By J. Stuart Pate lotFP LotFP Low levels
The year is 1632 and the wars of religion engulf Europe. Can you imagine it? A war so total, everywhere you have ever known and everywhere you might know is touched by it. It’s taken friends and family members. Maybe it swallowed your village whole. Perhaps it even took you, conscripted by a King or an Emperor or a Pope you have never met. […] So, when you seek an inn to stay for the night, why are you so surprised to find the war has arrived ahead of you?
Hey, there’s a patreon link at tenfootpole.org. My goal is $152,000, at which point I can pay off my mortgage. Seems reasonable to me …
This 32 page adventure is an outline of a situation that is going to go down in an inn. The party may involve themselves in The Troubles. It is, essentially, an orc baby adventure. It’s pretty well organized, if longer than need be.
I’ve been on a Lamentations hiatus, burned too many times by Raggi. I saw the “Hell is other people” tagline and, sucker that I am, bit immediately. Insane in the membrane I am. (Again, Hexstatic Cocaine sample.) Have you ever wondered why those three fucks in No Exit don’t just bend a fucking little in order to make eternity more tolerable? I’ve known two people in my life who were intractable and they both, to varying degrees, were self-destructive because of it. Content to watch their life burn down around them rather than reframe. Then again, if our room occupants could do that then they wouldn’t be there, would they? I digress.
Let’s cover the orc baby situation first. Do you like adventures with orc babies? IE: do you like moral quandaries that can split the party. I don’t. I played in a Mountain Witch game once in which some famous RPG dude was also in. They found the game emotionally unfulfilling. I thought it was kind of fun. If I wanted to play some indie game exploration of death or a crumbling relationship then I’d go watch On the Beach again and get my misery that way. As the Tom Tom Club would say, Fun, natural fun. And before you fucks freak out, I AM a new wave boy, but I know this from Hexstatic Cocaine samples. Anyway. Fun, Natural Fun. I digress.
This being Lamentations, it’s set in the Catholic & Protestant wars in Bohemia. That don’t matter though, you just need a human warzone for it to work. You stop at an inn. There’s a family in the common room. The innkeeper comes riding up (he was gone) and says there’s an army coming. The family go and hide in the basement and the party is urged to not know anything. Some mercenaries show up to stay in the inn … who are actually advance spies for the army. Around 2am an army search party shows up, looking for a deserter who burned down a town. Seems he’s got his family in tow. Motherfucker, my ‘C’ songs suck. After Cocaine it switch to a bunch of shit before I figured out it wasn’t on shuffle. Frankie will have to do. I digress.
The timeline of events is handled on a couple of pages. It is the core of the adventure and it’s just about all you need to run the thing. It’s supplemented by a bunch of words that describe various things the party could do, generally who they help/what they do, and how the NPC’s react to that and it changes the situation. This is almost like a designers notes section, or an outcomes section for follow-ups to the adventure. I really appreciate that sort of thing to get me kickstarted in a direction that I can run with at the table. There’s also a brief description of the inn which is, appropriately, kept short in a non-keyed description. This ain’t an exploration and you just need the barest details of it to run what is, essentially, a social adventure. There’s also a couple of pages of simple inn maps and NPC descriptions. It does a good job giving you a short summary of the adventure up front and then the several page timeline is perfect for actually running the thing. I do not digress.
I might note that I found the NPC descriptions worthless. Well, not worthless, but inadequate. Given the map and the timeline then what this needs is a one page summary of all of the NPC’s; their quirks, looks, motivations, etc. Then you could run the thing without the book at all. Similarly, I might take some of the features mentioned in the inn room descriptions and add them to the map. The sword and gun in the common room, and so on. Maybe some notes, etc, with pointing arrows. This would make the book even MORE superfluous to running the adventure. By now it should be obvious how much I enjoy taking notes and highlighting things in order to run an adventure. If this thing did those two points then it would be pretty great in the “run at the table” department.
It’s ok. I like the drop in nature of it. I might have also appreciated a little more going on, for more chaos, but, as far as orc baby adventures go this one is pretty light on the morality. It just makes you feel like shit no matter what choices you make. Is that fun? I’m gonna regert this, even though it has orc babies.
This is $8 at DriveThru. The preview is five pages and shows you the VERY brief outline of the adventure. That’s a great orientation of whats to come in the more detailed notes. A page of that more detailed timeline, a page of the inn, a page of the outcomes all would have supplemented the preview better than the generic title pages/intro would have.