Wednesday, June 8, 2022

OSR Review & Commentary On Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler From Mishler Games

 "The third Shortcuts to Adventure module is Monstrous Reflections. This one is a doozy. The party finds themselves in an area where they can all too easily get in over their heads. A simple clan of refuge goblins seeks to save their skins by offering up information on their neighbor… a crazy old and very wealthy magic-user. He has a giant crystal, they say, and he stares into it all the time. If taking out the magic-user is so easy, though, why do the goblins have such a look of terror in their eyes?"

Designed for a party of 1st to 3rd level adventurers (maybe…), this adventure can easily be adjusted to higher levels by altering the mix and number of monsters present."

Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections sticks with Mishler games usual winning  formula of eight to ten pages of no nonsese OSR  adventure. And it all starts with the goblins in this dungeon location;"This portion of a mysterious, magical labyrinth or long-lost section of ruins beneath a city is where two very different areas accidentally meet. In the SW section lairs a clan of goblins, fleeing from the destruction of their tribe. In the NE section stands an area of strange magic and terrible danger, normally isolated from the rest of the labyrinth. The goblins simply want to be left alone, to recover their strength and eventually find a new home. They are terrified of what they have found to the NE. They gladly provide information to the party to spare their lives." 

What the goblins have found within the dungeon is utterly dangerous and because Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections builds on the previous Shortcuts To Adventure series entries this one takes into account adventure elements made in other entries in the series. While Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections is supposedly for levels 1-3 this adventure features wizards, warnings, and iconic monsters that will challenge even 3rd level PC's. 
The cartography, artwork, of the Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections has improved as well. 

Needless to say that Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections is a good & solid middle of road & mid tier OSR or old school adventure. Yes, Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections would do nicely as a mid tier dungeon for Castles & Crusades. And because it features such iconic monsters it a perfect OSR to Old School dungeon location. 
And because of this Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections would be perfect to place within an a Greyhawk campaign. This fact allows for the dungeon to drag & drop Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections into your own Greyhawk Campaign especially around the ruins of Castle Greyhawk especially the outskirts. 
The fact is that Greyhawk as a campaign setting works very well for Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections. And this because of the fact that Greyhawk's turbulent history and battles attract the evil & chaos of monsters & horrors like moths to the flame. And evil attracts heroes to itself. The treasures of Greyhawk offers the lure of quick riches and quick rewards. But also offers quick death to the unwary.  

Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections keeps this formula going & even the old ways are the best in my humble opinion. A fact that Mishler Games keeps taking advantage of & one that DM's can inflict upon their players. Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections  is a good & solid offering in the Shortcuts to Adventure series. 

Shortcuts to Adventure #3: Monstrous Reflections Is Available Right Here 

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