The Lost Laboratory is a plug and play adventure site that exposes the characters to the Lost Laboratory of the mad alchemist Boutin Piddu. This product is more than just a few maps and room descriptions. While The Lost Laboratory does contain maps, it goes much deeper into this twisted workshop where an insane, but strangely ethical, alchemist once performed interesting and innovative experiments. This product animates this lost laboratory, giving it a sense of life and purpose.
This product is well-designed and the concept behind it is flexible enough to add to most medium- to large-sized cities with almost no modifications. The description of Bautin Piddu and the history of his labs is rife with plot hooks that could keep an adventuring party busy for weeks.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The cover art for this product is evocative of an old cityscape, however the old bearded man wearing a trench coat and a bowler hat ruin an otherwise excellent art choice. The maps of the lab are well-done, but seem almost cookie cutter computer cartography quality. Some of the lab items seem like they were lifted from the modern icons menu and placed in a lab that exists in a fantasy setting. The inclusion of the color maps makes the extensive bookshelves standout and gives the viewer an idea of just how many books are in this lab. Starting this product with a smaller master map and key is the way to go. This gives the GM an idea of what areas they are reading about and creates a feel for the lab. Including an easy to copy version of the master map and key in the back of the book with the table/minis map would be outstanding.
Mechanics: 9 out of 10
The mechanics for the golem trio are solid, but some aspects of the golem constructs are worrisome. The golems felt more like droids that you would find in a space opera game rather than a fantasy game. I love droids, but golems and droids are different and should stay that way. My other major beef with the golems was that one of them was equipped with cold bombs and a cannon that fires one type of energy that does 12d6 damage and can fire once every 1d4 rounds. This damage is listed as an energy type but a slug thrower is mentioned in the description as well??? I would have appreciated a solid explanation as to why these golems had so much fire power built into them. It actually might have been more interesting if the damage dealing equipment was built by the Golems themselves and later attached haphazardly to their bodies.
Value Add: 10 out of 10
Worth every cent! The Lost Laboratory is the exact product that a GM who is busy in the real world needs. Clearing and cleaning out this lab could take several game sessions and the included adventure seeds should be easy to implement. After this “Superfund site” is cleansed and cleared it could easily act as a lab for any magically inclined characters.
Overall: 9 out of 10
It is 3rd party products like this that make being a GM less difficult and more interesting. The addition of the “poster” map that can be used with miniatures is outstanding. Maps of cities are easy to make; it is filling up the hundreds of buildings in those cities that is difficult and Rite Publishing is doing just that. The Evocative City Sites series is just the thing a GM can download an hour before a game session, tweak it and integrate it seamlessly. Evocative City Sites: The Lost Laboratory is a great find!
[5 of 5 Stars!]