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Assault on the Southern Horn 5Next Edition $2.62
Average Rating:2.0 / 5
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Assault on the Southern Horn 5Next Edition
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Assault on the Southern Horn 5Next Edition
Publisher: Genius Loci Games
by Daniel L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2015 06:48:50

I'm not one to be very critical of works created by my fellow game masters. Having said that; I do tend to have expectations of works that come with a price tag attached.

This adventure is rife with grammatical errors. Not just the usual typos (of which there are plenty) but also poor grammar ("Strangely, none of the wands requires no affinity with magic to operate" page 9) I'm not going to recount them all here (I haven't been asked to proofread, and I doubt anyone else was either)

Poor grammar aside, the art is somewhat of a saving grace. It's nice, black and white work by a few different artists, who clearly have talent. However, artwork does not a good adventure make. The dungeon map is nicely done in a computer generated program, but honestly a hand drawn map would have sufficed for this simple and very linear dungeon crawl.

Speaking of the adventure, it is not very well orchestrated at all. The hook amounts to nothing more than "Find the quest giver then jump through a portal into the dungeon" There are no exterior maps showing the location of the portal (in fact, it is just barely mentioned) and the location of the "dungeon" isn't shown either. The town where the adventure begins is not detailed beyond a paragraph or two (And not even flavor text, just DM notes) The villains are nowhere to be seen in the town (They only appear on a random encounter table) The beginning feels rushed, and really could have used a few encounters to set the tone and feel of the coming adventure.

The author could have put in a bit more work and had the party travel through the swamp in which the adventure is supposedly set. The cover of the adventure shows a couple of heroes standing in thigh deep water looking at the Horn, and that's about as close as you will get to it.

Inside the dungeon is only a little more interesting. It has an "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" theme (Trying not to spoil the plot here) with some interesting traps and interactive locations. Unfortunately the area descriptions have no flavor text and seem to have been rushed. The descriptions of the areas have not been designed for the reader, but rather, for the author who undoubtedly knew what he meant and didn't feel the need to elaborate on things. I found myself looking back through the rooms, sure I missed something, but there would be no mention of the plots or overall goals of the villains. At the end of it all, the dungeon is just a string of encounters where the PCs kick in the door, kill the monster, and move on. The author makes a half-hearted attempt at some roleplay with the bad guys but it feels like an awful exchange between B rate villains and B rate heroes. The overall impression is that the author is either very young, not a good writer, or both.

Finally, the new Background and race presented in the back of the adventure are steps in the right direction. The intent is admirable, but like so much else in the adventure, falls short due to a lack of polish and playtest. The racial power of Phase step, allowing the race to move through solid objects half their speed in ANY direction, is far too powerful an ability for a player character to possess. As is, I would not allow this race to be played and would restrict to to NPCs only.

In short, this adventure is poor. It needs much work to be playable as presented - work that should not be required of a paid product. It would be of use if a DM simply wanted a quick and dirty dungeon adventure that could be played in a single session or maybe a DM who has players that don't really care about anything other than rolling dice, hacking up a few monsters, and then getting loot. The ending will leave you scratching your head just like the beginning, wondering what the author is talking about and forcing you to put the pieces together yourself and figure out how to tie things up.

Even at $3.50 this product is a waste of time and money. It would be perfectly acceptable as a free download but I expect more from an adventure I pay for. This adventure does not deliver it.

Recommendation: Unless you just happen to have $3.50 burning a hole in your pocket, I'd avoid this one.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review. However critical it may be, the review (and all reviews) help authors improve for future works. Again, thank you for your honest critique. I shall keep it in mind for any future release.
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