Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review and Commentary On Geoffrey McKinney's Psychedelic Fantasies Adventure - Within The Radiant Dome By Gavin Norman For Your Old School Campaigns

Grab It Right Over

Geoffrey McKinney has his own line of unrestrained line of Old School modules known as the Psychedelic Fantasies line and over the past three years I've been quietly watching from the sidelines as he's put together one adventure after another with the following bi line/mission statement:
 Each adventure module in the Psychedelic Fantasies line revels in unconstrained imagination. Every monster, every magic spell, and every magic item is a unique and never-before-seen creation of the author. No orcs, fireballs, or +1 swords will be found within. Leave the familiar behind to explore hitherto undreamed of wonders…
Compatible with every old school version of the original fantasy role-playing game.
 So this is a site based adventure by Gavin Norman the mad genius behind some pretty freaky old school  stuff at the City of Iron blog right over HERE
And he's also the author of several excellent Old School Retroclone compatible rpg products as well. I'm very familiar with the man's work. 
This is a sixteen page location based adventure that you can add to any old school game of the world's most popular fantasy rpg. 
The  adventure clocks in at sixteen pages of dense high weirdness in the old school tradition. According to the Psychedelic Fantasies Blog : 

'This is a three-level dungeon. It's a site-based module. There it is. Plop it anywhere you wish. It'll fit! No quests or plots. Just good old-fashioned D&D adventure...but all the pieces are new! You've never seen anything like this before: Kong, freaky monkeys, void-craft, mutants, telephones (NOT what you think), the Mirrored Hall (a personal favorite of mine), and...the sh*t elemental!' 

This description doesn't begin to do this adventure justice. This a complete mini location adventure that can easily be fitted to any science fantasy or science fiction based campaign or even a high fantasy campaign.The first level of this adventure is actually an alien jungle complete with a weird tribe of pygmies and the more adventure opportunities then you can shake a stick at. The author has peppered the three levels with solid, funny, and very dangerous fun filled gonzo stuff. Yet, this is really well done adventure. 

Using Within The Radiant Dome 
For Your Old School Campaign


 This adventure is perfect to run with some friends on a Saturday afternoon. This location can appear as part of the mysterious back setting  of your campaign.The Radiant Dome location features a whole bunch of brand new monsters that tie directly into the adventure, two new spells that are perfect for a wizard with a science fantasy vibe, lots of weird tech, the manipulations of a wizard's world, and a look into a dungeon ecology of a deranged DM's mind in a great way. This adventure could with very little work be adapted to a Mutant Future/Labyrinth Lord cross over game. All of the elements for a post apocalyptic mini cross over campaign are right under the adventure's hood. There's also lots of cross dimensional adventure elements right in the module itself. 

After pouring over the adventure for two days, it hit me that the adventure would be perfect for Mutant Future/Labyrinth Lord crossover game. All of the elements of the PC's stumbling upon this location/adventure in the post apocalyptic wasteland are right in front of the DM. I could easily see this adventure as a 'Heavy Metal' magazine inspired party romp through a post apocalyptic wasteland location that has been operating on its own. The PC's are going to be in for a challenge of epic proportions. 
The other option that I've found is that this adventure might make an excellent lone outpost on strange alien planet that has been operating for eons and now a group of explorers has found it. Hilarity ensues. 
Because of the dimensional elements of this adventure, the 'dungeon' could be used as a dimensional location for a band of time traveling or dimensional hopping adventurers to find. This option is one that has occurred to me while looking over the adventure for use with the Lamentations Of The Flame Princess system. 
This adventure can be a mini dungeon campaign and its perfect if your looking for a mid game for your Lamentations of the Flame Princess PC's or campaign. This adventure can certainly be added to any old school campaign where elements of science fantasy and pulp fantasy are seen through a warped lens of imagination. 
As a DM you really get everything needed to drop a party into this adventure's world and pull them into a whole different set of adventure and dimensional parameters then what their expectations might tell them. This adventure line  is really a love letter of sorts to some of the earlier OD&D material that hit the market from Arduin to many of the Judge's Guild's weirder adventure titles. There is certainly a feeling of fun throughout the whole of the adventure that echoes that sentiment. 
It seems to me the Psychedelic Fantasies Adventure lines have a winner with this one. 
With a bit of work,time, and some conversion this adventure could be used as part an X- plorer's game. The elements here would certain give players a run for their money. I could see this module  as part of a sword and fantasy pulp campaign. I love the use of the wizard using alien technology to build the world of 'The Radiant Dome'. There's lots to use in this one as well for building your own adventures.
 All in all I was pretty happy with my all to brief excursion into the world of the Radiant Dome. 


  1. I agree. This one kicks butt. Very nicely meshes the elements of magic and technology.

  2. I had a blast with this one and I can't wait to unleash this one on a group of players. I've got more reviews and such coming from the Psydellic Fantasies line of adventures soon! Thanks for the comment!


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