By D. D. Gant Self Published Labyrinth Lord Levels 1-3
Dreams of the sleeping wizard seep into reality. Manifest familiars war over the fate of a remote islet. An infinite garden houses an escaped experiment. The god of purity is fooled for his blessings. Into the nightmare we go.
This sixteen page adventures features a small island with around ten locations. It’s all a dream, with no death possability, but a lot of novelization language and a little heavy reliance on anthropomorphic animals, trying for a fairy tale/dream vibe. It’s minor high points don’t save it in any way.
*sigh* ANother dream time adventures. The sleeping wizards dreams invade reality blah blah blah. Go in to his nightmares and “kill” him to wake him up. Blah blah blah. How can you have your pudding if … I mean, how can you have an adventure when there are no consequences? This is one of those things that, as a player, I tune completely out on. I don’t really give a shit when there are no consequences. Anyway. People on shore see a light on the island and off you go to figure shit out. Once there you meet a bunch of animals who can talk and are intelligent and maybe tell you to go to the forest and kill the wizard. Once there you enter his nightmare and kill him, waking him up. There are also nightmare descriptions for the other nine locations on the island, although why you would go back there is beyond me. You enter the nightmare in the forest. The forest is one location. The dude is in the forest. Seems pretty straight forward to me.
This thing is FULL of overly dramatized prose. The kind of shit that is supposed to be full of imagery, if you were reading it in a novel. But this isn’t a novel, its an adventure. One of the entries starts “In defiance of expectantly calm conditions …” Seriously? I’m supposed to run something that starts with that? One of the encounters is called “The tree will remember” and has a statue in it. That does nothing. The trees do not enter in to the location, except the statue is in a grove of trees. Yeah, super meaningful dude. I am inspired. “Half-buried crab cages entomb expired crustaceans where the gulls cannot reach.” Why do we care that the gulls can’t reach the crab bodies? What the fuck is the point? “Under the spell of the beckoning nightmare the adventuring party find themselves stumbling out of the shady grove …” This isn’t writing. It’s not adventure writing anyway. Passive sentence structures. Overly purple prose. The writing needs to be clear, direct, not passive, and targeted at running the game. “Where the gulls cannot reach. *pffft* Garbage.
There is one section where things just do not make sense at all. In a lab there’s a table for a snow globe. The globe is never mentioned anywhere. Just a table for a globe. Ad it’s written, at least in one of the entries for the globe, like you can enter it. But there’s not enough to run that. And, where the fuck is the globe anyway? Its like the designer left out a paragraph.
There’s a decent bit of thing or two in this. A potion of bees! You turn in to a swarm of bees for two turns. Kind of a nice reimagining of a gaseous form. And A rat who dons a repurposed chainmail coif over fine silks and waves around a sewing needle in command of his fellow rats. This is in a room with a familiar toad who ready to release a tamed tabby on the rats. Decent little vignette there, but maybe a little too much Watership Down for me. I just don’t get the anthropomorphic animal thing. The wanderer table has “Deer wearing prayer bead necklaces clip-clop out of a nearby room.” That’s suitable creepy for me though.
It’s all a dream. Who cares. The writing would be fine if this were a novel, but it’s not. You need to get the dream vibe to the DM, who can pass it to the players. You want an Annihilation vibe. You don’t do that by tormenting the DM who has to wade through the passive, purple prose.
Then again, who cares, it’s all just a dream anyway.
This is free at DriveThru. The marketing blurb promises more like this from this designer. Oh boy.