Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review and Commentary On The Free OSR Adventure Resource The Black Ruins By Corey Walden For Your Old School Campaigns

There are adventures that come across your email and news feed that just make you go whoa. This is the case with Corey Ryan Walden who knows his stuff. This is min campaign hex crawl and dungeon delve in twelve pages. The sucker clocks itself with dripping quasi 80's sword and sorcery adventure vibrations.
The sucker has a plot line that could have dropped out of one of back page adds right out of the Strategic Review or Dragon. It might also been lifted by Hollywood for a nice sword and sorcery flick that you'd rent from the video rental place.
Check it out :
Blackened esoteric obelisks, henceforth known among most folk as ‘The Yore Standing Stones’, dot a strangely unnatural hill. The runes are inscribed with runic scripting, but it is what looms below the forlorn hill that should chill any good serf to the bone.

The Black Ruins
This is a pretty well balanced piece by Corey and gives the DM a little bit of everything & as a DM whose used to running Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea this is a great addition for that game or any OSR game in my humble opinion. This adventure has good solid overview with the hex laying everything at the DM's feet. Really its all right at the DM's finger tips ready to run straight from download to print out. You get a scattering of locations with some nice sword and sorcery styled encounters. These look pretty nicely balanced. This isn't a high powered crawl but one perfect for outlaws and warriors to cut their teeth on. Several elements from AS&SH could easily be added to this adventure to tie it right in to Hyperborea. The bits and pieces of the setting material allow this one to easily be added right into an OD&D game with little issue. The details here are solidly done but generic enough to allow back customizing & DYI D&D to any campaign setting but this adventure screams Sword and Sorcery to me.
There's something very cinematic or weirdly pulptastic about the whole affair of 'The Black Ruins'. The adventure has both a lost world vibe and a dungeon from hell thing going on. This makes it a very appealing dungeons and dragons adventure but with some really nice overtones of the classic era happening throughout the adventure. There are elements of the lethal in several places and the DM should take care to see the whole affair comes across with a sense of how deadly and lethal this romp can be.
The maps give a real element of old school charm, everything is serviceable and easily adapted to your favorite old school rules sets and its a nice set up for a heroes journey given in D&D terms. With a bit of work this adventure could be used as a Lamentations of The Flame Princess dimensional journey for beginning PC's with a real twist into a weird lost world style gambit as well. The whole adventure screams weekend or mini campaign to me. Its very well done for a free module and the author knows his material enough to adapt it across the board to a number of old school systems. I have to say that in twelve pages Corey manages to compact and condense a very interesting and contrasting series of elements into one very well done old school adventure.
So is this adventure worth your time for a download? Yes if your into sword and sorcery adventure with an old school flare. This is a nice weekend or mini campaign that can be stretched around a few sessions of your favorite old school D&D or retroclone rpg system. Four out of five in my opinion because of the nature of the adventure and how it works with the 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.