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Goblin Cave (A second look)

Goblin Cave
From: PT Games, Inc.
Reviewed by: Butch Curry

Goblin Cave is a new D&D; 3rd Edition module from PT Games, Inc. Designed for beginning characters, Goblin Cave is even better suited for beginning DM’s as a guide on how to create a dungeon.

Some DM’s rely more heavily on modules than others. Some follow them to the letter, while others just use them as a skeleton, modifying the details a lot or a little to suit their own needs. Those who are new to the profession are more likely to need a starting-off point, or, if nothing else, a well done dungeon to serve as an example for them to build their own.

Goblin Cave is just such and adventure. Featuring a less-than-compelling title, it nonetheless servers as an excellent kick off to your game, as well as an introduction to PT Games “Continent of Terra” campaign setting.

The story is simple enough: a goblin raiding party has attacked the village of Erdas, kidnapping some of the townspeople. The characters must find the lair, defeat the evil creatures, and free the villagers. A nice touch here is that, when the characters arrive, the villagers are in an uproar, so the PC’s must quell the crowd with Diplomacy or some other means. I’ve always thought that one of the hallmarks of a well-designed adventure is to throw in the need for lesser-used spells, skills, magic items, or the like. Most characters will have only spent one or two skill points on Diplomacy if they purchased it at all, so if they use it only once every few gaming sessions they’ll likely consider those points well spent.

Once the characters begin to delve the depths of the cave, they’ll find mysteries wrapped in enigmas. I won’t spoil any of the surprises Goblin Cave has to offer, but suffice to say there are some clever twists and turns hidden within, more than enough to keep the characters coming back until they’ve completed their spelunking & slaughter.

The adventure has a fair variety of foes, mostly humanoids (obviously from the title), but with enough other types of nasties to keep things interesting, though one wonders how they managed to fit a couple of them down into the dungeon. Of course, if you’re going to start challenging the logic of things in D&D;, you might as well ask why a wizard can throw lightning from their fingers. There are enough creatures here to see your first level group well into fifth level or so, though you’ll need to calculate experience at the end of each dungeon level at the very least, if you want your players to survive the trip.

The module itself is well written, clear, easy to follow, well laid out, and overall professional in quality. The art throughout is well executed, and its nice to see a module with just enough artwork in it; too often it seems as though art is used as filler to pad out a weak module/book/etc., rather than to accentuate it. This is especially heinous when the art is bad, too, but this isn’t the case with Goblin Cave. The included maps are also simple and clear; the dungeon maps in particular are well done.

It’s also refreshing to see an adventure written for beginning characters, given the current popularity for ‘Epic Level’ games. Not everyone wants to play a 30th level Paladin, after all.

There’s not much to learn here about the continent of Terra campaign setting, just a few explanatory pages at the beginning of the module, and what little there is doesn’t really set it apart as a unique fantasy world. The adventure is, in fact, generic enough that it could be slotted easily into any campaign.

In conclusion,
Goblin Cave would be a great purchase for any rookie DM looking for a how-to on making an adventure, and making it well. More experienced gamers could even learn a thing or two. I give it an 8 out of 10.

For more details on PT Games and their new D&D; 3rd Edition module “Goblin Cave” check them out at their website http://www.ptgamesinc.com, and at all of your local game stores.

(Product Summary)

Goblin Cave
From: PT Games, Inc.
Type of Game: D&D; 3rd Edition module
Written by: Peter Donis
Cover Art by: Garry McKee
Additional Art by: Garry McKee
Number of Pages: 31, plus 4 maps
Retail Price:$ 5.00 (US)
Item Number:TA1
Website: http://www.ptgamesinc.com

Reviewed by: Butch Curry

Added: February 24th 2003
Reviewer: Butch Curry
Related Link: PT Games, Inc. Official Site
Hits: 1852
Language: eng


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