Things to NOT check out …

Sometimes I buy things and they are not what what I expect and/or don’t warrant their own separate review. I’d been shelving this stuff, but just now ran in to two in a row. Better to jot down a note so others will now what to expect.

The Sacrilegious Sage
Frugal GM

The RPGNOW page notes that this is an “adventure.” It is not. The actual text, once purchased, notes it’s an adventure seed. That’s closer to the truth. Six randomly generated cave levels look like a fractal tool made them, and then six VERY generic ideas for the levels. “This level has gemstones.” This level has tribes of warring orcs” or “this level has dwarf miners” or “this level has a river.” My issue here is that the shop page doesn’t say “seeds” and instead references “adventure.” I know I’ve been dinged before for having too strict a taxonomy … but at least I recognize the dangers in misaligned expectations.

The Tree Maze of the Twisted Druid
by Chris Kutalik

This is one of those “found” adventures from childhood, much like Habitation of the Stone Giant Lord or Underport. These things remind me of local county museums. Every county has least one and they are all alike in their mediocrity … and every once in awhile you find something interesting in one of them. (A map of the 1820 wilderness Indiana showing the trails and “roads”!) This falls mostly in to the “usual stuff” category, with most of the adventure not living up to the first sentence: the Twisted Druid needs a punch in the nuts. It’s got a couple of charming, age-appropriate hooks. The sheriff shows up and orders you to being him the druids head or he’ll take yours! He has 4d8 hobliars in ring mail and bec de corbins! In another hook, a naked lady kisses you while you are in a tavern and then 4d6 sailors drug you and take your best stuff, hiding it in the maze. Ah, to be young and random again! The rest of the adventure though, with few exceptions, fall in to the “encounter 2d8 enemies” camp of adventure design. The author has not fallen completely in to the puberty trap yet, or been ruined by genercism, but it’s more like the end of Underport than it is the beginning.

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2 Responses to Things to NOT check out …

  1. Gus L says:

    “Tree Druid” is not very good – it is free and an obvious joke though, but yeah not really my thing. Kutalik’s other stuff, written after he reached adulthood is quite interesting – I think you’d especially like “Misty Isles of the Eld” which is fun weird science fantasy and would be right at home in ASE.

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