The Quirtion Affair

By Steve Willett
Polyhedron Games

WoW! Seldom have I seen the likes!

This twenty page adventure is more like an outline of an adventure. And I’m being quite generous by using the word “outline.” The twenty pages have about eight-ish pages of content, single spaced single column with long paragraphs, with the rest of the adventure pages being a kind of monster manual for mostly “standard” monsters, like griffins and owlbears, but in the KISS system. Not only hard to read, but both overly abstracted AND very specific. This is more of a stream of consciousness “let me tell you about my character” story from a convention, except it’s “let me tell you about my adventure.”

I don’t even know where to begin. You’re hired by a guy who wants you look in to some abductions, which are suspected to be attributed to another kingdom. There’s not detail on them except “some press gangs.” That’s it. Nothing else, for the DM or players. You’re expected to go seek out sages in far away lands to learn about the other kingdom. There mountains of details about the Bloody Crag” and “The Sanguine Mage”, an offworld archmage/sage. This is the DM’s character, “Bloody Mage”, which is why his lair/fortress gets half a page of detail. Travel to the evil kingdom gets about half a page. The bulk of the adventure, taking place in the evil kingdom, gets one page. Here’s the sea “adventure:”

“Out on the high seas, before reaching Denga?l, they will fall prey to a sea hag one moonless night. Their final encounter at sea will depend upon their route. If they track through the strait, they will fall prey to Kraeldonian raiders. If they head for open ocean west of Denga?l, they will be beset by a kraken!”

That’s your sea adventure. The details for the evil kingdom are likewise at this VERY high level. Vampire Bob is found in the capitol. The undead armies are found in pens. Three vampires guard the pens. If you kill Bob you must also kill the other three to keep one of them from taking his place of leadership. That’s not exactly word for word, but it’s pretty close. That’s the detail of the capitol of the evil kingdom and their undead armies. Everything is like that. Just the barest outline. There’s this emphasis on explaining travel routes and kingdoms, but no map to support it, meaning it comes off as a confusing mess, almost to the point of being incoherent.

This review makes me uncomfortable. The author passed away awhile ago. This feels like kicking a man while he’s down. This, and the next adventure popped up in my queue so I bought them, not making the connection. I’m going to review the next one also and then probably remove the rest of his adventures from my queue. There’s no value here, either in the adventure or in reviewing it.

This is available at DriveThru.

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3 Responses to The Quirtion Affair

  1. You should be commended for this little archeological escapade into the life and career of Willet, Sanguinary Adept Extraordinaire. But yes this does sound horrible.

  2. Badmike says:

    You are honoring Bloodymage by these reviews..everyone who knew him has no doubt the quality of the stuff he wrote, but the fact he actually published and sold these shows his perserverance, Plus it gives him a posthumous signal boost. We must never forget BM!

  3. Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    The one amazing adventure that Bloo produced was his picaresque life, and the tantalizing revelations he scattered all over the web. What other designer could come close to such a career? Thanks for keeping his legacy in the collective gamer consciousness.

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