The Maze

By M.A. Bastarrachea Magnani
Axo Stories
Level ?

The Maze is a flexible, 464-page mega-adventure that easily adapts to OSRs, dungeon crawls, and any d20 system.

This 464 page thing is a setting and adventure generator. Not an adventure. 

Do you like Kingdom Death? Did you like The Maze Runner? Do I have good news for you!

You can now own this thing in order to play a Kingdom Death/Maze Runner mashup! It’s a campaign setting. You wake up in an underground room and some dudes take you to this bonfire with an old elf who explains shit to you. You can make dives in to the mazes rooms and come back with resources so everyone can live while trying to find pieces of The Ultimate Weapon (thats a setting thing, not my hyperbole.) Every time you leave a room you gain a level, until you’re level 12. Then you have to defeat a boss monster to gain a level. The book has new monsters, magic items, rules for resources and running the “bonfire” home base, and a generator/guidelines for creating your own set piece rooms. A decent number of the rooms come out The Cube movies, or their kin, while others re just massive abstractions. New classes, etc. It’s all in here. Each session the party explores a room, deals with the thing, and comes back to the bonfire to level and fully heal. 

There’s some guidelines for converting the stats to 5e or Pathfinder, but nothing for the OSR. And that’s all a stretch anyway, because what this is is a heartbreaker. Someone wanted to write that Kingdom Death/Maze Runner world and published it as an adventure, slapping it in the adventure setting, writing a marketing blurb that it was a mega-adventure, and putting 5e/Pathfinder/OSR on it so it wouldn’t be touched by the “heartbreaker” kiss of death. 

I am clearly not amused by my purchase.

I will, however, go through the process of making a room, just to fill a word count. 

Youroll seven times. First, the room. There are 100 of them. (The Create a Room section takes about a hundred pages, with the other 300 being background/resource/campaign data.) Let’s say we get Deep Tombs. What follows is a page of text that generically describes this locale. Colossal chambers that some believe are buried deep inside the maze. They were carved by blah blah blah. Several levels connected by black stais. Endless rows of crypts and coffins, made of black Marble or Granite with dwarf skeletons inside laying dormant. You roll for the number of levels, how may d100 skeletons there are, get a sentence on looting steel skeleton armor and a % chance to get part of the ultimate weapon. The second roll is conditions, so maybe a necromantic mist inside this “chamber”, or some other party or its raining or something. Then you roll for the number of exits, how long until an ext door appears, some loot and who’s in there and if there are any “mimic” monsters. From this the DM can prep some adventure ahead of time to run. Oh, also, there’s a 1% chance you just die in each room generated. Yeah!

Look, I don’t know. Maybe this is fine as a campaign setting. If I were looking for Kingdom Death/Maze Runner then maybe it’s an ok thing, with its resource rules, etc. But that’s NOT what I was looking for. I was looking for an adventure. Not an adventure generator, and a generic one at that. And one that isn’t even 5e/Pathfinder/OSR at that. Is that what you want? Great. I didn’t want that. This “Adventure” is why we can’t have nice things. 

This is $20 for the PDF at DriveThru. Whatever. I don’t even care anymore.

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2 Responses to The Maze

  1. Malcolm says:

    It strikes me as a far more complex version of the Gardens of Ynn or Stygian Library, which is not a good thing, because the main obstacle to running those two is that it can take a while to roll up a level.

  2. Evard’s Small Tentacle says:

    Some odd reviews. Not sure who the audience for these products are.

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