"The Crypt of St. Bethesda is a d20 System adventure booster designed for 5-8 characters levels 2-4. It can be played as a stand alone adventure or dropped into any ongoing campaign setting."
So declares the cover, but what do you get for $2.49? Our gaming group played it using a first level Ranger, a third level Illusionist, a third level fighter, a third level Rogue and a second level Cleric/Sorceror. Here's what we found.
The adventure is nothing more than a booklet with standard cardstock covers. The hieght of it is the same as other adventures, but the width is about half of what one has come to expect - rather like a piece of writing paper that has been folded in half lengthwise. As inexpensive as it is, it's surprisingly durable. A good thing, since it will no doubt find it's way into some busy DM's back pocket.
The adventure takes place in the cemetary district of a city of the DM's choice, where the characters stumble upon a grisly murder with some intriguing clues: lavender worms, acid burns, and a trail of slime. Before player's have time to do much more than scratch thier heads, a local patrol is charging in yelling things like: "Murderers! Halt in the name of the watch!" My players liked this introduction, it wasn't quite as attention grabbing as "Roll for initiative," but it came pretty close.
Minutes later, the characters were exploring the crypt below the abandoned cathedral of St. Bethesda (easily converted to any divine entity of the DM's choosing.) The Crypt has 14 elements and contains a good mix of combat, traps and just plain interesting features for the characters to ponder over. Encounter levels vary from 2 to 4 with one nasty trap of EL 7. Standard dungeon fare, but well done and with an unexpected twist at the end. Our party became neither bored, nor stuck and had a great time.
As the DM, only two adjustments were made on my part. As a whole, the Crypt has about half the recomended amount of treasure given in the Dungeon Master's Guide, so that was bumped up. The map of the Crypt has no grid, though a scale is given, which can cause problems for those of us who use miniatures. That also, was easily remedied.
The bottom line: One solid session of dungeon delving for half the cost of a typical lunch, and worth every penny.