I’m working my way through Fight On! magazine, reviewing the adventures. The adventures are just a small part of the magazine; the rest of it is very very good. It’s similar to the early Dragon or White Dwarf; you know, when they were good. It contains A LOT of information to help get your imagination fired up.
by Gabor Lux
for 3rd level characters
What you will and what you won’t
What you do and what you don’t
What you can and what you can’t
This is a little adventure with a big gimmick. The party is stuck in the desert, in an area without water and in which water creation spells don’t work. One evening they are visited by an apparition in their campfire. It will give the party water in exchange for some blood … The party soon discovers a pillar covered with eyes. That can be scraped off. That turn in to killer frogs if they are scraped off. Which is beautifully illustrated. Listen up OSR: THAT’S what I want in my adventures. It’s a perfect example of the wild, wooly and weird style that is what D&D means to me. The rest of the adventure is a puzzle. It’s a straight shot linear push through eight locations that get more and more surreal … although not as good as the eye pillar. And therein is the gimmick: it’s not real. Confronting the creatures or situations with the strong belief that it’s not real will cause it to crumble, Inception-style. From the moment the apparition appeared the party has been in a mirage. This would make a cool little sub-level to a dungeon, however I caution people that I always feel ripped off, as a player, when this type of ‘its all a dream’ stuff comes up.
Badlands of the Bandit King
by Robert Lionheart
for 3rd-5th level characters
Robert has created a 3 level, 31 room dungeon entirely randomly using the EGG tables, from the 1E DMG I assume. What results is not absurdly bad. It’s at least on par with most modern dungeon maps, and better is most respects. What you have is three groups of creatures within the dungeon, vying with each other. There are some bandits who want to take things over but have gotten split up and in over their heads. There’s also a group of witches with their orc followers who are roaming around, and then there are the giant rats who are everywhere causing trouble. The map has some secrets on it and a couple of nice loops on the first level. Theres a nice rumor table and some suggestions for wandering monsters on the way to the location. These wilderness wandering monsters each have their own little story to tell, from rabid weasels to an ogre hunting party and a fugly sphinx. I appreciate the extra detail in these encounters; it helps spark the imagination of the DM and adds color. The dungeon has a wandering monster table also, much more normal: rats, bandits, beetles. The dungeon, while random, has been given order by the author. A random scarf is one room becomes the left behind/forgotten scarf of one of the witches. The spiked devil and gnome encounters, the first in the dungeon, are tied together WONDERFULLY, in a way that only the OSR seems like being able to do. Unfortunately the dungeon is a little mundane for my tastes; the random assortment of common objects is turned in to something nice, but I’m looking for the whimsical and idiosyncratic. I’d rate it above average compared to most d20/OSR products, and average for Fight On! quality.
The Darkness Beneath – Level 10: The Hall of Mirrors
The community megadungeon continues, this time with a small level. All of the walls, floor, and ceiling are perfectly smooth mirrors. There’s a robot with a laser gun who shoots are players who enter and who is surrounded by one kick ass force field. The challenge: find a creative solution past the level.That’s it. This is more of a stairway trap/puzzle disguised as an entire level. No solution is give, and in fact things are explained in such a way as to make the only possible solution one of those bizarre and weird PC ‘lets try this!’ that players often come up with. Again, this feels like a sub-level instead of a true level. I’m also not sure of its placement within the dungeon. As it is it guards one of the two entrances to the City of the Ancients, the bottom of the dungeon. Having it guard a level with just one entrance may have been better, especially if rumors of wealth & power about that level abound. That should motivate the players to explore the level more and attempt to solve the puzzle. I suspect the players would just leave the current Hall and move on to other areas.