Mystery in Muffelton

By ArtifexWorlds
Self Published
Generic/Universal ... or 5e?
Tier 2

Welcome to Muffelton. A frontier town in a land that has finally calmed down a little after having been ravaged by disease and civil war for decades. Established 8 years ago, Muffelton has been going strong as a waypoint for adventurers, colonisers and explorers. Unfortunately, disaster has struck. Two of muffelton’s villagers have died in the last 2 weeks and the cause of death is unclear. Your players have come to investigate the deaths and find the cause and if necessary bring the guilty party to justice.

Drive a G.T.O.

Eighteen fucking pages for a fucking town with two fucking deaths. It’s a crap fucking adventure with a fucking MAGNIFICENT premise and some relatable realism. More of that and less of the crap, along with some massive editing would have created something everyone would play. But, also, you’ll know all you need to after this review. Also, it says it’s fucking generic/universal in DriveThru but has 5e on the fucking cover.

Well, I’m just a modern guy

Ok, so, you read the fucking intro, right? Small outpost of eighteen buildings. Two people dead in the last two weeks. Oh’s No’s! Let us Do Good! Ok ok ok, I’m going to spoil this for this. AFter this statement you don’t need the adventure. Which means you should buy it just to not be a fuckface. In the center of town there’s a well. (Hot Tip: never mention to the party that there’s  well. It’s suspect #1, even before the decrepit house or apothecary. Of course the town has a well. Duh!) At the bottom of the well is … a devil. Who listens to wishes, and then sends up a contract and quill and grants the wish! And the, due to a small clause at he bottom, you die a day later. Absolutely! For fucking sure! OF COURSE there’s a devil at the bottom of the wishing well granting wishes. OF COURSE. I fucking love it man! It’s the kind of gleeful fun that I love out of my fucking games!

With the liquor and drugs! With the liquor and drugs!

Look man, I don’t know. I don’t know if dude is a genius who is leveraging the tropes of folklore and eight thousand years of shared cultural heritage to create relatable experience or if its just enough monkeys at enough keyboards. Results matter and this fucking thing has a devil at the bottom of a well signing contracts and granting wishes!

I’m through sleeping on the sidewalk!

We’ve got some good shit going on in this. We’ve got a halfling innkeep called Don Dinglebeard. Absolutely. The guards at the gate have one young kid who strictly follows the rules and hassles the players and one experienced one who rolls her eyes and give you a “Dont be bad” when you enter. With me adding a sly grim while fingering a crusty bloody knife 🙂 There is, for sure, a cultist in the inn. You can find a book in his room “Demetrius’ Syllabus of Devils: a Guide to Powerful F(r)iends.” Absolutely! A red herring has a giant in a cave nearby … with love issues, and a note in the text that says “This is where we are now. A frost giant completely in tears, trying to drink away his sorrows, hiding in a cave.” Got it? A slyness to the writing, a commentary. And, there’s a fluffy silver cat in the adventure that, if I were playing this, I would absolutely steal and keep as the party mascot. There is absolutely nothing special about it. Well, it died and came back to life. “Smokey (if talked to using speak with animals only remembers seeing a fiery light, heat and flames before waking up suddenly in the middle of the house. He remembers being sick  and falling asleep a long time ago. Smokey is a very striking fluffy silver cat.” MINE! Smokey is a good kitty, right?!

No more beating my brains! 

But, man, this is a shit adventure. There’s no key for the dungeon under the well, just descriptions like “the room foff the main room” and shit like that. The town is keyed with numbers, which is absurd. Towns like this should be keyed, sure, but with names. People don’t say Go To Building 15. They say Go To Marths the Tailor. The entire town is a magical ren faire of every rac ein the book … which is easily ignored. Everyone has a fucking potion for sale, which, again, we can ignore. Long italics read-aloud, whic his a nono for readability purposes. The entire thing is written as a a “first this happens and then this happens” format, in long-form paragraph. Bullets, when they appear, have a bolded word in them but also start with a lot of padded text. You don’t do this. It’s reference material. You lead with the strong thing so I can know what I’m looking at in two words. 

