Chris Kutalik of the Hill Cantons blog has been running a lot of online games in the Old School Ruckus since I started hanging out in the OSR virtual space. His games are cool, his blog is cool, and when he decided to put a Kickstarter together to launch a module made out of one of the settings of his games, I bought in because of the cool factor.
Little did I know that he wrote the adventure specifically for my campaign setting.
This is an adventure exactly the way I want them. Not only is it a lovely “exploration” environment with multiple factions that you can work with and against, but it slots so PERFECTLY into my own games that I feel it was written for me. But, at the same time, this adventure is nearly the polar opposite of my current favourite starting adventure module – A Thousand Dead Babies. While Dead Babies is set in a dark Lamentations of the Flame Princess European setting, Dunes is in a mystical dream wilderlands worthy of a Moorcock short story.
At heart, one of the big weirdnesses of this adventure comes from the Eld / Eldar / Melniboneans. They are called the Eld, but are distinctly Melnibonean in texture (credited in the monster description also as such), with a bit of cross-over with the various other strange races of the Eternal Champion series. They are elves who travel interdimensionally, fuck shit up, and are generally hostile to everything we like.
Which makes them a perfect match for the Kale Elves in my own campaigns – while the Kale were defeated in my campaign setting, the background is that they were a multiverse spanning empire, so there are almost certainly a few worlds where the Kale are still ascendant and still have their strange magical technologies… and the Eld of this adventure slot in perfectly as such.
So – buying points:
- Basically a lovely little wilderness game but done as a pointcrawl instead of a hexcrawl (easier to manage, bless you!)
- Written for my favourite easy-to-use OSR rule set – Labyrinth Lord (aka B/X Dungeons & Dragons)
- 4 major factions that you can play with / against
- Lots of funky places to explore & discover with enemies ranging from 2 to 8 HD averaging around 4 HD
- Two major locations to explore with multiple factions involved in said
- Lovely writing
- Things get weirder as the game progresses – potentially to “seriously weird as hell” territory
- Melnibonean Elves man… Melnibonean Elves.
It also has a bunch of new monsters as well as two “unlockable” PC Classes for Labyrinth Lord play (races that you encounter during the adventure that can be used for NPCs, or even for new PCs if needed). Heck, you could add in my own Centaur class as a third class to the set, since the same faction that brings us the other two races also has many centaurs among it’s ranks.
We are talking 66 pages of totally cherry-pickable awesome… but there’s no need to cherry-pick when the whole thing fits into my game so well.
Pick up a copy of Slumbering Ursine Dunes for yourself from RPGnow – it’s totally worth the money.