The Frozen Province

by Giuluano Roverato
Roll 4 Tarrasque
Level ?

An unnatural cold has taken hold of this land and refugees tell tales of both gold and horror. Will you loot the remnants of this once lush province or try to save it?

This is one of them there new fangled tri-fold adventure gimmicks. I was gonna ignore this development but a reader asked and I’m currently in a Regional Resources mood.  It’s got a weird vibe going, pseudo-japanese mixed with a weird non-Gross Carcosa thing that gives that odd vibe in the same way Dark Sun did. As a series of ideas it’s ok. As a framework for something like A Fiasco Playset, or the equivalent for light story gaming it’s ok.

There’s a village on the border of an ever-expanding freezing region. There are 8 locations in a region that’s 6 days travel by 6 days travel in size. It’s large to reinforce the cold damage and it’s sparse because it’s a tri-fold. Thus my pointer to more abstract-like games and/or using this to develop your own ideas/region.  

There’s a one-page village/NPC description and about one page of wandering monsters/exploration guidelines. Two pages of locations, including a map, and one page of magic items in addition to the cover make up the six tri-fold pages.

The encounters have a weird vibe to them, with that pseudo-japanese thing going on. Shitake soup, sakura trees, monkeys bathing a hot spring … one with a rifle. And there’s that weirdness I mentioned. Frozen monks, with centipedes that burst out of their eyeballs. A frozen giant carp with a human face. It’s brining the weird and generally interactive, although almost all of them have a significant slant towards combat. They are solid ideas though and deserve more than aa sentence on a pamphlet.  Come to think of it, they remind me a lot of the hex descriptions/encounters in the Wilderlands products, with perhaps a slightly more combat focus. Generally interactive or, maybe, it’s easy to craft something larger around them and you can see the energy in them. They do tend to a more abstract language style though and would be stronger if they used more specific words and/or colorful language. “Clearly overworked”, “a foreigner to these lands”, and so on. Some word choice changes would have done wonder to make things pop more.

As a format the tri-folds are probably less useful than one-pagers; the folding, detracts from space. Maybe there’s some usefulness in these sorts of things for more abstracted games. For this one, specifically, there’s interesting situations and writing but they are constrained by the limitations of the format.

This is $2 at DriveThru. You get a one page preview, which is half the product, and is nicely representative of the writing.

Also, Gus says we should be making everything free.

This entry was posted in Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Frozen Province

  1. Ron says:

    Hey Bryce,
    Do you think there could ever be use for the tri-fold as a format for adventures or supplements? I’ve never heard of it before and it’s certainly intriguing. I use a PocketMod organizer at times, to help me organize my various lists. It took me a while to get used to it, but at times I find it real useful. I’m wondering if you could see a use for the tri-fold in the realm of RPG publishing. 🙂
    Be well and thanks,

    • Bryce Lynch says:

      The logician in me says that just because I’ve never SEEN a black swan …

      The format forces an abstracted nature. (Ok, technically it doesn’t, but shut up, you know what I mean.) So, it should be ok for abstracted things. An entire adventure in a story game ala Fiasco playsets?

      As a way to organize reference tables? Maybe.

      Some way to supplement the DM screen?

      • Slick says:

        If the adventure itself was in standard book form, but there was a separate pamphlet that came with it that had some player-facing info about an included town (geographic information, rumors, etc. written in a newspaper-y voice), it could make for a neat handout.

  2. Melan says:

    So, a format even more limited than the one-page dungeon? Count me intrigued! What next, adventures by Twitter?

  3. Edgewise says:

    “The encounters have a weird vibe to them, with that pseudo-japanese thing going on…Frozen monks, with centipedes that burst out of their eyeballs.”

    I guarantee that whoever wrote this is riffing on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The Japanese thing and the centipedes erupting from frozen monks make it pretty blatant if you know the game.

  4. The Middle Finger Of Vecna says:

    How about monks bursting out of frozen centipede eyeballs? Little tiny monks.

  5. Grützi says:

    How about flying, frozen eyeballs bursting from tiny centipede monks? (peacefully meditating over the amount of legs needed to reach nirvana)

  6. Chris says:

    I seem to get better ideas from blog comments like this than actual published stuff you have to pay for…I am sooo going to run something with monks and centipedes and eyeballs.

Leave a Reply