By Wayne Robert Wyrd Valley Press OSE Level ?
Pan, His Majesty in Yellow is a fairy tale cosmic horror sandbox campaign setting that combines the lore of Peter Pan, Hastur, Neverland, and Carcosa into a strange and unique experience.
This 76 page supplement is a setting guide fo a Neverland that is mashed up with Carcosa. Maybe it does that well? But the hex crawl sucks ass.
This isn’t a real review because I screwed up. But, I do talk about hex encounters. I don’t know why I thought this was hex crawl, but I did. Anyway, it uses about ten pages to describe 38 locations on the Never Island chain. The rest of the pages are creatures and the general vibe of the place.
And, as far as Peter Pan settings go, this one is ok, I guess. It expands on the genre (or, maybe there are more books? I’m too lazy to find out) and then mashes the entire thing up with some Hastur/Carcosa shit. Which, kind of makes perfect sense. There’s the usual stuff, with a new pirate in town, the faeries, the lost boys and so on. And then there’s a Carcosa-like dream city full of nightmares from beyond that melts in. There’s a continual theme of Pans capriciousness, and the consequences of it. There were Wendy’s before Wendy and Wendy’s after Wendy. What becomes of them? Hence The Old Ladies, appearing in the adventure. Other items are expanded upon as well. And almost everything has this slightly dark twist to it. What appears to be the frivolity of Peter Pan and the environment has dark undertones and origins. And it all works out pretty good, as a theme. It’s not my thing, but it brings the weird … never in your face but hiding as origin stories and in deep dark caves.
The hex crawl is, well, not a hex crawl. In several aspects. First, the hex map has no keys. The map WITH the keys, more artistic, has no hex boundaries. In spite of a big deal being made of wanderers and travel times. So, good luck with that.
Ten pages for 38 locations isn’t much space. It is certain hex energy in that respect. But the encounters would have to be more Gazetteer in flavour. Both because it’s not a hex crawl and therefore a setting and therefore a Gazetteer, and in their details.
You’ve got three old men who live in a little hut. “Hank PuddingbottomsS regrets the capitol S he once acquired in trade to add to his name and would like to trade it in for an o. Or, from those same three, an elephant shows up and they can’t agree on the nature of it and its causing an awful ruckus during their breakfast. The absurdism comes through well, as is befitting a Pan setting. But they are only ideas, with nothing to carry them along. Go Forth and figure out a way. This borders on some of the artifact destruction themes in the 1e DMG. Or a site where “Something” has begun hunting inhabitants of the island. They are looking for help in hunting it. The IT is not expanded upon. None of the ideas are. Not even outlines, these are mere thoughts. Disconnected from most of the rest of the entries (usually) and given not much to help the DM breathe life in to it. This is much closer to the Isle of the Unknown.
There is a big purple bird here. It sings to the sun.” [My example] Ok. And? Why do I care? There’s no real reason to gain an ally for most folks. And therefore there’s no real reason to interact. Except, in your quixotic tasks for the sake of tasks.
And, perhaps, this is what makes a setting The DM must put something together to tie everything together and use this booklet to help inspire that.
This is $20 at DriveThru. Only a quick preview. Boo! Hiss!
If I didn’t want to know where you were April 29th then I wouldn’t have asked, now would I?
I don’t recall Peter Pan being on the Appendix N list. There’s no way to make Peter Pan cool. Probably would sell better to the 5E crowd.
Was Alice in Wonderland in Appendix N, because there have been a few highly regarded D&D supplements over the years based on that.
It was on the recommended reading list for B/X, and there’s been the Gygax Dungeonland modules. Baked in from the start yeah.
Bryce El Viejito entering his ArtPunk phase…
So I the bad thing here is that there is no interactivity, right? So the NPC wants to trade his letter for another, but there is no information about what this means, where the letter o can be found, any consequences, connections between different hexes etc? Include these and you’ve got an adventure instead of a setting, right?
Maybe the whole letter thing is to teach our child gamers spelling? What fun! Nothing says let’s not play RPGs anymore than to have an NPC be a child who lives in a fantasy world that never wants to grow up. Hmm, could that be a veiled insult at everyone sitting at the game table?
I’m thinking Hook has a spare O so you go to NPC’s and try to convince them to give up a letter? Swap a letter? It’d be an absurdist kind of conversation/scenario but that’s the point of Neverland right? Fits the tone? A reason to interact with Hook that’s more negotiation and less confrontation?
What would it do? Well the NPCs would have a theory or two (designer should have provided). Maybe it only matters to Hank. If it’s a Neverland campaign you’d probably look for a link about changing who you are or forgetting who you used to be to work in…
$20 for pdf of this? No! Buy Castle Xyntillan instead!
Be careful, the author of this bad book goes on personal vendettas trying to cancel people who leave bad reviews!