The D&D Dad blog reviews Troll Trouble by Gary Whicker!
Just for kicks, the boys (aka Drew and Mitch) and I played some D&D while we were at the beach, and the adventure we played was “Troll Trouble” by Gary Whicker. We all rolled up new Level 1 characters, and I ran a character along with doing my DM duties, and we finished the quest in two session, about 6 hours total, I’d say.
It was another fun, classic-feeling one-shot (two-shot?) adventure (see my spoilerific Adventure Report for details). This adventure is aimed at characters level 1 or 2.
Overview of the Adventure
There’s been some trouble in Ravendale. Crops are failing, and much-needed supplies are not making it through to town. Disaster is close to touching everyone in Ravendale.
There’s some nice role-playing at the tavern in town to set up the adventure, and the goal of the quest is very noble and compelling. Also, I like how the adventure rewards player who don’t just stab and kill monsters without a second thought — it’s great for showing younger players the benefits of making deals and simply talking to the creatures they encounter.
There are some seriously weird creatures and malevolent stuff going on once you get to the dungeon, and my players LOVED that. There are some nice challenges throughout the dungeon, and the final room has a cool, puzzle-like aspect that had my players working hard together to save the missing person.
I had a slight sense of disappointment that the dungeon itself wasn’t a little bigger. I think one or two more rooms, with another puzzle and an encounter, would’ve fleshed things out a bit more, and built up the sense of suspense.
Tips for Running the Adventure
Really play up the plight of the villagers in Ravendale to get the players psyched to get to the dungeon faster.
Also, remind players that not every encounter with a monster or other people has to end in blood. There are many ways to deal with the other creatures in the world, if you slow down long enough to find out what they need or want.
We also had fun with the guards outside the dungeon and sneaking up on them. Play up the level of danger throughout the dungeon, and see how good your characters are at being sneaky (aka Stealth).
This was yet another fun adventure from the DMs Guild that made me feel like I was playing D&D in 1981. My sons and I had fun trying to get through this dungeon in one piece, and the level of difficulty felt just right, even though there were only three of us Player Characters taking on those goblins. My only complaint was that the dungeon felt a little bit too small, but that’s just nitpicks, really.
Grade: A sturdy A-
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