30th August 2008, 01:34 PM
Sellswords of Punjar
Sellswords of Punjar: Dungeon Crawl Classis 53
Written by Harley Stroh
Published by Goodman Games
40 b & w pages + fold out map
For Free RPG Day, Goodman Games provided us with Punjar: The Tarnished Jewel, a small gazetteer on a city that would fit the term, ďhive of scum and villainy.Ē Building on those bones comes Sellswords of Punjar, an urban adventure for 1st level characters. Written by Harley Stroh with additional writing by Blackdirge and interior art by Dough Koacs and a cover by Eric Lofgren, the book also boasts art direction by Jim Pinto.
The interior front cover is a full color map of Punjar while the back interior cover is a full color map that can be added to the maps. In terms of handouts, those classics are still here for copying and handing to players at appropriate moments. The battlemap is a double sided four page full color map that covers both sections. The web site has a PDF download of roof tiles that you can use to cover up the battle map until the players get to a specific location.
The art seems to be misplaced. For example, when the adventure starts, the players are confronted by an iron gate with a demon-face lock. That picture is many pages away. By the time the players are heading into the sewers, we get an illustration of rogues on a rooftop. Itís a minor thing but it does stand out.
The adventure includes background details on the Beggar King, his war with the Thieves Guild and a few plot hooks to get the players involved. Unfortunately, those plot hooks donít include quest experience so GMs should watch and make sure that players are advancing at the proper rate.
The action starts with the players right at the start of the Beggarís Kingís Ďlairí and itís in the heart of a slum known as Smoke in Punjar. The players have to fight their way above ground in the city until they can work their way to the Beggar Kingís interior lair.
The adventure is laced with traps and due to its size, is potentially quite deadly depending on how often the players are able to break out the encounters. The adventure includes new poison, new monsters, new traps, new diseases, and a new weapon. In terms of game stats, it looks easy enough to run for 4e. It uses symbols to showcase what types of attacks the monsters have, the guide to the symbols is on the product page but the details are pretty simple. The adventure also builds on previous adventurers in a way with items like Felis, a blade related to Whisker from DDC29 that provides extra bonuses when both are used together.
With unique items like that, the book has charm. With some more nods to old school, such as statues with cursed treasure and handouts, the book does a solid job of providing everything that the Game Master needs.
My favorite thing?
Seriously. WotC seriously overstepped the amount of those beasties that someone would want to use. While this adventure does include some goblins, itís reliance on the generic monsters from the low levels is curtailed because itís in an urban setting so many of the Ďmonstersí are humans.
Okay, I also love the fact that it's a city based adventure. Those are few and far between and I'm glad that Goodman is going to build on Punjar.
The adventure is easily portable to any city that has a slum ward but for those using Punjar, the book includes some brief details on bringing Smoke, the slum of Punjar, to life and provides utility to those looking to run games outside this specific adventure.
12th December 2008, 07:26 PM
how maney players is this ment for ??? anyone?? could i play it with 3 players?
12th December 2008, 10:24 PM
The adventure is written for 5 1st-level characters; however, the adventure does contain advice on how to run the adventure with fewer players. Basically, you'll need to reduce the number of opponents in each encounter, and ensure that encounters don't run together as often (one of the major challenges in this adventure).
If you still have questions, come on over to the Goodman Games forums, and I’m sure we can answer any specific question you might have in detail: Goodman Forums
27th December 2008, 03:30 AM
Sorry for not replying. I don't check on the older reviews like I should.
I ran it with five players. There were a few that were chancy and that last encounter is devastating if you're not ready for it.
I pulled out a lot of atmosphere from old Lankhmar novels and allowed the players to 'try' as much cool stuff as they wanted because I 'mixed' up things a lot.