11/07/2014

Frugal GM Review: The Lair of Largash the Lurid

Frugal GM Review: The Lair of Largash the Lurid
This week I'm picking up the dice to GM for my group since the normal GM is involved in NaNoWriMo and works in retail, which starts getting interesting this time of year. My players are around 3rd level and I run a bit of a sandbox world so I try to keep several potential adventures in mind instead of trying to railroad them into one particular adventure.

Normally this group bites at any hook I set for them, but since they drive the literal direction they travel, I need to have a few hooks in a few different spots for them to nibble on. To that end I picked up Dungeon Module CG1: The Lair of Largash the Lurid from Michael Mills.

TL;DR: "meh", it's ok, but I recommend picking it up to encourage the author to write more.

I'll admit I was suckered drawn in by the Old School cover. Since this offering is PWYW I had no issue offering up a buck to the gawds of chance that I'd like this adventure. The "full-sized" preview showed it might be a bit simple, but not a stinker...definitely worth a look.

A quick scan showed me a few flaws that really told me that Michael needed an editor. There are little things all over the place, for example:

  • The 1st level of the adventure is labeled "LEVEL 1", while the second is "LEVEL TWO"
  • The second wandering monster listed is a "Killer Bee" that does 1-3 damage "+ poison + continual damage". How much are these extra damages? With a level 1-3 adventure you might want to assume the GM is new as well.
  • The Treasure Room is listed as one of two #9 locations instead of #8 as shown on the map.
As I read the adventure the extremely brief back-story didn't "jive" with some of the adventure contents. The location is an old religious complex abandoned when the order "moved away", but they left a lot of furnishings and their deity's idol and protector? There was some text here & there that seemed "sloppy".

Honestly with so many little things like this it might seem like I'm being overly-generous giving this adventure three stars, but I'm not. In many ways all these items are minor, albeit easily avoided, items that would be inexcusable from a major publisher. Even with my best efforts I find accidental typos all the time in my own stuff (especially this blog!). The fact that this is the 1st and only effort from the publisher "Canister & Grape" (here is their blog) and it is being given away for free/PWYW is huge in my book. It wouldn't take much for me to make adjustment tweaks on the fly and the author even acknowledges that tweaks will need to be made to ensure that players have a "reasonable chance of survival".

Frugal GM 3 Star Review: The Lair of Largash the Lurid
Personally I would be downright embarrassed to put my first adventure "out there" for public dissemination and I'm not talking about my adolescent scribblings either, but my first "adult" writing efforts. Even stuff I've done recently is open to debate, so I hope if Michael sees this he takes it with a grain of salt and keep writing.......preferably getting some editing help before putting it online.

I do encourage folks to check out this adventure for themselves and use what they can from it like I will.