Earthworms Have Wings

By Thomas Scott Ingle
Self Published
Level ?

Level range? Why do you believe that you, as a consumer, deserve a level range? Tell me about your childhood trauma that led to that belief?

The morning after a pair of young, orphan boys (Harry, and Measel) pretend to be wizards casting a pretend spell, their odd words come to fruition, and the superstitious adults of South Chapel accuse them of practicing black magic! But all is not as it seems… Are the boys really responsible for the ills suddenly befalling South Chapel? Could it be dark spirits from the Old Sminkle place? …Or is it something else…? The only way for the Pcs to find out is to explore South Chapel and investigate the strange goings on…!

This 34 page digest adventure describes a village with people in it going mad. It has a bunch of descriptions that are not needed and A LOT of text that obfuscates what is really going on. In the end, it’s a go nowhere adventure. You’ll find no joy today me buckos. 

You arrive at the village and there’s various mobs hunting two little kids, to hang them for witchcraft. Gallows and all. Seems there are now worms flying around with wings. You wander around the village while the DM rolls on the “weird shit” table until everyone mutates and/or all of the villagers go crazy in a riot. Seems that there is a meteorite in the pond in the center of the village, causing it all. THis is, of course, two massive tropes: that there’s an outer space meteorite causing shit to happen in a Lamentations adventure and that the town water source is poisoned. The usual for a Lamentations adventure, or, any crazed villagers adventure it seems. 

The individual buildings and farms, in particular, are too well documented. The names, ages of everyone and some little blurb about thor backstory that almost never bears any significance to the adventure. Wasted space and wasted cognition for the DM trying to run this. The VAST majority of shit could just be described by a villager table. After all, their import is in the fact that they are mobbing, not that they grow cabbages. “[they all] work the farm, shearing sheep, milking goats, spinning wool, churning butter, and making cheese” Wonderful. My game is enriched. 

A couple of locations are different though. You get a full accounting of the church and of a three story haunted house. A FULL accounting. In WAY too much detail. Paragraph after paragraph for rooms. A bunch of words that mean nothing for the adventure at hand. And, you literally just wander around the village. While the DM rolls on the mutations table to see what weird shit the villagers do. That provide no clues to the adventure. I guess you just stumble on the water source, if you do at all. This all comes after a disaster of an intro, full of text, that, I guess is meant to be run as the intro to the village but is so long, at multiple pages f first this and then this, that I don’t see any sane person could use it. For that matter, the wandering around the village part is not really supported at all either. No good mob tables or anything. And, when we get to the items in the adventure? “Roll to determine one or two forgotten magic items.” Jesus people, this is not how randomness works in an adventure. Just place the fucking items. Don’t waste the creativity on things that won’t be placed. 

It does allow you to bring villagers out of their crazed state by splashing cold water on them. That’s a nice touch.

Otherwise, this is just a MASS of text that doesn’t really support the main adventure at all. Just mountains of it, that you get to dig through, while trying to run a village hunt without any support for the hunt proper. Another wasted PDF that makes little baby Jesus cry.

This is $5 at DriveThru. The preview is five pages. That’s not enough to really see what’s going on, but you can get a sense of the tedious writing style from it. Imagine that throughout.

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10 Responses to Earthworms Have Wings

  1. Bucaramanga says:

    So, “poison in a well” is the LotFP answer to “orcs in a hole”?

  2. Gnarley Bones says:

    It’s a LoFP version of “The Weird that Came to Drigbolton?”

  3. Stripe says:

    Tom made poor little baby Jesus cry!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bryce, Kelvin Green seems to get it when it comes to LotFP. Review one of his stuff please.

  5. Tom H. says:

    Is the mass of text from somebody who read Village of Hommlet and thought “this is how I should publish a throw-away village”, not realising it is the canonical model for an (overly-a-priori-detailed) *extended-campaign* village?

    • Gnarley Bones says:

      I fear this has become a new convention: One cannot start at the dungeon; one must first visit the closest settlement and then commence the wilderness trek.

      It always ends up blowing the page count of the work, usually results in a low signal-to-noise ration and serves no real gaming purpose.

      The DM is going to plunk the *module* into his or her campaign world and often doesn’t need yet another statted village and a wilderness area that doesn’t match his or hers.

      Yes, of course, B2 provided the Keep; Hommlet is the town that launched 10,000 expeditions. But it’s OK to start at the dungeon. G1, C1, S2 – all of these works start at the dungeon. There are now dozens upon dozens of published towns, villages and hamlets. A DM can freely pick and choose.

      • Prince says:

        I think for very long format it might be defensible but it strikes me most of these starting town also have about 3% of the interactivity of something like Keep or Hommlet.

        If you are going to make a starting town, put hidden treasure, spies, henchmen, assholes pretending to be henchmen, secrets, rumors, intrigue etc. etc. in there.

        • Gnarley Bones says:

          I noted this when 2nd Edition rolled around; the 1Eadventures started in media res: “You arrive at Chief Nosra’s steading.” In S2, the party starts at the entrance to the weird source of the monsters. In I1, play begins on the outskirts of the Forbidden City. The work itself doesn’t have to start in civilization and detail the planning and traveling. That’s what the out-of-module campaign is for. That’s the DM’s bread and butter, connecting modules (which, by definition, are supposed to be modular).

          Instead, in 2nd edition, there had to be a build-up. The module starts earlier: the PCs have to come to a town which is, of course, mapped and statted out. And that’s a convention that is weirdly continuing.

          But, unlike B2’s keep or T1’s Hommlet, the described settlement is NOT presented a base of operations to stage sorties from. It’s a place to hang out and hear rumors about the *actual* adventure, so the party leaves, travels through some interstitial area (often of varying degrees of linearity) before arriving at the meat of the module which, all too often, is truncated because 1/3rd of the work detailed a settlement with no real purpose.

          It seems that this an emerging trope; noted anew in review after review. It’s as if the PCs need to guided into the adventure. They don’t.

          If a settlement is going to be created – it has to be *necessary* for the adventure, not adjacent to.

          • Artem the Centaur Conqueror says:

            While preparing my latest 5e offering, I’ve been anguishing for a long time on how to describe the starting village. I loathe mudcore provincial intrigue with a passion of a thousand suns, yet I didn’t want to leave it as a complete blank slate.

            As a result, seven locations/NPCs with something going on (gain minor bonus, gain an enemy/friend). One page. Done.

  6. Bailey says:

    In some fairness, if there’s any level based system where level isn’t as critical its LotFP. If the party is underpowered drop in a scroll of Summon, and if they’re overpowered drop in a scroll of Summon.

    Shame about the rest though.

    A challenge for on-point Lamentations adventures is that a little LotFP goes a very long way in a regular D&D game. I’ve rolled and run a Scenic Dunnsmouth to good effect in an ongoing campaign for instance, but I didn’t string it back to back with everything else in that catalog. Which means in turn that any one Lamentations adventure has a high bar to cross to get run, being up against every other Lamentations offering.

    Similar problem to 0-level adventure funnels really. They’re fun, but how many will each campaign really need?

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