Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Slumbering Ursine Dunes

Okay, so decided to take the plunge and buy some game products I've been eyeing for a while now.  One of them was Slumbering Ursine Dunes by Chris Kutalik. This is a fun point crawl adventure for Labyrinth Lord (but usable with most any old school D&D rules) set in Chris' Hill Cantons campaign world. I wasn't sure whether I'd enjoy it, given that a lot of OSR stuff comes across to me as rather cheesy, but this is a really fun adventure.
(image from DriveThruRPG)

Actually, I was surprised that it felt a lot like the games I first ran back in high school.  I didn't start with D&D as such and had absolutely no campaign books so I totally made up my own game world and added in a lot of my own monsters.  Chris' game world is not your classic high fantasy D&D world: there are bear-people and elves from outer space (well, another dimension, but you see what I mean).  In this adventure you point-crawl across a small area of the world warped a bit by chaos, as various areas are, encountering unusual places and things.  There are also two small "dungeon" locations with their own bits of oddness.  The area could be attached to an existing campaign world as a side adventure or you could use it as an introduction to Chris' larger world.

There is also a cool Chaos Index.  As explained in the rules it's "a dynamic events system for modeling the mythic weirdness of the Dunes. Actions of the players in the sandbox will escalate or de-escalate the levels of events
from blood-rain thunderstorms to an aerial invasion of magictech bubble cars."  I've always used the PC's actions to create ripple effects that come back to them.  This book adds a specific mechanic to help you out.  I'm planning to adapt this idea for my next campaign.

Bottom Line: I really like this book.  It's very imaginative, links to other books (if you so desire), and is reasonable priced.

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