The Sinister Stone of Sakkara


By Alex Macris, Matthew Skail
Autarch
ACKs
Level 1

Over a millennium ago, when the borderlands were in the dark grip of the Zaharan Empire, the empire’s sorcerer-priests erected a profane temple to house the terrible artifact known as the Stone of Sakkara. Using the Stone, the sorcerer-priests could birth monsters and abominations with frightening ease and magically command the loyalty of chaotic creatures. The Stone brought its evil masters great power throughout the fell empire. In the centuries since the fall of Zahar, the Stone has lain dormant and forgotten. Now it has awakened, and warbands of beastmen have begun to gather sacrifices to power the Stone’s birthing pools again. Local farms and hamlets have been sacked and pillaged, and entire families have gone missing. The local legate has too few men to even patrol the border; he has none at all to hunt down the source of the evil. Adventurers are needed…

This eighty page adventure describes a keep on the borderlands along with some nearby ruins that has some mixed humanoid tribes in it, and an EHP. It’s the real deal, with a hundred room two-level dungeon and lots going on. It’s also dry and likes to hear itself talk about descriptions of normal bedrooms. It’s sad when you see the real deal obfuscated by verbosity.

You know the deal already. A keep on the borderlands, described in about thirty(!) pages. Then a two-level dungeon in about another thirty pages, and about thirty pages of appendix, etc. ACKS has domain rules, and as you would expect from those authors, the language used in this appears to be quite precise. No more sloppy usage of rounds and turns, etc. The authors seem to understand the theory and rules behind their own game. 🙂

The keep has loot, and named NPC’s and the possibility for a little intrigue. The same goes for the humanoids in the ruins. Factions are implied, there are empty rooms, the maps are large with some variety and a few loops. There’s are some notes on how the humanoids respond. The wanderers are engaged in some activities. Unusual treasure, like monster eggs, and hints for how monsters react based on the raction rolls. (You didn’t dump stat it, did you?!) Traps and tricks, such as mutation pools and the like are sprinkled throughout. Like I said, this is the real deal in terms of a dungeon.

And then they go and fuck it up by writing it down.

There are a few things wrong in this. Factions could be better outlined and/or noted on the map. Some sections don’t have great sections breaks … like a “travel to the ruins” paragraph which appears for all the world to be a part of the wandering monster descriptions. WHile NPC’ have page references for where they spend their time, a few more in the rumors, as well as the rumors being in voice would have been a good thing.

But that’s not the primary sins, not by a long shot. That’s all little nits. The major sin in this is the inability to describe a bedroom.

This is one of the most basic and fundamental skills in adventure writing. There’s been a lot of discussion about it online, not just from me. It’s not clear to me why people still can’t write a description for a bedroom. The basic question is: how much do you need to write when you are describing a bedroom?

Fundamentally, I believe the adventure must be usable at the table. The more information you put in a room description the harder you make it for the DM to actually run the room at the table. When the players open the door to the bedroom the DM must quickly scan the bedroom description and relay some information to the players. If the bedroom is novel-length then there will be quite some delay as the DM absorbs the information. Further, as the players explore the bedroom the DM must quickly find information in the bedrooms description and relay that back to the players.

I assert (as would many others, I believe) that this means the room description must be short. The DM has to be able to glance at them and quickly absorb the information in a second or so. Yeah, some rooms may be more complex, but that’s a formatting and layout issue. The key concept remains.

How can you accomplish this? BY LEAVING THE FUCK OUT THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER. Information can be implied, sure, and DOESNT MATTER is, of course, a bit subjective. Anything in the room that is normal can be implied, or referenced obliquely. The room description needs to concentrate on what makes THIS bedroom different .. relevant to the adventure. “A sumptuous appointed guest room.” May be all the description you need. In fact, you might title the room Sumptuous Guest Room and not offer a description at all. Or, maybe “with stained sheets and bloody manacles attached to the headboard.” We now have the image of a sumptuous guest bedroom with stained bedsheets and bloody manacles. THAT’S a good description. It implies things. It leaves room for the DM.

We don’t need to know the bed is a full size, made of cedar, with a chest of drawers with six knobs and full of X, Y, and Z. These sort of of exhaustive room description have little place. You’re not writing a novel; this is technical writing.

