We-View Wednesday: Dungeon Delve


I’ll get right down to it.  I’m a lazy GM.  Between family and work and TV shows that I must watch (BBT, Chuck, BSG, Lost, Top Gear…you get the picture) I don’t have the time to create epic adventures for my players any longer.  I find myself having to rely on pre-packaged scenarios and campaigns for my games.  A little bit of reading, a little bit of tweaking, and with no more than a half hour prep I’m able to run my friends and family through an evening of hacking, slashing, blasting and general mayhem.

When I went out to Amazon to pre-order the Players Handbook 2 I found something called “Dungeon Delve” being recommended to me as well.  Quick look at the description…

“Dungeon Delve(TM) is designed for groups looking for an exciting night of monster-slaying without the prep time. It contains dozens of self-contained easy-to-run mini-dungeons, or “delves,” each one crafted for a few hours of game-play.”


So the supplement arrived yesterday, and I had a chance to sit down and read through the beginning of the book, and look at the first few adventures.

What you will find inside of this book is exactly what it says above:  A bunch of self-contained mini-adventures that can be set up and run at a moment’s notice.  There is a single adventure for each of the levels from 1-30, and each adventure typical runs the space of about 3 encounters.  The adventures are pre-populated with bad guys, and they provide the stat blocks for each creature, as well as an index as to where you can find them in the rulebooks if you need more details.  You also will have a series of “hooks” for you to use to try and integrate the adventure into your existing campaign, as well as information on tactics, enviromental effects, and treasure.  They don’t seed any magic items into the treasure, instead they give you the option of providing a magic item of an appropriate level.

One thing that I really like about this product is that they also provide you with information on which Dungeon Tiles set you can use to re-create the maps they provide.  I have a complete set of Dungeon Tiles, but I rarely use them because it is difficult to figure out which ones I need to pull out to create the maps for my players.

My one gripe, and it is a gripe I’ve had with all of these new D&D 4E books, is that if they encounter the least bit of humidity, the paper stock gets the waves.  I had to send a book back to Amazon because it was delivered on a rainy day and it looked like someone had dropped it into a bucket of water and let it dry out.

All in all, a highly recommended product, especially for the lazy or unprepared GM (like me!)  This one rates 4 Crits from me, and I’m sure will get a lot of use.


8 Responses to “We-View Wednesday: Dungeon Delve”

  1. I’ve had the same problem with the paper.. they strengthen out though.. I suspect the summer humidity will change that though.

    • When I got the undead book from Amazon, the post office left it sitting on my doorstep. In a pouring rain. The book was covered, but by the time I got to it, it had soaked up so much humidity it looked like it was printed on lasagna noodles.

  2. Wow, sounds fun. We’re still playing 3.5 … might be a good kind of episodic way to dork around with 4e. Do you think?

    • Do you own the books? If not, the best way to dork around with 4e, IMO, would be to pick up the first module, Keep on the Shadowfell. It comes with a basic set of rules, as well as some pre-made characters, and the adventure.

      Then I would download the Character Builder demo (found from here. Use it to create the characters you want, and get the power cards as well. The demo will allow you to build all of the current characters, but only up to level 3.

  3. Ah, good advice–I didn’t know “Keep” had the supplimentary material. I bought the PHB when it came out, but have lagged behind 4e otherwise. (And not because it didn’t look good, just because our current campaigns–Eberron and Pathfinder–are still in 3.5e.) But curiosity is slowly winning wallet-share. 😉

    • Well, if you have the PHB, then you could get Dungeon Delve and jump right in. They have all of the monster stats in there, and there really wouldn’t be anything that you would need that is in the DMG. Matter of fact, I don’t thing I’ve cracked open the DMG more than once or twice since we’ve started to play.

  4. Does Dungeon Delve contain monsters not in the DMG or MM? I was hoping the enemies were mostly new.

    • There are new monsters in Dungeon Delve. About 30 of them, some of them just variants of existing classes of monsters, some of the totally new. Some are taken from other publications like Dragon. Most are straight out of the MM.

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