By Joseph Mohr Old School Role Playing OSRIC Level 1
Lord Huet was once a powerful warrior who slayed dragons and explored dungeons with other adventurers. Recently news of his untimely demise has come to the village near his keep. Adventurers are gathering to explore this keep as the retainers of the lord have now run off with everything that they could carry. What treasures might still remain?
This 28 page single column adventure features three levels of a linear dungeon with about 33 rooms. It’s using the “populate yourself” mechanism from b1.
I am, I guess, a sucker. Most of you know this by now. But, man, Mohr knows how to suck me in with his marketing! I see the cover, I see the description, I buy the thing, and then I look at the designer. Rought Roh Raggy! Remarkable, though, in getting me to buy it! Dude has the Make It Appealing part down pat.
The rest, not so much.
The maps are three Dyson affairs, essentially small cramped linear things. Text is single column to pad the page count out. And, of course, it’s b1. Except it doesn’t DISCLOSE it’s B1 until you’re purchased the fucking thing. Ug! Had I know I wouldn’t have bought it. Of course, it also says MOHR on the DriveThru page and I was clearly able to ignore that, so, who knows.
The text is shitty. Recall one of my favorite room description examples from Dungeon Magazine? The trophy room that went to great length to describe it, only to end with “but that was long ago and it is all looted now?” Yeah? Remember that one?
“Entry Hall – Those who enter the keep must enter here or through the secret tunnel
leading to area 14 of the dungeon level. This area was once ornately decorated with
tapestries and golden candlesticks. Someone has run off with most of the valuables.
The heavy reinforced door has been left unlocked as the servants and retainers took off
with much of the treasures that remained here.”
Great, so, we’re told what the map shows. Then we’re told what the room once looked like. Then we’re told why the door is unlocked. Is there an actual description of this room? Of course not! Why bother with something like that?
Sometimes, I like to engage in a little game called Thing Explainer. When having a conversation with someone I like to take something they’ve said and define it for them. So, if they say “pants” in some conversation we are having, then I will say something like “Oh, the things you wear on your legs that have pockets that you can hold things in!” It works remarkably well to alleviate my boredom with the moron I am currently talking to. Let’s look at the Guard Post description: “Guard Post/Barracks – This area has several bunk beds. There are empty trunks at the
end of each bed on each side so that each guard could store their clothes and valuables” Mohr has done an excellent job playing the Bryce game. He’s defined what a footlocker is.
Linear map. Nonexistent room descriptions. A b1 clone, down to fountain rooms and hidden things in statues. And, i’m a sucker for marketing.
This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru with a suggested price of $3. Preview is six pages, but you only get to see one sentence of one room. Bad preview, not giving you an idea what to expect. But, I mean, great job in running a business. You don’t need to do anything like have a good product to sell things!