I met Luke at Collective Con in Jacksonville just last week (March 2023) As promised, I’m posting his review word for word* (I ran it through spell/grammar checker only).

The following is the review for the homebrewed D&D level 3 module, Solent Keep.

Reading through the book I enjoyed how lively the area is with its market, slums, warehouses, and characters that fill the gated town such as Brug and Shiloh. Having the map included separately along with it being in the book helps to give the players their own map to the place and the whole region of Pretanni to grow familiar in the setting. The monster/combat encounters are properly challenge-rated for a party of level 3 adventurers taking on the quest in the module. Going from a simple thug to a huge mammoth adds flavor to any battle placed on the gridded squares.

The dungeon layout of the temple is filled with key rooms of interest, secret paths, and treasures to find inside. The Treasury room being my favored pick for the hidden entrance ways and the loot you’d be able to find after further investigation upon entry. The Keep’s layout of three stories to explore is very fun and gives the timeless vibe of crawling through a fortress full of surprises and entities to encounter. I absolutely applaud the foreshadowing with the use of the map room hinting at the Griffin’s Treasure giving it a continued story for the party to play through if said party were to gather again. The lore and cause-and-effects established in the set piece is realistically fantasized from bribing guards to avoiding being spotted inside the keep. I appreciate the labeled details of each room from 1 to 39 to help DMs (For example, me) to describe

My personal favorite part of the material is the treasured items such as the War Bird and the Cloak of Melqart including how the cloak can give the user a boost with its +2 to strength or a weapon using the lion claws to deal 1d6 damage unarmed. The War Bird (being an Ostrich, my favorite) also gives a great roleplay opportunity having a scene play out like Carl and Russel’s interaction with Kevin the bird from Pixar’s Up. Even similar how the owner of said War Bird statue is protected by said beast compared to the relationship between Russel and Kevin which was an excellent part of the film.

Praises for the film aside, The setting is vastly alive with characteristic NPCs, a goal of finding treasure being a classic yet effective method of progression, the encounters are balanced and fitting, and the magic items are full of personality with useful means to their properties. I gladly give Solent Keep with a scale of 1-5 a 4 out of 5. Solid foundation, only negative pointers I’d give is lack of character study for the likes of Brug, questions asked by myself consisted of “What is Brug like?”, “Does Brug have a soft place for nature as seen with his bee colony or does he just have them for honey production?” same with Pirsta; corruptly evil or is he a man of completing a goal by any means necessary including murder? Other than the nitpick from my behalf, a fun well put together module for new DMs and players alike.

Luke Fowler