Saturday, 3 September 2022

Ooh my aching PODs

EMO Zine #10 and Druidrry book on Patreon currently and Zine 11 coming soon.
Big changes to zine as of #13 in size and scale.

Im reading more than writing of late. Maybe ill do my quarterly dummy spit where I ask for some attention and comments again soon. Im currently a vampire in elder scrolls so made life so hard I'm only playing a dungeon a day looking for cure but this has made me write more than compurter gaming. I had a 2 week patch of not writing much before I was a vampire.

So i got Queens Festival and had it sitting around waiting for the the prequel to arrive and wellit wasn't worth the wait. Thankfully I'm running out of old TSR stuff I ever want and my shopping will diminish. Will strat reviewing dungeon mags I have also and I have made a dent in reading them. Been reading lots more of late and also have a big pile of DC & Marvel next to my bed. 70s avengers comics are very strange and I didn't realise Hawkeye went through a wearing a super short miniskirt and sexual harassment of Wanda phase. Quite a bit later when she returns to team she checks that Hawkey not around before rejoining. 

Kings Festival B11 💓💣💣💣
So I know Basic set adventures were created to have new content for new players which is fine, Unfortunatley some of these spend lots of space revising rules. Several even describe wilderness procedure found in the Expert set.  This one has lots of content repeated pages 2-9 and in the centrefold pull outs. It is some good advice but I'm not sure adventures needed to do this. It does have a players reference sheet reminding me I do combat sequence wrong (I have spells before missiles and morale In start doh). Maybe i did need refreshers. The pregens have long backgrounds plus a new character sheet and a time tracker that should have been in basic rulebook. Maybe dm could even preroll encounters here too? Page 10-11 has setting and DM info. Page 12 has the windy players into then past the centrfold stuff to page 21 of 32 to start the adventure sigh. It does note you get no xp killing orc civilians and describes killing them as chaotic suggesting you take them prisoner, An exil cleric NPC has detailed stats and no AC. The art is pretty good and illustrates some key moments and adventurers. New monsters include Red Worms and giant hunting spiders (non web and non venomous) both 2HD and good low level critters. The last page is a checklist of treasure and monster XPs which is handy if you believe in XP and love accounting phase of the game. The adventure is a pretty basic complex of about 20 rooms. If this was the first module you ran as a training wheel product its fine. It is pretty piss poor value and Im glad I got as a POD. Id rate 2 star as a first adventure to run.

Queens Harvest B12 💓💓💣💣
Dollowing the above adventure bam adventure starts on page 4. Has a refreshingly short box text for adventure offer instead of making me zone out (kill baddies got it). The first quest is in a surprisingly large wizards dungeon with a gargoyle as the top monster (actually this is a tough threat for the level but of course there is a weapon in its treasure pile the players seek that can hurt it). Most critters are non intelligent threats. I still think green slime is nasty for 1st Lv but the pregens are 2nd to 3rd so I guess ok. Minimal centrefolds of pregens, a simple map and npcs. The second adventure is finding a throne claimant who is nasty in a small keep. I like it skims wilderness rules for Basic unlike some others spend pages on basics. Has good notes on factions and tactics if you head on assault the gate but id rather claim to want join up and use flattery to get in. I has some above average mean villains it would be satisfying to finish off and a better array of classic monsters. There is a weretiger lady in a cage that can be fun to rescue. I think this is quite a bit better and using the prequel makes that product better. Nice art and basic maps. Defiantley more solid than the Kings Festival but you don't need that product.

Baltrons Beacon I7 💓💓💓💣
FOr levels 4-8 this is an interesting adventure. There is quite a backstory but a cheeky wizard wants to make a potion and need some seeds cooked in a magic flame to make a potion to extinguish an evil flame of a cult forever. This has smaller text than the above two products. You have a swamp to navigate to get to a ruined fort famed for its eerie green light some are worshipping. From a mostly dead cult and there are remnants of this among the ruins. The wizard Baltron lived here and tried a magic experiment which ended him. Now an evil aprentice has taken over the gatehouse. Lots of the ruin is inhabited by monsters and has some magic puzzles (which I hate but these are well done with artwork). It is possible that a angry lizard men army pursue characters and besiege the ruin. The current wizard and minions control the gatehouse and its defence is well detailed and prepared. Then the adventurers can mop up the ruins. There is a players version of the keep map and 6 illustrations for puzzles in the centre. There are some great petrified people you could free so I would ad some stone to flesh scrolls or potions. ARt is good and a great pic of adventurers underwater fighting lizard folk skeletons. There is a collection of magic books which are kinda trapped and some bad demons. No great exit suggested for the army of lizard people and their pets and dragon. Maybe you can buy them off. There is a lot to this, the background informs the exploration and there is a good archeology vibe of uncovering the location history. An above average product dense in content. The end with the wizard is cute surprise too - some aristotelian reversal at last moment. Good player handouts too.

Under Illefarn N5 💓💓💓💣
For level 0-3 and suggests is a sequel to Treasure Hunt (reviewed before). By one of my faves Steve Perrin so I expected lots. Its a good setup as players are part of a village militia being sent on various missions that escalate and help you learn about the detailed area and its people (forgotten realms). So lots of episodes and easy to add more like fight some bandits, Youll get to know the locals and people in power too. 48 pages so more too it than most, You get a town and a swamp (with more lizard people that you can possibly improve relations with and I always appreciate this). Nasty swamp random encounters I would flee from some of. First adventure deals with a naughty faction of lizards and meeting the possibly ok local king of the major tribe. Then some caravan duty, then a rescue where three parties sent out and players get to meet a polite villain you possibly don't want to kill but bring to justice and let nobility sort out. WIle dealing with him goblins attack and you get a chase and to rescue an elf leader making future elf encounters better. The main adventure Is a large dungeon with several fueding factions including dwarfs you can work with. Mostly its good but i get a bit confused by the maps and reference to rooms and sections. Most maps are a good size but the 1st section is printed much smaller and a bit hard. Thats my only complaint really. The sideways dungeon view is handy and there are good player handouts. An above average adventure and start for the forgotten realms before the real estate was over developed. Once again the history isn't just fluff you find remnants of the past civilisation and peoples throughout.


  1. I was surprised by the final dungeon of Under Illefarn - it seems exceedingly empty, as if the factional struggle is going to be the main focus but driven by random encounter rolls. Did I miss something?

    1. its kinda how i design dungeons
      but that map with sections and small size of Lv1 is odd - they do cram alot in - some other modules have lots of blank half pages and big print


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