The Things Lost to Time

By James Andrews
Stormforge Productions
Levels 1-3

Deep in a mine is an ancient vessel. Something so ancient, it sunk under the stone like mud. A vessel alien to this world, yet here longer than most of human history. Can the players harvest its strange technological bits before being disintegrated by deadly lasers? Or will they be enslaved by the odd pink aliens which have been unleashed on the world?

This 22 page adventure details a 22 room spaceship buried in a mine. The miners are now undead cyber-zombies, the aliens floating balls of tentacles, and there’s a crazed robot to avoid. But, treasure is abstracted, the rooms all need a second pass for logic and to clean up unneeded text. Still, there’s a good cat and mouse idea here.

The (rather loose) hook has some miners having disappeared and not come back, except for one with tales of a metal demon and hellfire. The actual mines are quite small, just a couple of room, before the spaceship begins. It’s a collection of obvious obstacles, like a laser screen doorway to be crawled between, alien tentacle blobs, abstracted treasure, and a killer robot to be avoided.

The patrol bot is the most interesting part. It roams about the hallways, on a loop. If it catches someone it most likely kills them, then takes them to medbay to convert to a cyber zombie. There are guidelines for hiding form it, how hard is searches, vents on the map to crawl through to avoid it, and how it escalates its searches over time in response to interactions with the party. It’s an interesting aspect of the adventure to put on some pressure AND it supports the DM with the maps, guidelines, etc to help them accomplish it.

The rest of the adventure is uninspiring.

There are annotations missing form the map. The robot does something at points A and B, but they are not on the map. Some of the traps are Bad Traps. While searching the lockers in a room one explodes and you take damage. It’s kind of the same as a rando pit in a corridor … just take damage and move on with the adventure. There’s no interactivity with that.

Each room starts with a DM overview and then some bad read-aloud. The overviews are mostly not needed at ALL . The room titled “4. Medical Room” tells us that “this room is the equivalent of an alien medical bay.” Well, yes, could have guessed that. It’s almost all unneeded text. The read aloud if overblown imagery at times, and leaves out details at others. It’s not really evocative at all. The med bay, for example, have absolutely no mention of creatures, until you get far down in the room description where it say “Creatures: 4 cyber-zombies.” Wouldn’t that be mentioned in the read aloud? What are they doing? Just standing there? Do they attack? Whatever the designer was going for doesn’t really come across.

For those in search of tech, you shall despair. It’s all abstracted in to “bits” worth 1sp each.

It comes off as just a generic, abstracted spaceship. IN fact, the surviving miner even calls it a ship. I managed to run S3 once for three sessions and the party still hadn’t figured out it was a ship. This aint that, and not even a glowing red laser fence can save it.

This is free at DriveThru. There’s no preview (although I guess you don’t need one if its free) and the level isn’t included in the text description, although it is on the cover if you blow it up to look at.

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2 Responses to The Things Lost to Time

  1. It’s possible the author has since updated the adventure: I found points A and B to be clearly marked on the map and the intended party levels in the introduction. I don’t know if any of the textual issues were addressed.

    • Bryce Lynch says:

      Looks like its on the map embedded in the adventure but not on the separate map included. Now I don’t know if I missed it the first time because i was looking at the second map, or if it was added. 🙂

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