The Curse of the Dreadstone

By Luiz Eduardo Ricon
Hexplore Publishing
Levels 2-3

Everybody knows Brumeer, the dwarf, a locally renowned merchant. When a farmer named Arcbold failed to meet him at the market square, he hires the PCs to find out what has happened to his friend. The answer might not be pleasant, or safe…

This eighteen page digest adventure has a couple of encounters in a farm overrun with vermin. It’s got some ok sentences here and there, describing things, but it’s also just a straight forward plot adventure with little going on. 

I play about twice a week, some times a little more if I  join an online game. And, you know, I’ve REALLY  been wanting to take my games to the next level. So, imagine my delight when this thing popped up, promising just that: to take my games to the next level!

Ok, so, Genero the Dwarf hires the party to go kind Archie the farmer. He bought a bunch of vegetables from him and he hasn’t delivered. He’s giving you 10 GP to go do it. 

So, lets pause the fuck a moment here. TEN GP! Fuck yeah I’ll go do it! The little orphan scamp will do it for 1. Fuck man, the widow Merry will do it for half that! Ten fucking GP! How the fuck much is a carrott going for? Remember the early days of panic buying when they announced the shutdowns and the milk, eggs, and meat sold out? Maybe this is some kind of reverse thing? All the veg has sold out and rough greenery is now 10gp a bundle? Or, is this like a Chinese peaches thing where rutabagas keep the black death away? Fuck man, let’s all become farmers! Fucking WAYYYYY better than going down in to a dark hole in the ground with a fucking torch. Have you heard about what goes on down there? No fucking way I’m getting my brain sucked out! Who has cabbage seeds? Or, hey, maybe it’s something else? Maybe this is a drug deal? LIke, it’s actually meth and not veg, but Genero cant really hire you to go get his meth, right? That makes sense. 10gp. Fuck, man…

Good things first. Dude can write up a scene when he wants to. “Covered in cobwebs and hay, his skin turned gray and his hollow eyes and gaping mouth producing a cascade of tiny spiders crawling over his body or tangling up and down in silk threads.” This, my friends, is a ghoul. What a delight! Good description and good job taking a creature that you create and then just saying yeah, stats as a ghoul. I mean, it is a ghoul, not stats as a ghoul, but still, you know what I mean. This is going to be a freaky ass encounter for the party. VERY nice job. Likewise, the farmers house is covered in webs inside with hundreds of spiders of all shapes and sizes crawling over the walls. You had to be there. It’s good in the descriptions. The entire adventure is full of small vermin as window dressing, and its not always handled well. It frequently isn’t. But when he tries he does a great job. In addition, dude telegraphs a future encounter. Outside you find a goat in a giant spider cocoon. It’s still barely alive. WHich telegraphs that someone inside, in the spider webs, might still be alive also. Brings it to the front of the parties minds so they don’t just burn the place down. Good design there.

Let’s see … hooks … “Your former patron referred you to this town.” Who, exactly, is that written for? The DM? Then why use ‘your?’ It’s so aggressively generic. Abstracted to a point of uselessness. One of the wanderers is “A bard offers news of the road.” Well? What fucking news of the road is he offering? Nothing. At the end you need to return a magic rock to the place where the farmer found it, in the swamp … two hours away. With no directions. And nothing to go on except MAYBE a word that “Archie found it in the swamp.” But the adventure is written like you walk right there. It makes no sense. And, sometimes, the descriptions go a little overboard. Cocoons “hang like dreadful ornaments.” Oh come on mman. That’s just purple prose. We don’t say htat to players and if aimed at the DM there are much more effective ways to communicate the vibe.

So, show up and kill some orcs. Then kill some giant rats. Then some more rats. And then a ghoul. And then a giant spider. IDK, maybe I forgot another round of giant rats in there somewhere. There’s your adventure, in eighteen pages. 

If this were paired WAY down, and the descriptions beefed up, and it was in a magazine as a side-trek then it might be ok. That’s a lot of if’s. 

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is eight pages. You get to see the intro/hooks, wanderers, and orc encounter at the farm. Then entire adventure is like this, so, good preview from that sense.–The-ideal-SECOND-adventure-for-starting-players?1892600

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4 Responses to The Curse of the Dreadstone

  1. If I needed 9 XP to level, then this adventure would take me to the next level.

  2. Bucaramanga says:

    Ah, “spiders in a barn”, the upscaled, spruced-up version of “rats in a cellar”.

  3. Well hey, if garlic goes for 5gp, 10gp is nothing to squint at.

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