The Darkness of Kasta

By Angelos Kyprianos
Spiral Lane Productions
Level ?

A strange incident invokes fear and doubts in the people of Kasta, a remote town that suffered greatly after the Royal War. Since then, the People of Kasta have always found ways to coexist peacefully, regardless of origin or creed. However, doubt and fear might awaken one’s worst instincts and Kastian people might soon face new trials.

This is a six page outline of an adventure padded out to 37 pages with a fuck ton of battlemaps and creature stats. The mind boggles.

No, I’m not exaggerating. Six pages. There are six scenes and they appear one on a page. Six pages. Ok, sure, there are a few pages of NPC’s, and a p[age of “other things to do”, but no more. Six pages. And what kind of epic fucking adventure do you put on six pages? An outline.

Maybe this happens. Or maybe this other thing happens. After a funeral “some events of minor violence may take place and have the sheriff restore the peace with warnings and fines.” Well, that’s fuckingexciting as all fuck, isn’t it? No suggestions. Nothing more. Just some suggestions, in general, of what might happen. 

Hooks? No, no hooks. You’re just tossed right in, assuming you’re there to investigate. Actually, that’s not true. There are hooks. Four. “The murderer is a war veteran of Gralian descent whose house was destroyed and family were slaughtered.” The other hooks are similar. They aren’t hooks. They are … things that happen in the adventure? Another one is “Many people will falsely suspect the Vampires that live in the castles due to prejudice.” Not a hook?

Also, people suspect the Vampires that live in the castles to the north? Uh … fuck yeah! That’s my kind of thing! Sadly, they get no detail, at all. Which may be why it comes off so great. Like, what the fuck is up with that? And not A vampires, but, plural? Uh … Rock On man! 

There are no combats. “Most battles are not inserted directly into the story in order not to interrupt the atmosphere. The Story Teller can insert them at their convenience when the timing seems right.” In fact, there are no battles at all. There are, in the rear, a list of creature stats. So, like “Andalusian rebels” and shit like that. Not encounters. Not vignettes. Just some stats. Figure it the fuck out Mr GM and do what thy will as is the whole of the law. 

Where there is read-aloud, at the scene stars, it’s very long. It contains such gems like “As you approach Ulious’s body, you can see that there aren’t any scars or signs of wounding. His death looks natural, but is it? Further investigation might help shed some light to this case.” Need I sy WHY this is bad? His death looks natural … but is it? Oh man, just, like, fuck off with that shit.

I don’t know what else to say here. There’s no content, just an outline. “The party should ask around with some people to find the rebel leader.” Uh … ok. Oh, and each page is supposed to take 4-6 hours of game time to complete. Yeah, I forgot that. *sigh*

What’s the point of this? Why make this 37 pages? Why label it an adventure? Why not actually write the adventure? This is really nothing more than some DM notes  for a session you might be having tonight with your players. Seriously. Something you might jot down on index card, as an outline, of themes you want to hit, etc. 

And this is an adventure?

This is $10 at DriveThru. No preview.–A-Grimstone-Adventure?1892600

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24 Responses to The Darkness of Kasta

  1. The Heretic says:

    I don’t know, this sounds like a Worst Evar. Or Don’t Evar Buy, Evar!

  2. Fred says:

    Bryce, take a break from the pain and consider a Dwarrowdeep review, please!

  3. Lewis says:

    Bryce, I have a few non-D20 system adventures I wrote for my own system, perhaps you’d like to give one a chance?

  4. Gnarley Bones says:


  5. Edgewise says:

    Bryce, consider reviewing my new adventure. I can GUARANTEE that you will like it more than this! Prince seemed to enjoy it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    $10 for this crap! As usual DriveThruRPG is facilitating the sale of defective goods! Where are DriveThruRPG Watchmen? Is Bryce the only Watchman watching the (non-existing?) DriveThruRPG Watchmen?

  7. Stripe says:

    I almost couldn’t make it through this review. Just almost could not take it. When the author called the GM a “story teller” (a description of the antithesis of an OSR GM) I quit, but I came back after work and finished it.

    Bryce, thank you. I don’t know how you do it. This is worse than dreck. It’s an insult to the hobby.

  8. Reason says:

    Is there some sort of really popular, but completely abstracted adventure style they are copying?

    Or are these just jackasses who read an adventure and have an idea but lack the critical faculties to recognise what makes other adventures they like work?

    Or more likely not reading, but watching “live play” by DMs (sorry, Storytellers) who only deal in airy abstract with no detail on offer?

  9. Eric says:

    I love Bryce’s reviews and I often purchase “The Best”. What are some examples of great sandbox adventures? What do they do right?

    • Stripe says:

      He used the word “perfect” to describe The Black Wyrm of Brandonsford. I ran it three sessions of it and was very pleased. It’s OSR (unlike this filth), so it’s a sandbox, of course.

    • Reason says:

      Terror in the Gloaming: interesting factions/set ups that can genuinely go either way. I could see parties either joining the local scouts or getting a bad reaction roll on an encounter & getting shaken down by them.

      Same for the bartender moonlighting as a priest- can see the party cleric hearing a sermon and realisjng the guy is a fraud… does he decide this is sinister and start digging against the local leader or realise he could do a better job than this guy and angle for the gig…

      A number of interesting locations, no “correct” or guiderails order to do them. Potential consequences unleashed from playing with some of them/BUT rewards set up in tempting to do them. That’s a good sandbox.

      Fall of Whitecliff: again, a bunch of factions presented with personalities or possibilities for getting mixed up in them. Join the pirates/smugglers or oppose them/earn enmity? It’s set up in the opening scenes. Join the bandits + start a revolution or decide they are baddies + help catch them or find a third solution etc.

      Basically parties have a problem- need to escape. HOW they do that potentially entangles them in the regions events. But never FORCES them to. There are effects flowing from what they do- kill bandits= harder to gather enough locals for overthrowing the Castellan etc. Win local support/find clever solutions and maybe become heroes for locals to follow… Or just get involved in something else, plenty to do.

      The formula is locations, factions, events, choices, repercussions/effects in the area. But not EVERY choice has to link up to the plots. They are there to be followed or not. There are OTHER things to do. But events slowly play out whether pcs get involved or not.

      All of this is presented specifically, with actual NPCs, actual locations, actual detail of the scenario/set up and not generic abstract suggestion crap like this adventure reviewed here.

  10. Jonathan Becker says:

  11. Chainsaw says:

    Cover’s cool. Even cooler if it had some creepy eyes in the rear windows, barely visible.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Since this public shaming, it appears the “author” has reduced the price of this nonsense to (a still unreasonable) $2.50.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hello everyone, this is Angelos, the creator of the adventure. I just wanted to say im sorry you did not like it. The adventure and the rpg are all a one man project. I write them all on my own. That said, the adventure was supposed to be an introductory story for the system and the world. I happen to like vague outlines and thought that would be nice to give space and freedom to the game master. Anyway, i brought the price down although realistically it doesn’t help make up for the investment that is to make a game on your own. Im sorry to disappoint you and im willing to provide help in any way you like. Thank you for your honesty.

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