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Purple Mountain II: Ruins of the Dwarven Delve (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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"Purple Mountain II: Ruins of the Dwarven Delve" is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible module designed for four 2nd-level characters that uses the medium XP advancement track. Play it in any campaign setting with a mountain-based megadungeon, or as a stand-alone dungeon with a mega-dungeon feel. Included are guidelines for linking it to "Purple Mountain I: Temple of the Locust Lord" as well as for introducing this level on its own, a new undead, and multiple NPCs.

"Purple Mountain II: Ruins of the Dwarven Delve" throws your party into a ruined dwarven settlement haunted by the restless dead, insidious fungi, sadistic fey, and more. Devious mechanisms bar the way and the delve's strange, feuding inhabitants loom on all sides while the party search for the valuable secrets of the ruins.

The Purple Mountain series is designed to be a classic mega-dungeon. You know the kind... It doesn't have a grand plot or even a consistent theme level to level. Instead, it has pathways to the subterranean realms, prisons for demons, ancient ruins, lost civilizations, legendary weapons, mysterious magic, mines, slave pits, elemental nodes, water-filled passages, mazes, trick doors, traps, haunted levels, classic monsters (ropers, trapper, mimics, otyughs [especially otyughs], owlbears), dragons, monsters too big to have ever fit down those hallways, and artifacts!

A classic mega-dungeon with everything wrong and right about it!

Page Count: 28 pages
Author: David Nicholas Ross

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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The descent through the purple mountain continues with curious dungeoneering.

****( )

Ruins of the Dwarven Delve marks part II of Purple Duck Games' dungeoneering through their labyrinthine lair: the Purple Mountain; serving as either a standalone romp or the awaited continuation of the Temple of the Locust Lord, this time the torch has been taken up by David Nicholas Ross as the megadungeon continues. Grab your haversacks and ten foot poles and let's take a trip beneath the surface to see how the dungeon fares!

We open up with a bit of back-story about the Delve, which serves as the second level to the mountain; dwarven settlers seeking fortune were foiled by yellow musk creepers and gremlin jinkins--the pair of which prove to be the primary menaces lurking within the dungeon. After an adventure overview and recaps including likely avenues which may have brought adventurers to the location, we get a collection of quest objectives to entice and reward heroes and heroines making the delve.

As with the first Purple Mountain installment, we're provided with sections for Standard Features and Dungeon Populations to help with descriptive prep and dungeoneering flow; I'm fond of how Purple Duck Games handles presentation in these segments, particularly for prospective DMs new at the table. Then we've got a breakdown of the random encounters on this level of the dungeon and with that, we're off and running!

Through the Ruins of the Dwarven Delve, each room gets a nice clip of flavored box text (which may seem a minor thing, but having such present persistently is nice just the same.) Creatures, traps and treasure are offered up accessibly and PDG is very thorough about documentation and references--so it's easy to track down appropriate resources and when utilizing the PDF for dungeoneering there's even ample active links, which is another nice touch.

Down to the dungeon itself, as mentioned much of the encounters shake down between the yellow musk's remnants, reside and zombies and the jinkins--with extensive booby-traps in between; there are a few outliers such as an otyugh (it's PDG, how could there not be!) a poltergeist and a blindbraun--a new undead monster provided in detail at the rear of the product. Generally, it's the traps which are liable to prove the most dangerous component of the delve--especially if a party of adventurers isn't properly prepared for such of cautious in their exploration.

While overall the encounters are fairly straightforward--and the heavy dosage of traps may prove frustrating for some parties depending on their composition--there are still some fairly entertaining set pieces to be found here. The waterworks room in particular is inventive, with jinkins utilizing a combination of pumps and steam jets in their maneuvering and the prevalent jinkin-cursed water itself is a keen element with its random effects; there's even a riddle to solve, which is always a welcome change of pace.

Following the rooms of the dungeon the adventure closes out with appendices for unique enemies, the new blindbraun and a section with all of the dungeon denizen stat blocks collected for quick reference. Finally, we close out with a record of the experience and noteworthy treasure available throughout the dungeon which I found to be a particularly nice, helpful touch for DM prep and reviewing any tweaks or changes to suit for a given party.

