Snotsoil Mire, Dungeon and Dragons adventure review

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.)

Uh.

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.


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/328758/SNOTSOIL-MIRE?1892600

This entry was posted in Do Not Buy Ever, Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Review, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Snotsoil Mire, Dungeon and Dragons adventure review

  1. rsk350 says:

    The Artpunk Crusade comes to Tenfootpole!

    • Edgewise says:

      Or is it the Mork Borg Crusade? It’s quickly becoming apparent that MB3P products are some of the shittiest money-grabs in the history of the hobby. They must be stopped! Whatever the sins of the artpunk scene, you can’t lay this at their door.

  2. Artur says:

    Damn. Bork Morg adventure review is guaranteed laugh.

  3. Edgewise says:

    I learned Chutzpah from Toon

  4. Anonymous says:

    Those people at least plays dnd?

  5. Monkey Bars says:

    At least the entire thing is available in the preview?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The review is longer than the product….

  7. Gnarley Bones says:

    $6??????

  8. Melan says:

    One page dungeons should have been a warning, not a design recipe.

  9. johncj says:

    The example dungeon in the Mork Borg rulebook is excellent and showcases the real graphic design chops of it’s creators. The layout is clear and efficient, emphasizing utility at the table—with bullet points, at-a-glance map references, at 15 pages. Yet for some reason, Mork Borg fans utterly ignore this example when writing their own material for the game—mistaking garish colors and unreadable fonts for ‘punk’ design.

    • PrinceofNothing says:

      Rotwater Sludge is well laid out but also sets a precedent for many of the problems inherent to MB’s 3rd party content. It is, as a wise man once called it, “the most well laid out module about nothing in particular”. The map is smashed together, there’s no versimilitude, the encounters are video gamey and there’s no general theme tying together its vaguely grimpunk contents. To newcomers (I assume most MB creators are young) who don’t have the OSR aesthetic that RBS imperfectly conveys, that becomes the way to go, and as a result most of the third party MB modules are crude at best (there was one, Dead city? that was good).

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mork Borg garbage makes me so angry i hate it. In a year it is forgotten i wish all this shit was buried togethet with zaks career

  11. No 1. Fan says:

    This sounds like a bad module, under written, overpriced and lacking in art and cartography. I don’t think one can blame this on “art-punk” or “Mork Borg” so much as a tendency in some parts of the community to use paltry releases as a sort of justification for charity and the bad example of certain promoters in this hobby selling the idea that any sort of rpg production is ready to be released at a high price … that a 4 page adventure of indifferent or poor quality should help pay rent. For new creators, those working experimentally, or those whose skills aren’t up to the task of producing a complete published work it leads to unfortunate messes. It has to be discouraging, because not only will it make nothing, but it’s not going to get any sort of positive community response either.

    Something like this would be fine as a blog post, or free pdf, its flaws and lack something to give the creator ideas on how to fix. As it is though it feels like a clumsy cash grab. It’s what we’ll keep getting though as long as the DIY attitude of “Just put your idea out there” and egotistic self-interest “Anyone deserves to make significant money selling D&Ds” fill the same space. One can charge high grade prices for high grade work, and one can give away low grade work to get feedback, improve one’s skills and be part of a community … but high prices for incomplete and poorly produced stuff offers nothing to anyone, including the creator.

    If Mork Borg is encouraging people to put there work out there, to write adventures, OSR style adventures – that’s good. I suspect we’ll just have to hold our noses for a while and wade through the fumbling attempts at it until the foolish idea that amateur (and amateurish) RPG production is a road to even moderate financial success.

  12. Robert, OSR Heretic says:

    What’s the difference between Do Not Buy Ever and The Worst EVAR again?

    • Anonymous says:

      If I remember correctly, it’s a difference of good or bad faith. Worst EVAR may be of poor quality, but there seems to be at least a good faith effort to produce something worthwhile. Do Not Buy Ever is a bad-faith cynical cash-grab – someone of low character who has contempt for the buyer/DM. Something that can be boiled down to: “There’s a dungeon five miles outside town with five rooms in a row. The first room has five 1HD monsters, the second has a pit trap with spikes at the bottom, the third has one 2 HD monster and three 1 HD monsters, and a 5 HD monster goes back and forth between rooms four and five. Sprinkle treasure as desired, but all of it must be cursed. Pay me $5. Now, go play.”

      • kencocan says:

        “There’s a dungeon five miles outside town with five rooms in a row. The first room has five 1HD monsters, the second has a pit trap with spikes at the bottom, the third has one 2 HD monster and three 1 HD monsters, and a 5 HD monster goes back and forth between rooms four and five. Sprinkle treasure as desired, but all of it must be cursed. Pay me $5. Now, go play.”

        Genius! Reading between the lines I see factions, a great interactive puzzle-pit, novel magical treasures. Plus, fully customisable!

        Now, just add cover art, blurb and compelling hook, such as e.g. “A distraught merchant offers 100gp if the characters can rescue his kidnapped family from a 2 HD monster and three 1 HD monsters (he can be persuaded to offer up to 120gp if the party seems to be well behaved). Either the party finds the family in one of the rooms, or it is a case of mixed up numerals, and they were actually captured by a 3 HD monster and two 1 HD monsters that lives somewhere else, as the DM sees fit. 🙂

      • A person offers a reward if you retrieve his affiliate from the subterrenean structure some distance away. Beware! The tunnels and rooms of this accursed place are haunted by terrible perils of the GM’s discretion (Tom Hanks from Mazes & Monsters is one of them). Dare you venture into… THE EVIL LAIR.
        A 6 dollar micro-Mörk Börg one-paragrapher.

  13. Jonathan Becker says:

    I sooo want to write a 4 page adventure and see if people will pay $6 for it. As a PDF no less.

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