Dragon 187 - Andok Sur: An adventure locale for characters of levels 3-8

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Dungeon 187
Andok Sur - An adventure locale for characters of levels 3-8

by Bill Slavicsek

Beyond Thunderspire Mountain, the necropolis of Andok Sur rests in eternal slumber.

Talk about this Article here.




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On the one hand, this sounds like what Steve was talking about in terms of presenting a greater variety of 'adventures' - instead of a story-driven narrative, we have an adventure locale that gives more of a sandbox environment for players to explore.

I applaud the theory, even as I am vastly disappointed in the execution - since instead of a full-fledged environment, we have barely 2 pages of background plus 2 encounters - one of which is just some random undead.

And the thing is, it wouldn't take much to flesh this out into a more complete adventure site. Look at the sort of thing done with Hammerfast, and Vor Rukoth - you can add in various locations throughout the necropolis, each with a single paragraph, and maybe a few monsters listed as possible encounters. Without having to stat out those entire encounters, you can fill out a great many more options for the players to explore, letting this feel like a complete place. Making it feel like a legitimate adventure site, rather than just a delve - and barely even that, with only two encounters.

I mean, I like the background of the place, but this article definitely leaves me wanting more. 10 pages - most of which is stat blocks - does not an adventure make.
Yeah, this seems sort of...lackluster. The place seems to have alot of potential, but this article definitely falls short of it.

While the Duergar article made me interested about a monster that I never cared about before. This article generally made me uninterested in the locale. I was hoping to steal some ideas for the somewhat necropolis like city my party was about to venture in to, but it seems I'll have to look elsewhere for ideas.

Im guessing the monsters on the tittle page are the 'plague demons'.
There is a massive typo in the article.

It says "Athas". It also says "equally well suited".

Practically no part of this adventure works in the Dark Sun campaign setting:


  • None of the locations mentioned in History are Athasian or remotely Athasian. You basically need to dump everything.

  • Orcus?

  • Raven Queen????

  • Abyssal Plague?

  • Heavy iron doors? (We found priceless treasure, let's get out of here and retire...)

  • Green dragon?


Now, I know. This is a fun adventure and you could convert it to Athas. But that is true of just about any adventure. Dungeon should not label an adventure as "equally well suited" for Athas when it isn't. This works fine in any campaign setting where metal is prevalent, Orcus and the Raven Queen exist, the Abyssal Plague is present, and you can fit the Nentir Vale. Athas is not such a setting!

That aside, I really did like the article. The setting and tone were particularly enjoyable. I liked the skull pile / blue field and the encounter parameters.

Edit: On the other topics raised above, I agree that the piece leaves me wanting more in terms of encounter ideas, but I see this as part of the tool kit. I can take this cool premise, these two encounters, and add more. It is basically an adventure seed article. If I were running a home campaign I would be tempted to put this premise into my campaign and add some encounters from different chaos star adventures or other Dungeon adventures.

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Dissapointed for it to be so very interesting.... yet so very little to it.
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About a month ago I finished reading Mark of Nerath. As my 4th edition game takes place in the Nentir Vale AND is heavy on Orcus' influence, I wrote Andok Sur into the story as a waystation to something else down the road for my table's PC's.
So you can guess that I was thrilled when I saw that Andok Sur was to appear in Dungeon this month.
After reading the article I have to admit that it was a bit ...meh.

I like the 'inside scoop' on the Abysal Plague. I won't use it, but I like knowing a little more about it.
I like the Plague monster's stats, the ghostlight 'hazard', and the additional background on the necropolis itself. All-in all, not bad encounters.

It really would have liked to see either 1.) an actual adventure or 2.) a few more encounters, like the supplemental article for Thunderspire Labyrith that appeared a long while back in Dungeon.

I'll give this a 7.0 out of 10
The maps in Andok Sur are practically unbuildable by most DMs. They require four copies of tiles from DT1 and DT3—now long of print. Those tiles are not reprinted in Master Set: The Dungeon. What gives? Wasn't the point of the Master Set to allow DMs to have a reliable core of tiles for building out encounter areas in WotC-published adventures?
yeah interesting and everything but.... 2 encounters? really?

Tsk.

also a BIG QUOTE on the Athas suitability... Big iron door, yay! let's take them and fuse them!

C'monn Wizzy, you're better than this.
======================================= I Apologize For My Bad English =======================================
And the thing is, it wouldn't take much to flesh this out into a more complete adventure site. Look at the sort of thing done with Hammerfast, and Vor Rukoth - you can add in various locations throughout the necropolis, each with a single paragraph, and maybe a few monsters listed as possible encounters. Without having to stat out those entire encounters, you can fill out a great many more options for the players to explore, letting this feel like a complete place. Making it feel like a legitimate adventure site, rather than just a delve - and barely even that, with only two encounters.



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The maps in Andok Sur are practically unbuildable by most DMs. They require four copies of tiles from DT1 and DT3—now long of print. Those tiles are not reprinted in Master Set: The Dungeon. What gives? Wasn't the point of the Master Set to allow DMs to have a reliable core of tiles for building out encounter areas in WotC-published adventures?



Oddly enough, the old dungeon tiler program WoTC used to host on their site had DT1-DT3 in it, and was downloadable with all the tiles being pngs. So i was actually able to build this in maptool.

Not that it helps the vast majority of people.
I liked the article for what it is. An Adventure locale. Something that i can pull out anywhere in a campaign as a ready set of encounters, in a Necropolis, Crypt etc...

I appreciated the look on the Abyssal Plague and will use it for sure.

 


 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

The maps in Andok Sur are practically unbuildable by most DMs. They require four copies of tiles from DT1 and DT3—now long of print. Those tiles are not reprinted in Master Set: The Dungeon. What gives? Wasn't the point of the Master Set to allow DMs to have a reliable core of tiles for building out encounter areas in WotC-published adventures?



Oddly enough, the old dungeon tiler program WoTC used to host on their site had DT1-DT3 in it, and was downloadable with all the tiles being pngs. So i was actually able to build this in maptool.

Not that it helps the vast majority of people.


You can use PyMapper, an excellent program that provides a digital way to make maps. If you keep an eye on various online sites you can often find tiles for their original price or thereabouts, but it takes constant watching. The first set, however, seems to always be only available at absurd prices. For the maps in this adventure I think it is just fine to use other tile sets for the unavailable pieces.

Follow my blog and Twitter feed with Dark Sun campaign design and DM tips!
Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).