By Glynn Seal MonkeyBlood Design S&W Level 3
The PCs are heading to Fetterstone because there is a 20 gold quid reward for the capture of an escaped criminal called ‘The Finger Chewer’. He absconded from Middlemoor Gaol five days ago and is believed to be hiding out in the surrounding oft-foggy marsh. The marsh is notoriously dangerous and even the lure of 20 gold quids isn’t enough to entice the locals into its fetid clutches.
This 32 page adventure uses eight pages to describe four encounters. It’s got those idiosyncratic setting details that help cement a locale in the mind of the players, but the lack of content, both by page count and “kill three dogs is the sum of the adventure” is disheartening.
For $15 and 32 pages you get four encounters. First, you might help an old shew of a mean lady pull her cow out of the mud. Second, you visit the inn and maybe get arrested or get glared at by the local witchfinder. Third, you go to the prison on the hill and search the convicts cell, learning that he does indeed chew fingers and one guy saw the direction he left. Fourth, you follow a trail if fingers in to the swamp (which is handled in as many words as I just typed), find his dead body, and fight three rat-dogs. ChChing! Profit!
Yeah, that’s it. There’s an appendix showing a cave system map you could expand in to your own dungeon. There’s a description of local farms in the neighborhood, that will not ever be explored by the PC’s. There’s a description of a few other prisoners in the prison, that will probably not be used. There are some very nice maps for all the locations and wilderness settings.
The maps list the location names on the map, along with t keys, and are nicely done. No complaints. It’s exactly how a map of this sort should be handled.
The setting location is interesting. Gloombugs, rolling mists, sullen villagers you tell you to piss off while serving shitty food. A witchfinder up in your business. Exactly the kind of people you want to stab for breathing the same air you do. There’s a collection of weird laws (like … not helping someone unstick a pig stuck in mud …) that are cutely display on a handout, and a disturbing amount of references to turnips. It’s got that specificity that you need in order to hang your hat on.
It is also LONG. That opening scene with the fucking pig, cow, whatever, if four pages long, including the map. To deal with a grumpy old lady and stuck pig minigame or “getting enough weight behind it and stuffing enough ginger up its ass.
I’m not the biggest fan of the format here, straight up paragragh text. It does use some highlighting and some decent whitespace to break things up, but, it is still essentially just long form paragraph use that you have to dig through. Three pages of digging through for that first encounter.
I’d be interested in the setting, but the adventure? There’s just nothing to it. I DO like fucking around in town when I play, but there’s got to be adventure also. And talking to the locals DOES count, but, come on, one combat with three dogs for $15?
This is $15 at DriveThru. The preview is decent, showing you the writing to come. Go ahead and take a look at the long form text. Nicely specific.
BONUS FEATURE! – Encounters Fantasy Scenarios
Fuck me. Another oldy from 1990. Sixty pages of “tables” to help create an encounter using a tarot deck (*sigh*). It’s a dense wall of text. This is getting tossed on my “read on my deathbed while waiting to die” pile.
I’ll pay someone $10 to write a two page or longer review of this.