But, also …

Colonizers? That must be mentioned about a dozen times. Didn’t dude get the memo? The fucking thing is padded out EVERYWHERE. “Don’t tell your players this at all, but this is what is actually going on:” No fucking shit Sherlock. And the local hunter has seen a lot more devils in the woods lately … oh come the fuck on! Why the fuck are you spoiling the fucking adventure?! And, there are A LOT of devils in this? Named devil dude has a bunch of other devils “working for him” in the dungeon/woods, etc. Thats fucking lame. Thats not how a fucking devil works. Figure it the fuck out man. Thats not Devil In A Well Granting Wishes energy. And he doesnt act like a devil, nor do all of the other devils, except for the central premise. It’s just another stat block to stab, as fas as the adventure is concerned. Absolutely Not! This is a cunning opponent. He doesn’t wait to get stabbed unless warned by his spine devil guards. Fuck that shit.

There’s a lot wrong with this. A lot. Is it a hill giant or a frost giant in the cave? The text mentions both. There’s a couple of pages of summary in the back of the adventure which is ACTUALLY the adventure. A summary of clues and moticvatins and such. Info that doesnt really appear elsewhere, or, which only matters, in context, with information found in the town building keys. I suspected, before I got to this section, tha the entire adventure could be done in a couple of pages, and, it turns out, I was right. Those are really the only things that matter. There’s a NPC summary in the back also that has good intentions but sucks ass in practice.

Focus on the important shit, not the backstory. Put important htings first. Edit THE FUCK out of it. Make it terse. Learn how to format an adventure for scanability and running it at the table. Focus on the key shit. The rest of it pretty much don’t matter. Sure, throw in something fun,  but stay focused. You do NOT roll a DC18 check to find a book when searching. You put the fucking book in the mattress and let people find it who look in the mattress OR roll an 18 to search. Even then, though, rolling a skill like this sucks shit and takes the fun out of D&D. 

Please write “I will learn how to actually write an adventure” 1,000 times on the chalkboard before the next one.

This is $4 at DriveThru. Preview is broken. 🙁

This entry was posted in 5e, Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Review, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Mystery in Muffelton

  1. Olle Skogren says:

    If you despair at reading this dreck take a look at your forum – I have internalised at least some of your wisdom over the years and just released a (free) 14 page module (and 3 micro modules which are too small in scope for this blog).

  2. Artifex says:

    Firstly: Thank you for taking the time to review my adventure!
    Secondly: Ouch, but fair.
    Thirdly: I’ll start on the 1000 lines and promise my next one will be better.

    Also, don’t know how it came to be listed as generic but I fixed it to be 5e again. Full-size preview is broken for me as well but the quick preview works. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix that.

    • Helpfull Stranger says:

      Try changing the number of pages on the preview settings. That should refresh the preview.

      • Artifex says:

        Thanks, helpfull stranger. But that didn’t fix it either. I have messaged support, maybe they can help.

        • Malrex of the Merciless Merchants says:

          I run into that crap all the time. You click the previews, add the pages, then submit, then when you check it after submittal, you have to go back in and re-check the preview box because magically it has become unchecked…it’s lame. Sometimes my previews just get taken down randomly and I only know because someone mentions it in the comments. What a mystery….It’s annoying. But ya, best bet is to message support.

    • Anon says:

      Not sure if this is the culprit but If you have it in a zip file it can’t be previewed.

      • Luke says:

        That is not true at all, and I wish people stopped repeating that as an excuse. If you have the game in a zip file, it prevents DTRPG from automatically generating the preview for you. You can still provide the preview file and it will be visible on the page. See Beyond the Wall for an example:

        The fact that this requires some minor effort does not make it impossible.

        • AB Andy says:

          Create product: there is a field to pick preview file. Your product consists of a pdf (which you pick as preview) and a zip with maps. You then publish the product, and the preview doesn’t work because the site picked the zip as preview, although you specified the pdf.

          You then need to go to your published products and manually manage preview to repick the pdf.

          So yes, effort is needed. But when you specify a pdf at content publish wizard it shouldn’t change to the zip file. So the effort needed is caused by a stupid bug.

  3. Stripe says:

    >At the bottom of the well is … a devil. Who listens to wishes, and then sends up a
    >contract and quill and grants the wish! And the, due to a small clause at he bottom,
    >you die a day later.

    That is sooo heavy metal!

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