADD these to the DTRPG listings that have them. GREAT IDEA, and I will send them to you as well. Yes, it is a bit challenging. My first adventure, MURDER ON MONTELLIO was cool and fun and received some nice input, but I got the distinct impression that it was just a little bit easy. NOT A PUSHOVER, but not as much of a challenge. Perhaps I may have slightly overcompensated in areas of some adventures. Gathering this data, I am seriously considering doing the following with the 7-adventure, 500-page adventure Compilation. A fellow named Scott has offered some future suggestions to tie these together. It is not because I cannot think of these things myself, but with the KS project going on, and with other KS projects, I SINCERELY like to network and work with other KS backers and supporters. It really is fun! Also, perhaps I can share these adventures with you before I put them out for the public? I Do like your input. Also, I really am considering ADDING a small NPC “Bible” at the back of the compilation. This way, the GM can choose interesting and BRAND NEW NPCs to help HEAL (LOL) the party! I think that was a good point, and I do put in multiple healing potions in my adventures, but I hear ya! Anyway, thanks again for the invaluable input I truly appreciate it and I laughed out loud TWICE while reading thsi entetaining review. I was in Whole Foods and two ladies started laughing AT me because I was bursting out into two bouts of laughter, seemingly out of the blue! THANK YOU FOR THAT!! : ) Let me know if you would like to Preview these adventures? Seriously! Matt
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