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The Greatest Thieves in Lankhmar (2021)

Don’t know how I feel about this one! This is The Greatest Thieves in Lankhmar (2021), a deluxe box set containing the tournament run at Goodman’s tables at GenCon 2019.

What’s good? All the constituent parts. The production values are high throughout. There is a ton of stuff in the box, all of it pretty. The adventure is split into three major sections — the dungeons below Thieves’ House, a race across the city rooftops and a dash through the palace of the Overlord. Each of these has mechanics that make the broad traversal complicated and interesting, and they are punctuated by devilish encounters that range from combats to traps to puzzles.

What’s bad? Well, stringing this all together, honestly. I don’t like competition modules generally, and telling me no one has ever survived it is not going to prime my enthusiasm. There’s no good reason given for this madcap jaunt (just, Ningauble wants you to, and his weird magic doohickey points the way). And the thing is just punishing encounter after punishing encounter. Honestly, most of the discreet encounters could serve as the centerpiece of their own module. Mostly, there isn’t a way to make this not a tournament module, at least to my eye. So it is only good for pissing off my play group or if I decide to start running tournaments, I guess. There is an irony here in the fact that the Leiber story this box takes its name from presents the Twain at their most arrogant and sees them so thoroughly duped they leave Lankhmar in shame.

The best bit is the Dicing With Death bonus adventure, which is meant to occupy players killed in the main game with avoiding death a second time and thus, maybe, returning to life. Its pretty neat and has utility outside the tournie model.

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