Monday, 20 June 2022

More Otherworldly Pod Classics

Almost through my pile of POD modules and have ordered some more and found a few originals locally. Also getting some star frontiers modules.

The best thing I have come across of late that I liked is here
Dragon warriors RPG free zines and solo adventures
I loved the 80s game and illustrations and maps and these remind me of them

The spooky vibe of this setting was a big influence and was my first seaside villagers worship a kraken in a cave adventure. More wicker man than dysney.

Today I'm looking at two BECMI D&D adventures featuring strange planar stuff.

💓💓💓💓 Best  
💓💓💓💥 Good  
💓💓💥💥 Average 
💓💥💥💥 Flawed 
💥💥💥💥 Forgettable

Skarda's Mirror X12 💓💓💓💥 Good  
This is a very cinematic and interesting adventure. A wizard inside a mirror pocket world plans to conquer the world and have thousands of slaves and 500 soldiers and is ready to expand. Heroes get tangled up by a mystery of who goes in the tower dies and fight a monster. The scenario does include capture but the section on escaping is so well done it's like a how-to script with options. The adventure has basic goals but lots of choices on the way and advice for things players might try which don't feel mean railroading. The mirror dimension is interesting and before you get your hopes up that players will use it to conquer the world it has some problems the DM can use to hinder or hasten players. Finally, the players with freed slaves gets to attack the wizard as he tries to take over a duke's castle. Great steaks, great ideas (like what about the other mirror gates? who built it? are they returning?) and great rewards as a kingdom is in your debt. Maps and Illustrations fine and no bad POD artefacts really. The text and ideas is stronger than the other elements and it was an especially interesting read. There are good escape procedures in here for beginning DMs and coaching them for rascally players' surprises from competent to foolish. You could possibly stage a whole campaign around players abusing this mirror and getting the curse that comes with it for conquest. This feels like it would be easy to drop in a game with minimal prep and reading so it came out higher than CM8 which has some similar ideas.

The Endless Stair CM8 💓💓💥💥 Average 
So this is by Ed Greenwood and an early publication for him. It has some of the great hallmarks including spellbook and spells and magic items in a smaller font. The monsters are described in a way for the module rather for common use and is a bit odd. Naming schemes are good also. It is dense and at times over detailed like explaining basic items as other modules do not. So while investigating a body players get wrapped up in a treasure hunt with a tavern, a hexcrawl of the local areas with above-average interesting locations. Following these locations gets you on the endless stair a magical circular staircase of force in a planar space with lots of traps and puzzles. There are things I like about this and it almost feels like a high-level trap and a parody of staircases in dungeon dramas. The pacing is flexible as to the progress and the stairs could be expanded with more weird obstacles and weird places (slip in beyond the crystal cave or castle amber or other weird magic locations like a magic faraway tree). The maps are adequate and a few illustrations of the locations. It almost deserves a three-star out of four but is sometimes overly wordy and feels a bit odd in format vs many other modules I have read like Ed was doing his own thing and the formatting/clarity suffers a bit for cramming in words. It is above average but I would give it some work. It does feel like it could be modified for lower levels without much problem. POD process seems pretty clean.

Using the mirror or a magic dimensional staircase for a campaign and new adventures sounds interesting and both ideas could be expanded. I always like magic painting gateways possibly I need a high-level spell for creating pocket dimensions or pinching off bits of dreamlands or nightmare kingdoms. Im glad both dealt with magic instead of boring monarch mysteries.


  1. What an incredible photo of the pair of lady knights! Gotta save that and write up some NPCs!

    1. It's from Their shop was closed during the siege of Kiew but it's open again.
      Look it up, they have a lot of beautiful set's of armor (and beautiful people wearing them)


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