I've finally got around to writing a review of The Maze of Nuromen and,
again, wanted to share it first here for feedback before posting it to
The Maze of Nuromen is a short, introductory adventure module for use
with the BLUEHOLME Prentice Rules. Just as the BLUEHOLME rules are a
retroclone of the Holmes edition of D&D, “The Maze of Nuromen” is
meant to evoke the sample dungeon from the Holmes edition, without being
a direct copy of it. In this the module succeeds greatly. The map of
level 1 of this dungeon is reminiscent of the layout of the sample
dungeon. The background to both are similar, as is the geography above
Like any good sample dungeon, there is a good variety of combats,
tricks, hidden treasures, and things to do. There’s a stolen item to
retrieve, a useful password to look for, and even a riddle to answer.
For an Old School module, there seems to be a dearth of traps here.
There’s also very little opportunity here for role-playing. We know what
the elves are up to, but the bandits and goblins have no reason for
being here, nothing to learn from talking to them.
Many of the old D&D basic modules for levels 1-3 assumed you were
starting with a party of 1st level characters and would level up 1-2
times in the course of play. This adventure is probably too dangerous
for that unless the players go in with a large party, bolstered with
hirelings, or with a smaller party containing at least one 3rd level
The artwork is too grisly and unpleasant for my liking. Others may find that very appropriate for the sort of games they run.
My last minor complaint is that I feel an opportunity was missed here.
It would have been nice had there been at least some hint as to how to
combine the Holmes sample dungeon level into this dungeon to make a
deluxe, 3-level dungeon.
All minor complaints aside, it IS a pretty solid adventure, very Old
School, highlighting its simplified style with one-line stats for almost
every encounter. With 25 rooms on 2 levels, there is plenty enough here
to do for multiple game sessions.
Up front, I want to say I bought the City of the Gods eBook hoping for
more of a gazetteer-type book. I wanted a big map of the whole city and
block-by-block descriptions of what I would find there. That’s what I
was hoping for. What I got was an Expedition to Castle Greyhawk-style
adventure module that uses a plot to railroad you along just a selective
path through an expansive setting.
Now, that’s not necessarily bad. I really enjoyed Expedition to Castle
Greyhawk, but that was because I already had several other Castle
Greyhawk-related titles to help me fill in the blanks. In this case, I
was going into City of the Gods blind, as it were.
So I guess the real question is, did I learn enough about the City of
the Gods to make this a worthwhile purchase? Of its impressive 108-page
page count, I got 5 pages of introduction, a whopping 48-page
wilderness adventure taking place in the Valley of the Ancients around
the City of the Gods, and 33 pages on the City itself. Some of the
stuff inside is neat, like the table of effects of mixing magic and
science, the list of mutations from radiation, and the table of
laboratory specimens, but already having S3 Expedition to the Barrier
Peaks and DA2 Temple of the Frog, a lot of this felt like déjà vu to me.
In the appendices, there are 11 pages of new monsters. Most of them did
not excite me, but the fire nymph might fill a niche outside this
particular environ and the thermal godmite is impressively spectacular.
There are 4 pages on new equipment, half of which is pretty neat
hi-tech gear treated as magic items (which is very Blackmoor-ish), but
some of it seems weirdly out-of-place, like elven bucklers.
The maps are pedestrian. Most of the art is good, but some images are
inappropriately full-page, seemingly just to fill up space. I highly
recommend this book – BUT, only for someone who doesn’t already have
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks or any of the DA module series. For
owners of those products, this purchase is entirely optional.