Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dead God Excavation - Review

First thing that came to my mind when I read the title was "Who in their right mind would want to dig up a dead God? 

Obviously +Venger Satanis!

Here's the publisher blurb: 


Dead God Excavation is a short adventure for characters between 1st and 3rd level.  I happen to think it's perfect for kicking off a gonzo, eldritch, science-fantasy campaign.  If you incorporate this into your "session zero"... respect, hoss!
This scenario was written for Crimson Dragon Slayer (including some new rules for clerics), but everything can be easily converted to your OSR system of choice.
The layout is sick!  But there's also a printer-friendly version for those who are intimidated by such lurid hues (or who want to print it out).  Just to make you aware, the pagecount includes the cover, two decorative pages, and a page for the credits.  It's a densely coiled micro-adventure... beyond gorgeous demon-haunted sandbox!  YOU CAN GRAB IT HERE. 

First things first, I have to say I really appreciate that everyone of Venger's releases has a printer friendly version.  This is handy, because I still print things off when I run adventures, I haven't wrapped my head around using a tablet or laptop while GMing.  

The adventure starts off with a few rumours to set the stage.  The one I liked was that the adventurer's have heard of ancient treasures and have come to possibly get wealthy and adventure! Simple enough to install the players in the game world.  I should note, that I am probably going to run this module is some form.  My first thoughts are somewhere in the desert of Mystara.  Quite possibly as a 5e one shot.  In the notes at the beginning of the adventure it is suggested to run it as a "session one funnel", while that is a grand idea, I wouldn't be able to pull it off with the 5e group I have.  Mostly for "character development" reasons.  None of which have anything to do with the packaged material.  Onward!

Once upon the scene things start to liven up.  There are a bunch of interesting NPCs with really good motives.  The NPCs alone can get you going on different adventure ideas.

There is a super cool table with a variety of effects when touching the Alien Metal.

This whole adventure has a demonic/alien/god thing going for it.  It's sort of like if you took expedition to the barrier peaks and mashed it up with Call of Cthulu.  Actually that's not a half bad idea!  The one thing this adventure lacks is a detailed map of the inside of the tomb.  Now obviously there's a ton of great resources out there for maps, here's a good spaceship one you can use: http://paratime.ca/cartography/sf_spaceships.html

As a side note, Venger if you need a map you can always tag me man, I'd be happy to try it out!

Prior to entering the tomb there's a nifty table called "Strange Occurrences" here's the text prior to the table.  (it gives me the willies) 

Strange Occurneces table: 
This is not simply the inert interior of a giant container full of deceased demonic deity, but an ultra-telluric biosphere somewhere between reality and the place where dead gods dream. For every 15 minutes spent exploring, roll once on the following random table to determine what strangeness occurs....

All in all this is a pretty solid starting point adventure, there is enough text and flavour to get you going, but not too much that it starts to feel like a railroad.  And of course the whole thing is filled with the general weirdness and gonzo that we have all come to expect from Korthalis publishing.  I'm almost wondering if its worth challenging Venger to write something straight up? Nah.. 

If you have a copy of the The S'rulyan Vault II I think this adventure would go hand in hand with it! 


As usual there is some great mind blowing art in the book, and the design is well laid out by +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) who always does awesome stuff! 

Good stuff!