This adventure makes this mistake OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. It provides in-depth descriptions of the most mundane objects in every room, exhaustively listing content. It kills any imagination and comes off as dry. Every room is litke this, or close enough to generalize as every room anyway.

In town, rules are embedded in the room descriptions. The descriptions engage in explaining WHY things are, and give detailed room dimensions, duplicating the map. The emphasis on this mundanity detracts from the wonder. Common adjectives are used, like “huge” and “large,” BORING. English is a fabulously descriptive language, and that’s even before you start to twist it. But the word “huge” was chosen. Ug.

The rooms descriptions are a SLOG to get through. I’m not even sure a highlighter would fix it, they are so mixed up. The VAST majority of each rooms description is just not needed and clogs up the room, making it hard as fuck to scan. Yeah, it’s a decent little vanilla adventure. But I ain’t gonna slog it while running it. I’m going to pick something better oriented to the DM running it at the table.

This is $10 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages long. The last few pages give you a good example of ALL of the room/key description writing. I’ve also included four example below. The last example, in particular, I think exemplifies the damage done to a room by excessive description.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/156763/The-Sinister-Stone-of-Sakkara

9. Stable-Barracks Block: See the Stable-Barracks Block Map. The stable-barracks block is 200’ long, 50’ wide, and 15’ tall. The block is built to house one company of 60 cavalry, along with four subalterns (platoon commanders) and one tribune (company commander), collectively spread across the block’s twelve rows.

Rows 1-11 are each sub-divided lengthwise into two 24’ wide sections. Each of these two sections consists of an inner living quarters (16’ wide, 9’ long, and 8’ tall) connected by wooden doors to outer stables (16’ wide, 15’ long, and 10’ tall) that open up to the outside. Ladders rise from the stables to hay-lofts (16’ wide, 9’ long, and 7’ tall) that sit above the living quarters. Each section ….

19p. Latrines: Marble and maple-wood benches are built over an underground water channel that flushes waste into the Krysivor River. Buckets near the latrines are furnished with sponges on sticks, with which the lavatory user can clean himself.

(guard room)
This 30’ wide and 20’ long room is guarded by six kobolds. The two largest guards (hp 4 each) are tormenting the smallest one (hp 1) by tossing its money pouch over its head, while the others enjoy the spectacle. The kobolds are considered Distracted for the purposes of being snuck up on (see ACKS p. 97-98). If the kobolds hear noise in room 2, they will end their game to investigate. If their morale breaks, the gang will flee to room 4. In addition to the guards, the room contains bedding for the kobolds, a round one- legged table, and a pile of gnawed animal bones. The kobolds carry 1d6 sp each, and the two toughest both carry 10 gp in small purses.

16. The Bloody Shore: This roughly oval cavern is about 80’ long and 50’ wide, with a vaulted, stalactite-riddled ceiling about 25’ above. A huge pillar of stone, 20’ thick, rises from the center of the cave to the ceiling. Everywhere else the cavern floor is covered with reddish “roots” that seem to grow up from the stone itself. If cut, the roots leak a thick sap the color and smell of blood. At the back of the cavern is a large pool of red fluid that looks and smells like thick blood. This is a birthing pool for abominations (see Appendix I, New Monsters, p. 66 and Appendix II, New Magic Items, p. 67). A single abomination lurks in the 5’ deep pool. It will only surface if someone enters or touches the birthing pool

(This is my (bad) edit:)
A mammoth column of stone, 20; thick, rises from the pool to the vaulted stalactite-riddled ceiling. The floow is covered with reddish “roots”, growing from the stone itself, which leak bloody sap when cut. A 5’ deep pool of blood contains an abomination that surfaces when someone touches/enters the pool.

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69 Responses to The Sinister Stone of Sakkara

  1. Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

    So, buy it for the plug-n-play 100-room, 30-page low-level dungeon and ignore the rest?

  2. I’d prefer to see something in-between the two. The original, minus the cave dimensions and appendix referrences.

  3. Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    If their morale breaks, the gang will flee to room 4. In addition to the guards, the room contains bedding for the kobolds, a round one- legged table, and a pile of gnawed animal bones

    Scapulae? Femora? Tibiae, maybe? I HAVE TO KNOW!

  4. Fucktward's Everfull Ass says:

    Fact: most users can’t function without everything spelled out in painful detail. anyone who has ever looked at online discussions knows this to be true.