Overall: Purple Mountain II - Ruins of the Dwarven Delve is 28 pages long with the cover, credits, OGL and catalogue occupying 6 pages--leaving us 22 for the dungeon and its dressing. While there may not be a fight as memorable as the Worm that Walks from the first floor, the second level of the Purple Mountain is nevertheless solidly put together and still avoids over-used adversaries for relatively low-level adventuring parties to tangle with.

Due to the trap-heavy nature of the delve, some party compositions may have heightened difficulty making an expedition through these environs--which in turn may make the endeavor a much longer one than most as well. I'd have liked to have seen a bigger finale, but there's still certainly fun fights to be found just the same and by and large the traps are fairly neat as well (looking again to the waterworks room in particular for staging.)

Something which bears particular note is the treasure present in the delve, much like the monster menagerie, boasts some unconventional goodies to be discovered by dungeoneering adventurers; a glowing glove and a cowardly crouching cloak are among the finds, for example. Having a new monster included in the mix was a nice perk as well, as this is a fine element to ensure both new and experienced adventurers find something unexpected to face and puzzle out.

In closing, I liked Ruins of the Dwarven Delve--it's just tough to beat the first floor's finale; what we have here is solid, if potentially tough, with some interesting encounters, trials and treasures for low-level adventurers to enjoy. I'll settle on four stars for this one, and look forward to the next delve to come!


Solid, trap-heavy crawl that can stand alone

****( )

The second level of PDG's old-school dungeon delve in the purple mountain is 28 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages SRD/advertisement, leaving 22 pages of content, including one page map, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right!

Having jumped in the meat grinder/waste disposal shaft in the temple of the vermin lord and being received enthusiastically by a hungry, young otyugh, the PCs enter what once was a nice little Dwarven colony - unfortunately for the PCs, emphasis lies on the "was" - the colony was wiped by a twofold threat - an assault of yellow musk creepers and plant horrors like violet fungi and jinkins, a subtype of troublemaking gremlin.
Three sample hooks are given if you don't plan on running Purple Mountain as a dungeon delving campaign (or if you do and want further enticement to lure the PCs deeper...) and two sample booby traps to spring on PCs as well as a random encounter table is provided for - and you'll be using these, for the dungeon is presented as an organic sandbox, often providing guidelines for reactions of the respective faction to incursions like the setting of new traps and the like.

Due to the jinkin's propensity for traps, rogues are going to have a lot to do on this level, as will rangers and druids, who'll have an adversary in the leader of the plant monsters -a recently arrived troglodyte druid, who makes for one of the two bosses of the level, with the other one being the jinkin sorceror who leads the little pests. It should also be noted that a nice d12-table for jinkin-cursed water is given as well as a total of 8 additional traps, not including aforementioned modular traps. Full stats for a fungal leshy, slurks, jinkins, the NPCs, the poltergeist and the blind undead dwarven Blindbraun that guards the broken lift are provided as well as a nice b/w-map of the level.

Have I mentioned e.g. a superheated door that should prove to be rather interesting?

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches while reading this pdf. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column full-color standard and provides some nice full-color artworks of the NPCs and some monsters. The b/w-cartography is nice, though I would have liked a player-friendly version of the map sans traps etc. to cut up and hand out to the players as they go. The pdf comes with one bookmark only, which leads me to assume that something went wrong there. The pdf is also hyperlinked to the Grand OGL Wiki, if you're using it on a laptop or tablet. Generally, I liked this exploration of the second level of the Purple Mountian - the locations are flavorful, the traps neat and mostly logical and the creatures make for a dynamic dungeon in the hands of a capable DM. However, Dms should be aware that without someone to find traps, there'll be pain galore here for the PCs. The creatures and Npcs are unconventional, the design per se solid, and thus I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars - a nice dungeon level that could be used as a stand-alone somewhat hampered by the fact that the two bosses are not too exciting and the fact that the bookmarks are messed up and that there's no player-friendly map.

Endzeitgeist out.


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