WHY REVIEW A FREE PRODUCT?
It will still cost you some time to read and some ink to print if you choose. I'd like to know if it's worth it and I thought someone else might as well. I will not hesitate to spoil the adventure (SPOILER ALERT).
This is an 8 page PDF. It is heavily illustrated and all the pages have a thick black border and a light grey background that makes it very ink-thirsty and makes it slow to load and paginate as a PDF.
This is a product for the Beasts & Barbarians RPG. Since I'm currently interested in scenarios for Barbarians of Lemuria I thought there might be enough similarity to be worth checking out. Since it's "Heroic Tale #1" I thought I'd start here. For some reason it says its for "Savage Worlds". I don't know if that means that "Beasts & Barbarians" is really a "Savage Worlds" game or if this is just a 'crossover' product. Apparently B&B is a Savage World setting. I did not know that. Glad I didn't buy it!
Well the introduction starts out with spelling mistakes and GM's fiat by saying that your party has already lost a fight with a gang of marauders while travelling in a caravan. Plus they've automatically killed the marauding chief's son! Our heroes then decide to escape by riding away towards a cliff. Then there is a fight that the PCs better win! When they hear a larger group coming after them they decide to climb down the cliff.
Well if you thought the beginning of the adventure was railroady, wait till you see the rest! The players wind up in a cave surrounded by beautiful women who only want to feed them, love them and given the rest. What could possibly go wrong? While it's certainly a setup that many fictional characters would fall for, it's a little tough sell for player characters. You're generally just going to have to convince players to 'play along' for the purposes of the story on this one.
After being drugged, the PCs are magically compelled to join a dance - which will kill them if they don't break out of it and start attacking the girls. Of course, killing the leader triggers and earthquake that will bring the entire dungeon down on their heads so they need to have a chase through the dungeon. Which is a little irritating considering that there is no map.
Luckily the chase passes through a Treasure Room.
Once they escape the dungeon collapses, thus ending the threat to the area. The threat that is only discoverable by people who climb down a treacherous cliff and fall for a bevy of hotties.
Stats are given for a Marauder, the Witch/Demon and a Courtesan.
The last page is picture of two other adventure's covers and the Player's Guide cover.
Well. This adventure is pretty ridiculous. It does fit the genre, making no sense but having enough action to just keep it moving. I have a hard time believing real players will go along with it. It is after all, throw them into an obvious trap, hope they win a bunch of fights and then have them try to run out of the trap before it falls on them. Of course, it seems presumed in the adventure that they can take as much time getting out of the dungeon before it collapses as they want. What happens if players call that bluff? What happens if players call all the bluffs in this adventure? If they are beaten in the fight at the cliff?
All in all this doesn't have much to recommend it besides being free. Without a map the logistics of this adventure are going to be tricky and the text itself doesn't help much. That said I'll probably try to do the work needed to make it work - mostly because I like one of the key set pieces being that the players have to try to seduce the Witch.
I like the idea of watching the players squirm as they act this delicate bit of roleplaying out.
Hopefully the players will get the message that all beautiful women are evil.
Of course, if they just start hacking at them all the minute they walk in that will work too.
SHOULD I CHECK OUT THEIR OTHER PRODUCTS?
I'm going to say no, but the truth is I WILL check out the other products. It's a goofy premise that will take a lot of work to make even playable, but for a free product, one goofy idea is enough for me. It could REALLY use at least a map though.
[1 of 5 Stars!]