  5. Gus L says:

    Are their better adventures not partially written by an alt-right figure like Macris? ‘Cause I’d rather play with those.

    • Dave says:

      “Alt-right figure” = libertarian who failed to sufficiently disavow and distance himself from a (gay) rightwing provocateur who he had a business relationship with. That’s *it*, that’s all you/they have on him. But it’s enough to unperson him, enough to show up anywhere he’s mentioned on the internet and oh so casually drop the slur, just to make sure everyone knows. Cause if you *really* wanted what you say you want you’d hit the “best of” link without taking the time to shitpost.

      It’s a catch-22, because all I really want is to game without politics, but that means I either have to watch a hatchet job in slow motion (literally every platform I follow where Macris is mentioned the slur comes up), and keep my mouth shut despite knowing better, or speak up and give the topic more oxygen and more airtime in an effort not to play along with the pretense.

      In short, consider following through on your promise to step away from the community. You’re taking more than you’re adding by popping back in.

      • Anonymous says:

        “In short, consider following through on your promise to step away from the community. You’re taking more than you’re adding by popping back in.”

        And who are you to be deciding who adds or subtracts from the community?! It is people like you who drove Gus L. to shutter his blog in the first place.

        More to the point, Macris was the head (CEO?) of Milo Y.’s business until a couple of months ago, and they still have a business relationship as far as I can tell. There has not been insufficient disavowing and distancing: in fact, there hasn’t been any! They still work together for chrissakes!

        I actually don’t think Milo believes the crap he spouts but that makes him worse in my eyes. He is a feckless loudmouthed purveyor of cheap shock who has taken the demented life decision of making a career out of being continuously deplatformed. Phooey! (And why would you even bring his sexuality into it at all??)

        And now let’s talk about D&D for a change

        • Renato Paredes says:

          Bryce should probably not answer your provocation. Maybe he is a right-wing. Maybe he is a member of the alt-right. Maybe he is a socialist. In any way, he should not engage in political discourse. If you believe that purchasing a product from someone who is somehow linked with apolitical movement IS A POLITICAL ACT, do you even consider that there is people that would disagree with that?

          I do, for instance. I do not believe that purchasing a product means that I’m purchasing the ideology behind it. I believe market is above that thing. I believe market is the way on which people who disagree, maybe even could kill each other if they met personally, can engage in a peaceful trade that benefits everyone.

          But apparently you think that there is only one moral or ethic stance (yours, obviously) and Bryce should comply and agree with you. Or at least reveal himself to be your political opponent, so you can scrutinize him and demonize him or something like that.

          Can you respect that most normal people don’t appreciate that and don’t want to expose their thoughts about many issues? Are we allowed to do that? Or you want to control even other people thoughts?

          This is very, very tiresome. This is happening in every country, the overpolitization of every single topic of human behavior. This is sickening and there is nothing good coming out of it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Are you replying to me or to Gus? Cause if it’s me (and I shouldn’t have posted as Anonymous but there we are), I don’t understand how most of what you are saying is pertinent.

            If you re-read my post, I was complaining about a) gatekeeping by “Dave”, b) Dave’s factual inaccuracies, and c) Milo’s idiotic form but not his content (which I happen to disagree with but that’s beside the point now).

            Point a) is by far the most dire of the three: no one ever tells RPGPundit to shut his trap and take *his* politics outside of the community, now does one? And he is not shy about airing opinions at all. Gus L. does it in a two-line comment and he is immediately told to fuck off. Less hypocrisy, please!

            If you truly want your hobby to be views-inclusive and blind to politics, you gotta be willing to take both Macris’ political associations and Gus’ belly-aching about them. That’s how what you are saying works, bro.

            And now let’s actually talk about D&D?

    • Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

      Take the panicked, hysterical politics back to your safe space, snowflake (Gus). People here want to talk about gaming.

      Or maybe brynchlynch is also a crazy and wants his blog audience to shrink because of purity tests by SJWs like Gus?

      • Gus L says:

        You neo-fascists are so humorous.

        A) You act as if someone (Macris) who manages the fellow that published Breitbart’s alt-right manifesto is somehow not part of the movement.

