For Coin & Blood Adventure Pack

By Diogo Nogueira, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul
Gallant Knight Games
For Coin & Blood

It seems that this is actually two separate adventures, totally distinct downloads, bundled under one product listing on DriveThru, with the teaser photo being the core Coin & Blood cover photo. 

The Hunted – Diogo Levels 2-3

This sixteen page digest thing is a description of an NPC hunting the party. That’s it. That’s the adventure. Oh, you get some ideas on how they do that. FUCKING LAME!

I was disappointed when I saw the two downloads thing, but then was upbeat when I saw Diogo’s name. He says, a couple of times, that his is an “unconventional” adventure. Yeah, no shit. Because it’s not an adventure.

You get a description of an NPC bounty hunter, a tale for why they might be hunting the party, one for sme tactics they use, a table of traps they mights use ot places they might attack the party, We are told to sprinkle the stuff in during the parties other adventures, a kind of expansion of their downtime. 

So, look, I’m not opposed to this. In fact, I think downtime shit can be one of the more memorable parts of a campaign, And I love sprinkling stuff in to a game ahead of time in order to make the world seem more real and lived in. I’m just opposed to everything about this.

We get a 2.5 page description of the NPC. Only a few sentences are the actual description and mannerisms, and they are fairly generic. Tall muscular woman with dark hair. That’s great. My imagination burns. I’m not fucking around, other than dark leather armor and a crimson cloak, that’s what two paragraphs gets you. The rest of the pags of her description are right out of a “let me tell you about my character” story. She has basilisk skin armor and it’s hard as metal and if you hit ger you make a save or take 1d3 damage and are at disadvantage net turn and she has a sin seeking dagger which ignores your armor and does 1d4 damage per round and she has a …. 

After this are a couple of tables. How she undermines you, who hired her to kill you, and some traps. “A former ally hired her who was hired by the powerful opposition …” “a demon who needs the parties souls but can’t take direct action against them …” the usual not very good stuff and controted reasons. Traps like “oil barrels open and spill contents on the party as they pass under a bridge” or “in a wizards lair she puts fake books on the walls.” Contorted stuff. If this is how Coin & Blood is played then I’m super not interested in it.

The “undermine the party” table is not too bad, but still has that implicit contorted game world shit where she does this instead of just poisoning them with cyanide, or something. She starts lies about the party, she sends messages from people the party has killed in the past, she fucks the parties home base inn, etc. A little too much “she uses her doppleganger cream” in them, and, still, the whole “just kill them” thing, ala Dr. Evil & Scott, but, whatever. Magical ren world.

Oh her and her former adventuring partner broke up because of an “emotional conversation.” Why, isn’t that generic? Nothing like that to liven things up and cement an NPC in your minds.

Not. Good.

Sickness, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, No Level Range

This sixteen page thing is one of those skeezy abstracted adventures, mor forge-like story than an adventure. Guidelines? Toolkit? Or, maybe, “I had an idea and wrote down four ideas and then expanded it to sixteen pages but didn’t include anything to support the DM.” I am not amused.

Maybe you could have an adventure on the way through the city while looking for who framed you. Maybe the party should find out who cursed them and spend some time in the city doing so. Maybe there are guards at the house and maybe the party bribes them or something.

This, then, is a cardinal sin. If the job of an adventure is to support the DM, what if the adventures DOESN’T do that? What if I jotted down some notes on a notepad. Something like “Get hired by a cult that uses a theater as a base.” “Kidnap a guy from a naor for them.” “Get cured with an illness.” and “Evil baddie behind it all was at the manor all along!” That’s your adventure! Pay me!

Ok, ok, I’ll expand it some. How about I write A LOT of read-aloud in italics, so it’s hard to read? How about I support the DM with some ideas. Like, I could write that there are some guard patrols at the manor and the party could, like, ambush a ship captain to steal an invite to the house. I’m only half-assing this, so I’m not going to write much more than that, above. Oh, and one of the “acts” is for the party to go find out who cursed them. They should go do that. “They should go do that”, that’s enough support for the DM, right?

