By Joseph R Lewis Dungeon Age Adventures OSR Levels 6-7
I’m popping this one earlier in the queue, cause it deserves it!
This morning, the forces of Law and Chaos clashed at Castle Yennagor. The battle raged all day, but as darkness fell, a cataclysmic explosion destroyed most of the castle and leveled both armies. Now, as night claims the vale, flickers of life return. Survivors make camp, flee the field, or continue the fight. Scavengers creep over the dead. And one question remains unanswered: what happened inside the castle?
This 37 page adventure details the parties journey through 28 possible vignettes in the aftermath of a battle between law and chaos. A rollicking good time full of situations that are full of gameable content supporting by a useful format and great writing. This is the level 6 adventure you were looking for!
Ok, so, you know all of those adventures in a ruined castle that was the result of the forces of law and chaos fighting a climactic battle? Well, this is one of those. EXCEPT, this one is on the battlefield right out front and the castle JUST exploded (as they are want to do when Law & Chaos clash in a fantasy setting.) What this gives us is a kind of point-crawl around the battlefield, with the castle at the center, and lots and LOTS of bad shit going down all Deep Carbon Intro style. And I fucking LUV it!
This uses the Dungeon Age style, which I find quite effective. It’s triple column, and easy to read. We get a brief title for each “encounter”/vignette, like “Tattered Shipwreck” or “Weeping Women” and then a little section of descriptive text. A sentence or two that relates the general scene that could be read-aloud. After that we get bullets, with bolded keywords starting them, describing the major points and a few sentences elaborating, perhaps with some of those words bolded as well for more follow up information. A separate section details treasures. It’s an effective style which makes it easy to scan the text and pull out information, and is relatively dense, using the three column format, with about three “situations” per page, sometimes less with artwork. NPC’s and some monsters get a few words of disposition (alien, playful, hungry for flesh) or (critical, judgemental, impatient, hungry) to help the DM with their personalities during the encounter. This is the less is more philosophy, that I love so much, but with enough text that the DM is not fighting through an abstraction, as , I think, the OSE house style is sometimes criticized for.
Writing here is very good. Here’s the entry for Screaming Men. “Screams echo across the smooth, glistening mud. A huge well with slick vertical walls descends into the soft wet earth. At the bottom, a dozen people battle against a writhing mass of red tentacles and golden eyes. A dozen corpses lie trampled at their feet.” Note the use of adjectives and adverbs. Echo. Smooth, glistening. slick & vertical, wet earth, golden eyes. You really get quite the evocative scene description for so few words. It springs to life, framing the rest of the encounter in everyones head, DM and players alike, for the scene to come. This happens over and over again, with Lewis doing a fantastic job of painting these pictures in so few words. And then switching over to a little more direct writing, with less descriptive text, for the follow up information. You’ve already got it by that point.
And then there’s the encounters proper. Or, situations, I think, is a better term. In that above example we’ve got soldiers from both sides fighting that thing. Of course! The two forces, the common soldiers, working together against a common threat to ALL men! It’s a classic set up. And I do love me some classics when well done. Oh, and one group is mercenaries in the service of the chaos side and the other common soldiers of the law side. So the chaos dudes attack the law dudes when the horror dies. They’ve got a contract and reputation to uphold! And the horror is … well, a horror, with a great attack and his eyeball can serve as a magic item! Yeah! That’s all i want in life!
And this goes on, in encounter after encounters. Dudes getting impaled on stakes. Old women piling up corpses. Thieves looting bodies. Dudes fighting over a knife. There’s supporting material for travelling and a good wanderers table th tmakes sens, both of whic hare handled breezily and effectively. I’m down man!
And then there’s the castle. Where the paladin dude is rolling around on the floor fighting the chaos wizard dude, both struggling over the golden skull of a saint. And pleading for help, making promises. As does the skull … if you kill them both then he’ll make you a saint … with appropriate powers! An appropriate reward, I think! So much here is sooooo good. A necromancer constructing a body horror from the dead. A angel of battle come down to looky loo, as a golden ball of light. Slithering half-vampires crawling over the dead and dying sucking dead, while an aristo one looks on and offers to turn you in return for some services. Win friends. Make enemies.
AND PLAY EITHER SIDE! You can be in the service of law or chaos when the thing starts. There’s a roll to see where you start out on the battlefield, on the outskirts, to add some fun!
This entire fucking thing is BAD ASS and exactly what you want for an adventure like this. Level fucking six babbbbby! You’re a big boy, time to put on your big boy pants and figure the fuck out what you’re gonna do!
This is $4 at DriveThru. A fucking steal! The preview is twenty pages, more than enough to get a good look at the format and encounters and tell if you want to buy it.