        B) Despite your tendency to call others ‘hysterical’ or ‘snowflakes’ you get all hot and bothered when someone points out the link between one of you and your ugly little movement.

        C) You often claim not to want politics in games, as if buying the products produced by neo-fascists and such is somehow part of a game.

        You’re freaking out and calling me names because I noted that this mediocre product was written by a confirmed neo-fascist – I don’t say the rest of you reactionary lot are bad people for using it – I just say I wouldn’t want to given that buying it gives money to a neo-fascist. What gives you the right to police my game purchases based on the politics of the writer?

        • Renato Paredes says:

          The point is that eventually people will disagree with your premises, every one of them, even the ones you think form some kind of consensus. For instance, I disagree that the alt-right movement is related to fascism.

          You have two options when something like that occurs. The normal/polite way is to drop the subject, as there is a strong difference of opinion on a very basic issue.

          The other way to handle that is the militant/inpolite, which basically consists on you trying to force your perspective upon other people. Like disregarding what the other part thinks or considers and starting to label someone as nazi/fascist sympatizer and demanding some kind of action or response that would be expected from someone who shares your opinions.

          Imagine that you are a christian. And the writer of one adventure is an atheist. Imagine how inconsiderate and inpolite and, really, intolerant, would be of you to demand from Bryce that he publicly renounced the atheist product and demanded that he publicly announced that he, Bryce, is a decent christian… upon threat to be scrutinized.

          I expect you can see how impropriate that is. Understand that politics works the same way as religion in the way that you don’t force your ideology over other people.

          And that is because other people have different opinions on the topics you consider important to have an opinion. And when they tell you they disagree with your views you have no right to use the same views they disagree as a way to label your political opponents.

          My belief is that you will try to associate me with nazism or fascism simply because I’m objecting to what you are doing. I believe that you are some kind of supremacist, in the sense that you can’t even imagine a legitimate discordance that does not comply with your own views on the subject.

          • sigh says:

            You seem reasonable.

          • Auntie F.A. says:

            I love how you are for civility and apolitical tame self-moderation and only ever tell that to the leftists

          • Edgewise says:

            “The point is that eventually people will disagree with your premises, every one of them, even the ones you think form some kind of consensus.”

            When you start with such an eye-rolling overstatement and then write such an overlong post, I know that your signal-to-noise ratio falls below my threshold. Try to write something more succinct and reasonable.

        • Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

          Crazy, getcha crazy, right here! Lots of crazy for sale here now, folks, come and get it! Gus with the soyfoil hat’s overflowing with crazy and here to save your political SOUL!

          Hurry, before he has another mental breakdown and takes his dingleberries of wisdom back to mommy’s basement!

    • sigh says:

      > *Complains about politics in gaming, says he’s leaving because of it*

      > *Goes onto a blog post/review of a tabletop rpg product that has absolutely nothing to do with politics and makes it about politics*

      > *?*

      I miss your blog like hell Gus, but come on, why? So you don’t like that the co-author of this rpg game associates with someone you distaste. You can oppose the views/decisions/opinions of someone who makes something and still judge his products in a vacuum, like Bryce did in this review.

      I’m just disheartened that something as niche and tight-knit as the osr scene has somehow, against all odds, become politicized. And I think you’re adding to that problem by making these needless “alt-right” comments.

      • Fucktards Everfull Ass says:

        It’s become politicized because of some political zealots like Gus that can’t keep from shitting where they eat.

      • Gus L says:

        Sigh,

        I’ve been posting on these reviews for years. I shuttered my blog and stopped writing OSR content because of assholes like Macris and their know-nothing supporters like you (and mainly for other reasons – but none of ya’ll seem interested in those reasons) – I didn’t die.

        You should realize that when you say “keep politics out of gaming” but don’t think there’s an issue with folks like Fucktard, Macris and other neo-fascists shitting all over the hobby what you are doing is chasing everyone who isn’t part of their hate-gang away from the OSR. By hiding behind the idea that pointing out their affiliations is somehow unfairly politicizing an a-political space and clutching your pearls about tone while they launch into screeching insult fests over being called out, what men like you do is legitimize and support them. Do you think someone new to the OSR scene who happens to be of a gender, race, religion or sexual orientation on someone like Pundit’s hit-list feels like its a scene they want to be part of when they hear his rants? Especially when everyone just seems to go along with his psychosis as if they weren’t an issue or they agreed with him?

