Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review & Commentary For The Cult of the Blue Crab From Studio St. Germain For Your Old School Campaigns

"The small city of Shallow Bay is plagued by a gang of smugglers who sell contraband alcohol and luxury foods to the people. The mayor’s expensive lifestyle has depleted the city coffers and the head of the city guard orders his men (or some mercenaries, whichever role the players want to take) to investigate the smugglers and put an end to their activities. Unbeknownst to most, the smugglers are a front for a radical chaotic water cult that wishes to sweep earth free of “the wicked”. The money made with the contraband is intended to buy better equipment and hire powerful allies for an expedition to the lost Temple of the Chaos Elemental. By awakening this ancient evil the cult can take the first steps towards their ultimate goal of destruction and mayhem"

Cult of the Blue Crab From  Studio St. Germain By Rudolf St Germain

Studio St Germain
5e/13th Age/OSR 
Levels 3-4

DM Steve turned me on to 
Cult of the Blue Crab From  Studio St. Germain about a day or so ago. This adventure while seemingly exactly what I like from an adventure just enough detail with a very Pulpy feel to it & yet generic enough to be dropped into any existing campaign. The city of Shallow Bay is given just enough detail to flesh it out with descriptions of the place, the NPC's, the city, notable locations, etc. but just enough; "The City of Shallow Bay A lot of the action of this adventure will take place in the small city of Shallow Bay. Its 600 inhabitants live mostly of fishery and trade. There is also a small Dwarven presence which ensures a steady supply of excellent weapons and armor for sale, as well as a few pieces of jewelry"

The Cult of the Blue Crab From  Studio St. Germain does what it needs to do in twelve pages where other adventures take huge swaths of time. This adventure gives thumbnail flourishes while taking its time to linger on the elemental cult's motives, ideals, etc. This isn't a bad thing at all and allows the dungeon master and gives the inner workings with a good solid style; "The Cult of the Blue Crab is dedicated to an evil elemental lord on the plane of water. (Take an appropriate creature from your campaign setting or the violent archelemental Utonac.) This creature grants powerful magic in return for blind obedience. Most of the cult members are not aware of the apocalyptic plans of the cult and see it just as a way to get rich or take revenge on their enemies. The cult is led by the “Duchess of Water”, a broken and spiteful creature. The Duchess was deeply hurt by humanity and now seeks to destroy all life in an all-encompassing flood. To the outside, the cult appears as a group of elusive smugglers."
If there's such a thing as deconstructionist Dungeons & Dragons then The Cult of the Blue Crab From  Studio St. Germain  is it & that's fantastic because it enables the dungeon master to customize the adventure to fit their home campaign. Not only are we given Shallow Bay but we're given an entire cult to play around within the space of two dungeons with motives. Love the cartography in this adventure &  the maps look hand drawn you can tell  from the look that these have the  darth asperagus signature & you can see more of this at his  deviant site 

The Motivation/Trait/Look tables for NPCs are very well done, & so you can create a group of NPC very fast & customize them at the drop of a hat. Cult of the Blue Crab From  Studio St. Germain is less of an adventure & more of a campaign adventure location based product. I really like where the folks at Studio St. Germain took this & since its really  mostly statless  I can see using this adventure with Lamentations of the Flame Princess as a drag & drop adventure. I can see using Cult of the Blue Crab From  Studio St. Germain in Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea as a drop in adventure for Brigand's Bay. I can see using this with B/X Mystara as a dropped in location. But what I really see is the fact that this adventure fits the aesthetic of the Evil Elemental rulers from the Fiend Folio from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition.

Olhydra: Princess of Evil Water Creatures might make a perfect add in for the  Cult of the Blue Crab as a sort of Moorcockian cult figure for the cultists to be pleasing. The archomentals need more lime light & the Cult of the Blue Crab might just be the perfect adventure to twist into the weirdness & horror of Olhydra in your own home campaigns. All in all I really enjoyed 
Cult of the Blue Crab & really look forward to  Studio St. Germain next efforts. 

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