Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Lovecraftian OSR 'Pay What You Want' Adventure - YS1 The Outpost of the Outer Ones From Jeremy Reaban For Your Old School Campaigns

I'm a Jeremy Reaban fan, I've reviewed his modules in the past and they're really usually very well done with clear and concise adventure settings and goals in the OSR tradition. When someone pointed out that he'd done a Lovecraftian OSR adventure I was pretty excited. But add in the fact that this adventure features one of my all time favorite Lovecraftian alien races 'The Mi Go' and we might have a winner.


This adventure introduces a Mi Go hive and dungeon complex and does it in twenty excellent pages of material that will challenge PC's. This dungeon features enough twists and Lovecraftian turns to keep the action moving. But this is really a mid level mini campaign adventure with central plot hook of introducing the Mi Go into your old school campaigns.

The Drivethrurpg blurb gives away a bit of basic adventure  plot:From the depths of space come the Outer Ones, better known as the Mi-Go. They travel the universe looking for metal to mine and brains to steal. Now they have landed on a planet ruled by sorcery and steel...

YS1 - The Outpost of the Outer Ones is a fantasy adventure module for early editions of the world's most popular fantasy role-playing game, particularly the first Advanced Edition, but directly usable with virtually every OSR game. Despite being inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, it is a dungeon module, not horror or investigation. It is meant for character levels six through ten, depending on which rules system used.
This adventure introduces the Mi Go into an old school  adventure of Lovecraftian fundamentals that hits the high notes of OD&D style fun but in a way of dangerous exploration of one of the weird and more then slightly disturbing Lovecraft aliens from the Whisperer In The Darkness. I can see using this adventure with Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea and other OSR retroclones that use sci fi and science fantasy technological items as treasure. The nature of the encounters is on the same high side of science fantasy adventure. And it has a very weird and more then slightly pulpy flavor to the encounters and high handed weirdness.
The adventure has more then a bit of a lethal aspect to it but this is to be expected when dealing with the Machinations of the Mi Go and here their really in their manipulating bastards mode.Cults, dungeons, and other sanity shattering goings on are happening right in the heart of The Outpost of the Outer Ones.
   The look and feel of Outpost is one of isolation, other-worldliness, and a sense of gonzo dread in the cold depths of the world of Mi Go. This allows the adventure to work on a number of levels of the weird, where PC's are pulled into the deep end of the Mi Go's world and they might be altered forever by the experience. The maps are well done, the adventure concise yet with plenty of room for expansion and DYI old school dungeon mastering.
 There is more then enough meat on the bone for the PC's to get into a huge amount of trouble and not survive the experience. And that only adds to experience of this module.
Using YS1 The Outpost of the Outer Ones

 For Your Old School Campaigns

There are times when a DM needs a nice mid level bridge gap module for a one shot or bridge gap adventure. This is a nice Lovecraftian option. And because of the science fantasy nature of The Outpost of the Outer Ones this adventure has a lot of uses. With a game of Lamentations of the Flame Princess this adventure could provide a welcome mid point Carcosa adventure bridge with the PC's finding themselves in the middle of YS1 and then Carcosa.
YSI is weird and gonzo with some really interesting twists and for games such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea where the Mi Go appear this makes YS1 a nice optional download and one shot.
For games such as OD&D or AD&D 1st edition YS1 is a nicely nasty way of introducing in sci fi elements with a Lovecraftian twist. These are Mi Go with options who have evolved with the times. Some of the views in this adventure point to an evolution of the MI Go mind allowing PC's to get brought into an adventure at they weren't expecting in the usual fashion. Do I think YS1 The Outpost of the Outer Ones a solid investment in old school adventures?

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