By Goblin Archives Self Published Liminal Horror
The Plague of Frogs is an adventure/mystery for Liminal Horror that has the players investigate a rash of attacks that have end up being more than random bouts of violence. Can they stop the Plague of Frogs without fracturing their minds & bodies?
This eight page digest “horror” “adventure” contains as much information as a single page of loosely written notes for your game tonight. It’s my fault. I was intrigued by the promise of a new horror framework, and using it for other systems, etc. Fuckwit Bryce thinks that you should be open to new things and innovations.
This “adventure” is for the Liminal Horror system/rpg. Which is a hack of the Cairn RPG. Which is a mashup of Into the Odd and Knave. Which are reimaginings of … Well, you get the picture. We are about to reach critical recursion depth. (I wonder how many cdr’s Scheme can manage, anyway?) Anyway, I’m not sure why the world needs another system for horror. Isn’t Call of Cthulhu the end all and be all of systems? I mean, yeah, big character sheet and lots of rules, but, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen it played that way. Basically the DM just tells you to roll the dice and something will happen to you. I’m not sure the rules or character sheet have ever come in to anything, except maybe how to roleplay my character. It’s one step away from Baron Munchausen to begin with, so I’m not sure why someone looked at it and was like “too much! Too much!”
I have played a metric FUCK TON of Call of Cthulhu, as well as Danger International, the human spy version of Champions. Every adventure always goes the same way. A: Something weird is going on. B: Let’s search for clues and go places and talk to people. C: Oh no! It’s a bad guy! D: Look! A secret lair; let’s use shotguns and gasoline! This adventure is no different, following the standard trope format.
Except, it’s not an actual adventure. It’s a framework. Which is a fancy way of saying “I jotted down some notes.” The heart of the adventure is on page four. It takes up a third of a digest page and has eight sentences, listed in a table. These are the “potential clues.”
Sewer grime on victims and frog-monsters, Video cameras catch glimpses of frog monsters, Dr Shelly is being consulted about a deformed corpse, B&H delivery van spotted at various scenes of attacks. There’s four more, but you get the idea. This isn’t a summary. There isn’t some vignette about the B&H offices, or some little scene or some summary of the various attacks. This is ALL there is for the investigation portion of the adventure. From this you, the DM, should put this together and make some stuff up for the players to do. It’s either on the spot improve or jotting down some notes and creating your own adventure from these components. It’s inspiration, not an adventure. I’m all for shotguns and gas cans, but, if this adventure takes 4 hours, then these eight sentences are supposed to be 2.5-3 hours worth of content.
There’s always going to be this contention about how much content to provide the DM. Minimal keying, or frameworks & inspiration on one side and the explicit text verbosity vomited out by the pay per word gang on the other. But, there MUST be a happy medium in which 90% of consumers are satisfied. And it’s not this. It’s not eight sentences. I don’t care what the system is for, the designer needs to support the adventure more than this in order for it to be called an actual adventure. “I was sitting in a bar and jotted down some notes on the back of a napkin. I’ll send you a photocopy for $3. You should put in some filler so it lasts four hours.” Look, I’m open to new formats. I’m open to experimentation, especially in the realm of plot adventures and investigations. But, fuck, it has to SOMEHOW support the DM during play. Otherwise, it’s just a Fiasco playset. If you want to do that, fine, but that’s not an RPG.
This is $3 at DriveThru.