Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Adventure Site Contest: Review #5 What Happened to Brother Eustice?

By: Vance Atkins of https://leicestersramble.blogspot.com/

Ruleset: ??

Recommended Levels: "low levels" - given the strength of the main monster, I'd say 3rd level is about right if the party is small.  Lower level adventurers in bigger parties will be able to take out the final boss(es) also, but they pack enough of a punch some fatalities would be likely.  Rolling a second one would increase the likelihood of fatalities by quite a bit.

The Gist: Straightforward rescue prompt that will result in the party exploring a small abandoned shrine/lair nearby having 9 rooms.  It's simple, it's got the little descriptive details that help a DM set the scene at the table, and it's doing a good job of hitting all the bases.

You've got an abandoned shrine.  It's got a trap, it's got appropriate dungeon dressing, it's got an environmental monster right off the bat to get some combat going early, and then the main monster at the end.  Oh, and you rescue the priest in the middle.  But otherwise there's not much going on in between the first and last rooms.

It won't disappoint anyone, and no one will remember it either.  I'd be happy to pull this out and run it for a lair.  I don't think I'd bother with using the hook.  The hook is fine in and of itself, this just doesn't feel like it needs one.  I think it works better if it's stumbled upon instead of being a party's intended destination.  

Monster Roster:  You get one random encounter on the way there with vanilla monsters, and then two other monsters in the lair: "crab spider" (undescribed) and a couple of chitin drakes.  I'm not familiar with either of these, but the chitin drake is sourced in the text and the monster entry is given.  I like the monster, it's a good selection.  

Treasure: Treasure is pretty light compared to entries we've seen so far (a few hundred gp worth of silver and gems/art, a potion of healing) but it's nine rooms a party will breeze through.  Putting one nifty minor magic item relating to trade (like an everfull purse) and another potion or two is warranted though. 

Do I think this will work: Yes

Do I like it: I'm OK with it.  It wouldn't take much to give it some pop.  It's Applebees D&D.


1) pick/name a ruleset and a level range - this sort of ambiguity serves no purpose.  I'm guessing this is for OSE but I don't have a copy of OSE and didn't know where to look for "crab spiders" (I did a google search for the name paired with retroclone names but was still flooded with non-RPG search results of various spiders).

2) we don't need to know that snakes are slithering or skeletons are haunting on the RE table.  The OSR principle of "tell us what they're doing" on random encounter tables should either be carried to a useful conclusion or not begun.

3) in room 4, is one of the statues the goddess?  There are 2 statues, but then this extra goddess bit of detail. In  the text, the jackal statue is described in-between the mentions of the southern statue (naked lady) and the detail of the goddess, so it's not entirely clear the southern naked lady statue is a representation of this goddess - or whether the detail should be in the next room where the altars are.  Presume naked lady statue is of the goddess, although it wouldn't be typical for a deity statue to be located thus in an entryway niche, but if so - connect the two pieces of info together.

4) always, always say the scale of the map.  I'm guessing this is 5 ft per square but I don't know for sure.


  1. Thanks for the review - appreciate the feedback. I'll be reworking it based on comments once the contest is done. The original was run in-campaign (hence the railroad, er, hook) AP of the adventure - I believe the PCs were around 2nd lvl at the time. https://leicestersramble.blogspot.com/2023/03/rescuing-brother-eustice-or-flying-fire.html

    1. Looking forward to seeing the reworked version! Thanks for sharing work for the contest, it has bones to work with.