This “adventure” is devoid of content. Abstractions and generalizations. A lack of specificity. No actual support, AT ALL, for the DM. Just some ideas. Hey, maybe the party should find out who cursed them. You, the DM, should handle that. What the fuck? Seriously? 

Thanks to this adventure I do haze a skeezy new business plan to offer my readers. Find a newly released RPG. The hotness. Write an adventure for it. Maybe, I don’t know, have like four ideas and jot them down, expand them very generically, don’t try very hard. Slap a cover on it and release it for the game. Profit. Maybe do a second one, or just move on to the new Hotness. I expect 10% of your take. 

“The person he wants the characters to abduct is a young man by the name of …” Padded out enough for you? Jesus H fucking christ. It’s all conversational long paragraph form writing, impossible to follow or reference during play, impossible to find anything or key in on the interesting bits. This is the perfect example of an empty shovelware adventure. 

The entirety of “sneak in to the mansion” is handled with “Players could avoid the guard entirely—by watching the guard’s patrolling pattern the character could slip into the mansion without noticing.” like, seriously, what the fuck? No map or anything? It’s just a list of fucking ideas of things that the party could engage in with little to no support for them. Sandboxy? OSR. Plot based? Modern games. Opened AND plot based? Devoid of content. 

This is $5 at DriveThru. I’d be pretty fucking pissed if I got this for Christmas.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/334236/For-Coin–Blood-2e-Adventure-Pack?1892600

This has been episode “I knew there was a reason I skipped over shit on my wishlist!” of Bryce reviews everything on his DriveThru wishlist.

BONUS FEATURE! –  The Anatomy of an Adventure

It seems Senor MT Black is going to tell us how to write an adventure! Let’s see if it’s better than the DCC one. Or Vengers. Or any of a billion other ones …

Clocking in at 106 digest pages, this is less a book on how to write an adventure and more of a designers notes for some of Blacks adventures, that serve as anchor points for some lessons in marketing, player choice, and a few other concepts. I like designers notes, so, as a “this is how I do adventures” it’s not a bad read. Further, there is absolutely a place in life for people to get inspired and gain the confidence to do the thing they dread, and this could serve that purpose also. I mean, I listen to the Frutiness mix of Welcome to the Pleasuredome and get a brand, but, if you need to read about someone else doing what you want to do, good on you. Plus, his essay on meaningful plater choice is a good one, although not really covering much new ground. He does have a great bibliography in the back with only a few stinkers in it. A light read and covering a genre we could use more of: How I Do The Thing. The definitive guide is still missing on how to create an adventure. Well, until, you know what happens.

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13 Responses to For Coin & Blood Adventure Pack

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, it was really cool to get this guy’s name on my radar after the good surprise that was Halls of the Blood King. But after that, I hadn’t seem anything that he does that is neither good or useful. Anyone could direct me to anything that’s actually good work that came from him? I mean good adventures, not his systems stuff. He has A LOT of stuff under his belt. Kudos to him for that, at least.

    • BR says:

      Halls is kind of meh. He produces a lot, but the quality is iffy. Anyway, some people were impressed by the amount.

      • Knutz Deep says:

        Halls of the Blood King is the perfect example of an adventure that Bryce loves and just does nothing for me. Not saying it’s bad or anything only that it doesn’t scratch my D&D itch like it does his. Just not my cup o’ tea. That’s why everyone should evaluate adventures whether the review here is good, bad, or indifferent.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ‘Oh her and her former adventuring partner broke up because of an “emotional conversation.”’

    Just lol

    • Knutz Deep says:

      Sounds like they need therapy. They can discuss how their emotional state was damaged and then hug it out at the end. All will be well and they can go back to being hired killers/hunters. I’m getting all weepy/fuzzy just thinking about it.

