The Stink of Golanda

By Steve Willett
Polyhedron Games
Levels 9-11

Golanda, the Kingdom of Hope, devoted to the good of its people and all people. It’s knights travel Ropa looking for service in just causes. Its priests roam the continent healing the sick and injured with no regard to race, faith or morality. But something smells in Eddiston and it’s the stink of corruption.

Oh, where to start … this is a linear adventure with light content, a pure railroad from start to end. There’s not really a plot shield here, there’s not enough content for that. There might be … five combats? There’s a couple of word pages, printed as a PDF that describe some convoluted backstory with named right out of the goofball unmemorable Forgotten Realms names. Go to the damned (as in ‘Hell-Damned’) town. Question someone. Have a combat. Question someone. Have a combat. Question someone. Have a combat. Meet a dude. Have a combat. Have the finale combat with an EHP and a demon. That’s it.

The entire thing is presented in a very conversational form. It’s as if you were sitting down, having a beer with someone, and they described their last game to you. It’s not quite incoherent, but it’s also not quite all there. It’s full of anecdotal events. That’s good! They ground the detail and provide something to hang your hat on. But it’s bad in the conversational form it’s presented in.

Out of nowhere there’s a table presented on what you see if you climb up to the city walls. It’s not bad: a demon scurrying across a street, a zombie bumping into a wall, a panicked dog, people cowering in a corner. This is decent content. Maybe a little generic, but it’s trying. There are plenty of example like this in the adventure (well, at least five anyway.) A daft old woman, zombies feeding on bodies, and so on. That’s the sort of decent, specific, content that many adventures don’t bother to describe. “12 zombies” or maybe “12 zombies attacking some villagers” is the usual fair. It could be even more specific, but what’s here IS decent … when it tries. This leads into the monsters actually DOING things. They argue. They feed, and so on. Again, somehow this sort of content has been lost in many modern adventures.

Make no mistake: this is terrible. It’s linear. It’s conversational. It is, at best, just a framework. Stat blocks take up fifty percent of a page. It’s not so much organized as it is a story narrative, told linearly. It reminds me of some of the poorer Adventurers League stuff, like The Seer, but organized in a far worse fashion. Devoid of much content. What there is is linear. There are brief bright sports with the encounter descriptions, but its hard for me to even call them encounter descriptions.

If you sat down, right now, and typed up, in Word, describing the last adventure you ran, in as if you were talking to your buddy, then you’d have this adventure.

Also: the intro notes there’s corruption present. Wellllll…. as in “overrun by demons?” Yes.

This is available at DriveThru.

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5 Responses to The Stink of Golanda

  1. chgowiz says:

    Steve “BloodyMage” Willet. He just passed away last November. Immortalized by this module, his writings on Dragonsfoot and the commentary on YDIS.

  2. Bryce Lynch says:


    Uh … oops?

    That’s a pickle. I’ll let some more time pass before I review the rest.

  3. Sparklemotion says:

    No, review the rest. The best way to remember BloodyMage is to keep his memory alive and go though his modules. He would be more upset you would blow off his modules than to read them and dismiss them as tripe. He welcomed criticism as befit his curmudgeon nature.

  4. Badmike says:

    Yep, go for it.The legend of BM must never be forgotten……

  5. The Proverbial Bag of Dicks says:

    I concur.

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