7/18/2014

Frugal GM Review: Ennie-Nominated Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores Prince Charming, Reanimator

Frugal GM Review: Ennie-Nominated Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores Prince Charming, Reanimator
Today I thought I'd review one of the Ennie Award Nominations. I'd already reviewed Corporia, so I had to go a-hunting for what to review. I found the most excellent FT0: Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores Prince Charming, Reanimator. For the sake of my own sanity I will have to simply refer to this adventure as Faerie Tales 0. While I don't agree with the placement of these entries into categories, not just because they both are in the same category (best electronic book), but because I think they should each be in more appropriate categories.

Oh well, nothing I can do about that.

I have to admit that right off the bat I was impressed with this download because they hit several of my hot-button issues that cause me to hate PDF publishers. 1st off I noticed that there was more to the download than a single PDF. Also included are a couple of maps, with ones clearly intended to be printed off at 300 DPI and ones that look more like VTT battle mats at 150 DPI. 2nd off, and yes....I am numbering these important points in the off chance that it makes one more PDF publisher in this world put out a better product....this PDF is not all password-locked up to the point of absurdity. Actually it wasn't locked up at all! This is awesome because if I wanted to make a change, like re-naming Prince Charming to Prince Humperdinck I conceivably could. Of course such a big change would probably screw up the layout a bit, but it still beats having to pencil it in everywhere.

My third big-check-off item was that they actually bothered to do a good job bookmarking the PDF. That makes it so much easier to navigate the file. They could have done a slightly better job, but it wasn't enough for me to discount the effort that was put into it. When you read the PDF the publisher made the area names referenced in the text bold and they could have gone the extra step and make those internal hyperlinks. Since they already had the bookmarks made it wouldn't have been much of an extra effort. Still, because the PDF isn't locked down I can always do that with my copy.

FT0: Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores Prince Charming, Reanimator
One of the main foes, the Hobyahs

Now that is just the technical aspects of the PDF so far and on that alone I'd give this a good three stars. The content really makes up the other two stars rating. Now I don't play Dungeon Crawl Classics, and have barely read the rules, but this adventure was written well enough that I'm sure I could easily transform it to work with another system. The biggest tweak might be not running for 0 level PCs. Again I'm not that familiar with the DCC method of creating a horde of 0 level PCs that you throw at an adventure and those that manage to survive, if any, get to become more fleshed out 1st level PCs, but that could be a bloody fun adventure (pun intended). I really liked the background note how out of 16 0 level PCs stampeded through Faerie Tales 0, only three survived. While we didn't need to know their names, that was a nice personal touch.

The adventure itself is straight forward and appropriate GM (Called the Judge in DCC) notes are scattered throughout. When reading the adventure straight-through it might seem that some of the notes are superfluous, but I know from experience that those "extra" notes are often necessary reminders for events that take place at the game table maybe hours or days apart (player time, not PC time). I especially like a few reminders for the Judge to essentially let the PCs get themselves killed if they do certain very stupid actions at very stupid times. The most likely stupidity pointed out clearly.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Ennie-Nominated Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores Prince Charming, Reanimator
Faerie Tales 0 is an adventure that can easily be adopted to another system, but with the knowledge that there is a related string of adventures behind this one, it might be a great reason to pick up the Dungeon Crawl Classic rules and give them a try.