DriveThruRPG Review – Tomb of the Twilight Queen

Raid a desert tomb full of traps and danger in this adventure for level 3.

A review copy of “Tomb of the Twilight Queen” was provided by the publisher. Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Designed by: M.T. Black Games

Raiding tombs in deserts is as classic an adventure trope as meeting in a tavern; yet I’m always a sucker for a well-designed dungeon crawl. Tomb of the Twilight Queen features a classic dungeon delve for level 3 parties, for D&D Fifth Edition.

The black and white, pocketbook design is not my favorite layout, but the result is a concise, easy-to-read format. Large font and small page size make the 45 pages comparable to an adventure of about half the size, and mostly consists of a single dungeon crawl.

The introduction and first chapter are the weakest elements of the adventure. The adventure background is more concerned with the designer’s homebrew world and setting rather than any actual plot. The only adventure hook is an elderly goblin scholar, Otho, who hires the party to plumb the depths of a forgotten tomb to find a book. Otho accompanies the party and can translate the ancient language, but is otherwise uninvolved.

The tomb’s location is already known, and travel is mostly monatge’d. Chapter two consists of the entire 20-room dungeon, and represents the entire rest of the adventure.

Thankfully this dungeons is nothing short of awesome. It’s especially noteworthy if you dig the exploration pillar of D&D, with a myriad of traps, puzzles, environmental obstacles, and lore.

hall of warriors

After dealing with some bandits camped out near the gallery and finding a secret entrance further in, you’ll have to contend with lightning-arcing statues, ambushing black puddings, blood-bursting skeletons, vertical shafts of darkness, magical pools, puzzling statues, and yes, at least one mummy popping out of a sarcophagus.

My favorite rooms include a pit with an electrified chain, an anti-gravity chapel with a fiery sphere and half a dozen shadow monsters, and an embalming chamber that tricks you into worrying about the mummy on the table instead of the black pudding overheard.

Each room is accompanied by read-aloud flavor text, as well as a breakdown of specific features, traps, monsters, treasures, and lore that could be encountered there. Finding information in each room is easy and effortless. Without being hyperbolic, it’s one of the most well-organized dungeon layouts I’ve ever reviewed, making this an instant recommendation for new DMs.

There’s not a lot of opportunity for dialogue or roleplaying once we defeat the not-so-talkative bandits. A servant-ghost of the queen appears a few times to warn the party, including trying to learn their real names near the end, which could be used the queen during the climactic battle. Another neat scenario is freeing the queen’s enemies from a cosmic demi-plane prison, though one of them goes berserk and attacks, and the other is mostly just sad.

The final battle conjures another awesome scenario, as the queen’s sarcophagus floats above a large hexagonal pit. The ghost summons her allies, a giant skeletal snake and a specter, and uses its Horrifying Visage and Possession. You won’t find any custom statblocks here, but the queen does get an extra bonus Command-like kneel if anyone was foolish enough to give the ghostly apparition their real name.

The actual plot and storytelling are lackluster to the point that this is barely an adventure, and more of a drop-in dungeon. But it’s a damn good dungeon. Even with only a graph paper map, I was still enamored with the clever puzzles and attention to detail with every room. If you love pure dungeon crawls inspired by the classics, you absolutely need Tomb of the Twilight Queen.

Pros:

  • Extremely well-organized and laid out; each room includes features, monsters, treasures, tactics, secrets, and lore.
  • Straight-forward, easy-to-run dungeon crawl.
  • Interesting puzzles, traps, and lore.
  • Encounter adjustments for levels 1-4.

Cons:

  • Lacks adventure hooks and a compelling story.
  • Black and white, graph paper dungeon map.

The Verdict: With clever traps and an immaculately organized style, Tomb of the Twilight Queen is a classic Dungeon crawl in all the right ways.

A review copy of “Tomb of the Twilight Queen” was provided by the publisher. Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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