Frugal GM Review: Howler

Frugal GM Review: Howler
This free levels 1-3 module from Random Order Creations really surprised me. It is their first offering on DriveThruRPG and not something I'd normally be so quick to pick up because it is listed as a d20/3.x adventure. I tend to stay away from those because it is usually too difficult for me to alter them for use in my low-fantasy HackMaster game.

I have to admit that the cover art of Howler drew me in and made me give this a once-over before putting in in my cart. I absolutely adore the attention to detail on the art for this adventure. The front and back cover have been "aged" to look like something you've had sitting around for ever. The art style inside isn't completely consistent, which in this case is a good thing, even though it was all illustrated by one guy. It really looks like a couple of different artists were used.

The choice of fonts and some of the art, like the map, reminded me (for some odd reason) of Groo. That's probably just in my head, but it really made this a nostalgic adventure and I was just reading it for the first time.

The layout is simply great, starting off with a full-page monster battle sheet for everything in the adventure. This is a great touch I don't see often enough. The adventure was well written.....everything made sense within the scope of the adventure and it wasn't heavily scripted. There was a good amount of randomness to the adventure that two different groups playing this would pretty much have the same adventure, but the GM side of things wouldn't be identical.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Howler
I don't want to put in spoilers, but I will say if you have a group that tries to pry every last copper piece from an adventure......you might want to get back at them with this adventure. I have the distinct impression that the writer either has an evil group or just a bunch of thieving bastards that go so far as to strip the dungeon doors off their hinges.

Although written for d20, this adventure will not take me a lot of effort to convert over to my
preferred system and it could almost be run as-is for any OSR game. There's a lot of good meat on the bones of this free adventure......you won't have to pick at it to make it useful for your table. The price is free and you should go and download this adventure today.

Great job and I hope to see more from J.V. West and Random Order Creations.


  1. Thanks! You'll be happy to know that in playtesting, loosely using DCC RPG with 0-level PCs, there was a 40% party mortality rate...

  2. Sounds like a cool module. Thanks for writing the review!