A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Side Quests V: The Lair of Amzuulan the Sphinx

Side Quests V: The Lair of Amzuulan the Sphinx is a role playing game supplement published by Art of War Games, part of the Side Quests series of short adventures, although this is one of the longer, and therefore more expensive, ones. The PDF is available for $2 from RPGNow and lacks bookmarks. This being a slightly longer PDF, bookmarks would have been nice, but they aren’t essential. The supplement is covered by the Open Game License.

The PDF has seven pages, one page of which is the front cover, one page is the Open Game License and one page a black and white map of the titular lair. The only illustration is that on the colour cover.

Side Quests V: The Lair of Amzuulan the SphinxThe adventure opens with a brief overview of the nearby city of Egladon, its ruling structure and appearance, a couple of local events and the description of a tavern. The latter has descriptions of the innkeeper, a menu, a number of non-player characters and some rumours.

The lair of the sphinx itself takes up approximately three pages, and is a simple cavern complex containing a number of tests, after which players will meet the sphinx, who may give a powerful magic item of the GameMaster’s choice to good characters.

There are a number of spelling or grammatical errors, but not a huge number. A greater issue is the common problem with this publisher’s supplements of being unable to copy & paste or search the text. The various tests in the adventure require more than just combat skills to beat, and are more challenging.

The city of Egladon is not as useful as it could be. It’s quite substantial (population 66,000) and for a metropolis of this size the overview is extremely short and only a tavern in the city is described. It would probably be best to dump the city rather than try to flesh it out, and stick the tavern and lair somewhere else.

The supplement is described as being D&D 5E compatible, but it lacks true stats for any of items or encounters. These should be easy enough to obtain, and the supplement is, as a result, rather more system agnostic than system specific, so it should be usable with most fantasy systems.

Side Quests V: The Lair of Amzuulan the Sphinx is still a pretty decent supplement in the Side Quests range, although perhaps not as good value as some of the cheaper ones, given the problems with actually using the city in a game, which decreases its value. It should still provide a brief diversion, which is what it is intended to do, so click here to buy it.


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