By Sean F. Smith Self Published Mork Borg Level ?
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The edge of the Bergen Chrypt is flooded. Into that slick swamp, the ducal twins of Schleswig fled. Bring them back. (Or at least their signet rings. We’ll pay the same.)
This four page hexcrawl is devoid of content?
The designer write something I kind of liked. I saw this pop up and was like, “Woooah, six dollars for four pages?!?!” But, as you should all know by now, I am a dreamer. I believe in a world in which a four page adventure is worth six dollars. This is part of the lies I tell myself to make it through the day. A short page count doesn’t necessarily mean a bad adventure! Money is meaningless, mostly, these things cost less than half of one cocktail in a bar, so the cost is trivial. The person who just came up to me at the gas station is telling the truth and really did just run out of gas and needs $5 to get back to Forth Wayne, home of Taylor and Winter Fantasy. I have the luxury of living these small lies; it keeps me optimistic and, in spite of what you generally read here, from being a bitter old man. You, gentle readers, get to peek inside that optimism and see it continually shat upon. I know my lies are not true, but I want to live in a world in which they are. You get to see me deal with my own hypocrisy three times a week.
Mork Borg: a decent idea currently being flooded with shit. Near the beginning of the OSR there was a trend where publishers converted their adventures for old school play. They just took whatever they had, some pathfinder or 3.x adventure they wrote fifteen years ago, and just did a stat conversion to Labyrinth Lord or OSRIC or something. They usually forgot to remove the skill checks and had things like “Make a DC32 perception check to find the giant cave entrance.” One adventure published for 23 different systems. It was a blatant low effort money grab. My true contempt is reserved for those publishers. I usually try to separate critique of the creation from critique of the creator. You may have written something bad but that doesn’t mean you are a bad writer. Those money grabs are a time where I give myself permission to break those rules. Sure, they all do it, but you have to retain a bit of plausible deniability or else the optimists get pissed.
Which brings us to todays review of Snotsoil Mire.
The adventure has four pages. Single column, digest I think, with A LOT of whitespace in there. There is no art to take up space, or justify the cover price. It’s done in garish hot pink background that burns the eyes. A nice light baby blue is used, as well as yellow, just in case the hot pink color scheme should not give your eyeballs nightmares. Each of the six hexes has three possible encounters. The landwhale attacks, the aire if full of cold light rain (etc), or someone twists their ankle. Just about dix words for each of the three entries, most repeated on other tables. That’s it.
RPG’s can teach us a lot. The vocabulary in the 1e DMG for example. I learned the definition of chutzpah from the 1e Paranoia game, geez, must have been in the eighties. A person who kills their parents and then begs for mercy because they are an orphan, I seem to recall. Chutzpah.
Is this thing a fucking joke? Did Sean have some kind of bet going with someone else where the point was to write the pointless thing ever and give it a high price tag? What the fuck is the point of something like this? This sort of garbage is the kind of thing people wave around as a banner. “Look, THIS is what can happen so you should ban X!”
Mayhap the designer can fill us in on their thinking? See! See! I’m STILL optimistic that this isn’t some fucking troll product.
Congratulations Sean. You have written something iconic. You will now forever be associated with this. Bloodymage, Alfonso Warden, FATAL, Smugglers Cove. Snotsoil Mire & Sean Smith.
This is $6 at DriveThru.