5E Adventure Review: For the Sake of Shaleigh

Have I mentioned how much I hate monospaced fonts? If you are using them for the main text of a DMs Guild product, you are doing it wrong. Such is the fate that befalls For the Sake of Shaleigh, a pay-what-you-want adventure by D.L.Wilson. Or, to get in to the spirit of it, a pay-what-you-want adventure by D.L.Wilson for characters levels 2-3.

The adventure sees the party attempting to help a half-elf recover his friend, Shaleigh, and then rescue a number of prisoners taken by an evil cleric. Imps, druids, gnolls and giant hyenas stand in their way. The plan of the adventure is very linear, but there are a number of nice inventions in the text, not least the reaction of a group of druids to the way Shaleigh is a bit more bloodthirsty than they’d like.

However, the good ideas in the adventure have trouble getting through the formatting and the other problems with the text. For instance:

This room is the main barracks of the gnolls. There are two Gnoll Pack Lords and (X) gnolls. They are all battle ready and happy to fight.

While most adventures are happy to tell you the number of monsters you must fight, this one makes you guess!

Probably the most dangerous fight is against a Fang of Yeenoghu, (X) gnolls and (Y) giant hyenas. I have used giant hyenas before with low-level characters and it didn’t end that well for the characters. The designer suggests that the giant hyenas attack any adventurers reduced to 0 hit points. If you ever want to kill a character quickly, that’s the way to do it!

Two stat-blocks are included in the adventure: one for Shaleigh and one for the evil cleric. They are notable in how much space they take up – each taking two pages to describe something that should be half a page of less. With the mono-spaced font, they’d not look out-of-place in a 1970s-era product.

Overall, what For the Sake of Shaleigh gives you is a serviceable tale, a dangerous gnoll lair, and many problems with the writing and formatting. There are some clever touches, though. A reformatted version of the adventure that fixed the errors would be worthwhile considering. As it stands, I can’t recommend it.

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