By Thomas Denmark Night Owl Workshop B/X Levels 6-8
Birthed from the warped intellect of Joam Trassis the Unnatural, who was one of the last great Eldritch Lords, the tower has been rediscovered. Once a proud testament to Joam’s insidious genius, the Tower of the Egg fell into legend, its existence thought to be expunged by the relentless tide of time, its horrors banished to oblivion. Yet, like the quiet rustle of a dead leaf on an autumn wind, whispers of its enduring presence began to permeate the hushed tavern corners. An erratic map, penned with feverish, tremulous strokes, has surfaced, alluding to the Tower’s clandestine sanctuary. If the legends and conjectures bear truth, and the Tower of the Egg indeed perseveres, hidden amidst the gnarled wilderness, then its dreadful progenitor may yet endure. Trassis’ grotesque creations, bred within that blighted monument, may still writhe in its shadowed recesses, awaiting the dread command of their master. And if such abominations continue to breathe, then the horrors and marvels housed within the Tower of the Egg remain, waiting to birth a new era of unnatural domination.
This forty page digest adventure uses about sixteen pages to feature a wizards tower with five levels and about twenty rooms. And man is it bad. I mean BAD bad. Seriously. But, hey, at least it’s bad in a whole new way!
Hey, it’s got a monster reference sheet at the back! I love those! That’s nice!
But it’s BAD. “Bryce, you say everything is bad.” Yes, well, everything is bad. But, this one. Whooooa. I mean BAD. You ready for this?
“An examination of the crude map through the lens of a read magic spell discloses an array of cryptic phrases – the key to the incantation. However, the language is an archaic dialect of the magical lexicon, a tongue that is relegated to the dust-laden pages of ancient tomes. Only a scribe or magic-user deeply immersed in the esoteric lore may be able to decipher its antiquated structure and meaning” That one paragraph for the front door. The second one. The first one is longer and even more purple.
No? Well then how about room one then? “This room is a 40’ x 40’ enclosure, it is an orderly immaculate space within the ancient tower. Its environment is uncannily pristine, free of the inevitable layer of dust one would expect from a room untouched for centuries. The chamber seems frozen in time, preserved in a state of arrested decay by the arcane enchantments woven into its very stones. Those who step foot within are the first to disturb its timeless tranquility in eons.” Seriously? Those who step foot within are the first to disturb its timeless tranquility in eons? I’m supposed to use that to run this fucking room?
“This artifact is no ordinary key, but a cipher to unlock the stairwell that ascends to the next echelon of this godforsaken tower, beckoning the brave, or perhaps the foolhardy, to explore its dread heights further.” Jesus H fucking christ. Every single sentence in the tower is a shit fest of purple prose. It is SO tortured that I am beginning to wonder if The Boogeyman is to blame … AI. How about some leather armor you find? Here’s the entry: “Leather Armor +2: This is a magical set of leather armor that provides a +2 bonus to the wearer’s Armor Class.” Right? The description restates the item with just more words. That’s got to be AI, right?
Room after room. Paragraph after paragraph. But, the shit around the tower? That’s in a completely different style. It’s GOT to the designers real voice and the tower text has got to be procedurally generated. I don’t think I could come up with it normally even as an exercise on a bet. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen prose this bad in an adventure. I’m not even sure I’ve seen writing this purple in a crappy Drizzle Durdan novel/
For a level eight adventure, this is basically a linear hack. Things pop out of stasis. Find the red key to open the next door, a red one.
“To awaken the chamber from its slumber, one must utter the sacred incantation, each syllable resonating with the raw, primal power of creation and carrying the weight of forgotten eons. It is a rhythm that matches the heartbeat of the universe, a melody composed by the Eldritch Lords in the twilight of their dominion. With each spoken word, the room stirs, echoes of ancient power flickering in the mirrors like dying embers coaxed back into flame.” Jesus fuck … you just can’t make this shit up.
Joke adventure is a joke. Come on man, if this how you want to be remembered as a designer?
This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is ten pages. The last two show you tower locations. Note the change in descriptive style between the throw-away town/overland journey and the tower. Although, the little story about finding the map is getting up there in prose also.