1/02/2016

Frugal GM Review: Wormskin #1

Frugal GM Review: Wormskin #1
This week I'm reviewing the inaugural issue of Wormskin, an OSR Zine.

This issue is currently PDF only and is labeled as the Autumn 2105 issue and was posted to DriveThruRPG on December 15th. Technically that is autumn, but I think most people see December as full-on winter. I know that is just semantics though....

This $3 PDF is pretty big, coming in at 41 pages and 25.2 MB. Right off the bat I noticed the 41 page count, which doesn't make much sense for something made for printing.....you need the pages divisible by 4. While reading the PDF it occurred to me that page 37 is largely superfluous because it gives explanation of stat-blocks which shouldn't really be needed by this Zine's intended audience.

The PDF is A5 sized and password-secured, which really isn't a big deal here.

The introduction to this Zine is a bit confusing to me because I'm not sure if the Dolmenwood, the "detailed" in-game location, is the setting for just this issue or the Zine overall. I have to think it is the focus of the Zine overall because this issue doesn't really live up to the expectation set forth by the introduction.

In reading this issue I noticed that an overwhelming amount of the available content is taken up by two new race-class PCs. Personally I was a bit "meh" on these new race-classes, but mostly because some things just felt "off" for me. The Moss Dwarf is an "earthy" creature that almost completely shuns metal, but some of their special abilities (well, at least one) makes no sense to me because of this disdain for metal. The Grimalkin is listed as regularly cycling through three physical phases, but one of the phases is listed as being "exceedingly difficult" to transition out of without outside assistance. I just don't see how the creature can cycle through these phases then.

It is little internal inconsistencies like this that really jump-out for me. The article for the "Fungi of Dolmenwood", for example, has a d30 table for randomly determining a specific fungi....and 30 entries, but the article's listed fungi only number 29. Personally I don't feel like figuring which table entry is the odd one out.

Frugal GM 3 Star Review: Wormskin #1I will say I like the 2 page map that is in this issue, but it is a bit small. Because the apparent focus for Wormskin is a single area, I think that this information would have been better presented as a source-book that is fully fleshed out rather than a hopeful series of Zine issues.

TLDR: In general I like the information contained in Wormskin #1, but I think it could have used some more editing and would have been better presented in another format.