Thursday, August 7, 2014

Reading The Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine

Anyone familiar with Logan Knight's Last Gasp Grimoire will not be surprised at the level of horror and despair that this module subjects its victims. Well, maybe they would be surprised. This cave is pretty fucking evil.

I won't go into the plot of the adventure, but I will just say that this is essentially Dead Space in medieval fantasy land. It's scary, gross and claustrophobic. Reminds me more of Alien and The Descent than anything related to D&D.

What really sets this module apart is just how usable it is right out of the gate. The map is small and makes sense. The area descriptions are succinct, conversational and what I presume is intended as boxed text (descriptions in much larger font) is actually worth reading aloud. The boxed text lines are short and incredibly descriptive, usually focusing on senses other than sight and sound. Knight does an incredible job cranking up the creepiness of the cave by focusing on how it smells and feels.

The PDF is formatted for electronic devices such as a tablet or laptop, with helpful hyperlinks throughout the text. There is no endless scrolling in order to make the PDF work at the table. Printed out, the format would work well as a booklet. The single column format is great in that you'll have a hard time getting lost on the page, as tends to happen to me when I run anything with pages filled with double-column, small text.

I also appreciate how Knight approaches his monster stats. Rather than giving them once, either when they first appear or in the back, the stat blocks are present with every occurrence of the monsters and in the appendix. No flipping necessary. This is revolutionary.

These motherfuckers are nasty.
Other key features of this module are a handful of body-horror spells, magic items that will punish the players for placing greed over common sense, practical rules for light sources and a nice table for random, occasionally semi-magical mushrooms. And player hand-outs.

I'm very excited to run this module because after reading through it only once, I know I could run the hell out of it. No need to write notes for the table. No need to simplify the map. No need to write the monster stats on an index card. Just open the file/booklet and go. I want to see more modules like this. Minimalist, simple, functional.

The adventure is written for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, so be sure to convert your silver to gold and subtract two from the AC when you use it with any other elfgame.

Download The Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine from RPGNow and pay what you want.

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