  3. Wizard's Sleeve says:

    Were those FC&B adventures actual stretch goals for FC&B 2nd Ed.

    Gallant Knight Games setting a low Bahr again

  4. Sean says:

    I was quite impressed by Gallant Knight Games’s publication of the second edition of the Hero’s Journey. Really excellent print quality. And the system had some interesting ideas. But For Coin and Blood just wasn’t anywhere near the same quality, both from a rules, printing, and adventure standpoint. A bit of a disappointment.

  5. Jonathan Becker says:

    I’m surprised this doesn’t get a “Worst EVAR.” Maybe a new category for this kind of bullshit?

    I don’t know…feels like there should be some sort of blacklist for dudes just trying to make a buck off this kind of crap. If it’s not an adventure…just generic ideas…fine. Then don’t call it an adventure.

    • Reason says:

      I’ve seen so much of this abstract crap that I’m convinved there are people out there who play like that-

      no specifics, no detail, like a conversation is always just “Well he’s mean and aloof and seems to care more about the missing X than the town…” they just read the NPC blurbs and don’t do the actual details.

      “It’s a big, dark castle with evil presence” etc. They may not realise there’s a way to show that without directly telling.

      • Jonathan Becker says:

        For past comments on this blog, I’ve been told that I represent “all that’s wrong with the OSR.” Even at the risk of eliciting similar comments, I still want to say the following:

        I think it’s sad that people don’t know how to play D&D anymore.

        And I’m not saying they have to play in a 1E style or that it’s wrong to play 2E or 3E…or, hell, why not?…4E. At least those 4E dudes are honest in the love of their craptastic fight-fests. But now people aren’t even concerned with RULES. “It’s not about a system, man…it’s about having a good time.” And they aren’t being disabused of the notion by WotC. Hey, it’s all good! Come as you are!

        Just give us your money.

        Bull. Shit. Look, there are PLENTY of RPGs that are “rules lite” and/or story oriented. I can see plenty of them on the shelf of my office. From Amber Diceless and Story Engine to DM-less games like Polaris and Fiasco and Baron Munchausen. Hey, just play Dungeon World, if you want! Why the F not?

      • Jonathan Becker says:

        But noooo…we want to play “DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS,” man. You know…the ORIGINAL fantasy game. It’s all just pretend, anyway dude. You know, funny voices and drama? Like those Critical Role dudes. Why are you being so harsh, bra’? Besides, it’s no more than the price of a cup of coffee…or a beer at the stadium. Chill, dude, it’s just a GAME.

        *Ka-Ching* Every time a cash register rings, an angel bursts into flame.

        Yes, Reason: I, too, am convinced that there are people who play D&D like this. Because a lot of people don’t know how to play D&D. Because the company that makes D&D isn’t concerned with teaching people how to play D&D or even making a decision as to what D&D is supposed to look like, if it’s supposed to look like anything. They just want dollars.

        That’s all. They’re not concerned with writing rules that are succinct or coherent or accessible. They aren’t concerned whether people “get it” or not. They just want you to buy it. Play however the fuck you want! Who cares…we got paid!
        *Ka-Ching*

  6. killhippies says:

    Glad someone else noticed the laziness of Bahr.

    FB&C 2e had numerous typos that made things such as the movement system confusing unless you played other OSR games to know where the mess up is. The blackguard made it into the release with a totally wrong spell by level uses chart. The skill system is a total mess, no insight is given on how to adjudicate difficulty and classes do not give any bonuses to skills so the GM just has to wing everything.

    The worse is the magic system, classes have mechanics that reference a old magic system that didn’t even make it into the final game. The fact that they didn’t even bother to check the magic system on the final release is a testament to the laziness. Your core magic system shouldn’t have to be a errata in a brand spanking new game.

    The hero’s journey was tightly designed so Gallant can put out good products, not touching anything by Alan though.

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