Through The Dragonwall

I don’t know what to think of Through The Dragonwall. It had some strong parts and some weak parts. The open-ended hex-crawl both works for me and doesn’t work at all. There was a good premise, but my characters don’t spend their Spellburn on Comprehend Languages, so the backstory was lost on them. There were some good foes to meet, like the creepy insect people living in the ceiling, the elf ladies on giant moths, the reptile men, and the cool-ass bone dragon level boss. The two parallel but opposite adventure locations were kinda cool, but there was no puzzle to solve, no treasure, and the encounters were mostly wandering monsters. The thing about sandboxes full of wandering monsters is that it’s just a hack-fest. Actually, my players love a hack-fest, but making everything random or unpredictable means it ends up being hack-fest only. The PCs had the option of parleying with many of the foes in this–It could have been a role-playing fest instead of a war game–but my guys never ask any of their foes why. Like, what’s with the cheesy chainmail bikini on the cover? Why didn’t they make Kovacs do the map for this one? Why include all the pre-adventure BS luring the PCs into the prison dimension? This one has some of the basics right (interesting location to explore, unique foes to battle) but skimps on others (it needs a better puzzle element to engage the PCs with the backstory).  The art and maps were average: There’s some good Mullen and Poag, but not enough that are usable as player handouts.  Overall, this adventure module was average for Goodman Games, but I’m pretty sure my players would say they enjoyed it just as much as the others.  So I don’t really know what to think.

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