Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review - The Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz! (Labyrinth Lord Adventure)

First, I'd like to thank Dylan Hartwell for supplying me with a review copy.  Good stuff.

Now, on to the review - The Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz! (you had me at "brewery"... heh) is a Labyrinth Lord adventure for levels 3-7.  It's a large level range to cover, especially at lower levels, where the power curve is a bit stronger then at higher levels, but in the hands of the right GM it should work.

The BBof P! is not just an adventure, but it's also is the bare bones of a sandbox setting of the area around the town of Shattenburg.  At this point I think I need to mention something - run as written, Elven PCs need not apply.  Alright, they may apply, but it should be downright uncomfortable for them.  It's actually a nice twist to the usually vanilla fantasy setting - any elves the PCs encounter in town are likely to be servants, and fairly oppressed at that.

Anyhow, on to the rest of the book.  In presentation and in atmosphere, it seems to me to be a very good fit for Tunnels & Trolls in addition to the usual listing of OSR RPG systems.  It doesn't take itself too seriously, yet at the same time there is a dark side to much of it.

If there is a weakness to the adventure, its the hook.  I actually missed it on my first read through, as it's actually on the front page as part of adventure recap / description.  In any case, it's hard to get a pre-written hook that fits your party's needs in a published adventure, even when multiple ones are supplied.  So, as weaknesses go, its a minor one.

If you are a GM that likes to tweak and twist published adventures into something that fits your style, the Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz! would be a good choice.  If you want something that tries to cover all of your party's possible actions and totally in depth descriptions that you can read to your group, you'll probably find this lacking.

I'm a twist and tweaker myself ;)

(edit - forgot to mention the maps are works of art - detailed without being cluttered)

From the blurb:

Something has happened to the delicious beer in Shattenberg! None of the residents have seen the brewing monks for weeks and the tavern masters are oddly silent. Where once it was a delicious and creamy blend of mountain mushroom-based stout, it now offers an odd coppery taste and costs twice as much. For a small mining and farming town on the edge of the wilderness, this is a tragedy. Now rumors have begun circulating that hideous creatures gathered to the north are somehow the cause. The players are hired to investigate and, if possible, remedy the problem.

The Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz is written as both a stand-alone old-school fantasy adventure and, if you take a liking to the town of Shattenberg and its locale, a rich source for subsequent adventures. Contained within are maps of the Pilz Monastery and region, background information, multiple adventure plots, a new spell, and new monsters.

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