Cowpie Mushrooms

  • By Martin O
  • Goodberry Monthly blog
  • OSR
  • Low Levels

Inspired by real life events! About mushrooms that grow on cow shit! It has cows and doggos in it!

This eight page heist adventure outline is about harvesting mushrooms that grow on cow shit … from farms with uncooperative farmers. Generally well organized, it gets in and out fast with a good  focus on gameable information rather than trivia. A little more lead in and a map would have made this super great, instead of just good. It’s a silly fucking heist, but, the best D&D is Heist D&D, a sandbox area and some stupid fucking plans created by the party. It’s hard to not like heist D&D.

This is really a kind of outline of an adventure. It gives you a brief one page overview of the goals (stealing mushrooms to sell to a rich asshole) and a little background and then launches in to descriptions of the three farms. The descriptions are focused on the task at hand: stealing the mushrooms. You get three power curves: a senile farmer with two cows, a farmer with about two dozen cows and dogs, and a farmer with forty cows and a military background and large family.

The elements present include a local sheriff, about an hour away, who hassles the party a bit in town and warns them about lynch mobs. Note what this does, giving the party two important bits of information. Not only do they have to worry about the farmers, but now they have to worry about the sheriff getting sent for and the local mob militia. But … they also know he’s about an hour away … both of which can now factor in to their plans.

The farms are tersly described. The house and farm, proper, is just a blow off in a sentence or two. The focus is on the people and NPC’s. How they react to both an up-front appeal “let us collect the mushrooms” and how they react to trespassers at night. A schedule for each farm, letting the party know who is where, and brief but sticky personality quirks. You get dogs who go for the face or crotch combined with sweet little quiet bulldogs. You get suspicious teenagers along with a little kid who loves candy and another who loves adventurers.

Note how good things are mixed in the bad. There are things to take advantage of, and things to watch for. The adventure locales are a collection of elements good and bad, for the party to build their plan and attempt to execute.

Bolding is used to good effect to call out certain sections of text, helping the DM locate important bits. The personalities are terse, in just a couple of words per, but stick well. Arthritic beagle, a dog that barks incessantly but it the sweetest dog ever. You know how to run this once you read it. The vision is communicated well.

On the downside …

There’s no map of the farms. Yes, I know, I sound like an ass. But a decent map of the farms and/or surrounding lands would have allowed more caper play, sneaking behind hedgerows and setting fire to things and the like.

There’s also a more that could be done with the summaries. The dogs have a personality summary on one page and a stat summary on another page. A little combined action would have been nice, but it’s not a deal breaker, since the adventure IS only eight pages long.

The map is, I think, a part of a larger problem. The focus is on the three fams and everything outside of that is handled in just a paragraph or two. Just a TAD more in the way of the region/local village/buyer assholes, would have provided a more solid grounding for kicking the adventure off. As is, we’re just told the buyer is a rich asshole. That’s enough to run him for me, but adding another one or two buyers, and maybe the BAREST of villagers/towns nearby, and a little regions map (without more detail) would have provided the DM just a few more tools to kick the thing off and run some of the more interesting complications.

Everything drives the action. All of the details are focused on the task on hand. The words are all meaningful to the adventure. It’s a rare adventure that can do that. This is a nice little adventure.

This is free over at the Goodberry Monthly blog.

This entry was posted in Level 1, No Regerts, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Cowpie Mushrooms

  1. Shuffling Wombat says:

    Nice review, and a good find. Detailed maps of the farms would be a welcome addition. I would also like to see a discussion of a bluffing approach, e.g, “I am Baron Bolsover’s chief health inspector: your farm is under quarantine for the next 24 hours, only my subordinates are authorised to enter”.
    Also what punishments the sheriff might hand out if the PCs are caught; does he take bribes?

  2. Martin O. says:

    My goodness! I never expected this to be reviewed, much less from an esteemed place like this, but I’m honored nonetheless!

    Indeed, maps were my lament. I knew it was something it needed, but I was so paralyzed about how to go about it that I decided to just post the thing instead of letting it sit on my computer for another month.

    I was planning on working on a version 2 for this thing, mostly to add a map and attempt some amateur layout bits. I’ll take your notes to heart!

  3. That cover art is udderly stupendous!……

  4. Oswald says:

    >based on real events
    Only country folks know what cow tipping is really code for

  5. Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    Any adventure which is reminiscent of a Mojo Nixon song is inherently interesting.

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