By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Tricky Owlbear Publishing is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1/2 a paged editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 14 1/2 pages of content, so what exactly do we get?
“The Favored of Skexxiz” is essentially a low-level adventure that can be completed in one session. The PCs venture into a small dungeon-complex to stamp out the troglodyte-tribe that has been harassing the surface world with heir rather advanced tactics. Troglodytes and advanced tactics? Yep, as the tribe has prospered under the leadership of their cleric, a devoted agent of a god of stealth and trickery, the troglodytes are not your standard tribe, featuring even a divinely chosen watch-dog spider, they have been blessed by their god with an even more atrocious stench.
Among the troglodytes, we also get 2 statblocks, one for the tribes’ strong man and one for aforementioned cleric. The short crawl comes with a 1-page map, several traps, a short write-up of the generic Skexxiz-deity as well as the new greater stench quality for troglodytes and some ideas to further expand upon the content.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches, though I noticed that the lines of text are quite far apart. The pdf unfortunately has no bookmarks and while the cartography is nice, I wasn’t impressed by the b/w-artworks. While I did like the new quality for the troglodyte tribe, I’m somewhat unimpressed by this file: The unique ability of the watch-spider lend me to believe that more unique ideas like this would be waiting, but alas and alack, no such luck. The members of the tribe are a rather regular bunch and while their tactics are elaborated upon, lack the complexity or finesse I would have expected after reading the Skexxiz (Is it just me, or does the name remind you of “The Dark Crystal”?) write up. The deity feels rather like a minor stealth-god and is simply not too enticing.
Rating this pdf is difficult due to several reasons: First of all, I do like the approach to giving new abilities to creatures, making them feel more unique, but on the other hand, said practice has not been implemented to its logical conclusion. The smart tactics by the Skexxiz-worshippers are simply not smart enough for my tastes, the odds not stacked enough against the PCs to make the “guile”-aspect of this tribe stand out. Secondly, the troglodytes feel generic, but in the bad kind of way – perhaps due to aforementioned points of criticism, but that’s just my impression. On the other hand, the pdf does nothing wrong per se. For the price of 5 bucks, though, you can get Raging Swan and Frog God adventures, which unfortunately are vastly superior over this sojourn into the complex of Skexxiz servants in detail, tactics and amount of content provided. My final verdict has to take these offerings into account and will thus be 2 stars.
Cerulean Seas Campaign Setting is available from: