By J. Blasso-Gieseke 21st Century Games OSE/1e Levels 1-4
A two-headed giant is seen at night. Two deer carcasses are found missing in the morning. A two-headed dragon is seen in the morning. Two fisherman never return home at night. A two-headed man and dog are seen in Grimholt Forest. They were heading for the Riddle Hills. Are these coincidences or are they connected? Will the party help the Confederacy of Barley, Bream, and Oak find out?
This 36 page single-column adventure details a cave with nine rooms. You know the deal: the bad guys are the good guys and the good guys are the bad guys. A WHOLE lot of if/then conditions for everything. A kiddy adventure.
Yeah, I said it. Kiddie adventure. I know that term has been leveled against B/X in general, but I’m going to claim it now for these sorts of things. What was that adventure where there was a trigger warning against killing a pack of starving dogs that were trying to bite your face off? I got a stabbing knife and I ain’t afraid to use it! Yes, let us revel in mankind’s baser instincts! Quick, Robin, to the FlameThrower-mobile!
Mayor McDickCheese, Alderman Fuckwit and Headman Dickless want you to go look in to all these double-headed creature sightings. There’s this big ass 6-mil each 3×3 hex map provided … none of which matter cause they lead you to the exact hex you need. It’s full of caves. You search and the DM rolls a d20. If they get a 20 then you find the double-headed creature cave. Otherwise, every two searches you get attacked by something on the wanderer table that has a description of “It Attacks!” How longs it take to search for a cave? I don’t know, it don’t say. Which seems weird for an adventure that places such an emphasis on a “three day window
“ before the freak show owner shows up.
You see, HES the real bad guy. All of the double-headed things (ettin, troll, minotaur, death dog, etc) escaped thanks to one double-headed dude who willed a goddess in to existence. Also, he charmed them all to be nice and one of the them, the minotaur with two heads, stole his charm bobble so they are all walking around outside now, eating livestock and people and shit. Oops. They are all nice people. Well, except for the fact that they eat actual people when not charmed. This is straining the term Good Guy for me. Eating people. Mental domination. At least the freak show dude didn’t do that shit.
I wish I could say that there’s an actual moral dilma here, but there isn’t. It’s full of the usual gymnastics to make things ok and keep the plot on track “Though Tooma knows Beylon is dead, he will understand this as fated by Nooma and attempt to talk with the party and ask for their help.” That’s trying to say that the main two-headed dude doesn’t care that you just killed his friend since he thinks his god willed it. Uh huh. Also He will “give the party his fire opals to purchase another magic item that will allow him to recharm the friends under his care.” Uh huh.
Did I mention tha the hex map, while having encounter numbers, doesn’t use those numbers in the text? AUTO FAIL! And that like everything in this, including a two headed hydra, is like 4HD. And at least one werecreature. So, yeah, level one. Right.
The text is RIDDLED with LARGE and LONG if/then sections. If the party leaves Bob alive and if they bring him back to the cave athen follow this section. Ifthey leave Bob alive and don’t bring him back to the cave then follow this section. If … you get the idea.
It’s doing two decent things. It has a cave of echoes that will answer any question truthfully … once a day. A little too often, but good idea. And, to get in the main cave you have to trick a statue of the new god. They only let two headed creatures in. Wear a mask or create an extra large shirt or something to trick it. It’s left open ended … which is a good thing in D&D.
But, no. Kiddie D&D. Implied morality. If/tehns. No real descriptions. An attempt at formatting through bolding and the like, but far FAR too much of it to actually be helpful. And the if/then shit is not helpful at all.
This is $6 at DriveThru. The preview is twenty pages. It accurately represents what you’re buying.