Monday, April 2, 2012

Review - Lich Dungeon Level 1 - Part the Second - By the Numbers ("Non-System Specific")

And now Part Two of Lich Dungeon Level One's review.

(Part one of the review is here)

To get into Lich Dungeon your need to talk to a pair of trees (it's a riddle / puzzle of sorts).  I don't think this will be spoiling anything for anyone reading this, as this needs to be established with the players when you feed them the seeds and rumors they will need to embark on this adventure.  It works surprisingly well in this context.  As I said in the first part of this review, this adventure is a few notches to the silly side.  As long as you accept that (or adjust the adventure to remove such, which is easy enough) you should be fine.

Just because things have a little silly to them doesn't mean they aren't dangerous or even potentially lethal.

Mr Mentzer does a fine job describing describing the environment of the dungeon so as to prepare the DM for running the adventure.  It should allow the DM to fill in details as needed when requested by the PCs without having to do much on the fly.  Floors, walls, doors, hasps, locks and the like are all covered in their various forms.

Also included is the nuts and bolts behind the workings of this dungeon.  As I said in the first part of this review, it is not you standard dungeon.  There are work crews that maintain it and repair it.  It is a dynamic environment.  It is quite possible, even likely, that the players will encounter those that keep Lich Dungeon in top notch form (remember, it is a heavily explored and traversed dungeon).  You will have all the tools to do so.

There will be (if you so decide) treasures that can be acquired from within the dungeon that require the solving of a riddle.  All of the answers to the riddles are in the form of a 4 digit number (no big secret, as that will be revealed to the party before they enter the dungeon).  I'll be honest, even with the explanations to solve the riddles they make no sense to me (I stopped my math at pre-calc, sorry).  That is why they are optional treasures (and riddles) as per the author.  My suggestion?  Find some medium / hard riddles on the internet that won't suffer from modern assumptions and substitute them.  I like the idea of the riddles and how the items are distributed and would hate to see my players lose out on them because due to my / their math issues (Ah, I think I see where the Non-System Specific System comes from now ;)

Gee, two parts into the review an I'm not even to the dungeon itself.

Tomorrow, we leap into the dungeon depths.  Well, Level 1 at least ;)


  1. I bought this. I really wanted to like it. But I can't. It cannot compare to Stonehell or Dwimmermount. It's 88 pages are sadly full of stat blocks and puzzles. The wandering monsters seem to take up page after page, I was amazed. Some of the wandering monster write ups are interesting but alot of it wouldn't fly with my group, godzilla at the dungeon entrance for instance. There isn't much adventure crammed into the 88 pages.

    The history / introduction at the start was interesting but the goodwill it generated didn't carry over.

  2. I fully agree that it can't compare to Stonehell. Mr. Curtis did a great job on that award-winning new design.

    LD is not new or award-winning. It's offered as a glimpse into the 1970s, nearer the roots of our hobby, and as such is quite primitive. We've come a long way (baby).

    The many pages of possible outdoor encounters are there for you to pick through and apply piecemeal as you wish, whether near LD or not. (The chances of actually using all of them at LD are microscopic.) There should be something in that mass for everybody... and most folks will like only certain ones, those best suited to their groups.

    Thanks for your input.



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