Supplement Review: Appendix N Adventure Toolkit: The Treacherous Cobtraps by Jimm Johnson from Brave Halfling Publishing

Spiders. They freak out some of the nicest people (including my youngest daughter). So I’m always happy to see them get top billing in a game supplement. Jimm Johnson and the rest of the crew at Brave Halfling Publishing have done just that with The Treacherous Cobtraps. The third in the Appendix N series, this is a good place to start if you have a collection of 8-to-12 level 2 DCC RPG characters you want to poison or trap challenge.

Appendix N: The Treacherous CobtrapsIt doesn’t hurt that the cover art from Steve Zieser and the interior art by Andy Taylor, Mark Allen, and Reece Ambrose continues that creepy feeling you get when you know something’s lurking in the dark… The map alone gave me the creeps, which was terrific. And in this case, the promise of the disturbing artwork pays off in spades. What lies in the trees of the Tamarack Weald? Almost certain doom. I did say almost…

What’s included? Several areas to explore, some not-so-cuddly critters, and a few things to discover. Would-be heroes may be able to go in, dispatch the evil, and even escape with a bit of loot… if they survive!

At just 12 pages, 8 of which being content and a player handout, it goes by quickly but would definitely introduce some challenges for a group of characters. Best hope they’re prepared however, ’cause it’s not going to be a walk
in the park.

Though I really like the feel of this module, I found it to be a bit too brief for my tastes with a few glitches and omissions. I would have liked to have known more about Brandy Hollow, the halfling thorp asking the PCs for help and more background on the kidnapped boy as well as the tribe of lizardmen in the area. Having a bit more context would make it a lot easier for a GM to pick up and drop into a campaign. I would also have liked another area or two to explore to help make it feel like more of a module and less just one long encounter.

Also, some of the language deserved a bit more editing for clarity in a few places. It took a few times reading through to grok how the first area worked. The details are there, but with a bit more description of strategy and consequences it would have been better.

Lastly, I had some issues with reading the back cover of all things in GoodReader on my iPad. It worked fine in Adobe Reader both on my PC and iPad, but I’ve found that sometimes GoodReader (which is my reader of choice) gets a bit picky. So that may just be an application issue more than a rendering issue.

Honestly I think this has been my least favorite in terms of execution of the writing but worked so well in concept and art that it made up for it. So if you need to introduce some arachnid doom to your DCC RPG, look for a copy of The Treacherous Cobtraps and see if it strikes fear in the hearts of your players. It should!

For more information about The Treacherous Cobtraps and Brave Hafling Publishing, check out…

… the Brave Halfling Publishing website for details on their subscription plan and other products.
… the Brave Hafling product pages at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
… grab a copy of The Treacherous Cobtraps at DriveThruRPG.

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