A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Subterranean Enclave: Mith’Varal

Subterranean Enclave: Mith’Varal by Brian Wiborg Mønster is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content as a result. This is one in a series of supplements covering underground villages; this particular entry is a dwarven settlement built around a mine.

This is a ten page bookmarked PDF which is available from RPGNow for $2.45 but which was purchased as part of a special bundle for only $0.21. The PDF comes in two versions, one optimised for print and desktop and the other for screen and mobile.

Subterranean Enclave: Mith'VaralTwo pages are Raging swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, another page is similar to these, one page is the front matter, Contents and Stat Blocks by CR and one page is the Open Game License.

Mith’Varal At A Glance is two pages and starts with an overview of the settlement’s history and current situation. Founded by dwarven settlers from the kingdom of Thandrur next to an underground river leading into the underground sea, the place is a mining village founded by a mithril mine – the name means “Mithril Mine” in Dwarven. Once the mithril ran out, problems arose, the settlement lost its reason to exist, the ruler cracked down harshly and now things are deteriorating. The thegn (ruler) keeps miners looking for mithril whilst a rebellious movement searches for mithril elsewhere, in the hopes of deposing the thegn. The settlement’s marketplace, demographics, notable NPCs and locations, lore and whispers & rumours are covered, and there is a map of the settlement. This section is in the free GM’s Monthly Miscellany: August 2014.

Notable Locations is another two pages and covers the nine locations from the previous section in more detail. This includes an old temple with paintings that can only be seen with darkvision, and some ancient ruins the settlement was built near.

The final page is Life in Mith’Varal, which covers law & order, trade & industry (these days iron and steel mining and tools) and a d6 table of random events. There is also a stat block for the captain of the guard.

Subterranean Enclave: Mith’Varal in Review

The PDF is well bookmarked with all the major and minor sections linked; only the stat block is not. The Contents only covers the major sections but is also hyperlinked. Navigation is therefore above average for a small supplement.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. Bar the map, there are only a couple of pieces of black and white stock art. Presentation is therefore decent.

Mith’Varal has quite a lot of internal turmoil. Although everyone there wants to mine, there is nothing to mine, and it’s causing tension. The thegn is losing his grip and the crackdown by the guard led to resentment against them, as well as several dwarven deaths. The place is essentially a powder keg, and whoever manages to find mithril first, government or rebels, is going to come out on top. As an aside, there are also the ancient ruins, which could be developed by a GM in more detail as an adventure location.

Subterranean Enclave: Mith’Varal is an interesting, and fairly unusual, underground location, and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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