Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Revelry In Torth By Kort'thalis Publishing For Your Old School Campaigns

There are places of sword and sorcery violence where heroes are needed and this is such a place of high adventure and sorcery. Welcome to Revelry In Torth By  Kort'thalis Publishing.

This adventure contains mature content and adult themes.Its not for the kids and should be run with a mature group of players!

Revelry In Torth is listed as rather mature product which it is but it shares the ironic and pulptastic roots of Venger's other adventures but this time we've got an Orientalist twist on the adventure and setting. It clocks in at only a mere thirty nine pages and if you think oh DM that its a mere thin volume of wasted space nothing could be further from the truth.
Revelry in Torth is packed wall to wall sandbox desert sword and sorcery 80's inspired pulp adventure with a good dollop of Lovecraft thrown on top. But it continues Venger's ethos of part sand box and part kitchen sink source book.
You've got two brand new classes in this one, The Shadow Priest and The Wandering Minstrel. Each class is a stand alone character class that can be used outside of  Revelry. But really they've been made to tie into the backdrop and history of Torth. But that's really where the product shines in the world of Torth itself. Venger has done a bunch of clever background table magic and fluff to bring the tribes and history to life with the introduction of the world.
The Shadow Priest is a character class that could easily be overladen on to your existing favorite cleric PC within your retroclone system. The Shadow Priests have some very ominous and twisted shadow based abilities.
The Wandering Minstrel is a nice twist on the Bard but leans far more in the direction of a sword and sorcery take on the class pointing directly at the thief and rogue respectively. 
Revelry in Torth [O5R adventure]

 Grab It Right

Then we get into the heart of this dusty desert driven world of tribal sword and sorcery with tribal history, backdrop information, and some twisted sorcery takes on the familiar tropes of a world of  violence and historical horror thrown into the mix. This is a world where the use of magic is forbidden and taboo but you've got Lovecraftian horror and cults right around the corner. Each tribe values magic but the secret societies plot in the shadows. If your thinking this is Dark Sun, forget it. This is more alike the California desert seen in every cheesy sword and sorcery movie from the 80's with better casting. The whole thing feels like a homage to Frank Herbert  Dune with its tribes favoring magick and sorcery but with a 'don't look and touch' as the forces from beyond bend societies from the shadows. There's even a magick enhancing drug throw into the mix and plenty of tribal details from colour schemes to backgrounds. Very helpful stuff.
Now there's something else about Torth that he's done, its open source for anyone to use and he wants us to add to it. I didn't know that until I started looking through the original Kickstarter for Revelry right over HERE
And that takes us right into Aryd's End. This is the prime adventure location and gets a whole section of its own. The flavor here is a cross section of a sword and sorcery urban setting right out of Venger's imagination. We get sayings, local culture, some weird bits on the city and local locations. Then we jump into the rulers, NPC's and scumbags. These are the kinds of folks who might rule wonderfully aren't the kind of folks you really want to leave alone with each other someone could be murdered and probably will. PC's should watch out around these folks. 

The adventure itself takes place within and around the city of Aryd's End. There are a series of rather sinister encounters which rope the PC's into the darkness surrounding the city. There is a ton of dungeon crawling action with some downright nasty monsters! Get your Lovecraft on with some of these nasties in spades.

There's the bordello and the Curiosity shop that reminded me of two cult classic horror films but they needed more fleshing out in my humble opinion.
We get two solid pages of spells and magic items that fill in the whole package and are perfectly faithful for what Venger is going for with Revelry. 
There's the main adventure and a smaller micro dungeon thrown into the mix and its all very much in the sword and sorcery vein in spades. The author does a nice job and its got the look and feel of a solid module. 
Surprisingly there were some issues with the adventure. A lack of a table of contents is a bit of a let down. The adventure needed headers for what what each block of content. The watermarked glyph on each page was a bit well distracting.
This adventure hits the high water marks for its maps, artwork, the originality of its encounters,the world and history, setting details, original monsters, and more. All in all I want a physical copy of this one.

Using Revelry In Torth 
For Your Old School Campaigns 

This is an adventure with all of the high marks of being perfect for an OSR retroclone system adventure that can easily be thrown into a wide variety of high end adventure systems to challenge PC's. You can run this with OD&D,AD&D first edition,OSRIC, hell even the Lamentations of the Flame Princess setting with some modification to the background as the PC's are the ugly foreign mercenaries.
But the truth is that this is a perfect bolt on adventure for the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea or Fantastic Heroes and Witchery. The adventure has a vast array of material to mine from and use in those systems. The PC classes in Revelry are perfect for both games, the world is solidly done and easily incorporated, and there's plenty of room to add more to it. All in all Revelry packs a lot into its thirty nine pages of old school solidly done sword and sorcery adventure. 


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