Journey to the Wayside Shrine

By Elven Tower
Self Published
Level 2

[…] the characters are sent to catch up with a group of halfling pilgrims as they travel north to a shunned location known as the Wayside Shrine. The halflings come here every year to commune with fey spirits, especially older halflings as they feel an inner call to visit the shrine. The journey is dangerous because a band of orc brigands has moved into the region and has learned that the halflings carry valuable offerings. This is not true but the orcs believe so. In the end, the characters’ presence shall prove invaluable as they are the only thing that stands between the dangerous orcs and the halfling pilgrims. This Shadowdark adventure has the heroes travel across a picturesque landscape looking for halfling pilgrims, pits them against the orc brigands that scourge the region and allows them to commune with the ancient spirits from the Woodlands Realm.

This nine page adventure is utter garbage. Trash. Dreck. The worst kind of content. And exactly what you would expect from a Patreon.

But, man, check that cover! Right?! I was just about to get sucked in to some more Mohr marketing, when I see this thing. Sexy sexy cover! It appeals to my weakness for marketing! It reminds me of something, but I can’t recall what. Anyway, that’s the high point of the adventure. By far.

Halfling fuckwits are going on their pilgrimage from their village to a shrine about a week away. But, ohs nos! There are orc rumors! You get hired to catch up to the band that has already left and escort them there and back again. This means two orc encounters.

You start in the village. Nothing happens there. The houses are laid out like events. At this house this event happens. At this house this event happens. It’s room/key, but event related. The person who lives here will spit on the party when they pass by. Great. The person who lives here will … there’s nothing to this part. It feels like it lasts a hundred and ninety six pages, even though it can’t possible. Let’s see … three or four pages. In a nine page adventure. Wonderful.

You go catch up with the moronic little fuckers. Nothing happens on the road. You find them, a few days later, camped out next to a river. It’s got an extensive text section, of course. Two pages. Describing the camp, the nearby by places, the people there. Nothing happens. And then, the next morning, eight orcs show up and demand some cash. This is handled in just a couple of sentence. Yeah! But, also, boo! The amount of space wasted on empty content is astonishing. And, for the short paragragh that handles the orc encounter, it’s STILL padded out. “In the morning, the characters and pilgrims wake up to a pestilence from the west” 

Blah blah blah, get to the shrine, get attacked by seven more orcs. Then you get to smoke the ol bong with the fey and the adventure is over. THIS is what modern adventures are. NOTHING

Oh, I mentioned padding, earlier. How about this? “The characters may have clean motives if they wish to help the locals such as Vaddara, Edanna, or the speaking frog from area 7. Conversely, the characters could care not for the halflings and choose to side with the evil scholar, Tarkin. In such a case, they would do well to keep their intentions hidden as the locals are hard to give their trust.” That says nothing. It just summarize the situation in the village we’ve spent three pages reading about. What the fuck is the point of that?

I’ll tell you what the fucking point is. It’s to fucking read it. Elven Tower makes $1300 each time they pop one of these shit holes out. That’s powerful motivation to pop out more. And, like all adventures, it will be read more than played. So it’s written to be read. There’s no fucking adventure here. This is the worst form of crap the hobby falls in to. And, Elven Tower announces that they are shifting their focus from 5e to Shadowdark. Wonderful.

Nice cover though!

This is $2 at DriveThru. You get to see seven of the nine pages, so, at least you know the crap you’re getting in to.–Level-2-Shadowdark-Adventure?1892600

This entry was posted in 2 out of 10, Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Review, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Journey to the Wayside Shrine

  1. Cyrix says:

    I hope Elven Tower comes here and reads this post. Their modules can be pretty good as I’ve run a bunch of them and they work fairly well with minimal tweaking. I don’t recall this using this one but I am glad they are switching to Shadowdark which gives me the flexbility of 5e or OSR for my games.

  2. KHann says:

    I suspect that, with Shadowdark coming from an expressly 5th ed creator and a fanbase rooted in that edition, you’re going to see all the worst trends of 5th ed third-party writing in its third-party supplements. Modern OSR writers barely get the ideas behind the school on a good day; I can’t imagine 5th-ed transplants starting from that low point and for the most part doing anything other than digging downward. I pity anyone that’s going to bother reviewing more than a handful.

    • Haru says:

      Indeed, with an influx of 5e players, we’re likely to see an influx of 5e-style adventures. Grim times ahead for reviewers.

      • Anonymous says:

        They’ve already been grim… the amount of trash for OSE has been mind boggling.

        • Gnarley Bones says:

          It’s in the inherent nature of our hobby. In the Halcyon Days, all of TSR’s products were written by people who had either created the game or were working with the creators, they were extensively play-tested in-house, they had professional editors, and they had tight quality control.

          With the budget crunch at the end of 1E, some mistakes slipped through in Unearthed Arcana and other hardbacks, but, generally, TSR was still able to exercise a modicum of control what it released and what was released was professionally done and a viable product. Stinkers started getting past the gatekeepers for the

          When 2E exploded into a plethora and splatbooks, it seems little to no effort was exerted to control the content as to the overall game and when 3E and WizBro took over, it was every man for himself. There was no real to determine what was under the wrapper until one bought it.

          And, of course, now anyone can release gaming material and as a result, there are no real controls, no playtesting (with some writers actually whine-sniping about it), editing seems an afterthought and like even critical reviews such as these get buried under the mountain of five-star reviews from like-minded purveyors of garbage. The bottom line is simply that as long as people pay for this level of product, there exists every incentive to keep shoveling it out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bryce has given Shadowdark’s creator more than one Bests for OSR material, so I wouldn’t say “expressly 5th ed” – especially not given her background. But yeah. Most people know her work cuz of 5th ed… probably because it’s so different from most 5e stuff.

  3. Bucaramanga says:

    >>>nice cover

    Literally a picture of the LotR set in NZ

  4. Anonymous says:

    Worst adventure ever?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bryce this is great info for ShadowDark writers. I hope they see this. Kelsey models your principles in her videos and streams saying how to write adventures.

    It’s not like mork Borg where no instructions or models are given Kelsey is gud

    What’s happening to these writers then?

    • chuck sneed says:

      It doesn’t take a wizard to figure out what happens to those writers – they are HACKS who do not TRY to do the BARE MINUMUM and are content with DRAGGING TURGID PROSE OUT OF A DOG’S ASS and SELLING IT FOR $2.50 + PATREON TIP with no preview on DRIVETHRURPG.

  6. Melan says:

    It is just the OSE/Mörk Börk/5e shovelware creators finding a new line to inundate with their shovelware. They have no deeper understanding of Shadowdark (a game that has not even been properly released yet), or any other system they develop for. Thus, everything they make is generic filler.

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