Free Role Playing Game Supplement Review: WB1 Golden Eye of the Kobold King

WB1 Golden Eye of the Kobold King by Steven A. Cook is a role playing game supplement published by Hogtown Games for use with Swords & Wizardry. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License with some of it being considered Open Game Content as a result. This is a short adventure for 6-10 characters of levels 1-2 and is suggested as being suitable for convention or game store play or as a drop in module for a campaign.

The PDF is available for free from RPGNow and it is also available as a softcover print on demand book for $2.99. The PDF is the versions reviewed. There are four different PDFs in the module. One is two pages of covers, one is a single cover in colour and one is a single page map of the cave. The main module is 34 pages long, with one page being front matter, one the Table of Contents and some explanatory material, two pages being the Open Game License and one page being blank and marked Referee Notes.

WB1 Golden Eye of the Kobold KingThe Introduction is a single page which explains how to read the module. Next is two pages of Adventure Background, suggestions as to how to involve the players and a d10 table of rumours. The adventure has the characters going to a cavern occupied by kobolds (the older, more doglike goblinoid version, rather than the newer, draconic type) who kidnap villagers from the area and sacrifice them to their slug. The cave system is also the tomb of an undead alien priest.

Running the Adventure discusses the alien mystery, described as adding a weird science-fantasy edge but not really covered in great depth, and how to handle kobold tactics.

Wilderness Encounters is another two pages. This has a 1 mile per hex hex map of the area, although the only definite encounter is the actual kobold caves, the Dread Caves of Doom. There is a d6 table of random encounters.

The adventure itself is The Dread Caves of Doom. There are descriptions of standard cave features, a map of the caves and then descriptions of the encounter areas themselves.

Appendix A: Collected Monster Stats & NPC Profiles has the stats for all the encountered monsters, two d20 tables of random kobold personality and physical traits and the descriptions of the major NPCS.

Appendix B: Monsters has two new monsters, one of which comes in two types, and three sample diseases.

Appendix C: Magic Items has three new magical items, including the titular Golden Eye, which the kobold king uses; a cursed item with random powers.

The PDF lacks bookmarks but has a decent table of contents. Navigation is as a result okay but it could be better.

The text maintains a single column format and no errors were noticed. There are a number of black and white illustrations, up to a full page in size, that are modified stock. Presentation is okay.

The wilderness part of the adventure seems a bit underdeveloped. It’s a hex crawl of types, but one with only random encounters. It could perhaps be fleshed out a bit more.

The kobold part of the adventure has the potential to be dangerous, if players are overconfident and make a full frontal assault. In such a case, the various described kobold tactics could easily be their undoing. There are also a few other ways in which overconfidence could be the downfall of characters. As such, this adventure isn’t a simple destruction of low-level cannon fodder, but instead needs players to think.

There are a few things that are left deliberately undeveloped, with regards to the alien priest. These could be fleshed out by a GM, or simply left as a puzzling item.

WB1 Golden Eye of the Kobold King is a decent low level adventure and can be downloaded for free by clicking here.


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