        When you cover your ears and get solemn about ‘politicizing gaming’ all you are doing is letting your hobby get stolen away by lovely folks like Fucktard here.

        • Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

          Yay! Crazy’s back to save the internet’s niche of a niche of a niche from the Nazis! I thought maybe he’d had another ragequit breakdown or maybe hurt his espresso pinky while trying to rend his Che shirt in outrage.

        • Sigh says:

          I barely know what I’m talking about. I didn’t know who “Macris” was before today (hooray for Google). So to call me one of his “know-nothing supporters” is a bit of a stretch imo (well, the first part’s true I guess). I just didn’t like it how suddenly this became about damn politics, and the alt-right, and everything, when it seems like that sort of talk doesn’t even belong around here. I don’t know, man. I didn’t mean to sound so confrontational. It’s just by the way you’re describing it the “OSR scene” sounds like a dying place that’s being torn apart by rampaging neo-nazis and pulpit-screeching madmen and everyone’s running for cover, but I just got into this stuff less than a year ago and it seems like it’s still up and kicking. I mean, yeah, there’s always gonna be a cancerous, lonely sub-section in every group, no matter how small (what is “YDIS” anyway???), but… whatever. Not sure where that train of thought was going. Just have fun playing dice with your friends everyone!

          Not trying to pry into your personal life Gus, I know you didn’t just put the blog to rest solely because of evil cyber-nazis and you have your reasons – I’m a big admirer of your work.

          • Gus L says:

            That you felt like you needed to tone police here when you admit you “barely know what [you’re] talking about” is telling. It doesn’t matter if you want to support creeps like Macris, Fucktard and Pundit – by whinging about someone pointing out their reprehensible views as somehow politicizing a previously apolitical ‘games space’, rather then recognizing that the ‘games space’ was already politicized by thier presence and becames more-so every time they start voicing their reprehensible views without pushback – you are supporting them. I know it’s easy to do in the OSR, given how much of it is made up of older white guys – people who aren’t at risk from Macris et al’s politics. It’s always easier to not give a shit when someone says they aren’t after you. Live and let live right?

            So yes, as long as you have folks like Macris and Pundit in the OSR, your association with it and head in the sand belief that they aren’t part of your scene because everything is just ‘elfgames’ is what is turning the OSR into a “dying place that’s being torn apart by rampaging neo-nazis and pulpit-screeching madmen” – worse then that you’ve become one of them. Alternatively you can simply note that Macris is an alt-rightest and move on, which I would have been happy to do if more creeps hadn’t decided they need to rush in to defend his precious honor and raise bad-faith arguments about fucking civility…

          • Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

            Quick, someone get Gus his meds! He rage-quit the rpg nerdosphere once already to punish us all for not conforming to his politics, but thankfully he had mercy and has returned. Please don’t melt down again Gus – find those meds FAST!

          • sigh says:

            Gus,

            Who’s “Pundit”?

            Maybe I’m wrong — from my perspective I hadn’t seen ANY politics on this side of the blog-o-sphere (other than the occasional Zak S related debacle), and then suddenly I saw you coming in with the “alt-right” stuff. So it seemed to me like you were coming in here and pulling politics in for no reason. But maybe it’s always been here and I just haven’t been seeing it. Either way, I haven’t been willfully ignoring anything, I’m not ‘supporting’ anyone, and I’m certainly not your enemy here. I didn’t mean to pick a fight. I’m sorry if I made it seem that way.

          • Renato Paredes says:

            “”””That you felt like you needed to tone police here””””

            Says the guy that is trying to police the opinions of everyone in a subject no one wanted to bring to the table. You can’t see, but you are doing heavy proselitism of your ideology, and when facing with opposition for this proselitism, you can’t read this situation outside your ideology.

            So when you come and say “you neo-fascists” It’s exactly like being a zealot and calling someone a satanist for asking you to stop questioning other people’s faiths.

            So yeah, you are a supremacist. Of ideology of course, instead of race or religion.

          • Renato Paredes says:

            “”””Alternatively you can simply note that Macris is an alt-rightest and move on, which I would have been happy to do if more creeps hadn’t decided they need to rush in to defend his precious honor and raise bad-faith arguments about fucking civility…”””””

            No you wouldn’t. I know how you ideologues think. You would try to harrass Bryce into exposing his opinions about the subject. If you liked his answer you could maybe give him peace. If not, you would try to boycott him or continue the harrassment. So basically you were a path of bullying.

