Slime Cave of Norwal by James Introcaso (@JamesIntrocaso)
Content Warning: Threatened Violence to a Helpless Homunculus
“The farm village Norwal attracts a few tourists annually with the ruins of Orthive’s tower and the famous Slime Cave. The ruins are just the foundation of the semi-famous conjurer’s tower that blew up in a mysterious accident...”
So there’s the explodified ruins of a kinda well-known conjurer and a slime cave with a river of glowing ooze running through it, can you think of a better place for the “Cult of Slugidor, the ancient deity of oozes” to visit and try to succeed in summoning their sludgy master with the advice of the spirit of the guy who spectacularly blew themself and their tower up trying to do the same thing. If at first you blow yourself up become a ghost and advise a cult to find a “worthy sacrifice” and try again, oh and terrorise the town with minor oozes to get said worthy sacrifices to come running, as the famous saying goes.
The hooks range from witnessing gooey carnage in person, seeing the melty remains of an ooze attack, to the classic escapee from the viscous violence begging for help.
Introcaso favours Descriptive Bullet Points, a method of adventure writing becoming popular “ to help DMs parse information the first time the characters enter a new area” or generally give an overview of a place, person, information they may have, things they might say and so on. It is a style I personally favour for the reasons above because it really does make prepping and parsing in the moment easier as everything is easier to see at first glance, and I also find that this layout makes it easier for me to take in and/ or use the information in my own way, through my own words, rather than feeling beholden to the exact phrasing of boxtext (not to write off boxtext, as I do love a great bit of descriptive or narrative boxtext too – personally, I think they can be successfully used together).
The village of Norwal is Introcasoduced beautifully with an overview of the notable premises, their proprietors, and their goods and/ or services, such as “Orthive’s Tower of Pancakes, Extra Oozy Eggs, and Slime Pea Soup” available at The Oozing Inn and Tavern or Wizardly Gifts, which sells “small pots of slime for 1 sp each”. The village really lean into the slime tourism market, and who can blame them?
Once hired by the constable, it’s a case of tracking the oozes down the “astringent trail back to the entrance of the Slime Cave” (which is a gorgeous phrase) and getting gooey for their troubles as they head towards “the sound of bubbling and an eerie glow come from the gaping mouth of a cave”.
Everything you could want to know or express to your players about the cave and its denizens are broken down in handy bullet points. The cave is a small dungeon filled with tricksy cultists, all manner of aggressive slimes, secret treasures, dangers, an imprisoned ghost, a slime pool forge, and a meditation room, repurposed as a temple of Slugidor, complete with this glorious feature, “green slime bubbles from four stone gargoyle heads, creating a grotesque fountain”.
This is one of those situations when violence appears to be the only answer, as the cultists will attempt to sacrifice the party to their oozy demonic overlord. I mean I’m sure there are many different ways folx could come up with, but as written and as most players will do, if the cultists aren’t killed or at least sent packing then ole slimey is a-coming and the very least they’re going to do is make everything sticky. Honestly, it’s quite tacky (badum tish).
While this adventure is written for a 4th level party, scaling advice is included throughout to cover levels 1-3 and 5, which is a nifty touch. As is the multitude of suggestions for continuing the adventure, including cleansing the caves, more cultish crudeness and even turning the caves into a zoo...
This is simply one of those really fun and rather silly adventures that everyone is going to have a great time with. There’s a bit of everything, slime, an amusingly named village, slime, a gorgeous map, slime, unbelievably beautiful art of said slime, slime again, cultists, good times and slime. Did I mention there is slime? Like a lot of it! Oozes and jelly too!
Writing: James Introcaso
Cartography: Toby Lancaster (Dark Realm Maps)
Artists: Dante Ezio Cifaldi
Layout: Alan Tucker
Editing: Christopher Walz
My Affiliate link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/328631/Slime-Cave-of-Norwal?affiliate_id=1507682
You can find my review of a larger preview of the adventures from Adventures from the Potbellied Kobold Kickstarter here:https://ko-fi.com/post/SebsPreview-Adventures-from-the-Potbellied-Kobold-R5R22DACW
You can find the Adventures from the Potbellied Kobold Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/587512440/adventures-from-the-potbellied-kobold-for-5e/