5E Adventure Review – Ruins of Matolo: Discovery

Ruins of Matolo: Discovery is a short adventure by Cindy Moore for 5th-level characters. It is one of the initial Guild Adept releases on the DMs Guild.

The adventure sends the characters into the jungle of Chult to discover the fate of a recent expedition of Order of the Gauntlet troops. As one might expect, undead are involved, and the characters will need to track them down to complete the adventure successfully.

The adventure is good at introducing the troubles the Order of the Gauntlet are having in the jungle, and in providing some entertaining encounters. There’s one encounter that gives full XP if the players avoid it rather than provoking an attack; that’s design I support. Giving XP for the players being smart rather than just killing everything they see? Yes, more of that, please!

The quest eventually leads to the Ruins of Matolo, where the characters must deal with the villain who ordered the attack on the Order of the Gauntlet. More on the ruined city can be found in other Guild Adept products; this adventure only uses it fleetingly, and primarily in a way that allows the characters to discover it and then explore more of it later.

Despite the good ideas behind the adventure, it is let down badly by a lack of editing. There are many errors that even a cursory proofing run would have found, and the choice of wording is often clumsy. The adventure presumes you have a copy of both Tomb of Annihilation and Tales from the Yawning Portal as it doesn’t provide monster statistics for monsters from those books. Discovery includes one new monster, an aarakocra necromancer, which has the interesting stat line of “Hit Points: 100 (3d8)”. At least, with that level of hit points, it might stay around long enough to threaten the party!

The adventure is quite linear in form, and the final encounter is underwhelming. It’s just a simple combat, which doesn’t make use of the background given for the necromancer. Some of the other encounters also feel quite perfunctory; all-in-all, it is a mixed bag of good ideas and poor execution.

With further development, you could grow the seeds in this adventure into something memorable, but as it stands, I found it a disappointing release.

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