An Easy Task

By FEI Games Inc
FEI Games
B/X
Levels 3-5

A group of minotaurs have moved into the area. A farmer spotted them at the ruins down the road and now the locals want them gone.

I don’t know man. Really, I don’t. I apologize.

This seven page adventure is actually a (very small) one page dungeon with four rooms. It features fourteen minotaurs and fourteen dire wolves. It is minimally keyed ala Palace of the Vampire Queen. Uh, it has 4000cp of treasure. I don’t know what to say. It’s one of the worst?

Seven pages for this. One title page. One page with the adventure on it. One page with the stats for the two monsters. One page to note 4000cp in treasure. Two pages of license and one blank page. I am an optimist. Really, I am. The wurstest pessimists are always the most idealistic optimists. I WANT to believe that a short adventure can be good. There are some! I promise! But not this one.

Ok, a hunter sees some minotaurs at a ruin down the road, goes to the inn, and insists the party take care of it free of charge since they’ve been staying in the area. Of course, they can keep any treasure they find. This is the hook. It appears on the one adventure page. It preceded by a section telling us that the minotaurs have moved in to the ruin because they had good luck with their last raid. I guess that’s the background. The last two sentences is the wilderness adventure: the hunter takes them to the ruin but will not fight. The five-ish sentences that make up those three things take up half the page. The one one page that has the entire adventure. I question if that was the best way to spend the word budget allocated to this title …

It’s minimally keyed. “Room 1) 5 minotaurs.” That’s it. Nothing else. There are four rooms, all minimally keyed. The map is a small plus sign; one central room up high with three other rooms connected to it in the cardinal directions. Each room has a bunch of minotaurs and/or dire wolves in it. There is an order of battle! One of te minotaurs will ring the gong in the central room, summoning all of the minotaurs ot the battle, if, I guess, they didn’t already hear it, being 20’ away from it and all that.

Fourteen 6HD minotaurs at … third level? Fifth Level? And that’s doesn’t even include the fourteen 4HD dire wolves that are also included. A combat. Just a hack. Nothing else to this. 

The treasure is 4000cp. Seriously. And 500sp. A jewelry worth 30gp. 2 potions. “Various mundane items worth 700gp.” Ok, so, realistic, I guess? Oh, oh, and, of course, “the DM can also place any other treasure they would like.” Yeah, no shit? Can I, the DM, also breathe while running this? And speak? Just last night I was just writing an article about this”feature” of adventures. How they put in this “add an encounter of your choice” or “include any treasure you want.” Surprise surprise surprise, I see another example of it this morning. 

What’s the count at? I don’t know.

A one page adventure listing itself at seven pages. Because it is seven pages: one page of adventure and six of fluff. A hack a thon in B/X, where Hack a thons are essentially insta-death, so, no basic understanding of the game system. Also illustrated by having the third to fifth level adventure having fourteen 6HD monsters and fourteen 4 HD monsters. That will, essentialy, attack en masse. Also no understanding of how gold=xp work, since 4000cp ain’t gonna cut it for leveling purposes. That’s where most of the XP comes from in basic and it ain’t present here, especially at this risk level. Minimal keying, bringing nothing to the adventure. A hook relying on the party to be Goodies. A map small enough that order of battle doesn’t matter.

No exploration. No wonder. No joy. This is a 4e adventure pretending to be B/X.

This is $2 on DriveThru. Being one of the worst, it of course has a three star rating on DriveThru. Because reasons. You cannot, in any way shape or form, trust the ratings on Drivethru. There the weirdo page-flip preview instead of a full size one. If you squint hard you can see the map and the minimal keying next to it. That’s the adventure. The entire thing.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/300205/An-Easy-Task-An-OSR-B-X-Fantasy-Rule-System-Game-Scenario?1892600

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20 Responses to An Easy Task

  1. Shuffling Wombat says:

    Melan has recently reviewed another FEI Games offering, “An Abandoned Tower”, and has awarded it one star out of five, which seems to err on the side of generosity. There is an amusing exchange in the DriveThru comments.
    Clearly this is a plea for help and you want something decent to review. May I suggest “Gang Lords of Lankhmar”, a DCC Lankhmar adventure from Harley Stroh? Number 3 in the line “Acting Up in Lankhmar” should be reserved for the Prince of Nothing, a literary appreciation is in order, preferably in rhyming couplets.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about the recent FGG Tegal Manor as a comparison to Gabor Lux CX?

  3. ~ZOZ says:

    That cover is a thing of beauty. Strong “graphic design is my passion” vibes.

  4. Richard Sharpe says:

    You might as well finish FEI off and review “A Tomb To Plunder” for the shit trifecta.

    Also, it looks like his “Classic Cavern Maps” is just output from donjon.bin.sh’s random dungeon generator set to “cavern” and pasted into a PDF. Wonder if Drow knows this?

  5. OSR Fundamentalist says:

    >module is called “An Easy Task”
    >it’s actually not easy at all
    What did they mean by this?

    • LL says:

      Obviously the name refers to the author’s experience creating this. With Bryce’s purchase, this is clearly the easiest two bucks anyone’s ever made!

  6. Robert, OSR Heretic says:

    Not even 4th edition sounds this bad. Hell, if I wanted something like this I’d go find my old maps and dungeons from 6th grade.

  7. Graham says:

    I’ve seen similar with a Traveller scenario (The Mystery of BT-SHT 365) where the author submitted what amounts to his rough notes to Mongoose and thanks to one of those ‘You Write It, We Print It, No Questions Asked’ programs it’s now on DriveThruRPG garnering five star reviews.

    It’s currently being reviewed on YouTube and to date the reviewer has found:

    1. No explanation for NPC actions.
    2. Illogical NPC actions
    3. It’s assumed PCs will act in certain ways for the plot to progress, no advice on what to do if they don’t.
    4.Poor plot handling.
    5. Various ‘McGuffin’ artifacts role in the plot are not explained.

    These are all elementary mistakes, but people keep making them.

  8. Dishrag says:

    An obvious cynical cash grab? The sincere work of an unimaginative 10 year old? Either way it’s proudly marked OSR on the over and sold on Drivethru as if it was the same thing as Veins of the Earth, Stonehell, or Misty Isles of the Eld. Thing is it’s no alone, there’s people stumbling on this junk and thinking it’s the standard for “B/X OSR” design, which is a shame. I don’t mean to suggest this is unique to the OSR or indie game publication – just try to buy something that isn’t a bad knockoff on Amazon, but the churn of this sort of dreck helps sour the OSR brand.

    On the other hand grognards love minimalism…

  9. Evard’s Small Tentacle says:

    OSR has just as much crap as any other d&dish rules set. A lot of good adventure design is independent of rules sets.

  10. Gnarley Bones says:

    So I’m hearing that I can make tens of dollars by putting up a few pages of my 5th Grade dungeon. Just the first couple of pages, first draft.

  11. Samurguybri says:

    The cover reminds me of Mr. Horse from Ren and Stimpy :
    “No Sir, I don’t like it.”

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/renandstimpy/images/d/df/Mr._Horse.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20090912183619

  12. Goblinist says:

    There are a great many things wrong with the minotaur in the cover art…

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