9/10/2016

Frugal GM Review: The Cursed Fountain

Frugal GM Review: The Cursed Fountain
This week I let DTRPG guide me by the hand to select an adventure to review as this week's Frugal GM Review. Sometimes I get a bit of a kick out of seeing the "Personalized Suggestions", especially when they suggest items I've written.

Meh, it happens.

This week, though I found a little gem of an adventure for Swords & Wizardry called "The Cursed Fountain". This short, 13 page PDF is part of the "Dungeons of Dazegoneby" line from Creation's Edge Games and intended for 4-6 PCs of 1st through 3rd level. The PDF is locked down as one would expect, but I don't see that being an issue for this product as it doesn't impede usage. It also isn't bookmarked, but this PDF is really one of those items you print up for use.  If you wanted to print this up I'd suggest just printing pages 2-12 of the PDF, ignoring the cover and the obligatory Open Game License.

Now I've been clear before that I usually do a quick flip through before actually reading the thing and my first impressions were a bit mixed. I noticed some art credits on page 2 and then when flipping through I saw one of Dyson Logos' maps on page 3 (page 5 of the PDF) that hadn't been credited. This is the kind of thing that personally cheeses me off, but no worries as page 10 (12 of the PDF) had a full listing of the art credits. On the flip side I also noticed a very consistent and easy-to-follow layout with nice graphic call-outs.

Personally I thought The Cursed Fountain is well worth the measly $1.50 price tag. This short, mini-adventure is well-written and deliberately made easy to drop into an existing campaign. One page is devoted to a one-paragraph overview, a small bit of self-promotion for the entire Dungeons of Dazegoneby line, and a few paragraphs about using the adventure. The overall setup for the adventure is also contained to one page.

Basically I think the writing is tight. All too often I see pages of complicated back-story and NPC motivations that don't really add much to the adventure. Taking a paragraph, or a page, to put across information the GM can glean from a sentence is a cardinal sin of adventure writing. I'll be the 1st to admit I've sinned here & there with my work, so I'll step off this soapbox for now.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: The Cursed Fountain
The Cursed Fountain is a great example on how less is more, enabling any GM worth their dice to drop this adventure into (almost) any campaign with ease. While this adventure is written with specific levels in mind, it would be quite easy to simply substitute the main monster type with tougher versions. Overall a great adventure for $1.50 and something well-worth adding to your collection.