Shrine of the Wolf Maidens

By Catherine Evans
Aegis Studios
B/X
Levels 2-3

An adventurer named Jorasco Vinn was commissioned by Madeina Ilrekar, a prosperous merchant from the town of Dela’s Tor, to explore a certain area of the Untamed Gauntlet for signs of precious metals worth mining. All he found was an old shrine to a minor local deity whose name is long forgotten. Now Madeina’s daughter Silvega has gone missing and there is no sign of Jorasco. Madeina has put two and two together and made five: she believes he has kidnapped Silvega and stolen her away to this ancient shrine… where human sacrifice was routinely practiced.

This ten page adventure, with about four actual content pages, details about six linear encounter areas in a small shrine. It’s ok, nothing special. 

There’s just not much here to review. Six-ish encounters is not much at all. Meet some centaurs in the woods and talk to them. Then go through a linear five room shrine dungeon and fight some wolves and then a proto-werewolf. 

Read aloud is about four sentences per encounter. Your quest-giver has her information laid out in bullet points. The dungeon is linear and the two combats are, obviously, forced. Usually not a good thing in an OSR adventure. 

I like the O&L setting of writs of exploration and reconquering the frontier … but that’s a setting thing. 

There’s a random trap in a hallway and I’m almost never fond of that. “If the thief detects traps …” I think this slows down play. Either the thief is continually checking/rolling/asking or they will be after a rando hallway trap. The thief mechanics for hallway traps just don’t work.

I will say, though, that’s a cypher puzzle that done well. It’s just a simple letter substitution, but it’s left to the players, with a good hint, to solve as opposed to their characters. Stuck? Some int/skill checks will have the DM giving you some hints at certain levels. Don’t want to bother? Bashing the door down is covered as an option. Can’t succeed on your bash? Then the DM is instructed to just provide some damage as the door falls down to the parties attempts. THis isn’t the same old roll to continue the adventure nonsense. It’s a player puzzle, which is great, with options to bypass it, which is also great. It goes on a little long, but clearly shows a greater knowledge of design.

Can you have a B/X dungeon with five rooms? I guess so. But then it feels more like a “plot” adventure from 3e/5e. Linear. Forced fights. But then the chosen format would get long, at almost a page per room any real length would be hard to manage. 

I guess a “its ok” means I don’t hate it, but there’s just not much to it. 

This is $2 on DriveThru. The preview is three pages. The last page shows you the (probable) non-combat centaur encounter. Longish, but ok I guess?

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/279695/Shrine-of-the-Wolf-Maidens?1892600

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8 Responses to Shrine of the Wolf Maidens

  1. DangerousPuhson says:

    FYI to all my forum bros up in these comments. This:

    “An adventurer named Jorasco Vinn was commissioned by Madeina Ilrekar, a prosperous merchant from the town of Dela’s Tor, to explore a certain area of the Untamed Gauntlet for signs of precious metals worth mining”

    This is what I mean when I say proper noun inclusions in an adventure are a bit of a hindrance more than a help. There’s nothing evocative here, and now I’ve got something to shift my whole campaign world for the sake of a ten-page adventure. Just saying.

    • some guy says:

      I disagree. It’s very easy to sub in your own names and it’s easier for the module to refer to ‘Dela’s Tor’ than ‘the nearest town’ over and over. And if you’re bad at names (like me), you have some default options ready to go!

      • The Middle Finger of Vecna says:

        I agree on the not evocative part but easy peasy to swap out the names. No need to alter your campaign world. Not sure it’s worth it for this adventure though, It sounds like so much meh.

        • Edgewise says:

          I’m with Vecna, but I will point out that nothing puts my brain to sleep like a list of frilly fantasy names. They’ve either got to be word-names (i.e. they are named evocatively like the village of Broken Toe or the Ultimate Empire) or gonzo Saturday morning cartoon names (e.g. Vez-Var the Wicked).

          It’s here that I like to point out that names often mean something in languages other than English.

          • Lord Mark says:

            So here this should be “A surveyor named Wretch Thrallsblood” comissioned by “Claret Vintagee” from the town of “Batswood” to explore “Thirsty Fangs Ridge”. Also any threatened or kidnapped youth or damsel is named “Mina”.

            As always, for a superior game, it is best here just replace everything with Vampires – ideally real vampires (you are aware that you an be a real vampire? It’s not cheap, but I, Lord Mark, have the secrets!)

            The inability of this author to understand the ways of the world is shocking and sad, clearly they are in need of Vampire secrets.

  2. Reason says:

    It’s easy enough to substitute on the fly even. And since these guys are selling a system/setting rolled into one then they get a pass on that. “Untamed Gauntlet” as a place name for a presumably frontier region is ok; it evokes the frontier setting mentioned & presumably helps players visualise the shape of that region.

    And hey, just a single apostrophe & it’s used for a legit reason!

  3. Lord Mark says:

    Ha. Matt Collevile’s “Five Room Dungeon” strikes again. I almost like the premise, if the merchant’s theory was totally wrong, it might be a reasonable hook – though who hires an uneducated vagabond to prospect for minerals? Send a surveyor and some mercenaries or something…

  4. squeen says:

    Ho hum. Being a vampire is soooo nineties’s…

    Eighteen nineties, that is.

    Total over it.

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