Saturday, May 4, 2013

Candyland a La Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess

Our Thursday night BTS GM couldn't make it this week, so I stepped in and ran Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess. (I'm going to be running it at a convention this summer, so I used this opportunity to play test it.) We had a party of four characters and three henchmen, with a final casualty tally of two henchmen, two PCs. Given the source material, I ran the game a wee bit less seriously than I normally do. I might spring Death Frost Doom on them next time the GM is unavailable.

My spoiler-free thoughts on Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess:

-It's gonzo. Like, seriously gonzo. If you don't like that kind of thing, it would be easy to turn this into a horrible bloodbath of grimdarkness, but I think you'd be losing some of the charm. Don't get me wrong: there's some grim stuff in this module, but it is soaked in black humor.

-My favorite part of the module is actually the "prelude" to the main event. There are some seriously interesting encounters in the Dark Forest.

-Unless I missed something, one of the antagonists is detailed but actually not placed anywhere in the module. He has a write-up and a stat block, but I never figured out where he was supposed to be. This wasn't really that difficult to fix, but it just seemed to me an odd omission. (Unless I just missed it somehow)

-In an era where people have mangled the use of the word "literally," Zzarchov (I forgot to mention he is the author, not Raggi) keeps the meaning of the word intact. Kudos to you, sir.

-The spell Rainbow Bolt is almost unsurvivable for the level spread this adventure was written for. Then again, given that it's a Lamentations adventure, this is to be expected. Just take heed that one of the bad guys has a "if this hits you, you die" spell. The other new spells are delightful and twisted.

-This adventure is a railroad. The PCs basically travel along a straight path to the adventure's conclusion. There isn't a lot that lets them go off the map. It's good for one shots and convention games. I will say that the linearity of this adventure makes perfect sense within its context. A sandbox purist, however, could easily drop this as a jacked up little sidequest located in any forest hex on the map, and the fairy world could easily be expanded if one were so inclined. It should also be noted that the PCs have several options on how to resolve the situation.

-A semi-spoilery note: (you've been warned) My PCs found a way to prevent the Maypole Dance, and it was damn clever, I daresay.

-The PDF is four bucks. If you don't like it, it isn't a huge loss.

I look forward to running this again during convention season. I might shift some things around, but this is a pretty solid module that you can have ready to run in probably twenty minutes.

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