A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Avalon Lairs, The Shining King of the Sewers

Avalon Lairs, The Shining King of the Sewers by Maria Smolina is a role playing game supplement published by the Avalon Game Company for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License with some parts being considered Open Game Content as a result. This is the first in a series of short adventures that can be used as side quests.

The supplement is available from RPGNow for $5.99 but was purchased at the greatly reduced price of $1. This is a seventeen page PDF which lacks bookmarks. One page is the cover, one page the front matter, one page the Open Game License and one page an ad for other supplements. The PDF comes in two versions, one being the standard, full colour version with page backgrounds and the other being a printer friendly version in black and white which lacks the backgrounds.

Avalon Lairs, The Shining King of the SewersThe first page of the adventure gives the background; there is a gang of wererat thieves lurking in the sewers who has been trying, fairly unsuccessfully, to build his power base. He has recruited and turned two young human female thieves and stolen some noble heirlooms, one of which is cursed and makes the wearer glow – not a useful thing to happen for a thief. There are also three different adventure hooks to tie the players in.

Next is a description of the general features of the sewer lair, followed by the various locations in the lair itself, along with a labelled map. Finally, the same map is repeated, unlabelled, for use by players, on the final page.

Avalon Lairs, The Shining King of the Sewers in Review

The PDF lacks bookmarks but they are not truly needed for one of this length. The supplement switches between a two column and a single column layout; most of the room descriptions are two column whilst the NPC stats are single column. There are several pieces of filler art, a colour illustration of what is presumably the chief wererat and the lair maps, neither of which is gridded, which is a bit unfortunate.

The biggest problem, and one that is very common in Avalon products, is the quality of the proofreading – it’s terrible. Missing words (mostly fillers such as ‘the’), awkward use of English and incorrect use of singular and plural words abound, far too many for such a short supplement and typically many on a single page. In fact, it doesn’t appear to have been proofread at all. The layout is also a bit odd.

The adventure itself has a number of useful hooks to draw players in, and there might be a potential area for developing some matters further. The lair is interesting and could prove a useful side quest for an urban adventure or campaign. However, at the full price of $5.99 this is really very expensive for the quality of the production and the adventure’s length. At a reduced price this adventure is worth getting; at its full price, not so much. Avalon Lairs, The Shining King of the Sewers can be found by clicking here.


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