In the caverns, the players chose the western fork, which works because it's the more straightforward. I don't want to give too much away so that players can still enjoy the surprise, but here were the highlights and lowlights:
- The one PC fatality occurred because they tried to open a treasure they had found, which exploded violently and took out the better of the two magic-users. They recovered quickly with a fresh M-U, the last remaining pregen.
- I used a powered-up version of the corpse light from Zach Howard's One Hit Point Monsters which wound up in the entry cavern. It worked well for a freaky encounter.
- One of the NPC encounters went exactly as I thought it would.
- The way the dungeon is set up, druids and any character with an item like a ring of animal control will do pretty durn well for themselves.
- I also got to test a couple of the monsters that will be in the issue. They worked well.
- In the moment when I had to not burst out laughing, the PCs walked into the lair of the evil lurking in the caves, looked around and decided to keep exploring.
Overall I think it was a pretty successful playtest, and the players seemed to enjoy themselves. I'm optimistic that referees will get their money's worth out of this dungeon, even though it's only going to be about 8 pages long including the map and artwork.