The Legacy

By Marcel Wirtz
Ondaris Publishing
Level 0 Funnel

Unveil the mysteries of Oak Grove in “The Legacy,” a thrilling adventure module where the discovery of an inheritance causes a stir in the village of Oak Grove: Is there really a treasure to be found in an old tomb in the cursed heath? Will any brave villagers dare to search for it? And what else lurks in the vaults beneath the cursed heath? Are you brave enough to uncover the secrets?

This fifteen page adventure uses … five pages? To describe about eighteen rooms in a trap-filled tomb. The set up has a sweet Gamma World vibe, but the dungeon, proper, is nothing more than three sub-standard one-page dungeons with about five rooms per level.

This one is wildly frustrating. I can see, I think, what it’s trying to do. And what it’s trying to do is groovy. But it fails at actually accomplishing it. Or, rather, it does accomplish it, but in the totally wrong way to create an interesting adventuring environment.

This is a funnel. There are no funnel rules, or guidelines, or anything else in this, but, I’m sure you can probably find some funnel guidelines for whatever system you are using. More interesting than that, though, is the intro. This thing has some PROMISE. You’re in this small village. Living in huts. The world outside of the village is VERY dangerous. The War of the Gods and The Great SCaring was 500 years ago. The splendors of the world were destroyed and now everyone is isolated and trying to eek out a living. It’s got a very traditional Gamma World vibe where the first adventure is your tech 1 village living in fear of everything. Almost Kingdom Death. I’m down for that, given my love for Gamma World, and a great starting vibe for the OSR is “i dont wanna be a mud farmer like me pa.” It’s doing a pretty decent job is setting things up. And then it ramps the fucking shit up. Someones mom is dead. [I’m generally against this sort of thing, but, in a funnel, at level 0, in the first adventure, I think it’s ok … as long as we don’t lean on the relative thing too much. There’s a reason players play murder hobos … to keep the DM from fucking with their families.] Dad is long gone. The village sent him to the Town a couple of years ago with all of the crops, etc, to buy supplies for the winter. He came home, having been robbed on the road of all of his belongings. The funnels family has been living under a kind of cloud since then. Several people died that winter. Dad was not the same after that; trying to get people together to go in to The Heath … the ravaged lands, to look for glorious treasures. Then he withered and died. Crops have failed over this summer and its looking kind of bleak this year also. A really good job is done here with the initial set up. Then, while cleaning out moms shit you find a letter from dad. Seems that, in town, he was seduced by the takes of glory, in the tavern he ended up in, of the guild of Adventurers. He sold all of his worldly good … the villagers bounty, to join. He got a clue: a great metal demon head in a hill in The Health, with some cryptic inscription beneath it (a handout.) But then he died, never getting anyone to go with him. Great twist man! 

The adventure shall never reach such heights again. The last room of the tomb has the party (maybe) opening a sarcophagus. Dude inside wakes up and rips the heart out of the PC who opened it. Oh shit! A lich! (It is, after all, a funnel.) Then he’s like, oh, sorry, my bad, you’re not the people who entombed me. Hey, wanna be my minions in return for lands and wealth? Pretty good! 

But the rest of it … not so much. The first real encounter is the bronze demon face in a hillside. It take a column, seven paragraphs, to describe it and the trap. It’s padded out. It over explains. It states the obvious. AT one point you find a document in code. The text tell us “If the players deciphered the writing it would be advantageous to them.” Well, yeah. And if they didn’t TPK in every encounter then would that be an advantage to them also? It does this over and over again. 

It goes this. It goes on and on and on and on on a topic. But, that’s not the adventure. That’s the front fucking door, in this case. The adventure is a series of three one page dungeons. A flat dungeon level, in isometric view, with about five rooms per level. And a little text bubble with a couple of sentences pointing at the room where the text occurs. CLassic one page dungeon vibe. So you get some text like “A key is hanging on a hook on the wall opposite the door – there is a chest underneath. The chest is a mimic that attacks approaching players, the key would open the chest in level 2.” That’s it; that’s your room. And, that’s not even typical. Almost every single room/encounter is not what we might of as one, but, rather, a hallway trap. (or, room trap out of grimtooth.) EVERYTHING. There are literally two creatures encounters: a black pudding and the lich dude at the end, which, is not actually a combat since he’s a lich.Sure, there’s a wandering monster table, but no actual room encounters with creatures or tricks or things to investigate … except for traps. You know how old school dungeons used to just draw pit symbols on the map, without keying them? This is the equivalent of that … except they are keyed. And that’s all the dungeon essentially is. 

Great set up. Seriously, people fuck the setups all the time but this one was great. And decent ending with the lich. But everything in between is shit. 

This is $3 at DriveThru. The preview is four pages, so you get to see that rad set up. But nothing more, so, a bad preview overall since you’d get the wrong impression from it.

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4 Responses to The Legacy

  1. more anonymous than you says:

    “The War of the Gods and The Great SCaring was 500 years ago.”

    Was it the Great Scarring, the Great Scaring, or the Great Caring? :p

    Still, thanks for wading through these Bryce. Sounds like the author of this one has some real potential for the future, even if the middle hit all the same triggers you’ve seen so many times before.

    • Boustrophedon says:

      Yes, this module needed a once-over from an editor. The preview states that the War of the Gods caused a rift in the continent called “The Great Scar” and a line below in the same column refers to a “Great Scaring” (sic).

      The father committed a Face-Heel Turn (trope). The lich at the end is the Sealed-Evil-in-a-Can trope. Still, as you state, real potential for the future.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cover is AI art.

  3. Chibi says:

    Think it’s not uncommon for funnels to be trap-based. Villagers are hopeless in any kind of “real” fight, but at least with traps they can puzzle their way through. Are the traps at least fun and interactive?

    Interesting start to the campaign if they’re now minions of an awakened Lich.

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