Blub-Glub Pit

By Tiagp da Paz and Iago Ferreira
Level ?

In the middle of a forest, which grew where an old city perished in ruins, a pit of stone resists time. Vines slowly wrap it while its dark and wet interior hides the savagery and devotion of fish-like humanoids. Mud and mucus mix chaotically!” Grab your torches and come to explore this dank and dark dungeon!

This 22 page digest adventure features a kua-toa themed dungeon with about eleven(?) rooms. I don’t know what to make of it. I’d say it leans to the bad art-punk style of things, expect it actually has a keyed dungeon with “Descriptions.”I might call it an art-forward project, except it’s low on art.

Based on the cover I had high hopes. The canonical dungeon, for me, is a hole in the ground that some losers go in to explore/loot the mythic underworld. Which is probably why I like that first level of The Darkness Beneath so much. Anyway, that cover brings it, doesn’t it? The rest, though, is just bad. All parts of it.

The map is bad. Well, I mean, it’s got that isometric thing going on, which I like. SHowing elevation changes with a couple of steep muddy slopes in the dungeon. But, beyond that, it’s not keyed traditionally. And, while I don’t have a problem with that, in theory, I do have a problem with this in practice. It’s grouped in to a number of zones, six I think. Each zone has a mini-map noting rooms in it. So, we’re flipping to the correct zone, on the correct page (which is cross-referenced, thank Blibdoolpoolp. But, then, we get a weird mix of keying. SOme rooms are Room A, Room B, Room C. Not my favorite, since “Room A – Mucky & slime guard chamber” brings more descriptive text to the table than “Room A”. And, then, it goes on to call some rooms “Kitchen” or Guard Room. This kind of shit drives me crazy. I don’t want to have to hunt to find the room/feature I’m looking for while the party explores. So, you can do it, but you have to do it in such a way that I’m not killing time during play trying to find the fucking room the party is appraching. I HATE it when the adventure forces the DM to have “Dead air time” hunting for information. The end all be all of dungeon keying is not the traditional room/key, but, fuck, it also works well and if you’re gonna do something different then don’t lose what traditional keying brings to the table during actual play.

It uses randomness badly. Our hooks, genetic as can be, are presented as a table. Why? You really want me to roll on it for a hook? Sure, I can pick, as most sane people will, if they use the designers hooks, but why a random table for them? It smacks of a lack of understanding of what randomness is used for in play. And don’t get me started on the fucking treasure table. When you make it to the final room/temple then the DM gets to roll on a random tables for what treasure is on the alter.  “2d8 luxury objects, like chalices and mirrors” Fucking great. Wonderful. You do know that the purpose of a published adventure is to bring things to the DM that they can’t do on their own? To save time? To think about it and agonize over it before hand so that, during the play, the DM is able to present the party with something that they actually care about? That would seem to get at the core purpose of an adventure: assisting the DM. But, again, no, Roll on a table for a random treasure item. O can’t express enough how much I hate this. It’s a complete and total lack of understanding of what the purpose of a published adventure is. 

And the descriptions. Ug. “Room A – Serves as the kua-toas hunting weapons storage.” Well fucking thanks for that. I am inspired. That will result in a great description from me, the DM, to my players. Or, how about “Kitchen – In this part of the cave, the Blub-Glub cook their food. What is gathered from the hunting is taken to the kitchen and properly prepared.” Yes, you did just describe the purpose of a kitchen. It’s like saying “Bedroom – This is where people sleep.” What the fuck is the fucking point of this? 

And it’s all generic. “Moderately difficult to fall down the slope.” Just sta the fucking thing for B/X or Labyrinth Lord. We all know how to convert the fucking thing. 

Yeah, it looks like a dungeon. It has a key and descriptions. And that’s about the fuck all it is. It’s like people have never ever seen a real fucking adventure before.

This is $2.50 at DriveThru. The preview is nine pages. You really only get to see the suck ass hooks table and a mini-map. Good luck with figuring out if you want to buy it based on that. And this review.

This entry was posted in Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Blub-Glub Pit

  1. Stripe says:

    Time for another contest?

    • Malrex of the Merciless Merchants says:

      Those are fun….I felt the challenge when people were saying there wasn’t many good tower adventures, but a hole in the ground works.

      • Stripe says:

        I’m more interested in an urban adventure contest from Bryce’s last review—I think those may be rarest of all—but I agree, “hole in the ground” is good too.


  2. anonymous says:

    The forest has reclaimed the city, tumbled blocks of ancient stone crack hewn and crushed by the roots of the trees. All that remains is the well, wrapped in twisted vines, and rumor of ancient gold.

    The Sacrificial well of the nameless lost city, it plumets 200′ into the depths, dark and silent except on the nights of the crescent moon when an aureate blaze points to the sky from within the well.

    **1) Ancient Well.** Amidst a bleached bone brambles a well of smooth red rock plunges 200′ into the earth. The warm wet air pushing from below smells faintly of brine.
    **2) The Under Sea.** The well drops into a vast cavern of dripping limestone, filled with a warm shallow sea. Only 3′ to 8′ deep, spiral ruins encrusted with flowing limestone and tree like bioluminescent fungus rise from the water. This is the hunting ground of a Fish folk, who prowl the rich waters with spear and net for: blind fish, forearm sized blue crustaceans, jagged glass eels, and dragonflies the size of a small dog. They will be delighted to hunt for surface dweller, as their hideous goddess demands the flesh of mortals, has been denied that of strangers for too many eons.
    **3) Fishman Shanties.** The fishmen have grown few in the years since they lost their surface allies, cursed by their goddess and pray to the Salt Wyrm “Tyrannax” (See Area 12). The sad remnants of a once artful and proud people they 88 Fishmen Hunters hunker among the limestone mutilated facades and statuary of thier former greatness. They inhabit clusters of huts (each hut holds 1D6 fishmen) around gruesome totems and smoking racks made of bone and fungus pith.

    Etc… Etc…

    I’m not saying it’s good, but I’m 4 lagers in and this stuff writes itself. It doesn’t have to be good either, just not boring as cold pasta.

    I can’t imagine that the authors of these awful versions are either entirely lacking in imagination or afraid to put even the slightest spin on things. It should be obvious by now that can include creatures that aren’t in the Monster Manual and describe things with adopting the voice of a defeated relator describing the dimensions of a 51 sq meter fixer upper two weeks after his dog died.

    So this must be intentional, someone gave these people the impression that this was how you write adventure keys. Who are they and why is anyone listening to them?

    • Anonymous says:

      If those guys are brazilians as the names suggest, I don’t even know where to start. The oldschool RPG scene in Brazil is shit. They love ltra minimalistic systems with shiny artstyle, They don’t even know what’s the difference between OSR, Oldschool and Newschool play. Hell, they don’t even write adventures. So kudos to them that they at least tried. They could spent this time doing another crap minimalist hack of a better system and calling it a day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Look at all this spam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *