Monday, January 11, 2016

Winds Of The Ice Forest - Review

Winds Of The Ice Forest
By Random Order Creations 

Product Description:
The dreaded Ice Forest! Once a safe passage to the north, now the forest's evil magic seeks to trap and confuse travelers with ever-shifting paths full of terrible dangers. New monsters, new magic items, new magics!
This adventure for character levels 1-3 was designed for Labyrinth Lord but can be used with any old school dungeon-crawling RPG. It is a drop-in locale that can be played through in a few hours or in a much longer session...per the needs of your gaming group.  

This module is available as a PDF download for "Pay What You Want" thru rpgnow.com
It clocks in at 24 pages including 1 page OGL, front and back cover.

The adventure is designed for 1st to 3rd level players.

First off I would like to say that this module is incredibly well laid out.  So much so that as far as I'm concerned this module sets a new standard for "Pay What You Want".  The artwork by J.V. West is not only amazing but fits perfectly within the module.  That is to say the subject matter and the art go hand in hand.  It has a bit of a cartooney feel that I absolutely adore, However there are shades of darkness in it as well.

The premise of the adventure is that a very nice forest has become evil, the reason why is unknown.  There is a road thru the forest that is used by the general populace, travelling merchants etc.  Of course it is overrun by bad guys!

"Now the once-safe pathways are peopled with monsters and
perils in an ever-shifting maze of danger. In order to navigate
the Ice Forest a traveler must choose the correct path 13 times.
Choosing correctly is not easy and without magical assistance
a traveler could become lost in the labyrinth!"

Note:  The constantly-changing paths in the Ice Forest make mapping
it impossible.

There are a variety of adventure hooks & rumours to get you started wandering thru the fors

The adventure includes a new class, new monsters, new magic items and new spells! All of which are awesome.  Particularly the "Barbarian" class, which IMHO is done perfect.

The adventure also includes pre generated characters.

This adventure hits everything you need to get up and running quickly.  Not only that but it does things that more modules need to do: Include new things! new monsters, magic, items, and classes.  Just another thing to push myself & other independent publishers to do.

One thing that I've always loved about Basic Fantasy modules, is that all the monsters hit points are pre rolled and there are nice little boxes to check off during combat.  Winds Of The Ice Forest includes this as well.  (THUMBS UP!).

My one and only caveat for this adventure is the following:

This adventure was written to be used with the properly old school retro-clone RPG Labyrinth Lord™ and, with dizzying
selectivity, its advanced companion the Advanced Edition Companion. Both are published by Goblinoid Games
(goblinoidgames.com). However, given the nearly-universal language of all the old school games, you can easily run it with your
game of choice if said game is fluent in old school cant.

While I agree that it is a good thing to promote other OSR systems, and promote OSR in general, I feel that if you are going to put Labyrinth Lord on the cover, that module should be in fact LL only.

I briefly ran into a situation where putting "B/X compatible" and "Lab Lord compatible" on the cover was frowned upon.  That being said, this is only a caveat, and the text above is well written, pointing to the fact that "this module is intended for Labyrinth Lord and can in fact be used with other systems easily enough".

I've decided in my infinite wisdom to create a scoring for reviews.  So from hence forth reviews will be getting "Mugs Of Ale" 

And this one gets 5 Mugs Of Ale! HUZZAH!