Friday, October 23, 2015

Review and Commentary on The Castle Gargantua Adventure From Kabuki Kaiser For Your Old School Campaigns

There are mega dungeons, mega adventure locations, then there's Castle Gargantua a gigantic sprawling location with incredible campaign exploration potential straight out of the twisted fairy tales of the early days! This is one of those magical locations that sets up everything straight out of the the gate, I mean everything there are remours tables for each of the playable races about the castle, rooms, weird events, etc.. But what is the set up for the adventure location: "Whoever built Castle Gargantua is long gone. It could have been a
mad wizard. He would have been called Gargantua and lived in a tower looming over the castle. Or it could have been a giant so tall that when his shadow was cast, people thought it was the night falling; a giant so primeval that he could barely be distinguished from nature itself, his feet like the trunks of sequoia trees—a primeval ur-giant from a time bygone. Since your players will roll for rumors known by their  characters, they will come with their own version. Let them, just  remember that whatever created this place, it's gone.Time has passed since its creator vanished and the castle has been plundered several times. There's nothing much left of its original riches and most of its legendary monsters have been dispatched by  past heroes. An awful lot of adventurers and bandits still roam the castle halls, often butchering each other and shaping opposed factions where they’ve taken over. In many areas, these ruffians are the real threat. In other places, lingering Chaos magic has turned harmless critters, animals, and normally trivial monsters into gruesome gigantic creatures in proportion with the castle."
This place is sprawling, massive, and incredibly complex as large as the Empire State building and the design here is tight. Basically this is a mega dungeon is the love child if David Lynch and The Brothers Grim had sex and Tim Burton was the nurse maid. Then raised the same adventure location and its made to be cross compatible with almost all OSR system, well not quite. It's made to be cross compatible with Labyrinth Lord, Labyrinth Lord Advanced, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. And its made to be different each and every time because the burden to roll up the contents of the place are on sort of on the DM but this is in keeping with the DYI D&D aesthetic of the OSR authors. Lay out here is top notch, maps and cartography are by Dyson Logos, lots and lots of art throughout the adventure.
Grab It Right Over HERE

Here's the thing this adventure goes with the early D&D and AD&D trope that no adventure location is going to be abandoned for long. I'm all for this bit of dungeon adventure ecology and this adventure takes that to its extremes. There are dozens of halls, rooms, treasures,etc. that have been passed around and over here. There are themes to room and complex weirdness waiting to twist PC's into knots and whatnot. There's lots that can happen to them. And the maps are concise enough to make it happen. Did I mention the gorgeous and slightly disturbing artwork?

This is a campaign waiting to happen, seriously this place could take months and months of exploration and discovery. There's a ton going on within this place and once again this is a book with its adventure location in play. Things are happening here and your adventurers are going to blunder head first right straight into the whole of it all.

The entire adventure location gives a sense  of helplessness and being caught in a trap that has been sprung. Castle Gargantua is the type of place that exists in some ancient fairy tale as a rumor or legend but the reality is that much more dangerous and nasty. This is one of those adventure locations that's going to change a party seriously they will not be the same after a trip to Castle Gargantua.
Page after page of incredible description and weird rooms, this isn't a fun house dungeon its a weirdness sink with your PC's names on it. Its all here and waiting for the PC's. There is a story to this place and throughout the 114 pages of the place you can see bits and pieces of the castle's tale here and there just as all of the best tales of dungeons and mayhem. This isn't a place for the faint of heart.

This is a dungeon or adventure location as wilderness setting, something out of the sprawling tales of giants and they're left behind one incredible location! And this is one place that can take on all comers, your levels and skills don't count for anything when a giant sized curtain is falling on your PC's head! You get dust storms rolling across floors and terrifying wilderness encounters with all kinds of horrid monsters from myth and legend against a wilderness background of a giant's former playground. One really nice part to this one hundred and fourteen page book is the price point the pdf is five dollars!

Is there anything that I don't actually like in this adventure? Not really it clicks all of the right buttons for a grand style dungeon romp through one of the most complex dungeons I've seen. The tone, horrid fairy tale feel gone wrong and more is perfect for a dark game of Lamentations of the Flame Princess or a huge sprawling game of Labyrinth Lord. Its all there waiting for your PC's and they're not going to know what hit them. Grab this one! Five out of five stars! Highly recommended!

Because of the nature of the various tables and random encounters etc, this adventure is different each and every time your adventurers enter the location folks!

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