12 January 2020

Caverns of Thracia mini review after a few sessions of play

I've been running The Caverns of Thracia for a while in a duet game with my wife.
I also run a discord chat PbP-ish Thracia game.
I just now started a new Thracia game with my wife and 2 (until now) 5e-only players. I'm playtesting my BB\X rules with that group.

+ easy to interpret dungeon details into an overall understanding of the broad situation. Very grokkable
+ most keyed locations are quickly understood without need of interpretation
+ amazing 3-dimensionality and general dungeon layout
+ Factions are good enough and minimal enough to grow naturally through gameplay. They might be better if a smidge more detailed, but they have just the right gaps to fill for me, so far.
+ the whole dungeon is a layered mystery to uncover through exploration and diplomatic play, if the party cares
+ mechanical simplicity. I mostly don't need to look things up or stop to consider what ruling to make
- crammed, dense layout
- some unclear mapping and keying
- poorly organized
- lots of page flipping
- too verbose
- some errors and missed opportunities

Highlight 1: endless ways to get lost, accidentally go deeper, and master the dungeon through using different routes.

Highlight 2: the game is complex, layered, and interesting without a confused GM staring and thinking and referencing other pages all the time. (I had those issues with Maze of the Blue Medusa and Hot Springs Island. You may find them a better fit for you though, of course.)

We're attempting to fix most of the minuses from my review with a rewritten key.


  1. The recent Oerth Journal #31 (e-zine for Greyhawk fans) features several articles on factions which may interest you if you're working on Thracia's factions: https://greyhawkonline.com/oerthjournal/



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