Gloria’s Gambit by Dylan Hyatt

About six months ago, I reviewed Dylan Hyatt’s The Sunken Village of Little Corth. Today I am reviewing another of his titles called Gloria’s Gambit. It is a short pay-what-you-want adventure for first level characters and also the first in the Rampaging Snail Adventures. The RS Adventures look to be a planned series of adventures to carry adventurers all the way through to 20th level. However, the adventures are loosely tied together and Gloria’s Gambit is, in fact, a standalone adventure. You can easily ignore the elements that tie these adventures together without taking anything away from the adventure itself.

Gloria's Gambit by Dylan Hyatt
Gloria’s Gambit by Dylan Hyatt

Gloria’s Gambit

Writer: Dylan Hyatt
Publisher: DMs Guild
Cost: PWYW
Product Length: 24 pages

Gloria is running a con. In a nutshell, she wants to trick some unwitting adventurers into softening up a mine full of goblins. She will tell them a story of treasure to be had, and shared, if they can just help recover it. What she won’t tell them is she has no intention of sharing it with them…they’ll be dead. If not by the goblins or traps in the dungeon, then by Gloria and her bandits instead. If the adventurers take the bait, it will be up to them to throw the hook and survive the ploy. What they do with Gloria is up to them. 

Dylan gives a lot of backstory for this adventure and it’s actually more than enough to get you going and carry you through to completion. In that writing there is ample opportunity for the players to consider their choices and carry the adventure one way or another without completely negating its purpose (they could learn of Gloria’s nefarious plan, turn her in, and go loot the dungeon anyway, for example). 

The cover art is on par with the rest of the product’s. That’s not to say it’s bad (art is subjective, yeah?) but it does make the overall product seem amateurish (and that’s not necessarily bad either). The formatting and layout are effective and mostly easy on the eyes. But the maps are a little underwhelming and empty-ish. Each room has something in it (mostly goblins) but the descriptions of each room are verbose. The beer trap near the dungeon’s end is unique but it’s nearly unavoidable. 

This adventure is not a bad one. But ultimately it falls short of its full potential. It’s enjoyable enough for a first level adventure but with as much backstory and character development as Dylan has put into Gloria, it would have been better suited to a higher level adventure and longer lasting implications. Otherwise, it’s a fun side-trek where low level players get to go kill some goblins and, hopefully, claim some nice treasure.

Pros

  • good backstory and opportunities for flexibility
  • good editing/proofreading and design/layout

Cons

  • for a small dungeon, there is a lot of descriptive text provided
  • level 1 characters may find the final trap deadly and…a little hopeless
Gloria's Gambit
Gloria’s Gambit is available on DMs Guild for free unless you’re feeling gratuitous.

A review copy was provided by the creator.

Author: Patrick

Board gamer, role-player, father, blogger.

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