            It’s not your fault. That’s how fanatics work. Eventually this feverish biggotry of yours will fade.

        • Auntie F.A. says:

          I second this comment. Gus L is right this far (and I won’t read the rest of this comment train)

  6. Well, that escalated quickly.

    Is this a bad time to politely note that we’re discussing a game about talking trees and blink dogs?

    Seems like a bad time.

    • Sigh says:

      No, no, it’s because apparently nowadays EVERYONE is a politician, whether they like it or not! Even obscure rpg nerds!

      • Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

        It’s hard to have nice things with these mentally unstable, emotional trainwreck political zealots trying to thought police everyone and everything on the internet. Disagree and you’re next!

  7. Dire Grizzly Bear says:

    To answer your question, Gus (since the people making excuses for fascists are getting so offended by you disagreeing with someone), Autarch is Macris so anything Adventurer Conqueror King puts money in his pocket.

  8. Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

    Booyahh! Someone is saving us gamers (again). This hasn’t happened since the Satanic Panic. Go ahead, do a high-five (don’t miss hands like normal though)!

  9. I really think dudes like Gus L. missed their mark with the Nazi hysteria. Now back somewhere around 2012 we would all be dropping our copies of ACKS in disgust, throwing up and tearfully apologizing to the nearest unpriviliged person that we oppressed, saying things like “what have I done?”

    Now no one cares, but back in the days we sure would care, and weird, power-hungry narcissists with bad ideas that want people to do what they say could hide behind a thin veneer of virtue, and force people to do as they said and feel bad. That was then.

  10. Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    Ten foot /pol/… whodathunkit?

  11. Bryce Lynch says:

    Mother fuck the mac soft escape key! Two comments blown away now!

    I’m been off in south carolina working with a wells fargo entity and i return to find this.

    I don’t know what I would have done is I knew Macris was that deep in. Probably ignore the adventure. Who knows. He gets to believe what he wants, as does everyone else. Just as we get to point out the outliers of the political spectrum. Outliers being the operative terms.

    I don’t get the conservatives these days. Acting out of fear and isolation and defending idiots. Out of fear of a slippery slope maybe? It’s unbecoming of a true political philosophy. It always seemed obvious to me where the southern strategy was going; I guess it got away from them. At least the Evergreen people have the excuse of youth, mostly.

    Dude didn’t empty Milo’s trash. Further, he threw in with a grandstander who is in it for the buzz marketing. Of course controversy would follow. The shitting where you eat seems unwise to me; after all the Geek Fallacies point to an outside community.

    Fucktard, be less of a fucktard. Try making a real point instead of resorting to yelling “fight! fight! fight!” Jesus Christ, let people be human.

    • Fucktard's E er says:

      apparently brych lynch also worships with the sky-is-falling, nazis-are-coming political zealots (or maybe he’s scared of their social media mob justice?). joke’s on us!

      • Edgewise says:

        Seriously FT, grow-up. You’ve been at this too long to be young enough to explain it. How do you justify such a childish level of rhetoric?

        You flip out when you don’t like someone’s politics more than anyone else here. See how you lash out when you find that Bryce does not share your beliefs. Apparently that was quite a blow.

        (Queue the performance of how nothing bothers him and it’s all for shits and giggles.)

        Scratch an alt-right provocateur and you’ll find the true snowflake hidden under a mound of trolling and fake nonchalance.

        To you and all the other salty whiners: if you want to see a review of someone that Bryce or Gus doesn’t support, start your own blog or just go to PON or RPGPundit. There’s no reason for you to expect someone else to post a review of a product written by a person that they dislike. Why don’t YOU contribute something to the community other than trolling and “pithy” forum comments?

    • Renato Paredes says:

      Hey Bryce, let me just say that I love your work and I enjoy so much what you do. The passion and the wit you use to write, and your thoughts about the gaming experience really inspire me to be a better Dungeon Master, and I live literally at the other side of the globe from so, IDK, maybe it is cool to see how far your influence can reach!

