By Andrea Tupac Mollica, Giuseppe Rotondo Axian Spice OSE Levels 1-3
The forlorn Falkrest Abbey in the icy Lune Mountains is where the Queens and Kings of Yore used to be crowned and buried, along with their treasures. According to legends, the Fountain of St. Brynedd still pours its miraculous water somewhere inside. But what caused the fall of the blessed Abbey?
This 49 page adventure uses sixteen pages to feature a ruined abbey with nineteen rooms.It’s using the OSE house style (I think? It reminds me of it anyway …) and has a decent little amount going on. I don’t know. It strikes me as a little … soulless? There’s no GLEE here. Which, I guess, isn’t a bad thing. I mean, I didn’t take a dump in this ones mouth.
Let’s talk Evel Kinievel. Snake River Canyon. It was fucking glorious. It didn’t matter. If he made it then it was going to be fucking magnificent and his failure was just a thing of beauty. Hubris mother-fucker, ever heard of it? A product with vision may be a dumpster fire (Did I mention my girlfriend has a dumpster fire tattoo on her arm?) of an adventure but man, its got a fucking vision and it’s going for it. Either way it’s gonna be great! And, what about that adventure that goes to work every day, bringing home a steady paycheck and providing health insurance for all the little adventures … what of it? Good ol reliable. Fuck that thing. Errr, I mean, yeah, uh … Good Job! This is a decent adventure.
So, old monastery up in the hills. Burial place of the old kings. Healing fountain. Etc. The more interesting hook is that the local Earl wants evidence, from the monastery, that he’s related to a legendary queen … and the evidence found disproves his claim … that’s embarrassing 🙂 There’s this inn at the base of the mountain with some good rumors, both random and no. A dwarf went missing. There’s no such thing as vampires, they are just a legend. And an old diary for sale that has three extra random rumors in it. Nice mechanism and inn. Terse for what it is and provides some local color … and local color is the heart and soul of D&D. Take, for example, the bandit encounter on the wanderer table to get up to the monastery. It’s with “5 bandits.” Which are actually Old Beorly and his four treacherous children. SWEEEET!!! That the kind of specificity, the kind of local colour, that I LUV in an adventure. It’s something that the DM can run with. There should be more of it in the D&D adventure products I review! And … in this adventure …
The map, while simple, is good. Multiple entrances. Monsters located on the map for reaction purposes (even though only one group can really react …) and some interesting features like same-level stairs and an open courtyard, as well as some wall collapse, etc. Really good job on the map, for something as small as this.
Formatting is OSE style. It concentrates on keywords of features that are then expanded. So, “Archway, wooden double door, fallen long ago.” Bullets , whitespace, bolding, and even mini-maps, all combine to provide a relatively complex environment that is easy to scan. Important things are called out, like, things heard in the next room. Thank fucking god someone has finally learned this lesson.
Ok, so, the actual writing and adventure? It’s ok. It’s not really hitting it out of the ballpark with descriptive text. I’m not imagining much here. And the interactivity comes off a little bland. It IS present. Clues in frescoes. Hearing things in the next room. Monsters eating other monsters. A couple of factions of undead who want you to go kill the other dude. The old abbott, in particular, I think comes alive in this description as an undead and in his wants and goals. (Which, again, are organized well.)
The whole thing is just a little … bland. The descriptions are a little bland. The interactivity is a little bland. It’s not that it’s not [present. It’s not that it’s bad. It just comes across as … not too exciting. And I don’t mean that everything has to be all EXPLOSION SOUND or gonzo. But It’s just content that, generally, doesn’t seem all that interesting to run.
And what does that mean? When something is ok, and I don’t hate it, but, also, I’m not gonna do anything with it, it means No Regerts.
This is $1 at DriveThru. You getting the whole thing in the preview, so, enjoy. Check out page eight for that inn, or pages eleven and twelve for the map and a sample encounter. Pretty nice! But, nice ain’t enough anymore.