DMs Guild Review – Of Slavers and Sahuagin

Find a missing friend in a lawless city of scum and villainy in this Tier 1 coastal adventure.

DMs guild review

A review copy of “Of Slavers and Sahuagin” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: N Gaudyn

Presentation isn’t everything, but it can be the difference between a good DMs Guild product and a great one. On the other end, a poorly edited product can drag an otherwise solid mystery adventure into mediocrity, as is this case with Of Slavers and Sahuagina mini-adventure for levels 3-5.

The 30-page adventure takes place in “The Cove,” a lawless city carved out of a large cavern near the sea, and founded by pirates. It’s a neat location for an investigative adventure, though a bit harder to plop in the middle of an ongoing campaign due to its unique setting.

The players are drawn to the city to investigate the disappearance of either a friend, a member of their organization, or just some NPC they’re hired to find, depending on the adventure hook. Connie Lightfoot, a halfling spy, was stationed in the city tracking down slavers and missing people, until she also went missing.

The story begins by investigating the tavern she was staying at, which contains clues leading to three slavers: a drow noble, a goliath brute, and a human mage. The party can tackle these in any order, and in the case of the goliath brute, can choose whether to hunt him down or sneak into the house he’s taken over.

The Cove features a subsection of the city called beast-town, home to more monstrous races and ne’er-do-wells, including a helpful goblin information broker who wears a powdered wig. The goliath slaver has been kidnapping people and using them in illegal fighting rings, but hit a snag when the pit was attacked by a gelatinous cube.

The drow noble and his entourage have been murdered in their own manse in a surprise twist, while the human mage’s hidden and well-trapped lair holds the secret – the slavers have been the targets of a group of sahuagin, who are kidnapping their slaves and using them in a ritual to summon a dark god. The finale includes chasing down a sahuagin in the streets, which leads to discovering the grisly ritual within the hidden sahaugin lair.

dms guild

It’s a fun little story with a satisfying amount of twists and surprises, and features plenty of opportunity for player-focused decisions, skill checks, combat encounters, and NPC interactions.

Unfortunately the entire adventure is hamstrung by a complete lack of editing, including awkward run-on sentences and glaring typos (“layers” instead of “players,” for example).

The text also doesn’t highlight enemies, loot, or magic items, making it unnecessarily difficult to analyze where combat takes place.

An early encounter table points to “cut-throats” and “slavers.” Slavers are identified in the bestiary (though there’s no parenthetical reference pointing that out) while I have no idea what cut-throats are supposed to be, as that isn’t a standard 5e statblock.

As evidenced by the cover page (or lack thereof), the adventure doesn’t feature any artwork, save for the town and dungeon maps, and those are only provided as small images embedded in the text. The full page city map is the one saving grace, but brought down by illegible annotations attempting to identify notable areas.

It’s a shame the product looks as poor as it does; the actual adventure is well-designed, featuring an excellent balance of exploration, dungeon crawling, and investigation in a fun-looking setting.

Pros:

  • Satisfying missing persons plot with fun twists and turns.
  • The lawless pirate city is a memorable setting.

Cons:

  • Frequent run-on sentences, glaring typos, and other grammatical errors.
  • Lack of pictures or handouts, save for small, embedded dungeon maps.

The Verdict: Investigating a missing friend in a pirate city makes for a fun adventure, but Of Slavers and Sahuagin is dragged down by poor editing and presentation.

A review copy of “Of Slavers and Sahuagin” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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