NEKROMANTI Några tankar om Beneath.

Tre solar

Hero
Joined
8 Mar 2014
Messages
1,087
Jag skrev en grej om D&D-äventyret Beneath och postar det här också ifall nån är intresserad.

Read through Beneath by +Justin Sirois. Here are some reflections: + I've never used Kindle before, but it is either a crappy service or the text hasn't been adapted for it. Visually it's like reading a super long conspiracy blog post.
+ Writing is good. Lots of good imagery and strong theme.

+ Like many US fantasy adventures, it has this time-traveler feel: you are obviously in 19th century America but for some reason you have a sword instead of a gun. This is objectively neither good nor bad, but I normally hate it. Here, however, it works quite well because the adventure also has this somewhat video-gamey feel. So instead of an Americanized Europe, I guess the setting is an American take on a Japanese take on Amercanized Europe. Which for some reason makes much more sense to me, perhaps because it seems more deliberate.

+ The sex-mirrors and the pacifist demon seeking to eradicate all differences are great ideas. It's like a dumb commentary to your smart thought and a smart commentary to your dumbest. Overall, it gets your pattern recognition going crazy (what does it really mean???!!!) and causes others to assert their high morals. "Elf-game sex makes me uncomfortable" Well, that's precisely why it's there.

+ Dungeon-design could've been much stronger. Like said earlier, it feels video-gamey in the sense that there are few choice points and little to interact creatively with. An NPC can say "I'll do anything for you" but immediately go all Meatloaf on you until you ask for the scripted thing. This, I think, will make the dungeon a very much hit or miss thing: if you manage to conjure up the desired mood it will probably be fine just listening to some cool descriptions and fighting, but otherwise it might feel rather flat.

+ Dungeon is also rather small, especially in relation to the word count. Hopefully, next part will be larger and more well designed now that the tutorial stage has been cleared.

+ There's some serious railroad in the beginning and even more serious clam-jamming in the end, where the main NPCs gain plot immunity just to set the stage for a sequel. In 2016, I find that extraordinary since it is so easy to come up with other ways of chaining adventures together.

In sum, after a read-through I'd say that the execution is sloppy but that the ideas are good. And that's way preferable over perfectly executed blandness.
 

kloptok

Pensionerad astrolog
Joined
14 Dec 2008
Messages
1,094
Location
Stockholm
Har bara skummat igenom första biten men håller helt med angående rälsningen. Kändes väldigt förvånande att något som kommer ut idag är såpass rälsat utan att det är en medveten designfilosofi (jag fick i alla fall inte det intrycket eftersom det knappt kommenterades alls). Det kanske är hårt men mitt första intryck är att det skrivits av en person som är out of touch med rollspelsutvecklingen.

Stämningsmässigt verkade det dock riktigt intressant tycker jag. Och egentligen har jag inget problem med rälsning som sådant när det är en uttalad speldesign men det är konstigt att marknadsföra ett D&D-äventyr i OSR-kretsar och inte kommentera detta överhuvudtaget eftersom det så tydligt går emot spelstilen.
 
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