Hermitage of Yz

By R.P. Davis
Kabouter Games
OSR/ System-Neutral
Level ?

Jovany Strunk, Wise One of Yz, Guardian of the 9 Secrets, is dying. He’s the last living worshiper of the god Yz, and if Jovany goes, Yz goes. That’s why the adventurers are hearing whispers in their dreams, urging them to the Hermitage of Yz.

This nine page cave system uses two pages to describe eight rooms. Eight rooms in which nothing happens. A worthless, boring adventure that lacks even tedium to set it apart. Have fun doing nothing.

Yz is a cosmic star being of unimaginable power. He comes to the campaign world and decides to become a god, with Jovany (who we’ll call Frank from now on) his prophet. Then Frank retires and Yz loses all of his worshipers except him. And he’s about to die. You get some dream shit drawing you his cave. Inside you find that Frank hates Yz and Yz is a little whiny bitch. 

Turns out this isn’t an OSR adventure. It does say OSR on the cover and its in the OSR section on DriveThru, but its actually a system neutral adventure. So, the whinyt ass tree outside the cave that could attack you gets no stats. Nor do the living statues that attack for a couple of rounds. And, you can finish up the adventure by making a Very Hard roll to convince Frank to love Yz again.l I have no idea why people don’t just sta for LabLord or something. If you can turn Very Hard or Tree in to a monster then you should be able to handle an OSR ent as stats to your own system. Whatever.

We see, though, in that above example, a major sin. The purpose of the adventure, the resolution, comes down to a die roll. Make a Very Hard check to convince him to do the thing you want him to do. I’m chill, in some situations, with some rolls for people shit, but, to put the main point on which the adventure rests to a die roll? Seriously? Why not instead, maybe, integrate shit in to the adventure so THAT impacts if he comes back? You know, engage in the play of D&D? Cause rolling fucking dice aint D&D.

I don’t know what to say about this. There is no interactivity. Whiny bitch god begging for you to do something. Frank doesn’t give a shit. Maybe 1.5 combats. Maybe. I would usually note that an adventure that has nothing but combat has no interactivity, which is almost always bad (certain assaults being their own category) but this? Not even straight out combat for SOMETHING to do? 

Marvel in such room descriptions as “This is where worshipers would gather to doff outerwear (like cloaks) and don an amulet before entering a sacred area (such as the Chapel [Area 6]). Characters trained in religion guess this.” I loathe my existence. 

This is what you wanted to do? You wanted to write an adventure where the high priest abandons his god and the god is a whiny bitch about to ‘die’? Sounds good. But a few fucking rooms with no descriptins to speak of with no interactivity? THAT is your idea of an adventure? To be published?! The fucking thing has producers, executive producers, editors, and multiple artists noted. THAT is what you decided to spend your time on? Just fucking do it in a google doc by yourself and spend more time and effort on the actual adventure part of the adventure, maybe. Fucking executive producers. For this. Please.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is nine pages, so, no complaints there. Enjoy the pissy tree.


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13 Responses to Hermitage of Yz

  1. The Ensanguinated Fangs of Voluptuous Drelzna says:

    Kabouter Games is obviously a doppelgänger disguised as adequate module designer who is trying to swindle non-tenfootpole readers out of their hard earned cash! There are too many similar no talent doppelgängers on the DriveThruRPG platform!

  2. Bucaramanga says:

    Obvious dreck is obvious. Scrapping the bottom of the OSR barrel, eh? Perhaps you should step over the prejudice and go for some 5e stuff in your requests, it can’t be much worse than this…

  3. Anonymous says:

    The OSR logo really encapsulates the ethos of the lazy grifter, seeking acknowledgement without effort. Disgusting.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s all a big nostalgia cash grab, from the emulated old-style covers, to the ten-thousand “different” iterations of the same basic game we’ve had for over 50 years now (describe scene > declare action > roll dice > resolve action > describe scene > …).

      Very few of these are passion projects, crafted with love from home games and released to the wild. Now it’s all about churn churn churn. A pity.

      • Anonymous says:

        “describe scene > declare action > roll dice > resolve action > describe scene”

        like saying all recipes are the same “gather ingredients > prepare ingredients > cook “

  4. Anonymous says:

    “OSR is a playstyle, not a system”
    The playstyle in question:

  5. Dave says:

    The thing about system neutral for OSR is I can convert from just about any clone to my game of choice faster than I can stat things up for my game of choice, or even look up stats from my game of choice.

    I can’t be the only one who thinks that way. System neutral seems to be the kiss of death for your adventure actually getting played. Even when its otherwise good – The Spire impressed me, but I didn’t feel like statting up a whole tower-dungeon to run it, and I can’t recall any actual play reports anywhere.

    And yet, these get published. I assume they’ve been written for publication, but never been run, or they’d have stats from whatever the author’s home game uses.

    • Anonymous says:

      System neutral is the correct kiss of Death for your adventure because it is a strong indicator that the author does not know the game system he is writing for and is making it up as he goes along. One part of the design, the conversion of an idea into the language of a game, has been left undone. I’m sure there is some sort of exception by a talented designer, but by and large, it is an excuse to do less work.

      Horrible trend, promoted by fake osr enthusiasts.

      • The Middle Finger Of Vecna says:

        System neutral is lazy and non-committal. It’s a cop-out for those designers who can’t be bothered to learn a system and use it for their adventures. I hate this trend as much as I hate lazy people using maps drawn by others and using AI to help them do as little work as possible. This is a disturbing trend in our society as more and more people seek to take the easy way out instead of putting in the work necessary to make something truly worthwhile.

  6. Kubo says:

    System neutral design is just to avoid potential copyright issues. However, system neutral does prevent most DMs from running the adventure. I only recall DMing 2 one-page dungeons that were system neutral myself. It seems to me that for most systems there is a reasonable work around that will allow you to provide stats and increase interest in your product, and that certainly goes for any OSR and 5E adventures.

    • Sparklemtn says:

      “Avoides Copyright issues”

      Don’t use the OGL if you don’t have any OGL content in the book. It baffles me that people won’t read what the OGL is, does, and can provide as a ‘shield’ for a publisher. Even Ryan Dancy admitted that most companies don’t even need to put the OGL in their product as there’s no OGL content IN their product.

      Reading comprehension by lazy author’s and grifters at it’s finest

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