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Barrowmaze I
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/26/2012 10:56:17

Bring a mop. It's going to get messy.

Barrowmaze is a true instant classic. It was like returning to the days when death was behind every door and treasure (if you got past the traps) hidden among the shadows. This huge adventure will put both players and game masters to the test, but it never feels strained or forced. Barrowmaze is pushing you to your limits as a player, trying to see how creative you can be and how characters (and players) react in terrible situations. And to me, that's a huge part of the charm to old-school gaming.

In addition, Mr. Gillespie has offered a huge amount of support and feedback on his website. Clearly, he loved writing Barrowmaze as much as you're going to love running or playing it! I look very eagerly to his next product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barrowmaze I
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Barrowmaze I
by bruce c. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2012 23:34:57

Well I must say that this is one hell of an amazing product. It combines my favourite elements to use in B/X D&D and Labyrinth Lord: undead, ancient ruins, mysteries and swamps. It is fantastic and well written. The author does a fantastic job in here and adds some interesting elements to spice up an already excellent site-based adventure.

Just waiting for my hardcover to arrive, but I had ordered the PDF back when it was released. Cannot recommend this enough!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barrowmaze I
by William T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/16/2012 13:43:09

For d20 goodness, I rank this with Stonehell. Barrowmaze oozes with atmosphere and danger. It is a potent dungeon, but does have generous rewards for the intrepid adventurer. The cover and interior artwork catch the essence of the tombs. The primary monster type is undead, so a party will be well advised to bring classes that specialize in fighting them.

I would love to run a group or play through this adventure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barrowmaze I
by Tim S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2012 21:35:47

Buy it. I'm starting off with buy it because it is a great adventure. I am not one for mega dungeons, but as I read through Barrowmaze I was thinking how could I introduce this into my campaigns with both my veteran group and newbie group. It is a solid dungeon crawl that goes on for days. I love the backstory and it kicked started a few ideas of my own. Greg points out in the overview map their is a section for the GM to develop and man did I have a lot of ideas what to do with it once I was done reading.

The artwork is all done by guys that have become the forefront of OSR art. The art really enhances the feel of the adventure and to me captures the spirit of adventures I want to go through.

Layout for this is easy to read. Which is very important considering its scope. But everything is easy to find and Greg makes it easy for the GM to navigate the maze.

I plan on running it in my own game. That's about the biggest endorsement I can give. Do yourself a favor and go get a copy. Oh, and don't forget your 10' pole.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barrowmaze I
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2012 15:49:06

(review originally posted at tenkarstavern.com)

Let me start by saying this is definitely written with an Old School experience in mind. It is most certainly lethal in it potential, as it's author has no problem letting the prospective DM know. Strangely enough, I had never heard the acronym OSR stand for "Oh Sh!t! Run!" before reading Barrowmaze, but it certainly fits. A successful party in an OSR styled game needs to know when to pull back, resupply, heal wounds and re-memorize spells. Old School is not as forgiving as that new fangled stuff.

Another sign of it's strong rooting in Old School Play, is the strong (since the module underlines it, so will I) suggestion that PCs hire hireling and henchmen right from the start. Because when death comes a callin', you may need some cannon fodder to buy you some useful time ;)

Although set up as a dungeon crawl for new players (and the next couple levels that they gain), this isn't just a straight forward dungeon crawl. They start with the immediate outdoor area of the Barrows and will have to avoid / kill / run away from random encounters. When "sandbox style play" is referred to as Old School, folks forget that even within a set area, Old School often assumes a sort of smaller sandbox is also in play. Random encounters can often be random killers.

Of course, once the PCs enter the dungeon proper, they won't only be dealing with set encounters, multiple factions and random monsters - there are also traps. 10' poles and iron spikes - down leave home without them.

The PCs are more tomb raiders then heroic explorers, but that's okay. Old School rewards you experience by the GP - don't forget that :)

Hmmm - I could run this using the ACKS rules without nearly any conversion. PCs might be a tad stronger than LL characters, but that's easy enough to adapt to on the fly.

We get two new spells (one cleric, one magic-user) and 31 monsters in the monster section at the end (a handful seem to be from the old Fiend Folio). Random tables (Random Dungeon Dressing is certainly going to be reused by me multiple times) are always useful. There are even pre-gens for Men-at-Arms, Torch-Bearers and Porters and Henchmen, not to mention some PC pre-gens and a blank character sheet. Greg has pretty much covered all of the bases.

The maps are in classic TSR Blue, which always gets points for nostalgia.

You could run this straight from the PDF, but I'd recommend printing out the pages that deal with the rooms your party probably )or even improbably) will get to during the session in question and the maps. Nothing sucks like having to find maps in a PDF. There are no bookmarks or hyperlinks, but those are less needed and useful in an adventure that you will probably print out. I'd never say no to them, but I'm not going to miss them much either.

Greg wrote Barrowmaze to be a megadungeon the DM could sit down with and be ready to GM within minutes. No block text to be read to the PCs with every room, just a short description. I could probably be comfortably ready to run this within an hour after starting to read it. I won't know everything, but I'll be a step a head of the players. Isn't that the secret to effective DM'ing anyway?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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