Dinonykos’ review for „T1- The Village of Hommlet” (designed by Nol Drek)
Considering the still low number of Dungeon Craft designs, I am very happy that Nol Drek contributed another design, done with DC 1.02. While Nol Drek’s other completed DC design ‘The Dude In: Hotel California’ is a very original prequel to a well-known movie, I understand that ‘The Village of Hommlet’ is a conversion of a D&D scenario from the Seventies to DC.
The module in the version that can be downloaded from Nol Drek’s homepage contains a few now extinguished bugs. Unfortunately, it seems you cannot just use the newest DC game engine to play ‘The Village of Hommlet’ due to some changes in the way combat art is handled. But in any case, the design can be played without severe problems. And it is fun to play this.
The village itself is displayed as an overland map. Perhaps it could have been indicated a little clearer which areas are blocked, but generally, the map is nicely done. In the version I played, the steps took too much internal game time, a minor thing that can be easily changed. It is not a problem for this game, but it might become one when you want to use your Hommlet party again in other designs – the characters become quite old when it takes a few days to get from one house to the next…
I particularly like how the village people are depicted and described. You can hire NPCs, too, and my self-created party would probably have been defeated more often if I did not had done so.
In the East of the village, you can explore a medium-sized dungeon which contains numerous opponents. There also are secrets to explore and decisions to be made, but the focus is on fighting. I as an unexperienced player found the combats hard but fair. Probably things would have been easier for me if I had collected more hints inside the village… The great final of the adventure had a little surprise.
Concerning the presentation of the design: Nol Drek has used a variation of art that is generally well chosen, but styles are mixed. This should not so much be counted as a disadvantage of this module, than rather be seen as a motivator for artists to produce a better selection of walls and backgrounds. I personally would have liked more music and more sound effects. A little more character interaction would also have been nice. But I liked the descriptive texts very much.
Conclusion: While I did not like everything about this adventure, it was a very nice playing experience with some original ideas. I particularly liked that the combats were quite well-balanced and that even in spite of the a little limited presentation (in terms of sound, music, and graphics), the module managed to keep a certain consistent atmosphere, last not least due to the well-describing texts and the reasonable (meaning: not too large) dungeon size. A nice short-to medium length DC module!