Showing posts with label module. Show all posts
Showing posts with label module. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2020

#TBT - A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young

Let's take another look at Simon Miles' SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young published by Dunromin University Press. Set in the world of World of Barnaynia but is easily adaptable to any type of campaign. The city maps are gorgeous and go on and on. As soon as time permits, I will do a full review of this product.

Simon's artwork is impressive. I have not decided if it is all handiwork or digital or a little of both. It looks great, very old school but clean.

This title is pay what you want. I chipped in a dollar, but I think I will either have to go back and bump that up or purchase more products from Dunromin University Press.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

OSRIC Module Review - M06 The Warren

Title: SM06 The Warren
Code: SM-06
Author: Simon Miles
Rule Set: OSRIC
Year: 2019
Pages: 79
Number of characters: 6-10 characters
Levels: 5-8
Rating: ★★★★★

Today, I downloaded Simon Miles' SM06 The Warren. He publishes under the name Dunromin University Press, which has it's own website. I found it to be an excellent read even though I play a fused version of Basic D&D and AD&D, the OSRIC information seemed completely transparent in purpose. I don't think this particular module fits with my current campaign, it is clearly an homage to Keep on the Borderlands. I could totally use this as a high level one shot.

Oh, and the artwork is amazing.

The production values are just as high in this book as SM00, this module is loaded with artwork and maps. The maps seem to be a fusion of old school and modern styles, where I actually can't tell if they are wholly digital or a mixed media. One addition that this module has is little vignettes of the dungeon map by the text descriptions. These are obvious digital, but a very nice feature. Again, I really like his maps.

This module takes the party through the Burning Woods to the goblin heaven or haven of The Warren. The adventures start off with mere rumors and weapons to start their adventures. The maps cover miles and miles of terrain and the multi-leveled Warren. The module is 79 pages with zero filler.

Mr Miles describes this module as "challenging". After a read through it, that is an accurate assessment, but we're talking normal challenging, not Tomb of Horrors total party kill-fest. Additionally, Mr. Miles adds in tactics and weapons for the Goblin pack, which is a great bonus.

I am not sure what to make of the World of Barnaynia as yet, I feel that these modules under that banner are easily modified to plug and play anywhere, which is why a ranked these modules as high as I did. I would like to see and understand more of the World of Barnaynia, so I await more materials.

ORSIC Module Review - SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard

Title: SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
Code: SM-12
Author: Simon Miles
Rule Set: OSRIC
Year: 2019
Pages: 48
Number of characters: 4-8 Characters, one must be a magic user.
Levels: 1-2
Rating: ★★★★★

A little while ago, I downloaded Simon Miles' SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young. He publishes under the name Dunromin University Press, which has it's own website. I found it to be an excellent read even though I play a fused version of Basic D&D and AD&D, the OSRIC information seemed completely transparent in form and function. I feel like I could run this campaign setting with a couple of rule sets with little modification. Oh, and the artwork was spectacular.

I wanted to see how the rest of the series holds up so I downloaded SM 12, The Trials of a Young Wizard. The production values are just as high in this book as SM00, however, being a module, it doesn't show off Mr. Miles' artwork as much. The maps seem to be a fusion of old school and modern styles, where I actually can't tell if they are wholly digital or a mixed media.

One of the surprises in this book is the fact that it's a single module, it's actually 3 books in one. The titles are The Lost Son, The Return of the Cauldron of Millent and Murder at the Red Barn. Nice! Key information for the DM is bolded and the text boxes are infrequent and spare so that a seasoned DM has space to add flavor while giving a new DM important info to grow from.

The stories are linear from one adventure to the other, but the wording leaves wiggle room so that players can have their PCs recover between them. The second adventure begins with the line, "It's not a big deal really". So, feel free to recharge those PCs with a little R&R.

The mechanics of each story or module in this three part set take into account the character's limitations. The first is not particularly dangerous, figuring the PCs are low hit point starters. I would think that seating 8 players at the table would work better, and I am glad to see the module assumes this from the get go. One of the biggest changes from Basic D&D to modern rules is the assumption that there will only be a DM and 4 players vs. a DM and any number of players plus their NPC retainers. This is one of the reasons I prefer OSR and the older original stuff to the otherwise fine rules of later editions.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Feeling X2 Ch√Ęteau d'Amberville

One of my favorite modules was X2. It was so rich in detail and called back to Poe and Clark Ashton Smith that I immediately wanted to plug it into my AD&D campaign. Well, it didn't work out so well. The theme of Castle Amber was too... "weird" for my normal campaign. It was the one time my players demanded a "redo". Their main characters had crossed the mists and as they explored the castle, they became disenchanted with this setting as their characters were way too out of place in it.

I agreed. We rolled up a new set of characters, restarted the scenario and began playing the module as if the prior events never happened. My players were so good at role playing, they willingly ignored the details they gleaned from the last adventure and let the action replay itself again for their new characters.

We were actually playing two different campaigns, alternating between them as the mood struck us. This must have been 1995 or 1996. We were still using the original AD&D books with Unearthed Arcana. When we switched from our main AD&D campaign to the world of Castle Amber, we took it to the extreme.

I allowed the use of Tome of Magic, I would quietly play Love and Rockets Body and Soul alternating with Glen Danzig's Black Aria.


Being older, I'd place a bottle of wine on the table, which few of us knew how to use properly, and old candle sticks or bottles with candles jammed in them for effect. Incense was burned and dinner or light snacks were had as we gamed. 

On top of that, I produced a set of feelies for the players. They were old maps, journals and letters based on the action of the module.


We never completed the module, because the players found the land of Averoigne to be so enchanting. If I could collect up those players again, we would totally go back to Averoigne.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Module Review - BSOLO Ghost of Lion Castle

Title: Ghost of Lion Castle
Code: BSOLO
Author: Merle M. Rasmussen
Rule Set: D&D
Year: 1984
Pages: 32
Number of characters: 1 - Solo Play
Levels: 1-3
Rating: ★★★★★

This is an impressive and iconic module, meant for one player. Crammed into just 32 pages is a solo adventure complete with special solo rules and sample characters. Lion Castle is a wonderful starter scenario for groups or an introductory game for just one.

The five star rating is for the expansive and creative writing and world-building that appears in this module. Lion Castle gives the player the ability to try out new things in a limited setting. The module pulls no punches, this place will kill you more often than not. Fear not, this module is also there every time you wish to play. In fact, it is suggested that you note where your last character died so that the next one can acquire his equipment.

This is one flaw in the game/scenario. If you run a series of character’s through the Castle and noted where the prior characters fell, you can break the game with equipment and magic items in quantities not ordinarily allowed by the rules.

All and all, this is an excellent module.

Where to Buy:
DrivethruRPG

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Module Review - S2 White Plume Mountain

Title: White Plume Mountain
Code: S2
Author: Lawrence Schick
Rule Set: D&D
Year: 1979
Pages: 16
Number of characters: 4-10
Levels: 5-10
Rating: ★★★★☆

White Plume Mountain is part of the Special series. It is meant for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and expects a large number of characters at relatively high level. Interestingly enough, the scenario spells out that many adventures into the dungeon will be required and may cause a rotation of adventurers through many sessions. That is a nice touch. I like the long term play and replay-ability.

This style of play is engrossing as early failures and setbacks to the player characters are muted by the ability to retreat to complete safety of the nearby town. This is very different than most dungeon crawls, where characters must horde limited resources. Instead, players find themselves on a quest to obtain 3 magical items: Wave, Blackrazor and Whelm, protected by powerful masters and inventive puzzles and challenges. Backtracking enables inspired progress, resupply and fairly realistic game play. This adventure takes the learning curve for games and makes it a positive. White Plume Mountain is more like The Moonshot than D-Day.

This module also features wonderful artwork. My personal favorite is the fighter on page 6. It isn’t the best, but captures the character's reaction so perfectly. The fighter’s “WTF” look is classic: “Who jumps platform to platform over hellishly hot mud? Everything in fighter school trained me not to do this.” The images for Blackrazor, the Mountain itself and Keraptis are iconic of classic Dungeons and Dragons.

Where to Buy:
DriveThru RPG:
As a part of a set, S1-4. or as a stand alone product. I really must by this. I really need to stop impulse buying. I'm am so gonna buy this.
DriveThru RPG also has Dungeon Tiles and a new version for 3.5 Adventures.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Module Review - B2 The Keep on the Borderlands

Title: The Keep on the Borderlands
Code: B2
Author: Gary Gygax
Rule Set: D&D
Year: 1979 and 1999
Pages:
Number of characters:
Levels: 1-3
Rating: ★★★★★


This is one of my favorites, the star rating says it all. The Keep hovers on the edge of sandbox wilderness, one that is your to explore. The Keep is the perfect place to kick off an adventure, the players can obtain all they need to fully explore the environs.


As a carryover from B1, the advice sections are present and highly valuable. There are also handy details such as gossip and the willingness of the lord of the Keep to provide the player characters with man-at-arms and magical items.


Where this module shines is in the tactics provided for each group the characters encounter. Some of them are embryonic or silly, but in keeping with the intelligence level (or madness) of the inhabitants of the Caves of the Unknown.


One of the better things about this adventure is the player mapping is logically constrained, allowing them to make mistakes, but not so bad as to create a mapping nightmare like In Search of the Unknown.  


Where to buy: DriveThru RPG

Monday, May 30, 2016

Module Review - B1 In Search of the Unknown

Title: In Search of the Unknown
Code: B1
Author: Mike Carr
Rule Set: D&D
Year: 1978
Pages: 32
Number of characters: 3 to 6
Levels: 1-3
Rating: ★★★☆☆

In Search of the Unknown is a classic dungeon crawl, the true value of this module is in the open ended nature and guided tour aspect of the adventure. The DM is provided with rooms and descriptions but no monsters. The opening Notes for the Dungeon Master are masterful, great advice for every DM every when and where. The notes cover everything from background to hirelings. The last 7 pagers are for players, including henchmen, hirelings, sample characters and tips.

This is a rough module, no monsters are provided, nor are there any thematic clues as to what sort of beings should be found. This is great for someone who has a preset world, the module is ready to be plugged in. However, as a stand alone product the lack makes running the adventure cumbersome for the DM. Additionally, the upper level map is weird. It reminds me of Zork’s “you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike”. Player mapping is often a disaster, thanks to the twists, turns and goofy angles scattered around the upper level.

All and all, this module ranks a solid 3 stars of 5.

Where to buy:
Click for DriveThru RPG