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Quest for Dragon Spire
Publisher: Gallant Knight Games
by Zackery H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2020 17:02:36

This adventure is a perfect starting adventure not only to get players introduced to Tiny Dungeon (or role playing in general), but is also perfect for new DM's. I've been playing table top role playing games since the late 90's, but for the last 10 years or so my play has been sporadic. After some interest from my wife and kids we decided to run a family RPG night. I haven't DM'd in quite some time so I was a bit rusty, but a quick read through of this PDF and I could see that everything was set up in an easy to understand way that would make it easy for me to be successful.

This adventure includes flavor text to read out loud to your players, and if you play as written it has a nice, easy set up which throws your players right into understanding the situation at hand, (there is a village suffering from a terrible miasma) and accepting a quest. There are several encounters early into the game which will give your players opportunities for combat (wolves in the forest), negotiating/coming up with a clever way through a situation (bandits in the forest), and thinking outside the box to overcome an obstacle (the flooded river). This is a perfect way to introduce new players to the concepts of role playing games.

Once you reach the village the local NPC's of note are described for the DM that can give your players further information about the miasma, get equipment to help your ascent of Dragon Spire, do a bit of shopping, and most importantly give a good opportunity for a new DM and player to hone their skill at role playing. This section however is the only part that I have a slight nitpick with - the first section, as I described earlier, did a great job with the included flavor text of setting up the encounter that really got things rolling. This section has flavor text which describes arriving in village, but has no further text to help set up any interactions. This is no problem for an experienced DM, but for somebody who has literally never ran an adventure before they may be left wondering what to do. This wouldn't be a problem if they had included some possible hints as to how to set something up, but there wasn't much of anything. The best advice it gave was that this section was intended to be player driven, but if your players are brand new they may not know what that means. I realized at this point as well that when the quest was given to the characters they were never given a name for somebody in the village to seek out. As stated earlier this section goes over who the NPC's in the village are, but this could be overwhelming for a new DM to think about how to have the players meet these folks if it's up to the players to drive this scene, and could be overwhelming for new players to figure out what they want to do. I personally had the Baron name drop the mayor in the beginning to plant the seed for my players that "I need to talk to the mayor". Overall this is really just a nitpick and not an issue if a new DM just puts some thought into it, but overall I think they did a great job at setting up every other section in this adventure for a new DM so this one kind of stood out to me as odd.

After spending time in the village and learning what they can from the villagers it's time to climb this mountain and end this terrible miasma! If they were able to get the location for the secret pass from Reda the players can gain advantage on their search for the pass, which is another good opportunity for characters to learn the mechanics of Tiny Dungeon. There are a couple more really nice interactions the characters can have on their way up the mountain. There is a section for the characters to be caught in a rock slide - another opportunity to gain advantage on a Test if they were able to get the climbing gear, and a great fight with a Gryphon. The Gryphon fight is a good learning opportunity for a DM and players to learn that fights aren't always to the death, and that NPC's and monsters can have motivation too - this Gryphon was just a mother protecting her clutch of eggs.

Finally the last section is finding out what is causing the miasma... A great Red Dragon!.... I know - I bet you would have never guessed there would be a dragon up on Dragon Spire right? This is a fun section that really lets your characters role play and problem solve. If they try to fight the dragon they will almost certainly die, if they try to steal his treasure horde this will enrage him and they will probably die, so they have to be clever to come up with a way to get the dragon to leave. I love the way this is set up in the rules mechanically - a character trying to convince the dragon to leave must be persuasive in their arguments, and must succeed on 3 Tests (somehow my son made all 3 in a row, with one being a critical success!). The text also does a good job at explaining to a new DM how to role play the dragon by describing his temperament, and how he might react to being awoken, and how to play up his growing frustration. This was a really fun section to play!

After the final conflict, the next section moves the characters, uneventfully, back to the castle. This I think is fine, but maybe there could have been an inclusion of interacting with the village after they get the dragon to leave, but not a knock by any means and if you play through this scenario straight through you've probably been playing for a couple hours and your players may be ready to end things. As the characters return triumphant the characters receive their reward, and the DM is given the suggestion to have the Baron ask the players if they would be willing to become agents of the kingdom. If they agree he names they Royal Agents of Calda. This was a nice touch, as the epilogue gives a few adventure hooks that the Baron could ask of the players next.

Overall at $1.99 this is an absolute steal, and I don't think you can go wrong with everything this offers for new players and DM's. My family and I had a blast playing through it, and it definitely made it easier for me to ease back into DM'ing. Don't miss this adventure - give this one a shot!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quest for Dragon Spire
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