By Yorgan Self Published Tinyd6 Wasteland Level: Intro
A Wastelands mad scientist attempts to keep the Enclave from interfering in his greatest experiment
This nine page adventure is a “hunt” for a missing truck in a Gamma World type place. You follow a linear path, stabbing things, until you die of boredom.
I’m gonna try to take todays review seriously. It’s hard, when confronted by such reckless hate. What can men do? Anyway, dude mailed me asking for suggestions and since it wasn’t 5e or Shadowdark I went for it. Also, I don’t drink in the mornings anymore. That’s sad. I now do eight shots of espresso with a little steamed milk.
And thus, feedback!
You have written your adventure for Tinyd6, the wasteland version. I assume you did this because it is some kind of new hotness that everyone is talking about in whatever circles you hang in? Wonderful. I understand. Also, why? Gamma World is too complex? I have noted, I believe, that Gamma World is the greatest RPG ever in the history of everything? Gamma World. Or, you know, pay $20 for a TWO HUNDRED PAGE pdf for a system that boils down to “Roll 2d6, a 5 or 6 succeeds.” I’m not supposed to judge this aspect of games, though, so, feel free to ignore it.
Your marketing blurb sucks ass. It’s one sentence? I’m not the biggest fan of the long ass marketing blurbs, but, maybe three or so would be better? But, also, it’s generic as all fuck? “A wasteland scientist”? The Enclave? His greatest experiment? This is so abstracted and generic as to be meaningless. The purpose of the blurb is to get us excited to buy/download/play this adventure, and there’s nothing in this blurb that makes me want to do anything but sigh in resigned regrets.
Ok, so, let’s look at the intro. “Several days ago, the Drill Truck went out testing for wells and it hasn’t returned. Water is scarce in the Wastelands. The Enclave can’t afford to lose it. The truck was traveling west into the wastes, along the makeshift telegraph line that connects the Enclave to Salt Flat City. Someone needs to find it quickly. That someone is you.” This is terrible. First, it’s not how a survivor community acts. I mean, not unless there are, like, several hundred thousand people living in it. Are there? No? Then the community bands together and sends out a mob. Further, again, this is generic and abstracted. No details. Who meets with you. What do they say. Do they have a personality to speak of or a quirk? Anything interesting going on? No? None of that? Just “get the fuck out, who cares about the part of the adventure that sets the tone for everyone to come.” Do you know what the purpose is of the shit you see when you stand in line as Disney? It’s clear you have no interest in the pretext or setting up the vibe.
Let us take a look at some typical read-aloud: “Lying across the road are several telegraph poles. They have been cut through and the telegraph wire is broken. Above vultures circle in the sky.” This is not the way you write read-aloud. There’s no mystery here. You say, instead, tha the poles are down. Then the party investigates and finds them cut through and the lines broken. You are over-revealing in the read-aloud. By doing so you are destroying the natural back and forth between the DM and the players which is the HEART of EVERY rpg, tinyd6 or no.
There’s an emphasis on set pieces. The dude jumping from a motorcycle to land on the car roof to saw through with a chainsaw. Of course. I shall not comment on every mad maxx trope from every movie appearing, but, just focus on the emphasis on set pieces. And, of course, of people getting away so they can appear ;later. You’ve written a linear adventure with “Scenes.” You’ve kept your antagonists alive to build tension for later. This is shitty. By doing so you’ve removed player agency. That’s a cardinal sin. Instead of the usual five scene nonsense, why not instead white a little setting that the players can explore, with some shit ging on in it? A real adventure instead of a movie?
“After Carburetor Jack cut down the telegraph poles, Conrad was ordered by Scientist Joe to watch the road and to lure anyone to the lair of the Hypno Toad.” Is that sentence to be taken seriously?
The formatting is crude, at best. A shaded read-aloud box followed by paragraphs of information with no formatting beyond that. We bold, italics, bullet and whitespace things to call out important information for the DM while they are scanning the adventure.
Bad read-aloud. No formatting for the mass of DM text. Set piece after set piece in movie format. No real depth to anything, just generic abstracted trope after generic abstracted trope with little specificity to ground it.
It’s free, if you so desire: