Sunday, October 2, 2011

Would You Like To Be Helpful?

There are a lot of free adventures produced by the various DIY D&D outlets.

What there are not, is a way to figure out what's in all these adventures short of downloading and reading every single one of them yourself.

Now in my experience, October's tough enough as it is without one more person declaring it National Somewholeothernewthingyouhavetodo Month, but I cannot possibly be the only DM who'd appreciate it if, for a few weeks at least, peeps took it upon themselves to down and read just one of the many free adventures that have been put out and give the rest of us the scoop on them.

Please don't just do this:

"I read Scarab of the Beezle Warb" by Fridgey Majesticness! It was great! Highly recommended!

There's a lot of these, and the reviews will probably be mostly very kind. What DMs trying to sort this adventure from dozens of others they don't have time to read will want to know is:

1. What kind of adventure is it? (Location based? Dungeon? Town? Etc.)

2. How long is it?

3. Were there any particularly noteworthy things in it? (Monsters, traps, plot ideas, mechanics, etc.)

4. What sort of vibe is going on in it? (Creepy? Gonzo? Sword and sorcery? Chivalry? etc.)

5. Would you run it? Why or why not?

6. Does it resemble anything we might've seen before?

Anyway, yeah, a humble request. You'd be doing everyone, including the people who wrote the adventures, a favor.

If you have a blog you can post the review there, and if you don't, you can post it here. Either way, if you have a link, go ahead and put the link in the comments.

14 comments:

Jensan said...

I think it's a great idea. And if people don't have a blog, you could always use the OSR Links to Wisdom wiki.
(Sorry, no review.)

richard said...

it should go on links to wisdom even if you do have a high-profile blog. Otherwise we'll end up with an even bigger mess.

Zak S said...

either way, I'd appreciate it if you registered that you did it here, too, just so people reading this know which ones have already been reviewed

John said...

THE TEMPLE OF THE GHOUL (spoilers)

The Temple of the Ghoul is a short dungeon adventure (20 rooms over 2 levels) in the horror genre. It's a typical D&D horror/monster-hunt: in the temple dwells the terrible Ghoul, go in there and kill it. The dungeon is almost entirely linear, but it's small enough and focussed enough for that not to be a big issue.

Favourite aspects:

+ The first dungeon level has no encounters, just gore and tension builders.
+ The Ghoul is encountered randomly on the second level.
+ “Crawling corpses”

If I had nothing of my own prepared, I would happily run this adventure with very few changes (basically just reducing the treasure and reworking room 12). Thumbs up.

Zak S said...

thank you very much, John

Matt Finch said...

Dragonsfoot's download area is a good place to find a whole lot of short, free adventures. They generally have descriptions. This is probably the largest one-stop-shop for free material, even though I don't think it has had much new material added to it in a while.

patch101 said...

Khyber's Harvest. Eberron Campaign Setting.
This is a simple straight forward second level adventure.Also, the first and only published adventure I have (mostly) followed very closely.

1. What kind of adventure is it? (Location based? Dungeon? Town? Etc.)

This adventure starts off in a very small half-orc populated town and then quickly becomes a little cave crawl to find/stop the bad men. It combines a little scooby doo style sniffing around town for clues with straight up infiltration of a cult and a final showdown.

2. How long is it?

Short. I'd say it took us 3 4hr sessions to complete it in its entirety. However that includes additional role-playing and exploration of interesting terrain and character features fabricated by myself.
3. Were there any particularly noteworthy things in it? (Monsters, traps, plot ideas, mechanics, etc.)

The plot hook was that a close NPC friend of theirs had gone missing when they came to town to call on her. Thus they investigated her whereabouts and rescued. Not particularly inventive but useful if you want you players to invest into an NPC. The story has a decent recurring theme of a worship, control, and domination.

There are a few interesting symbiont items in this story, including the Coat of Eyes which are eerie and memorable. The only problem is that if you are using the WoTC character builder, they are no longer carrying support for this (or any other) RPGA module, thus any items picked up in this adventure will need to be written in.
4. What sort of vibe is going on in it? (Creepy? Gonzo? Sword and sorcery? Chivalry? etc.)

Once you get into investigating the Cult of the story and the lair it can take on a creepy sadistic vibe especially if you play it up correctly.

5. Would you run it? Why or why not?

I did. It was kind of nice to take a pre-constructed adventure and say, 'how could I make this better' then starting to build upon things to give it more depth, more variety and more meaning. It worked well for me cause I was able to weave it into my story seamlessly.

6. Does it resemble anything we might've seen before?

More likely than not.

Also posted here: http://dndiy.wordpress.com/

HDA said...

I just wrote up a review of "Challenge of the Frog Idol" by Dyson Logos on my blog. Check it:

http://terriblesorcery.blogspot.com/2011/10/spoilers-free-adventure-review.html

The adventure itself can be found here: http://rpgcharacters.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/dyson-logos-challenge-of-the-frog-idol.pdf

Zak S said...

@HDA
Challenge of the Frog Idol is seriously sweet. Seriously. Even better than you review makes out IMHO.

pjamesstuart said...

I reviewed 'Quest of the Mist Golem' from the Delvers Dungeon here;

http://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-of-quest-of-mist-golem-module.html

THE REVIEW IS FULL OF SPOILERS.

The adventure is here:

http://www.thedelversdungeon.com/features/modules-main.htm

Elber of Torou said...

I have reviewed Trident Rock here: http://dragonatthedinnertable.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-trident-rock.html

Zach G said...

Servants of Plague

The module can be found here- http://lawfulindifferent.blogspot.com/2010/08/servants-of-plague.html


2. How long is it?

16 pages. The typeface is agreeably large for the aged. Maps are included.

3. Were there any particularly noteworthy things in it? (Monsters, traps, plot ideas, mechanics, etc.)

Of the 30 or so modules I scanned recently, I only downloaded 2 (this one and Challenge of the Frog God by Dyson Logos). I liked Servants of Plague because, although designed as an introductory adventure, it had elements involving diseases that were well fleshed-out and were central to game play. Literally everything the players come in contact with can give them some kind of contagion. They are all described in enough depth to see how best to incorporate them and even gives specifics as to how they are spread ( i.e. bodily fluids to open wounds, casual contact etc). My favorite of his new diseases was either Pus Pox or Wasting Plague.

4. What sort of vibe is going on in it?

I got a horror, black death kind of vibe. The module fleshes out some NPC's and their possible actions, but it would be easy to adjust the set-up to match any campaign vibe you may have.

5. Would you run it? Why or why not?

I would definitely run some elements of it. I thought compared to the crop of modules I have examined over the past few weeks it stood out enough to me by having cool original elements. He does state that the disease rules come from Mutant Future, but the diseases are all his creations.

6. Does it resemble anything we might've seen before?

Well it reminded me of some of the early adventures included in Dragon Magazine in terms of length and vibe. I have been away from this hobby for so many years that it easily could be like other adventures that I haven't seen yet. Regardless, I would recommend a look at it if only for the way it incorporates his diseases in the plot, but it does make a cool intro adventure as well.

also posted at http://nogrod.net/?p=155

David said...

http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2011/10/reviews-samores-daughter-north.html

I reviewed:
Samore’s Daughter
North Battlement Sector
The Disappearance of Harold the Hedge Mage
The Warlock’s Digest of Dungeon Dwelling Denizens

lauramaier said...

I reviewed 'The Cloak of Darkness' by DeadUematsu here:

http://brightestdayblackestnight.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/why-yes-i-would-like-to-be-helpful/

I reviewed it a while ago, but had issues commenting on this post :S