By Silvia Clemente, Miguel Ribeiro The Red ROom B/X & Wretched Bastards Level ?
The Red Room
B/X & Wretched Bastards
Princess Lisabetta, the precious daughter of the King of Riget, has been cursed by her evil aunt. Between her legs, Lisabetta now has a monstrous carnivorous “octopussy”. To bring the princess back to her natural self, an intrepid group of wretched adventurers must venture into the maze-like Citadel of Berleng and destroy the evil witch. But in a world of bastards, nothing is as simple as it seems and a dark, forbidden secret that will shake Riget is about to be revealed…
This 29 page adventure uses some number of pages to describe fourteen rooms in a dungeon. That might be under a castle? Maybe on an island? I don’t know. It’s some kind of funhouse thing that doesn’t actually describe ANYTHING. And I’m using a VERY loose definition of “describe.”
“The princess has a monster for a pussy” made me think this was LotFP, but, no, it’s for Wretched Bastards, some kind of B/X campaign world thing. Anyway, hang on … “Oh, my! I’m shocked! How disgusting! My sensibilities are in a kerfluffle!” There, was that chill? Did I do an adequate job at being shocked?
Whatever. There’s almost nothing here. The king sends you to go kill his sister, the aunt. She’s in some castle on some island. And I’m not summarizing by much here, this is about how much information you get. Or, specifically “The unlucky bastards that take the challenge must reach the island, enter the citadel, find countess Golithya.” That’s the extent you get about the island and citadel. You do get a fourteen romo dungeon though!
The fourteen rooms have numbers on them. The numbers have a little key at the bottom at the map. “7- The Tar Pool” or “2- The Skeleton Office.” You don’t actually get keyed entries though. The fucking text just says “The Tar Pool” or “The Skeleton Office.” This pisses me off to no end. It’s like they just started writing the words backwards for no fucking reason. Why fucking do this? Did you make the product easier to use by doing this? Is it easier to find the rooms from the map in the text because of this? No? It’s a lot harder, you say? Then why the fuck do it? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m tempted to utterly fail every adventure from now on that does this. Fucking useless for running the thing.
Ah, but about the keyed entries themselves? What about them? “The lion lies asleep in a chamber close to the citadel’s entrance. A scrambled map can be found among the bones and half-eaten carcasses on the lion’s den; it points to a treasure hidden in a Citadel’s chamber.” That’s room one. Or, rather, “The Sleeping Lion’s Den.” Where does it point? To which room? Nope, you’re not getting that.
This abstraction is present throughout the adventure and, I assert, the a design decision. Someone, somewhere, thinks that this is the right way to do things, otherwise it wouldn’t be so consistent in its application.”This room appears to be some kind of office.” No, it’s an office. “If the characters tart to look around then …” No, no if/then statements. Also, nothing happens in this room. A skeleton comes to life and then crumbles to dust. But, more to the point “”There is a hidden door in the room; if the characters detect and unlock it they will find a well-stocked armoury,” Perhaps my favorite is “In the pool lies a treasure chest filled with jewels and gold, but the bounty is too heavy to be carried.” … with no other words or details.
Seriously, this is Indi RPG levels of detail here. “Maybe do something related to this keyword or something. “
In the end, this is nothing more than an abstracted funhouse dungeon. Random shit appearing in seemingly random rooms that is not well described. I would hesitate to even call this an adventure, PARTICULARLY given the issues with the map keys.
This is $2.50 at DriveThru. Reve in the eight page preview that shows you nothing of the room keys. Such that they are.