Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Forest of Deceit Review & Commentary

Plot : 
"The Forest of Deceit is filled with unknown threats, unexplained sounds, and partially-glimpsed adversaries of both natural and supernatural origin.  Buried within its shadowy demense are secrets, lies, and more subplots than even a gifted game master will be able introduce in but a single gaming session.  A great place to start a campaign, the Forest of Deceit should offer more than enough challenge for 3 or more adventurers of novice experience.
The seeds for several mysteries, all customizable by the game master, are set in this non-system specific overland adventure.Readily convertible to most gaming systems The Forest of Deceit is an excellent place to begin a new campaign."

Forest of Deceit is by Christopher Clark & its only 39 pages front to back. That into itself might make DM's dismiss it. The adventure sells for seven dollars. That might make you dismiss it.
The truth is don't dismiss this one. Here's what Forest of Deceit really is. A generic fantasy or even horror setting with encounters wrapped around a series of locations within the wilderness. Forest contains encounter charts, some really cool ideas, & some sold ideas for designing a region for your players to go dealing with some local encounters.
The whole thing has a very deep wilderness, "White Fang", lost in the Canadian back country feel. There's actually more lurking between the pages here. The whole thing has a very New England frontier/Indian war feel.
There are loads of NPCs & lots of little niches & crannies for the PCs to get into trouble. There are a couple of actual interesting back threads going on & weaving their way through this one.
There are actually some new monsters as well. Some of which are wild life which never seem to get any air time in other adventures. Yeah their there in the rule book but seldom do we actually see any interact in adventures.

Other Uses For Forest of  Deceit 

Forest of Deceit has lots of potential because its not simply an adventure. The book is actually an introductory toolbox to a campaign world. This adventure along with its monsters can easily be dropped into a ton of fantasy worlds. The fact is that it could also be used with little adaption into the following : 
  1. A series of encounters for a Star Gate style or Trek style away teams. The encounters aren't "high level" enough for instant kills but lethal enough for a real challenge 
  2. The material could with some name changing be adapted for a horror setting such as Call of Cthulhu or Chill 
  3. For an Old School game product this is missing a very interesting element that I found with my recent running of  Expedition To The Barrier Peaks. No rail roading. Nope not a single instance.
  4. Hell you could even use this as an encounter location for a game of Terminal Space. 
  5. The Treasures are actually interesting & add to the setting as well.
    There are a number of ways of adapting this product & I'm going to have fun sticking it to my PCs with this one. Looks good for a night's entertainment or a couple of nights

    Is Forrest of Deceit worth getting? In a word yes but not until its on sale at DrivethruRpg. The price tag seems to really stick in other reviewer's guts. Easy fix is to that is wait till a sale happens.
    The illustrations are 1900s style & add to the feel of the product. The map to the locations & encounters is cool & actually useful in play. The whole thing has a very Jack London vibe going on. As a primer for  their other campaign worlds this feels good & left me wanting more. Nice effort by Christopher Clark & on a scale not usually seen in many OSR fantasy products. You can find out more about this module from Here 

    Christopher Clark does a very nice job with this one. I really enjoyed the read through & can't wait to throw this one in to a game. All the hallmarks of a good module.
    I'm liking what I'm seeing from Eldritch Enterprises lately. 

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