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It plunders everything cliched and overused from Tolkien but abandons all the strange sadness and the mythological references.
Forgotten Realms embraces a pedantic faux-medievalism, but then uses a contemporary positivist understanding to explain magic that allows for cutesy magical technology to gloss over the inconvenient aspects of the pre-modern.
Most offensively, most objectionably, Forgotten Realms is a dense, full, world - so steeped in cliched lore and laid out so extensively in dull gazetteers that there is no room for a GM's creativity without excising some of the existing setting and map. I'm not here A plot overview of the lost dutchmans mine talk about Forgotten Realms, except as a symptom, it will always be terrible.
I'm here because I've been reading the 5th edition's introductory module Lost Mines of Phandelver. I start with my objections to Forgotten Realms, because I think they are the root of the module's considerable problems.
That and a player coddling, computer role-playing game derived game design ethos that limits player choice and insults player intelligence in the name of providing a consistent play experience.
Many people love this module, I do not. It's not the worst thing I've ever read, it's not even close to as bad as Dragons of Flame, but its positive design and structure elements are mired in a pablum of fantasy cliche so bland that it makes for one wish for even Dragonlance's feeble gestures towards the weird and the wonderful.
Fifth Edition has a certain promise to players of older editions with a step back from grid based complex combat as the center of the game, towards exploration and roleplay, and Lost Mines could be intended to be an introduction to this style of play. However, as a 'teaching' module Lost Mines is confused wreck, giving good advice about avoiding railroads one moment and then on the next page making every effort to railroad the characters.
The art is relatively sparse and frequently seems designed for reuse, not showing actual events or NPC from the adventure, but rather generic fantasy monsters and vanilla fantasy adventuring archetypes engaging in non-specific adventuring tasks.
In fact not a single art piece within depicts an actual event from the adventure - it's as if everything was designed to be recycled in later publications. Even the cover is a generic adventurers and dragon sort of image, yet the art and layout are inviting,simple and certainly professional looking - more digital watercolor, bland but with a bit less of the shiny over sized shoulder armor or 'dungeon punk' aesthetic of some other editions.
Something a bit more characterful would be nice, but everything in its soft pastels, greys and browns is readable, clean and offers no challenges for the reader.
The adventure itself is fairly long, broken into four episodes, some with multiple small keyed locations. These sections begin to feel rushed and more poorly designed as the adventure progresses, but none are unusable.
First there is a section of general advice and plot overview, followed by a goblin ambush and lair, then a town with bandit trouble. Finally some other small locations, one with a dragon, a castle of goblins, and ultimately a cave complex with the regional evil mastermind hard at work exploring within.
The advice in introductory modules is always a window into the game designer's mind and the system's preferred play style. The advice in Lost Mine follows this pattern with explicit and early cautions against adversarial play and encouragement towards fairness and adjudication rather then rules mastery.
There is little specific advice in this section, and while it's friendlier then the introduction to something like Keep on the Borderlands a pure expression of that Gygaxian impartial actuary of death play style it also has less advice on running the game, running monsters and thinking about the world - in many more pages.
What advice Phandelver offers however is refreshingly positive and encourages the sort of creative group story telling that only table top role playing games can deliver. It just fails to give many practical examples of this, or worse, when it does the actual adventure provided tramples all over its ideals in favor of a squishy railroad, moral judgment of player goals and forced novelistic pacing.
The hooks and background of Lost Mine uninteresting - ancient mine, pact between gnomes and dwarves, and a magical forge that produced wondrous enchanted items. Of course orcs smashed it up at some point and it was forgotten.
People keep trying to find the rumored treasure mine, but no one has in hundreds of years, until now - all despite its convenient location. This whole hook makes my skin itch, but worse is the disheartening level of vanilla fantasy, rulebook obsessing detail it's described with.
The invading evil army is of course orcs, and of course Lost Mines has to add that 'evil mercenary wizards' were also involved. Dwarves and Gnomes are of course the original owners of the cave, and somehow lost all their maps when the mine was overrun. Why do only dwarves and gnomes ever have mines, why do ancient NPC orcs need human wizards, and why must it always be orcs destroying things.
The folly of civilization is to believe it can overpower the world, and enraged by the end of trade, armies from the growing city states banded together to seize the spirits' mine and enslave it's diminutive fey workers.Watch video · The Old Dominion Historic Mine Park provides a great overview of the mining heritage of the region.
Open from to , the Old Dominion Mine produced more than million pounds of .
"Mine" shimmers with a dusty authenticity But as more of Mike's clichéd back story becomes clear over the course of a long minutes, the film becomes almost as much of an endurance test for 14%(29).
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Limbo of the Lost Free Download for PC is a traditional point-and-click adventure game that follows the adventures of Benjamin Briggs, captain of the Mary Celeste, as he explores the depths of Limbo in the Keep of Lost Souls.
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