Monday, July 27, 2015

Review of a Greyhawk-Holmes Basic D&D based Adventure by R.C. Pinnell

Swamp Women
by R.C. Pinnell
For Novice to Intermediate Levels
3rd through 6th Levels
6-9 players

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I was lucky enough to get a copy of this (Swamp Women) from Mr Pinnell to take a look at and offer feedback to him and now I am writing my review of the adventure having read all the way through it many times. I have reffed and played OD&D since the early fall of 1975. I will warn you that this is the first review I have attempted and I am trying to not give too much away so I may be light on the details some of you might like to see.

This scenario is intended to be run using the Holmes Basic D&D rules with the OD&D Greyhawk supplement. However, author also gives suggestions as to how to run the game under other Classic D&D rule-sets or their clones. Additional rules info that may be needed, depending on the rule-set you choose to use are found in the Appendices. Recommendations for the makeup of the adventuring party are also provided. 

The background given is quite intriguing pitting a riverside community and its economic future against a matriarchal tribal society. A band of tribeswomen are  on a religious vision quest unbeknownst to the villagers and that is what is creating the economic woes of the community.

A bit a getting started advice is given and then a bit more background of the community of Cragmore along with brief details of three major NPCs. Then a section of Gossip and Rumors is provided which is in my opinion, both highly entertaining and highly useful for the DM to provide the players with a lot of information which may or may not be entirely true. Again some very useful advice is given to the DM in how to use this information.

While there is a "plot" and "mission" there is room for a number of encounters within the map that are unrelated to either, which in my mind is a bonus.The various areas are well-described and their are excellent maps provided (and it would be easy to extend the main map if desired. The map is well indexed and several random encounter tables are provided. DMing advice is given in a number of location and in my mind is good sound advice. 

I would suggest that a DM using this adventure should use some 3 x 5 note cards to make some salient notes for quick access during the game. In my opinion, this would be a very good adventure for a less experienced DM to run since a lot of general how to advice is given on using the adventure and that it lends itself to different levels of complexity in the ways it can be played. While it is designed for a lot of roleplaying, it can be run in other styles. If you are a starting a campaign and are going to combine homebrew with materials from other people, this would be a good way to get things started.

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