By David Stapleton, Michael Looney, Keegan Brown LNC Sages 5e Level 3
Deep within the forest there are rumors of fell canyon, a place of danger. A small stream runs out of the forest. It is said that following this stream will lead one to this canyon. Whispers have come to the ears of the party of dark crawling things, ancient cults, and shrubbery.
This eleven page adventure features seven “rooms” in a small canyon that are described in three pages. It’s just combats, with not even the pretext of a plot. It baffles me how these things come to be.
That into up there at the start, the publishers blurb that I attach as the first thing in all of my reviews? That’s all there is to this as an intro. That’s your hook, and your reason for adventuring.
There’s a small canyon with high walls and a stream flowing out of it. Inside are seven chambers. Each one is, essentially, the exact same. You go in. The DM reads four or five sentences of some read-aloud that is meaningless. There’s an obstacle where you have to do some kind of check or fall prone. When you fall prone then either spiders or plants rush out and attack you. Next room is basically the same. And the next. And so on.
I must say, the dedication to “check for fall prone” is quite unusual. I wonder if the designer knows there are other things in D&D? In fact, I note that this wondrous work too the efforts of THREE designers.
I can’t get over this thing. How ridiculous it is. There’s window dressing. Fish bones. A symbol, broken bones and an axe in a tree. They have nothing to do with the adventure. Because there is no adventure. It’s just go in a room, check for prone, and have a fight.
Tactical mini’s. This is it. This is what people think D&D is. No wonder. No exploration. No roleplay. No interactivity. Just this.
I remember a comic. A collection of frames, much like Far Side. One had a goldfish bowl. Two fish inside were looking at another who had flopped out on to the table. “Freedom. Terrible terrible freedom!” says the one on the table.
This is the internet. This is DriveThru. This is lower barrier to publishing. This is the ability of everyone to share their enthusiasm and creativity with everyone else. For better. And worse.
There are a wide variety of play styles, but, is there some essence that makes D&D what it is? Some platonic form that can be pointed to? This is D&D. This is not D&D.
Is everything meaningless?
This is $2 at DriveThru. There’s no preview. Otherwise you wouldn’t buy it.