Cave of the Cybersteed

by Raul De La Garza III
Metamorphosis Alpha / Mutant Future

In the quiet and unsuspecting village of Ek-Wyne, the residents go about their daily and mundane tasks not realizing that a terror from above has come to call. One by one the frightened mutant inhabitants disappear in a flash of light. Will those who remain pick up the pieces and carry on or will they seek out and discover who or what is behind this sinister act?

First: Gorgeous Cybersteed art on the cover!

Vaguely generic and maddeningly short on detail, this is more of an adventure outline. The party are all mutated horses. One night, in lightning and thunder, villagers start disappearing in bright flashes of light. This is followed up by some wolf-people on motorcycles raiding the village and stealing away villagers in their cargo trucks. Following the motorcycle tracks back leads to a small 30-room cave complex. This is the home to the wolf-people raiders and a processing center to turn the horsies in to cybersteeds.

You now have almost all the information that the adventure provides, in a far shorter form than the sixteen-ish pages that this module takes. The adventure mashes up new-school “scene based” play with a location-based “old school” wolf base. The first scene is the night horsie abduction. This is a typical example of the epidemic of bad scene-based modern events. Bright lights, horsies disappearing, and no chance for doing anything that could impact events. The purpose of this scene is to give the characters something to do: they need to rescue some of their horsie friends. The railroad aspect of this first scene ensures that at least SOME of their friends will be captured. “Allow the PC’s to attempt to prevent their own or another horsies disappearance” is about the extent of the guidance provided. Not much scenery, not much flavor.

Scene The Second is about a wolfoid raid on the village. They ride motorcycles and have a horsie wagon to carry away captives. Again, not much flavor provided, but at least now the party has motorcycle tracks to use to find the base and, perhaps, their missing friends. I really can’t emphasize enough how little there is to these first two scenes. The description is little more than “some wolves on motorcycle, armed with stun lances, show up and raid the village for horsies. Maybe there’s a running battle on the road if the party capture some motorcycles.” It’s presented as a part of the larger railroad, so, naughty on the designer, but it’s also refreshing, in a madding sort of manner. It’s entirely open in implementation … mostly because there’s no detail. I like an encounter to have some flavor, which is really not present here, but also to have this sort of open-ended nature. “Hey, this is what he wolfoids want to do and here’s a couple of ideas.” I’m not sure what’s wrong here, if it’s the lack of flavor or what, but it’s almost like the whole thing is coming from an oblique angle. Maybe it’s that it’s a brief idea, but presented over two paragraphs? When those two paragraphs could have been used to provide additional flavor?

The wolfoid base has 30 rooms, with some pigoids present as well as a couple of robots. One of the robots operates on captured horsies and converts them to cybersteeds, before they are teleported away. You now know everything interesting the 30 room descriptions provided.

The main problem is that the rooms are mundanely described. Instead of concentrating on what’s new, unique, interesting, or gameable, it insteads concentrates on the mundane and boring. `Things are so loose that the wolfoid leader, while mentioned, I think twice, is never given a location.

Metamorphosis Alpha adventures are few and far between. Someone needs to do a good one one day.

This is available on DriveThru.

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One Response to Cave of the Cybersteed

  1. Speaking of Metamorphosis Alpha adventures, any chance of seeing more reviews for the ones from Goodman Games? I particularly liked the review of Android Underlords.

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