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(TFT) Review: Dwarven palaces: "Shards of the Day"

Hi everyone,
	I picked up Dungeon Magazine #60 because
Stan mentioned that there was an adventure in a
dwarven palace in it.  Here are some thoughts...

	This is a 23 page adventure, approximately
1/3 of the size of the issue.  In it, a patron
asks the PC's to enter a dwarven palace & recover
some magic items.  The underground city, 
Dylvwyllyan, was abandoned because of an 
earthquake and is now inhabited by a variety of 
evil races.

	The adventure is a standard dungeon crawl.
There are little pockets of enemy who live in
the dungeon with little rhyme or reason.  There
are a few allies you can find, but for the most
part the PC's wade in and kill.

	Having said that, a few of the fights seem
interesting with a variety of tactical options.
If you like dungeon adventures this looks like it
could be a fun hack fest.

	There is little of the interesting 
engineering that I would like in a dwarven palace.
Nor is the science solid; for example, large 
populations of predatory species seem to live on

	The interesting part of this adventure are
a number of hexagon tiles which have passages 
leading to adjacent tiles.  6 tiles are generic,
(but can be presented in 6 different aspects making
the patterns harder to notice.  There are a 6 more
tiles that are unique.  In addition a couple of 
small areas are mapped normally.  

	These tiles are big, each represents a 
distance 500 feet across.  The dungeon is 
irregular, but about 12 by 18 hexes in size.   

	The hexes are so big, they do not show fine 
detail.  For example, the smallest rooms in the 
tiles are about 100' across.  This reduces 
considerably the complexity of mapping the huge 

	The GM is advised to mount these tiles and
have the party move across them, giving the PC's
an over view of the area.  I don't think I like
this idea, as a GM I would keep the tiles out of
sight, and just describe what the PC's see.

	I was not that impressed with the adventure,
but it was only 1/3 of $5.00 magazine.  I is 
worth what I paid.  I rate this adventure as a 
solid 'C'.

	Having said that, what do I think of the 
tile idea for mapping dwarven mines?  

	In any large dwarven mine, the writer is
practically forced to repeat areas.  For example
in the Ax of the Dwarven Lords, a number of goblin
warrens were close copies of each other.  This is
fine and expected, uninteresting areas should be
described in as economical a fashion as possible
to leave more space for the interesting stuff.

	Tiles I think could be used to generate 
variations of a theme.  For example, let us say
that you have to generate residential areas for 
1200 dwarves in a palace.  These areas are going
to look pretty similar, but it would be nice if
there were enough differences that the PC's feel 
like there really is a realistic amount of 
variation in them.

	The adventure writer creates several 
dozen residential area tiles.  Some are upscale
neighborhoods, others are poorer areas, basically
barracks.  The designer can specify the relation
ships of dozens or hundreds of rooms very 
economically by specifying the layout of the tiles.
Since different tiles are used in different 
patterns, there is a fair bit of variation, & the 
occasional odd tile or detailed mapped area makes 
exploring the areas more interesting to the PC's.

	I'm not sorry I bought the magazine, but I
am not tempted to convert it to TFT and run the 

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