The Valley of the Lost

By Allen Farr
Winterblight's Challenge
Generic/Universal/OSR
A Weariness in Soul

Seemingly created by mad gods, the Valley of the Lost has been reshaped as if all creation has been allowed to run amok. Will you succumb to the toxicity of the Path of Madness or meet your end in the darkness of the Path of Shadows? Perhaps the guardians of the Path of Light will be your undoing or will you wander endlessly on the Path of the Lost until you meet your demise? These are the dangers that must be endured to reach the Ascent of Kings and discover the Valley of the Lost.

I’m on a roll baby! 

This eleven page thing is nothing. It’s a setting guide, with little specifics, for a tv show. It’s a work of fiction aimed at a DM, to inspire them to create a game to run. It’s masquerading as an adventure, with a hex map, when it is, in fact, just an idea. “You could do something having to with many worlds.” ARG!

I find products like this frustrating. One the one hand, there is certainly a role for fluff books, books which inspire the DM or detail a background, or some such that a DM can expand upon. On the other hand, I seldom wan any fucking thing to do with them, especially when I’m looking for “an adventure.” The hex map here might fool you … there is no adventure here and it’s just generalized background and a few ideas. “There could be dinosaur people. You should make your own.”

There’s a long backstory about an evil wizard and summoning a nexus of worlds. This has almost nothing to do with this location. Any “possible worlds” isn’t really handled at all. I guess you could use it as an explanation for the various magical effects in the valley, but this ain’t Rifts, our Incredible Journey or anything like that. The only possible worlds is the background mentioning “a nexus of possible worlds.” And that’s the problem with this entire product.

It says things and doesn’t follow through. There could be dinosaur people and they should have different unique attacks. Go create them.” Uh … ok. It’s a nexus of worlds … with nothing related to a nexus of worlds. It has a pretty nice hex map full of features, icons, and the like. With no legend, disnace markings and NONE of the features detailed. Just little red dots on the maps. Not even a one sentence of them. Nothing. It’s like the map doesn’t exist at all for the purposes of the products.

Which isn’t exactly true. There are a number of passes in to the valley. “The path of Light/Darkness/Madness/Lost.” Each has some special effect and is shown on the map as a lightly fitted line. “You go could go mad on the paths of madness. The party should roll a save and the DM should come up with a suitable madness.” This is the extent of the detail in the adventure.

Like I said, I guess if you wanted fluff you could buy this. There’s even a product category on DriveThru called “Setting Guides.” Note that this is a completely separate category than “Adventures.” 

I’m so sick of this shit. 

“The GM should use the Places of Creation to come up with unique creatures, or even have the player characters undergo some kind of transition, perhaps gaining a new power or some deformity that hinders them.”

At one point there’s a page of gothic bold font, representing a journal entry, to describe a location. It is hard to read, meant only for the DM to inspire them. This is indicative of the entire product. A complete misunderstanding of what it should be doing. 

This is $3 at DriveThru. The preview, of course, doesn’t work.


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/355743/Valley-Of-The-Lost?1892600

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7 Responses to The Valley of the Lost

  1. Anonymous says:

    A voice whispers from above
    Stateeerrrrrrr
    Nooooooddddddd
    36666666666
    The voice fades, but a memory among the sand

  2. Jonathan Becker says:

    What a piece of shit. Thank you for (again) taking the bullet for us.

    I just pulled out of the depths of my “gaming cupboard” (yes, an actual cupboard, inside a closet that’s full of a shit ton of old gaming stuff) an AD&D adventure penned (well, typed) by my buddy about 20 years ago. This was waaaaay back before the OSR was a thing, and may have even been before the advent of 3rd edition and WotC. He had not meant to publish/sell the thing, but even though it’s not up to MY (incredibly elitist/snobby) standards, I think it would give some of these recent adventures a run for their money, at least as far as “usability” and, you know, Actual Adventure Content. It even has some cool ideas in it, despite being mostly By The Book (for monsters and treasure) and having some late 80s influence.

    Maybe I should scan it and sell it for a couple bucks? My buddy (currently living on SSI in the middle of nowhere) could probably use the cash.

    • Matt says:

      I’d pay five bucks or so for something like. A scan of a good(ish) adventure actually written during the heyday of the game it’s written for? That’s honestly pretty cool.

  3. Edgewise says:

    I don’t understand the purpose of a product like this. Cash grab? Expression of creativity? Doesn’t really seem effective for either one.

  4. Bigby's Affirmative Consent Lubed Fist says:

    It promises a nexus of exotic parallel worlds, but doesn’t even deliver a routine expedition.

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