Review: Kobolds of the Fallen Halls from Creighton Broadhurst and Raging Swan Press

Before I get into the Kobolds of the Fallen Halls in depth, let me bring up one thing. The back cover and inside the front cover, you get a quote: “In the cloying dark of a dwarven hold long lost to fang and claw, two degenerate tribes of furtive kobolds fight a brutal war of deadly traps and sudden ambush…” This sentence alone got my creative juices flowing because I had to actually look up a word in the dictionary. When I was first starting to play Dungeons & Dragons, I would read those books with a dictionary by my side and seriously broadened my vocabulary while I did so. In this case, I had to look up “cloying” – which is both poetic
and descriptive of the intense darkness you’d find in a lost Dwarven stronghold. But it brought me back to my beginnings as a gamer, which I love.

The story itself involves a couple of tribes of kobolds, a green dragon, a black dragon, and a lost Dwarven mine-hold in the deep dark places where only adventurers tread. When I think of kobolds, I think back on all the various little draconian creatures my characters have slain over the last 30 years. Suffice it to say they have never been the brightest critters on the block, but they’ve always had the potential for offering trouble in many forms. Creighton’s kobolds are no different.

In the depths of Vongyth, the Dwarves were displaced by a pair of green dragons that decided they wanted whatever treasures were buried within. That lasted a while until a group of adventurers went in and killed the brood of dragons that had spawned in the dark and were then terrorizing the neighboring lands. Unfortunately, they didn’t get them all.

Kobolds of the Fallen Halls from Raging Swan Press and Creighton Broadhurst offers a complete scenario for an enterprising GM to take and run with. Two warring tribes – the Blackened Eye, working for a green dragon, and The Bloodied Tail, a group working for a black dragon trying to take over – hit me a bit like the Hatfields and the McCoys, fighting until either or both tribes are slaughtered. What I found amazing is that in two pages, you get a complete overview of the history and current state of the kobold horde and their dragon masters.

In addition to the scenario itself, you get stats for pretty much everything your PCs might encounter – from flavors of kobolds and their pets to the dragons. Also included are feats and spells for your kobold NPCs and a list of common traps that they might have set up in the darkness. Really the only thing missing is an underground map of Vongyth, which a GM should be able to draw pretty quickly or browse online for something that might fit the bill.

Now, there were a few things that bugged me about this book. Nothing content-related. And in fact, it’s pretty well laid out using a two-column approach with graphical elements, gray boxes, white space, and artwork to help open up the pages a bit. I loved the “Reading Stat Blocks” section, which uses an entire page to describe what the acronyms and sections mean in each NPC and monster stat block. I would even recommend that they make that available with a couple of example stat blocks as a PDF on the Raging Swan Press website instead of including it in every book. They might want to use that extra page for something else.

Where I ran into problems was with the front and back covers, which are solid black. These are great for reading online, but not so great when you want to print a copy. I could watch the ink level drop as those two pages printed. Beyond that there were a number of typos scattered throughout, such as incorrect page numbers in the table of contents. Nothing huge, but minor little things that might bug a reader.

If you’re looking for a cool pocket of adventure for an ongoing campaign, I would definitely recommend that you check out Kobolds of the Fallen Halls from Raging Swan Press and Creighton Broadhurst. There are plenty of ideas ripe for the picking here and a great way to help fill a gap between adventures. Check it out at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG!

Check out more from Raging Swan Press at their website here.

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