Writer(s): R.G. Wood
Publisher: DMs Guild
Product Length: 11 pages
Available Format(s): PDF
R.G. Wood is back with another monograph with The Vermin. Something that’s at once good and bad about these monographs is the brevity. With an earlier work, The Enchanted, I felt its brevity diminished the product some. The Vermin is a longer product but it’s mostly due to the dungeon by Dyson Logos and what lurks in it. However short this product is, it feels more complete than its predecessor did. The ratfolk are interesting people that even the most inexperienced DM would have no trouble incorporating into their campaign. Or, if not running a full campaign, use any of the provided plots for a compelling and daring one-shot adventure.
From a balance perspective, I hardly think of any creature with 90 hit points as a CR 1 (even if it has a pitiful armor class of 6). But the Rat King Wood includes has those stats. It takes a good bit of damage before it dies and since it can’t exactly run away (its legs are atrophying from lack of use) that means it will probably be doing damage of its own. To the tune of 14 piercing unless it has fallen below half its hit points. That’s plenty to kill a level 1 player in a single hit.
But that’s nothing an experienced DM couldn’t correct. The real boon to The Vermin is the inspiration you’ll gain from it. I showed the picture of the rat to a friend and he immediately thought of the tunnel rats of Vietnam. I thought of a political coup but one where the ratfolk are tired of living in squalor. They’re coming to the surface.
No matter how you react, you’re sure to get your creativity kicked into high gear after just a couple of pages.
Aesthetically, Wood’s production reminds me of late second edition material. It’s not bad. It’s just minimalist and for material of this sort, it works well! There is no glitz or glamour to get in the way of the content.