      About the issue at hand

      I have no idea where you stand politically and I really don’t think I need to know, I like your work enough to respect you whatever ideology you personally follow. I only engaged in this debate to say to you that it probably is risky for a professional to engage in political discourse or ideologic debate, as it very easily results in the divide of his fanbase/customers and the alienating of said audience. Unfortunately these days far too many people are radicals and extremists. It is not something happening only in the US and Europe you know, it’s global. And it sucks.

  12. Kent says:

    Paddy Stuart,

    how do you explain why 50% of the people you game with are transsexual?

    Even if transsexuals were not considered simply mentally ill, which they are, how do you explain it statistically if transsexuals are considered completely sane?

  13. Kent says:

    Zak,

    You are not a Jew. You are a moron and Jews are asexual, just look at how ugly all Jews are. Disgustingly ugly, name a gorgeous Jew?

    No you are an ordinary, if tiny – remember Aristotle said tiny fucks like you were disgusting, american reprobate, and you think if you claim a Jewish identity people will value your autism as Jew-think. Well I don’t. You are a moron. You are tiny. You are autistic. You can only fuck whores.

    • Sigh says:

      What are you rambling about, who are you rambling to, and who do you think is listening? Pathetic. Someone needs to intervene and revoke your internet privileges before it’s too late.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bryce conveniently reviews The Scenario from Ontario (Zzarchov Kowloski) and The Dark of Hot Springs Island (Patrick Stuart) a week or two before the Ennie voting period. Gus L conveniently provides comments. Both win Ennies.

    Zzarchov Kowloski, Patrick Stuart, Gus L, Bryce Lynch. Who else is in the charade? What other works has Bryce shamelessly pimped?

    Like I said before, this site is becoming less relevant every day…

    • Gus L. says:

      False Machine Patrick didn’t write Hotspring Islands – Jacob Hurst did. I think you’re too busy spinning conspiracy against your perceived enemies to even know who wrote the best adventure of the year.

    • Patrick Stuart is noted as the credit for additional writing in Hot springs Island but I wouldn’t subscribe to any conspiracy that implicates Bryce is somehow corrupted or part of some sort of evil review illuminati. I offered Bryce a free review copy of my co-authored Red Prophet Rises and he refused and bought it himself and reviewed it anyway, fairly and succintly. I know him as a man of integrity and principle. Any questions of his integrity in this matter are groundless and his reviewing pattern can be explained entirely by the recency and the popularity of said works in question. Let us not waste time tilting at imaginary windmills.

      • Gus L. says:

        Gads! If PoN and me agree on something it’s gotta be pretty true.

        • Incidentally while we are taking a break from silently loathing eachother I will remark that I played through half of The Prison of the Hated Pretender and considered it at least decent entertainment.

          *secret evil review illuminati fistbump*

    • Edgewise says:

      I can’t tell whether this post is meant to be taken seriously. Ethics in gaming journalism, is it?

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Ennies are a crock of shit (nominate your own product, then effectively filter through the equivalent of the rpg.net membership). So, even though people like Zak S, Patrick S, Kowloski, Tarnowski,Crawford and dozens of others benefit greatly from receiving an Ennie boost, that is not the issue I was raising.

    Bryce has been reviewing old school-type adventures for many years now and, for the most part, has seemed fairly objective. Of late, I’d say I’m no longer sure. I don’t think it is an intentional thing on his part, but he seems to have been caught up in that self-aggrandizing, mercenary segment of the OSR that benefits from excessive spin. Their products are never as good as their hype (e.g., The Scenario from Ontario winning some kind of award? seriously?), and it appears from the outside that Bryce has cozied up to the left-leaning half of that segment. The right-leaning half also exists, and are just as bad, but I don’t perceive Bryce being buds with Tarnowski or Macris.

    I would find it hard to believe, based upon the timing of the his Ontario and Hot Springs reviews, that Kowloski, or someone similar, didn’t ping Bryce a month or two ago and suggest that he review them. Being the person’s pal, he probably then went ahead and did so. Supposition on my part, but I’d lay 2-to-1 that something of that sort went on, and that Bryce was effectively played [the spin/hype is all about $$.] His review of The Scenario from Ontario was not even very positive, but the timing of it, and of Hot Springs, seems quite odd.

    Gaming journalism…that’s a stretch.

