Something Below is the first module in the Dark Spiral Quintet from World Works Games.
I really liked running this module for my gaming group. This was my groups 2nd adventure for their characters, so they were very low level.
The module comes with a well written adventure and cardstock terrain that can be printed out and assembled but it is not required. I did not have enough time to finish all the pieces for the adventure, but I ran it anyway using my trusty vinyl grid map and transparency pens. It ran just fine without the props. The props would have made it more fun and detailed, but my group enjoyed it just the same.
The adventure is laid out very well. It starts with the pre made characters and they are excellent. It is rare to see so much detail on pre-generated characters. The fluff created for the backgrounds of the characters is done very well. It definitely would help any new players who are not used to coming up with fluff on their own.
The fluff is great, but all of the pre-generated characters are 3rd level, so that gave me an indication that the adventure was going to be tough for a 1st level party. And I was right. I'm sure that the 3rd level characters would not have to spend days clearing out the dungeon. A cleric or magical weapons are necessary for this adventure since one of the creatures encountered is incorperial and undead. Since the party I ran the adventure for was only first level and subsequently had no magic items (or a cleric for that matter), I had to remove the creature and substitute it with another. (But that is what a good DM does.)
The layout of the module and the writing are very well done. The only item I did not like is the hit points for the creatures were the only stat listed in the encounters. The stats for the creatures are not listed with the encounters, but instead are listed in an index at the end of the adventure. This lead to having too many pieces of paper to deal with instead of having it all on one sheet. I'm sure this is to save paper (by saving space) but the extra sheet or three would have been nicer than having to refer to the index sheet too.
The environment for the module is very believable. It takes place in a mine and the players know from the layout that it is a mine. "The Idylls of the Rat King" by Goodman Gamestakes place in a mine, but it is more like a dungeon than a mine. In Something Below there are cart tracks every where, while in "The Idylls of the Rat King" there only one section that has cart tracks, the rest of the place is "worked Stone". So by comparison, Something Below has a very well thought out environment that is very believable by the players and there is no doubt to the environment.
The price point of the module might be considered high, but with the high quality terrain included with purchase makes the price seem small. The card stock terrain can be used with other adventures or wargamming so it is well worth the price.
I am extremely satisfied with my purchase and I highly recommend it to others.