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Forbidden Lands: Crypt of the Mellified Mage €9,16
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Forbidden Lands: Crypt of the Mellified Mage
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Forbidden Lands: Crypt of the Mellified Mage
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2023 10:30:55

Crypt of the Mellified Mage

The Crypt of the Mellified Mage book is not just about the location of the same name but presents four self-contained adventure locations that can be incorporated into an ongoing campaign for Forbidden Lands.

The Crypt of the Mellified Mage is a typical dungeon that, as the tomb of a notorious healer, is either a place specifically sought by player characters or some location they find by accident. With 35 rooms filled with traps, puzzles, and secrets, it's all about the former healer, bees, and honey - and the mage's background and secrets. The characters can find some treasures while exploring, deal with bees and undead, but also unleash things that should rather be left alone.

With The Firing Pit of Llao-Yutuy, the book offers another dungeon, this time a pottery workshop run by a master of his art, revealing its sinister secrets in the process. Various paths lead to this dungeon, but escape can be more difficult. Unsurprisingly, characters will encounter golems here (in very unusual varieties), stumble upon the secrets of pottery-making, and perhaps capture some interesting artifacts.

The Temple of the Six-Limbed Lord, which presents itself as a village, completely turns the game world upside down. The intelligent monkeys that have invaded the player characters' world with their temple not only cause chaos, but also have ambitious plans of conquest that the player characters can oppose. The different priests leading the monkeys offer not only unusual characters but also interesting potential opponents.

Finally, The Dream-Cloud of E'lok Thir introduces another bizarre dungeon, as this dream world is the remnant of a powerful mage's mind. In this dream world, the characters can interact with fragments of his shattered self. Unlike the other dungeons, there is no fixed map or clear room descriptions here, but a very dynamic setting that can also be shaped by the players.

All four locations bring very unusual settings to the game, but their atmosphere and content seem at odds with the main campaign. The Crypt of the Mellified Mage and The Firing Pit of Llao-Yutuy are typical dungeons that invite looting by the characters and offer little other interaction or backstory integrated into the greater setting. The Temple of the Six-Limbed Lord already offers a larger and more flexible story arc. Still, the invasion of the monkey priests is a bizarre setting that also presents itself somewhat ironically and will probably not fit thematically in many campaigns. The Dream-Cloud of E'Lok Thir, on the other hand, presents a fascinating idea and thus a dreamlike (or nightmarish) setting, which, however, demands some adjustments and imagination from the game master. All locations have in common that they have no strong relation to the game world of Forbidden Lands and, therefore, in my opinion, do not fit well into the campaign. In addition, they focus strongly on the typical dungeon exploration theme.

If you are looking for very unusual locations for your Forbidden Lands campaign, The Crypt of the Mellified Mage offers four well-developed and exciting locations. From my perspective, however, some locations are a bit too unusual and do not really fit into the setting and background of the Forbidden Lands. For me, these locations were too unusual and could not excite me as much as The Spire of Quetzel.

(Björn Lippold)

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Forbidden Lands: Crypt of the Mellified Mage
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2021 15:35:48

Unlike the uniformly excellent Spire of Quetzel, I found the adventures in this collection lacking, which was frustrating given their interesting concepts. I was really prepared to love the Crypt of the Mellified Mage but found myself frustrated by a map that doesn't match the text in half a dozen or more places. Also, its Events section is a simple list of encounters rather than the handful of plot ideas that other Forbidden Lands adventure sites offer. The second site, the Firing Pit of Llao-Yutuy, suffers the same sort of issues, except that this map has several locations misnumbered or unnumbered. The main issue is that the usual Events section does a lot to explain the agendas of the characters within and turn simple description into plot. Without that, the site is lifeless. Between that lack of guidance and the poor maps, these two sites aren't terribly usable. Temple of the Six-Limbed Lord, on the other hand, has a proper Events section and a functional map but suffers a bit from just being goofy. The site and its characters seem less like people and more like a series of jokes overstaying their welcome. I can't see myself seriously using this site in a campaign, which is a shame because there are some good ideas here and it is ambitious. The last "site" is more a toolkit to build your own dream-realm populated by aspects of a dead mage. There is no map (but locations are listed), the mage in question is meant to be designed by the gamemaster with the help of a series of tables, and the events and locations are mostly just a series of roleplaying prompts and suggestions. While I appreciate what the author is trying to do, I really would have preferred a pre-built scenario with details already supplied. The core books provide plenty of material for me to build my own sites, I bought this book to get places I could drop into a game with a minimum of work. Overall, I was disappointed. Most of the material I've purchased for Forbidden Lands has been top notch and this just isn't up to that standard.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
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