11/05/2016

Frugal GM Review: The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs

Frugal GM Review: The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs
This week I was compelled to pull an item off of my "Personalized Suggestions" list over at DTRPG as this week's Frugal GM Review.

A quick peek at the product's page made me think that The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs, would be similar to my Tweak & Toss adventure seeds. Two pages, not tied to a specific system, and only $1....close enough.

OK, I'll freely admit that I was drawn in by the cover image, shown left.

The download is a watermarked PDF of two pages that come in at a surprising 1.8 MB. This seems way to high for what is essentially a B&W PDF. Now normally I harp on PDFs not being bookmarked, but I wouldn't expect a simple two pager to be bookmarked....but it is. I don't even bookmark my stuff when it is that small.

The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs page 1
The layout is an interesting three columns on a landscape page and I think it looks good. I'm not sure the graphics add much to the content and I'd rather have had a rudimentary map as the graphics essentially take out one of the six columns of content.

The flavor text is pretty good, but I was a bit confused...I think because my brain got caught on what felt like an incongruity early on. What seemed like the adventure location to me wasn't the actual location and the scale of something didn't quite settle in my head like I think it should have. Eventually I figured it out though. There were other bits that didn't really seem to work out in my head, even after a second read-through.

The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs page 2
This download is really just an adventure seed and the author has given rather vague suggestions for the encounters as well as the new monsters, but the treasures seem oddly specific. I did really like how the foes in each encounter area have listed motivations/impulses and "moves".

Overall I have a mixed feeling about The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs and I'm not sure if it is because of my pre-conceived notions of what I'd expect out of something that seems close to product I try to create, or if it is because I'm having issues envisioning my use of this product as a GM. I will say though that I loved the overall idea of this adventure and I could see how using this might lead to a whole campaign.

Frugal GM 3 Star Review: The Ytroth Larvae of the Scarsea Cliffs
Like pretty much any adventure seed, the GM is going to have to do some leg work to make this product work for them. This isn't a strength or weakness, just the way these things work. I do think you'll want to read through this several times before sitting down to do any detail work needed, but at two pages, that won't take too long.

I will be looking forward to future adventure seeds from Ideagonk.