Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Dryad's Sanctuary Review — Slightly More Exciting than an Old Man and a Bunch of Cats. Only Slightly.

The Dryad's Sanctuary is a short adventure from Brian V. Molina, the first one from him, at least on DTRPG. Although apparently meant for OSR games, it seemingly uses a more modern conception of the dryad (rather than the old school sexy chick living in a tree), as well as stats that don't seem particularly compatible with anything, though it does seem to use the reverse reaction tables from Labyrinth Lord (where higher rolls are unfriendlier).

The basic premise is that the PCs have entered this magical wood ruled by the dryad. The only way out is to kill or negotiate with her. But first they have to find her, by wandering through the forest. And I really do mean wandering, as there is no map, the players just go to the different encounter areas by random chance (roll of a d12). Mostly. There's one area that is connected to another.

The contents of each area are mostly whimsical. A friendly satyr, a firbolg and a pet owlbear, elves with a human prisoner, a redcap (who are not actually forest faeries, but haunt castles), and giant bees. Perhaps the most interesting thing (but not really elaborated on) is a Brownie wedding.

New monsters? No, basically old or existing monsters, but with different and much weaker stats. To the point where this module might, just might be challenge for a party of 0-level characters. There are a lot of magic items mentioned, but no actual details of the magic items, other than their names.

It's a very plain PDF. And despite it being a short PDF product, it uses a very tiny font that is hard to read on anything but a large computer screen. I really don't understand the point, either, as using a more readable font would have only increased the size by maybe a page or two.

The Dryad's Sanctuary seems more like an outline of adventure, as opposed to an actual adventure. It's also staggeringly mundane. There are a lot of artsy products that I don't like, like say, the Gardens of Ynn. But I at least appreciate the originality of them and the effort involved. This tries to be artsy (I guess) but lacks that originality and seems somewhat slapdash.

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