    • Edgewise says:

      I think you’re being a bit paranoid. Like you said, Bryce’s review of Ontario was pretty lukewarm, and he’s always been a fan of Zzarchov. Hot Springs has been on Bryce’s review queue for a while…I requested it and he said “yes” long before there was an Ennie nom. But whatever, you are entitled to your speculation.

      As a side note, I do agree with you that Ontario stuck out as the least deserving winner this year (at least among the ones I am familiar with). Not my favorite Kowolski adventure, but they can’t all be One-Thousand Dead Babies.

      • Gus L. says:

        I’ll agree that the Ennies is largely a test of who can motivate their online fans to act – I’m not really that impressed with it, don’t vote in it and don’t pay it any mind, but Hot Spring Islands is good, and conspiratorial thinking is the hallmark of a diseased mind. Conspiratorial thinking about the “leftists” manipulating gaming blogs for meaningless awards is a sign of a diseased mind that’s laser focused on petty shit and about to burst like a big ol’ cyst of green infected pus.

        • Anonymous says:

          Gus, I don’t know how old you are (late 20s? early 30s?), but you really need to grow the fuck up and reflect upon how you label people in a fashion that is so overwhelmingly disproportionate. I say that it looks like Bryce is sipping his BFFs’ [best friends for five seconds] kool aid and you say that I have signs of a diseased mind. I had the temerity, a while back, to question Bryce’s reviews on another forum and you responded by calling me a right wing “gamer-gater.” Other, similar shit as well.

          Dude, I’m a fucking liberal about as far left as it goes and you’ve got some real issues that you need to work out [look at your responses to others, upthread.] Being that it seems like you’re a millenial internet baby, I’d suggest you do it out, in the fresh air. With people nearby.

    • Turtles, man.

      All the way down.

    • Last Bus to Dwimmermount says:

      It’s true that an excessive number of recent adventures seem to be “the best” these days. That’s a bit sad in a way: I still remember the good old days of tenfootpole, when a “best” adventure was indeed a revelation and an instant classic. Now there’s one per week and the impact is not the same– The most glaring example is probably “The Barbarian King”, which was an OK adventure when first reviewed (in 2012) and now (accidentally reviewed again) one of the best of them all.

      As for the quality of this adventure here, it sounds boring as hell. Knowing the author’s resume doesn’t make it better at all, but the problem is the adventure itself.

  16. A Different Anonymous says:

    Would it be enough to state, in neutral terms, who the author is, and then review the adventure as normal? Would that make both sides happy?

    • Edgewise says:

      I’ve never had a problem with Bryce reviewing whatever he wants, how he wants. It’s not up to the rest of us to form a compromise about how he reviews adventures.

    • Fucktard's Everfull Ass says:

      Crazy talk!!!! Go back to the middle 99% of the population, the only people who will tolerate such absurd propositions. The cultist GusL’s of the world are concerned with branding any non-believers in their political religion as NAZIS WHO NEED TO BE PUNCHED (and have their modules ignored). Conform or be cast out!

      • Edgewise says:

        Oh boy, you’re REALLY straining, Everfull…try eating that straw man for more fiber.

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re fucking crazy. There’s a mental plague going round for some weak-willed sad sacks, but later these alarmist whackjobs like GusL will be backpedaling the crazy or simply disappearing back into momma’s basement.

          We all survived the Satanic Panic. Something tells me we’ll survive this PUNCH A NAZI political cult too.

          Sorry if reality hurts. 🙁

          Can we get back to genuine module reviews now? Or does all have have to be filtered through an SJW lens?

          • Anonymous says:

            Wait, great idea! Bryce makes sure the political party of some rando internet turd APPROVES of the module’s author before reviewing it.

            Oh shit. Is this already happening?!? Did the dorskosphere’s most prolific reviewer undermine his credibility with some kind of retard-SJW political slant?

            Game over.

            AND WE THOUGHT PAY TO REVIEW WAS BAD…….

          • Edgewise says:

            Did that get it all out of your system, Everfull? Want to append another post to your rant? You’re REALLY taking this hard. Walk it off; you’ll be fine.

          • Anonymous says:

            yawn. i’m always here to slap you crazies wih a dose of reality, edgefart.

          • Edgewise says:

            Wait, did you really type “yawn”? Damn, I was wrong; you sound so nonchalant!

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