Saturday, June 30, 2018

Beneath the Keep

Beneath the Keep was the Fifth Edition Fantasy offering by Goodman Games for Free RPG Day. I picked up a copy at Origins. Didn't really fall in love with the cover. I mean, it's not bad, but do I need more furries in my D&D game? (Secretly my answer is yes, but we won't talk about that now).

Yesterday I decided to pick up the adventure and take a look. This is the text from the back of the module. 

During a brief stop-over at a wilderness stronghold, a simple trip to a local provisioner reveals foul play! The shop has been broken into, and the shopkeeper is missing. But the place has not been burglarized. The heroes are thrust into an investigation. Clues discovered by the heroes hint at larger corruption that festers among the borderlands surrounding the stronghold. What sinister forces lurk beneath the keep?

Wait a second.... This seems familiar... 

That's when I felt like a total dumbass and realized this is an unofficial expansion to Keep on the Borderlands. Considering Goodman Games released Into the Borderlands, a 5e update to the classic, this year, well I just feel really stupid. 

The hirsute killer on the cover is a member of the chaos cult from the Caves. She has discovered a secret level beneath a shop that is connected to the surrounding wilderness through outside tunnels. She scouts the keep for suitable sacrifices and then relays target information to the local bandit camp, who then capture the targets to sell to the cult. 

There is some extra backstory added to the keep that's nice. Did you know there used to be a secret gambling den hidden?

The adventure takes place in 8 different encounter areas. It's mostly straight forward but there are some different ways DM's can approach it. For example the cultist might make her last stand in the shrine, she could make one at the edge of the natural caverns, or she could escape to become a reoccurring villain.

The encounters themselves are challenging, but not tpk levels.  The cultist is a wererat, so she has damage immunity to normal weapons. There are ways to circumvent this if the party pays attention, but is still something to note. My one complaint is that the adventure features a monster called a zombire. This is essentially a low level lich-like creature (zombie spellcaster) and not, as the name suggests, some sort of zombie-vampire hybrid. The monster is fine and all, but the name is wasted.   

This is a fun little adventure. If you're going to run 5e Keep on the Borderlands, I recommend picking this one up when it's available. I wish I would have had it when I ran the Itinerant Gentleman Adventurers

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