As everyone who has ever spent a Halloween here at Perverse Osmosis knows, this collective entity loves itself some Zeke. We dedicated a whole October to them a few years back, and they are on moderate listening rotation for your humble narrator. That said, our friends from Seattle hadn’t released much since Til the Living End, which, for many of us, is not we had come to worship. I know that bands gets bored of playing the same stuff, and that it is important to grow as a musician, but still. I am out for one thing: 78 RPM mayhem. The band went into semi-retirement and key parts left, leaving me to wonder if we had seen the last of Zeke.
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C3: The Lost Island of Castanamir is recommended for levels 1-4. Granted, I am player who is looking for a little melee over computating, but I have figured out a few locked-door mysteries in my adventures. That said, this module would have not been particularly enjoyable since it is all kinds of patience-trying puzzles, shifting rooms, teleportation, etc. I would have died early on and been forced to watch the other, smarter members of the party figure out how to deal with the gingwatzim.
Other “fun” things in Lost Island:
- There is a Greyhawk version of a roomba [the cleaning golem], if a roomba had a disintegration ray and was largely indestructible.
- Castanamir has a giant TV set that can project the fears or fantasies of whomever uses it.
- The two lizard men in 8C are not the usual lizard men. They are incredibly intelligent but speak no identifiable language. They are also from a culture where magic is suppressed and technology reigns. I suspect they are crossovers from this prime material plane’s Draconians.
- The simulacrum of Bradvig, a 10th-level magic user whose intelligence Castanamir wanted to use for filing his spells and magical ingredients.
- Another magic-user, this one a sixth-level Lawful Evil character. I will remind all readers that this module is for levels 1-4.
- This recap totally leaves out the various types of gingwatzim, who have multiple forms and are probably confusing to play from a DM’s perspective.
Onto B12: Queen’s Harvest, which is another intro-level module that came out well past when I was an intro-level adventurer. That said, a beginning DM could do much worse than using this module to start off the tales of Gimlor, Drylin Maidenkisser, and the rest.
- There are lots and lots of orcs and goblins running around the keep. Big surprise, none of them are well-led, and all of them can easily be tricked, bribed, or otherwise disposed of. Also, killing them works.
- Orcs don’t like taking orders from hobgoblins. No kidding–who does?
- There are a lot of good names in B12: Dyarr-Dakk, Klossarek, Ratgrobb, and Skrakkbak could be the name of a humanoid law firm.
- Ogre and the Owlbear- not only a potentially lethal encounter to start off the dungeon crawl but also the newest comedy duo filling the pubs in Highport.
- After defeating the evil cleric, fighters, and assorted other rabble, the party, or what is left of them, is well rewarded. Platinum pieces show up, and we all know how good those are. Plus there will be some good arguing, haggling, etc. over who gets the sword +2 or the short sword +2.
Are you adequately prepared to laugh?
B11-King’s Festival is an introductory-level module. I mean, truly introductory, as in it gives the DM and players a round by round breakdown of how combat works. That said, it starts where every good adventure starts: with a townsperson asking the party to fight the orcs who burned his temple. As a proud member of neutral evil, that is exactly where I want to start. I don’t like orcs, and a burned temple strikes me as a good place to find loot.
Once into the dungeon proper, all the usual suspects make an appearance: a kobold, a ferret-training orc, some bugbears, a group of drunken orcs, one evil [or chaotic, to use the nomenclature of Basic D&D] cleric, carrion crawlers, skeletons, ghouls, zombies, and these guys:
In fact, this module is pretty much a Perverse Osmosis album.
B10, no, not the vitamin, but instead this UK module that takes players from Basic D&D to Expert. I look at it as a sort of Isle of Dread meets horse riding. Given my devotion to AD&D, I never played B10, but it certainly has that classic UK look.
Three heads on a pike? What’s not to like? From the context of the module, these heads mark the gnoll’s border.
And here, this is straight-out Lovecraft.
These hutaakan, or jackal-men, are the rulers of a group of semi-human humans. One can see why with their good posture and imposing mien.
B10 is also complex enough where it comes with lots and lots of counters. I never liked playing with counters, given the fact that they were very easily lost. But that says more about me than anything else.