The Oracle at Gula

By Joseph A. Mohr
Old School Role Playing
Levels 10-13

The King of Zanzia is greatly concerned about the troubles in his land and he summons the greatest adventurers that he can find to take a perilous journey to see the Oracle at the Temple of Gula to find answers to what ails the land.

This thirty page adventure has about sixteen or so rooms in a two level temple in the mountains, with the actual adventure text taking up about nine pages, once you’re past the “getting-there wandering monsters.” You’re trying to get to an oracle to ask some questions. Linear dungeon, straight-up “challenges” and fights in every room, and muddled text results in something atrocious. (Also, I had to spell atrocious three times to get it right.)

Backstory: four or five pages with the hook mixed in. IE: the worst sort of backstory, forcing you to read it so you can run the adventure. King Dipshit think something is up in his kingdom, shit been going down a lot lately, and wants you to go ask the oracle whats up. It’s a two week journey on horseback through the mountains, and you get a decent wandering monster table, with several of the encounters described. I like wanderers that have more than just a name, but the three or four paragraphs that each get here is a bit much. A couple of sentences, to set a scene and get the DM’s juices going, is really all that’s needed. Otherwise you’re facing the same issues that you have in long encounter descriptions: fighting the text to find the important bits. And for all the bullshit you go through you … a 20 acre plot. That’s what, one step above serf?

The maps are small and hard to read. DON’T USE FUCKING A CURSIVE FONT. Don’t use it in on your map and don’t use it in your adventure text. It’s fucking impossible to read. And the grid lines on the map are in a heavy blue, obfuscating the numbers and just lending the entire thing an air of “oh god, why the fuck am I even trying to read this.” Level one is a big open room while level two is COMPLETELY linear. One room after the other connected by a line. Not. Good.
Roome one of the temple complex. The statue blocking the door asks you “What do you seek?” If you answer knowledge it moves. Any other answer has some stone golems animating to attack you. Oh, and if you answer knowledge then then the statue says “then face my challenge to prove your worth” and the same enemies attack. So nothing you do matters.

Walk around a big room, proving your worth, repeatedly, until you face all of the challenges, and then a door appears, allowing access to level two. Level two is a linear map. You go in a room, right a monster, etc, and then go to the next room to repeat. This is not adventuring.

Why you would want to suffer through this is beyond me.

This is $3.50 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages and all you get to see is backstory. Joy.

mother fucker, and now my copy/paste isn’t preserving para breaks between google docs and wordpress. Grrr…..

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2 Responses to The Oracle at Gula

  1. I look at the preview, and that’s a king Dipshit artwork if I ever did see one.

  2. YouDon'tMessWithTheJeff says:

    Not sure why anyone would design a module this way. I certainly don’t agree with all of Bryce’s preferences in adventure design but this sounds like a very boring slog.

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