We Be Dragons (Product Review)

Dragon PCs Greatest Dilemma : Power or Adventure? 

Today’s RPG product review is on Zenith Games’ We Be Dragons adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. 

When I first saw this title by Jeff Gomez, I was expecting something along the lines of Paizo’s We Be Goblins series. I was very pleasantly surprised from the start.

Fight or Flight?

Trying to avoid spoilers here. The adventure is that good. To be honest, anything with a dragon or a phoenix puts me in a good mood.
The module is roughly ten pages adventure and eleven pages about the new dragons and some mechanics reminders. Digging into the heart of this story, the players run wyrmlings of vastly different types and attitudes selected from the nine new dragons presented or from a suggested list of similar CR appropriate dragons. Luckily for the players and the GM, there is a note that the family bonds shared by these dragons and their adopted father rises above all else.
The combat challenges presented within the adventure are… well… comparatively weak to the dragon PCs. Other than the final boss, a normal party of four 3rd level characters could manage it without much difficulty. The good news for players is that the adventure comes out swinging not with combat, but with plenty of different obstacles and tasks centered outside of combat. The levels of the DCs are a much better match for the dragons’ capabilities. The non-combat obstacles drive the story and really take to heart what is trying to be accomplished by the PCs. This was a great direction. Anyone can toss a bunch of random combat encounters together and call it an adventure, but a good adventure designer can provide other exciting ways to challenge the players and drive the story. Great work, Jeff!
After the adventure, each new wyrmling receives their own one page excerpt. Each dragon has their own personality providing a great insight to what members of these draconic lines behave like on an instinctual level. It should be noted that only the crunch of each wyrmling is available without the other age classes. For the price and the length, this is understandable. I really hope to see a separate book with these new dragons in full view.
There is an open-endedness to this adventure. The adventure does close, but there is still much more of a story for a group to uncover themselves. Whether run as a one-shot or as an introduction to a dragon-PC themed campaign, players and GMs will find We Be Dragons to be a refreshing break from the normal routine.

Review Scores

Cost vs Value — Coming in at a whopping $2, a GM gets a nice one-shot adventure AND a fun set of nine new dragons to toss at lower level parties should they so choose. And that’s not all! GMs will find a new poison and a new mundane item to stash away for later. 20 points
Art — The cover art and some of the illustrations are amazing for a product of this level. We are met with some clipart-like images when we hit the dragons. This wouldn’t be so bad, but some seem a bit mismatched. 7 points
Readability — There was never a time that felt the need to backtrack. Jeff wrote this module well, and the adventure flows very nicely. The rules excerpts at the end make for a handy reminder for GMs to save time flipping through rulebooks. 19 points
Mechanics — The non-combat based challenges are spot on for the story and the CR presented by these dragons. The combat challenges are a bit lacking even with the BBkindaEG’s gear. Because of the “Family is everything” line, I would have liked to see some rules on demoralization should the father or a dragon die. 11 points
Stand-alone-ability —To be honest, if you really know you core feats and rules, all you need for this module is the module (thanks to the rules found at the end). The core rulebook and bestiary are handy should you need to reference a feat or spell, but then again, it is always wise to keep the core rules on hand. 15 Points
Originality — This is a great take on an adventure centered on young dragons. I really expected some silly shenanigans based on the title, but was met with a serious take on the theme. 18 points
Overall Score 90 out of 100 possible points.
If you are interested in picking up a copy (you really should), you can purchase a copy straight off Zenith Games Blog, DTRPG, or on Paizo.
More third-party product reviews on the way! If there is a particular product you would like me to review, then let me know (email: contact@thedmdoctor.com). If you are a writer or game designer for a third-party publishing company, or a freelancer designing for themselves (like me) and would like one of your products featured, please contact me via e-mail.
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