Tony Petrecca’s Killer Kobolds is an adventure for 8th-12th level characters. Yes, you read that right: A high-level adventure featuring kobolds.
It’s also a beautifully-constructed adventure. Deriving from events in Tony’s home game, we get to see what Defence in Depth means when applied to kobolds. I’d stay well clear of this one if you’ve got a group of players who prefer to negotiate: it’s a combat-heavy piece that will really challenge the tacticians of the group.
The story starts with the adventurers being hired to save a kidnapped child; one kidnapped by kobolds. The kobolds live in a stronghold carved into a cliff by a (now-deceased) eccentric gnome. This gives the players the first taste of what it’s like to fight kobolds who are prepared for battle. When you combine this with several traps, it’s the sort of scenario that quickly lets the players know that they’re not in a regular D&D adventure, but one that is more tactical and fast-paced. The kobold leaders typically don’t stay around, but instead retreat to rally the next wave of kobolds.
Unfortunately for the adventurers, the kidnapped child isn’t present in the mansion, but – according to notes left by the kobolds – has been taken to a second location to be sacrificed in a ritual to summon great power. The next section of the adventure details the travel through the wilderness to the next location. As might be expected, kobolds continue to harry the adventurers as they continue, including the dreaded kobold air cavalry! (They’re kobold-dragon hybrids with wings. They drop bombs.)
The final section of the adventure reveals the true extent of the kobolds’ plans, and demonstrates to the adventures how difficult it is to fight kobolds when they’ve got ingenious traps and tricks backing them up. It’s a fantastic conclusion to a very nicely-written adventure.
The adventure is light on artwork – what exists is of high quality – but has numerous maps, which are very effective and attractive. There adventure has a mix of computer-generated and hand-drawn maps. The one problem with the computer-generated maps is one I’ve seen several times: the grid lines are somewhat hard to discern, especially if you print in black & white. Otherwise, they’re quite useable.
I do note that this isn’t “Tucker’s Kobolds“, which demonstrated how to use basic kobolds to challenge the party. This adventure does have regular kobolds, but they are supported by a good number of advanced kobolds.
So, is it worth picking this adventure up? Absolutely – with the caveat about the sort of player it’s designed for. This is an excellent adventure, well worth buying.