So Barrowmaze II has been released, and since I supported it on Indiegogo I was able to download a copy. I’m pretty stoked.
First, let me recommend it as a classic old-school megadungeon. If you’re into that kind of thing, then you’ll love this module. Thumbs up.
Second, I’m happy to report that it is an excellent complement to Barrowmaze I and meshes well with the earlier module – without requiring ret-conning or revision. (This is important to me, as I am currently running a group through the Barrowmaze.) In fact, Barrowmaze II expands on a number of factions presented in the earlier module in a fashion that makes them much more believable to me. I don’t want to give too many spoilers about the content (since I’m running the adventure), so I’ll just say I also like the references and nods to classic dungeoncrawls of the past.
Not only that, but it’s playable. There’s a metric tonne of adventure here, with an open sandbox available to players. And for groups who struggle with open-ended sessions, there’s enough hooks for an “epic quest” to support an ‘adventure path’ approach.
However, since I’m a pessimist at heart I’m going to point out some issues too. The Indiegogo campaign resulted in an illustration booklet for both Barrowmaze I and Barrowmaze II. That’s awesome, but I’m surprised at the retail price (over $16 CAD apiece). I don’t know much about the economics of graphic illustration – that might just be how much it costs for the artists – but it’s above my threshold for auto-purchase. Ditto for the maps, which are priced above $19 CAD, and I’m not impressed with the way the map in the module has been split between 12 pages. (That said, the adventure itself is worth every penny of its $19+ CAD price.)
Barrowmaze I is also being re-issued with some ‘enhancements’. I’m interested to see what changes have been implemented, and may write a post once I’ve had a read-through.
I’ll have to make some changes to fit my personal wahoo post-apocalyptic science/fantasy setting, but I do intend on making the Barrowmaze a centrepiece of my campaign.
Kudos to Greg Gillespie, and congratulations on your success!