Sunday, July 24, 2022

About Temple of 1000 Swords

 Temple of 1000 Swords is a dungeon adventure for Old-School Essentials by Brad Kerr, the same author of Hideous Daylight. If you play OSE, go grab it now because it's so good I'm stunned.

It is a 25 page adventure featuring a 19 rooms dungeon of intense fun. It is statted for Old-School Essentials so it's also ready to use with BX D&D and similar rulesets. It states being designed for "approximately level 3 characters", which probably means a level 2-4 range would be ok. I think level 5 characters would find it too easy, and with too little loot.

I bought the PDF and had it printed and stapled locally into a nice little black and white A5 booklet.

The writing is short and sweet and fully functional to run the adventure. Flawlessly structured and well laid out for easy running.

The temple of Gladio the forgotten sword god has interesting things going on in every single room, with situations that require problem solving, lateral thinking, one or two optional "regular" puzzles, a sort of moral dilemma, and even faction play. I think I couldn't ask for more!

You have Gladio's magical forge, capable of turning anything that is put on it into a sword-hybrid: a coin, a book, a torch, anything. And that's why one room contains crazed sword-persons...

The magic forge is also the source of the d100 table of peculiar swords that can be found scattered around the place among the piles of hundreds of swords that clutter all the rooms. These are made of stuff someone put on the forge to see the result. These include nonsense pieces such as the linen sword, papier-maché sword, and egg sword; some that are simply treasure such as swords made of silver, gold, rubies, mithral and dragon scales; some that are more conventional magic swords (light; masterwork; adamantine) and some very cool pieces such as a magically stretching sword, a functional blowgun sword, a rattlesnake sword, and my favorite: the intelligent, mustached, grandfatherly, +1 Grandfather sword (possibly a Diablo reference, and also meaning someone put their grandfather on the forge, which I find hilarious).

You have a legendary sword that is divided into nine pieces scattered in the various rooms, and one has been used to pin a vampire against a wall. You want to collect them all? You'll have to free the guy.

You have two factions battling for control of the place (treacherous merfolk and bloodthirsty duck people).

You also have a bunch of interesting hooks and and possible outcomes impacting the campaign outside the dungeon. 

The only two little quibbles I have are that one of the secret passages is marked on the map but there are no real clues to motivate the players to look for one, and one NPC, Piotr, has no game statistics. That's because players are not supposed to kill him, evidently, but still, players being players, you never can tell...

Of course these are very small flaws, more like two bits I'll have to remember fixing before running it (can't wait!). Seriously, this is one of my all time favorite OSR adventures along with Black Wyrm of Brandonsford!

(And it's currently included in the Christmas in July sale!)

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