By Piotr Kowalski Self Published Generic/Universal/OSR Mid Levels? That's what the cover says, man
Big walled park occupies the northern part of the city of Braunsberg. Papal Gardens, as the
park is called, hosts the Cathedral of The Third Coming and the Cardinal’s Residence. From
a legal standpoint this is a New Vatican enclave, where Cardinal Igniazio Scavone and
The Heavens – instead of the Braunsberg governor and the Kings of the Union – have the
final say. This fact doesn’t sit well with many Braunsberg citizens, as the Church of the Third Coming is not looked upon favorably in the Union, where Drakonism is the official and most popular faith. Not many people know that a valuable Relic – part of the True Cross – lies hidden in the crypts of the cathedral.
This twenty page digest adventure uses ten pages to describe about thirteen rooms in a cathedral. It’s another of those shitty “heist” adventures.
Oh, look, another adventure where you sneak in to a church compound to steal something.
I think I can make a case, albeit a weak one, that this is not an adventure. It looks like one, but it is not. Let us assume I give you a map of Detroit and tell you to break in to the blah blah blah building and steal the THING. Is this an adventure? It has the trappings of one. Moving further down this scale there is some point at which we agree something is an adventure (except for the Art fucks, which insist its an adventure if the designer says it is.)
Ok, so, you’re breaking in to this church to find and steal a piece of the true cross. (No stats provided. SADZ) It’s in the middle of some big ass garden thing with a couple of other buildings around. It’s a kind of Vatican City thing, with a separate enclave in the middle of a big city. You get no details on the gardens, or the other buildings. … This would seem integral to the adventure. But, no, its just the main church building thing that gets a map and keys. Not even people living nearby/businesses across the street from the compound, in order to spice up your entry. No, it’s just a couple of wanderer tables with boring old entries on them. Not any swiss guards having sex on the sly or anything else remotely fun. SADZ. But in the fucking grounds man. We want to sneak through them at night! Stick in a neighbor or two to riff off of. Put some guard shit, or grouds shit, out there thats more than a couple of guards. We want something to riff off of!
The church is boring.Like four rooms above ground and nine in the crypts. Symmetrical nonsense, of course. And, no guards listed on the map. You gotta do that man. You need an order of battle for how they respond. You need to put the dudes on the map so we know that there’s a guard standing in that fucking alcove that can see light, hear noice, respond, etc. We need a guard rotation and patrol pattern. That’s the fucking point of the adventure … to sneak in and plan a heist. Otherwise you’ve just got a shitty dungeon crawl. A really shitty one.
Formatting is fine, I guess. It’s just bullets, bolded, with a few descriptive words in parens after each bulleted thing. Which is fine for comprehension but somewhat lacking for creating an evocative environment.
Speaking of … there’s isn’t one. It’s boring and generic. Rows of Pews (wooden, well made). Yes. That’s what pews are. Brass double doors (ornate, unlocked during the day) Uh huh. Two sets of wooden doors (leading to stairs) Yes … just lik ethe fucking map shows us. It’s just a boring list of facts. There is little to no evocative text to bring the environment to life. Just mundane after mundane.
WHeres the joy man? WHeres the fun? That is the purpose, right? Fun? RPG’s are not a simulation. We’re here to have fun with our friends in a manner that doesn’t involve booze, drugs and sex (at least at the primary activity.) But, it’s up to the designer to provide for that. And it’s just not here. There almost no interactivity, because the map and keys are not set up to facilitate that. The rooms are not interesting, coming off as mundane, both in interactivity (or lack thereof) and descriptive text.
You gotta infiltrate. Sneak. Bribe. Disguise. And NONE of that is supported by this adventure.
This is free at itch.io.