A nightmare in porcelain
Review - A nightmare in porcelain - written by Erland Van der haegen, the Red Eyed Rabbit - reviewed by Ian Maene, The FoolishSwami
A nightmare in porcelain is a horror adventure for first level characters. It contains 44 pages of content and proceeds to a campaign that will later release but can be run as a standalone adventure.
This review is not objective whatsoever. It is what I personally think about the adventure and I have not run the adventure myself. I merely read it. If I run it in the future then this review will be updated.
A nightmare in porcelain has its own feel and style. This is greatly expressed by the artwork in the adventure. The drawings are great and really depict the atmosphere in which A nightmare in porcelain takes place. The map of the mansion however is less beautiful but does what it needs to do. The feeling of this adventure is not only conveyed through image but also through the way it was written.
It becomes instantly clear that a lot of thought went into this adventure and for that hats off to you Erland Van der haegen. You give detailed descriptions and intricately describe and explain everything. Which is one of the great strengths of this adventure. But, to me personally, it is also its weakness. 44 pages for an adventure I could possibly run in 1 or 2 sessions is honestly too much for me. I'm a very lazy reader. Especially when it comes to running adventures. And honestly, I probably would've made some mistakes in running it the first time because I wouldn't read it all through. I understand the need to explain and describe and it is one of the strengths, as I have said before. But for me personally, I could use some more schematics maybe but some texts in bold or underline. Just so that I can easily understand the structure and then can run room per room and just read the descriptions as the players go along. Now I feel like I have to read too many pages before I get the gist of it. What I absolutely love is that you give tips for DMs on running horror adventures through the module. That is golden.
I like the idea for the story and I'm intrigued to see what comes next. You have some great original ideas. I love how it really focuses on the players exploring and putting together the pieces (pun intended). The little characteristics eg. Mushi are breathtaking and there are a lot of classic horror tropes in this adventure. The house is like a sandbox, which I really enjoy.
However, sometimes it misses a bit of originality. It's another haunted house. Again one of your strengths (the choice for classic horror tropes) becomes a weakness. And I don't know if this adventure will work with veteran players. The house is a sandbox but everything before that needs some goodwill of the players because it is more straightforward. But I'm sure that DM's will find ways to get their players there if they want, so that's not your responsibility. And because everything has been set out, I wonder how much you can change and alter the adventure for your group's specific needs. You have created an adventure that is very true to it's being. You have made choices and stuck with them. And that is why everything that's a strength in this adventure is also a weakness. And that's daring, that's bold. I like that. That is also why I think people should buy the adventure, if it fits their group. So what's the conclusion?
The story is great. It has been depicted and described in detail. And I think it is the perfect adventure for first time DMs. Are you new to Dming, or are you new to Dming horror than this is a great adventure to pick up. Erland will give you everything you need and you will feel confident in how to run it. The same goes for players. Which kind of players should play this? Players who are new to dnd. They'll love it and will be able to fully immerse into the atmosphere of it.