The Scenario from Ontario

By Kiel Chenier & Zzarchov Kowloski
Self published
Low levels

(These are the results from a writing contest, with little extra polish.)

This 49 page canadian-themed adventure has two scenarios: Sugar Shack Slaughter and Maple Witch of the Beaver Wars. They each take up about half the book. Both are set in the pseudohistory of the 17th century of LotFP. They both ooze a lot of flavor, local and otherwise, with quite good encounters. And they both could have used more editing/layout, with the first being better than the second, but not great either. The first is essentially a monster hunt while the second has just a bit more roleplay, although I would say both are very roleplay heavy.

The first scenario is more developed than the second, with the second being more in the line of free form ideas in paragraph form with some general large section headings. The first dows more with whitespace, indents, bullets, and so on to make the information more readily available to find during play. The second has long paragraph that has three NPC’s in it, describing all three of them. Bullet points or paragraph breaks, perhaps with bolding, would have done wonder to make it more accessible and less like a wall of text … which major sections of it are.

Nitpicking at the first, the hex map is a little light to read hex boundaries, and the wandering and movement stuff really should have been included on the hex page also, to put everything together instead of spread out over multiple pages. It does this in multiple places, and could have been formatted better to keep important things, like what the syrup farm owner knows, all on one page. But …

It DOES have a nice little section NPC’s. The core concepts of both are great and there are PACKED with flavor. Furt traders, one sick, will trade some beaver pelt for a cure … but not all of them! That’s a great roleplay scene, between the party and them and between the two of them. “Jaque! Give them more so I will be healed! No! We need that money!”

The monster hunt has a 50hd 600hp blob monster that, if killed, reforms, That’s pretty nice! Finding your way to a cursed tree and a trapped spirit to be banished finishes things up. Along the way are complications from the natives, and government/business conflicts with bribes. Maple syrup, beaver pelts, witches, native tribes, fur traders … all its missing are some mounties and hockey players for the most canadian thing ever written.

(Speaking of, Canada needs some more tourist traps. Mounties, first peoples, hockey players, fur traders, all walking around in the same fake forts.)

The hooks present are pretty blah … except for one. It’s mostly just hired jobs and missing relatives. But, a central point of the first adventure is a missing maple syrup mogul. One hook has you searching for her … but for revenge! She has wronged you and by god you’ll not let her get off so easy as to have a monster take her! I love the logic of it! Great hook!
My, what a worthless review I’ve written. If you’ve ever wondered why I usually just reviewone adventure in multi-paks, this is it. I do a terrible job.

Anyway, they are both very flavorful and evocative. The encounters in each are top notch, memorable without trying to be over the top. And they both FEEL like Canadian adventures. And they both have serious usability issues. Whil the first, the monster hunt, has better formatting, it’s still quite lengthy, the sort that digest with large margins gives you, and the second is just free form text, IMO.

This is $4.50 at DriveThru. The preview is worthless, giving you no idea of the writing in each section.

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19 Responses to The Scenario from Ontario

  1. D.Skelector says:

    Personally, I don’t think 1d4 beavers is a flavorful or interesting encounter. And I mean, maple syrup commerce wasn’t a fucking thing in 17th century Nouvelle-France. I shouln’t be so angry about it, but I am.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Canadian, I feel as though the heavy-handed stereotyping should offend me more.

      It’d be like if I wrote an adventure called “Death & Texas”, and the random encounter table was like “1d4 bald eagles, 2d4 rednecks, guy in a coonskin cap, a revolver golem, lynch mob, 1d6 Coca Cola oozes”

      Just grab basically every surface level thing you’ve heard about a place and throw it all together, eh?

      • Do bear in mind that both adventures were written by Canadians.

      • Hüth says:

        1. 1d6 Stone Angels
        2. 1d3 Porters (clad in lion-skins)
        3. 1 Patient, English
        4. 1 Manticore
        5. 2 Solitudes
        6. (In Barrens) Lost; (Otherwise) Viking Grave, Cursed

        • Hüth says:

          1. 2 Newfoundlanders, Unemployed (2 in 6 chance of 1d2 Quebecois, Unemployed)
          2. Film shoot (low-budget SF)
          3. Film shoot (local comedy)
          4. 1 Fang, Hooded
          5. Drome, Video
          6. Flesh, New

    • Anonymous says:

      Beaver encounters not flavorful enough? You haven’t encountered the right “beaver” then. 😉
      On a side note, who the fuck wants to play a fantasy RPG set in Canada?? Not that there’s anything wrong with Canada but just the thought takes me completely out of the moment. However, this is a module for flame princess so……..

      • D.Skelector says:

        You’re right, there’s nothing quite like a beaver!

        But wait! Would you not like to play a French Halfling?! You could name it with a name in vogue in the 70s like the authors do.

        Seriously, Bryce, WTF?

  2. jojiro says:

    A little of an off-topic question, but figured the most recent post would be the place to ask it:

    Of all the “official” content from Wizards of the Coast (so from 3E to now), what would you put at the top and bottom spots, and why?

    Same for TSR, and then how do the highs and lows of the two companies compare?

    I’m asking you even though you primarily prefer the OSR DIY scene, because you’re easily the single most adventure-savvy person on the internet. It’s sort of an answer I’m asking about out of morbid curiosity, but also one I’d love to link and spread to my 5e friends if it were a full article. It’d be a good eye-opener maybe, for folks who’ve never gone beyond WotC stuff.

  3. shaneward says:

    I would totally play a game in Canada, in fact I run a mutant future campaign set in Canada. Because I’m Canadian!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, Mutant Future/Gamma World yeah! But not fantasy RPG. On the other hand, maybe I’m dismissing this too quickly. I should get my sword, my chainmail, my iron rations, and my ten foot pole and head up to the border!! I’ll just let the border guards know that I’m here to hunt Canadian beaver. I’m sure they’ll let me right through. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to meet Geddy Lee or Alex Lifeson?

  4. Gus L says:

    I don’t care where something’s set as long as it’s A. Not some cliched high fantasy Tolkienscape B. A well written adventure with good details and a coherent faction structure.

    Give me fantasy Ontario, fantasy Detroit, fantasy Laos, fantasy fairyland by the sea – I don’t care. Just no more Forgotten Realms pastiche…

  5. Blis says:

    Speaking of vanilla, could you review The Vanilla Adventure?

  6. Dave R says:

    Some of this location/time stuff is a placeholder in any adventure, though. If I’m running a game I don’t teleport my players to another world every time I run a published adventure, I just shoehorn it in to my setting. That leaves beaver pelts, fur trappers and maple syrup as the call-outs to the Canada theme, which I don’t have a problem with.

    [quote]It’d be like if I wrote an adventure called “Death & Texas”, and the random encounter table was like “1d4 bald eagles, 2d4 rednecks, guy in a coonskin cap, a revolver golem, lynch mob, 1d6 Coca Cola oozes”[/quote]

    Then you roll one, and you play it straight, and the players never know how the full table strikes you. At a functional level, you’ve just stripped out all the encounters that could happen anywhere and don’t scream Texas.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, this ten(foo)tpole is becoming less relevant by the week…

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