"Like the first S'rulyan Vault, this is two extremely high-resolution dungeon maps in both old school blue/white and bloody parchment hue. The dungeon is huge and contains a variety of cavern and traditional room/corridor areas... along with special icons." Well, the S'rulyan Vault II is a bit more then that & a bit more.
So let me start this review with the following note - I'm going to be quite clear on this whole thing I put a six month moratorium on doing OSR product reviews. Given my dad's condition & the fact that I've had to take over the sewing machine repair business more. I don't really have the proper time to devote to giving OSR products their fair shake that they deserve for a proper review. So this is the the last OSR product review for a long while.
P.S. my dad is fine and continuing to the sewing machine repair work. But its a lot for him to deal with so I end up helping out where & when I'm needed. This means I have less time for what amounts to a hobby. End of message and now onto the review.
So what is the The S'rulyan Vault II? Well according to its Kickstarter;
"The S'rulyan Vault II is more of the same... but different. Obviously, there will be a totally new dungeon layout with lots of interesting things going on. The files can be printed off so you've got one massive map or four quadrants in order to easily mix and match them with each other and the previous S'rulyan Vault." Its giant mix & match dungeon map & DYI kit with Venger Satanis's guile & attitude which is clearly outline about The S'rulyan Vault II introduction;
"Delving into dungeons can be the most rewarding roleplaying experience there is. It's the perfect
environment for adventuring since that's where the monsters and treasure are. Of course, with monsters
and treasure you also get traps, wizards, subterranean civilizations, exotic flora and fauna,
natural hazards, and unexplained wonders.
There are three things GMs occasionally forget when running a dungeoncrawl...
● Gygaxian Naturalism or Fantastic
Verisimilitude, if you prefer. Basically, this provides a "realistic" background for the adventuring. Such as, where does the food and water supply come from?
● There should be a compelling reason why the PCs are down there, besides a desire to slay evil
creatures and take their loot. Even if that's the primary motivation, we want to know precisely
why the adventurers want to kill these monsters and steal their treasure. And each session, the
PCs' emotional investment in clearing the dungeon should pay off.
● This is a great opportunity to show off your own GMing style, aesthetic, and creativity! Use your
imagination - come up with at least a couple rooms that defy expectation. Go nuts!
Keeping those three things in mind, I invite you to make The S'rulyan Vault (volumes I and II) truly
Can we talk about the Drow babes in implied 'Legend of the Overfiend' style tentacle porn dungeon god cover artwork here for moment? The only reason its there is to attract attention because while the thing might be in the The S'rulyan Vault II but I found it more distracting then tantalizing. Why? Because the contents of the The S'rulyan Vault II book are good solid boiled down DYI dungeon map and kit in seventeen pages of old school goodness. Venger Satanis is a good enough writer/designer who doesn't need to rely on cheap and blatantly pornographic themes and artwork to sell his products. His work is solid enough on its own to stand on its own merits. This is a good tool kit for a really well thought out dungeon. You get factions, reasons for the dungeon crawls, and lots of random tables for generating a grand night's adventure for your players.
Glen Seal of Monkey Blood Design doing some of the type of quality dungeon cartography you'll find in the The S'rulyan Vault II
This product sinks up with its earlier incarnation, The S'rulyan Vault I adventure plot completely and easily. There's no tears to this and because this product has the quality of Monkey Blood Designs cartography & design work. The S'rulyan Vault II is both OSR cross compatible & rpg system agnostic. The art and cartography by Glynn Seal,Monstark, &
Fizzbig, work. The layout is well done and up to the usual Venger Satanis standards. Dungeon masters will get a ton old school gaming utility out of the wandering monster tables, dungeon restocking table, & rival adventuring party disturbance tables. Along with a ton of new & great take on old school adventuring for a continuing dungeon adventure tool with years of life to come at the gaming table. Do I think its worth buy? In a word yes I do and think it will provide a great tool at the gaming table.
You can grab the The S'rulyan Vault II