Game: Looking Glass Deep
Publisher: Malhavoc Press
Review Dated: 12th, December 2005
Reviewer’s Rating: 6/10 [ On the ball ]
Total Score: 6
Average Score: 6.00
Looking Glass Deep is a free d20 adventure for four 4th-level characters, written by Mike Mearls, from Malhavoc Press. It is available for download at DriveThruRPG.com.
Please be aware that this review contains SPOILERS.
This short module (12 pages, including 2 for ads and one a half for the d20 license) is basically a dungeon crawl, where the players explore an old wizard’s hideout, now occupied by a large gang of hobgoblins.
The scenario revolves around a magic artifact that rests inside one of the chambers: a throne that allows any one sitting on it to hear, see and cast magic into the other rooms of the complex, which is what the hobgoblin leader does. Not the most original or outstanding idea for an adventure, but it provides for an interesting and challenging dungeon.
I’ll rate the product based on four elements: premise, plot, characters and style.
The premise of the adventure is its weakest part. The author gives some ideas to justify the players’ raid into the hideout, but as the most important treasure, the throne itself, is useless outside it, they might feel disappointed. I give 3 points out of 10.
The plot that would arise when running the adventure may be interesting, with the players looting the dungeon while the hobgoblins, led by their all-seeing master, try to corner them. 8 points.
For a scenario of this length, there is a lot of interesting characters: an ogre that is reluctant to fight, a priest and his two fanatic followers and a water elemental that attacks both friends and foes. The gang leader, however, could have been portrayed with more depth, given his main role in the adventure. 7 points.
The writing is clear and simple, which allows packing a lot of information in barely 9 pages. However, the NPC stat blocks are difficult to read.
Layout is simple and functional, which is what layout should be. Art is scarce, just one picture of average quality. The dungeon map is good, although it could be a little larger. I’ll give 6 points for style.
So, the average rating is 6.
In summary, a free, short adventure worth the download. If dungeon crawls are not your cup of tea, you may skip this one. Otherwise, try it!