Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: The Nameless City

Mythmere Games, who gave us Swords & Wizardry, have recently published a new adventure and I decided to download it.  I am very happy I did.

The Nameless City is built in the same vein of the old TSR S-Series, the same that gave us Tomb of Horrors and The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.  The adventure is for higher level characters, 7 to 10, and the adventure is certainly a deadly one.

The adventure itself is something of a cross between a dungeon crawl and an H.P. Lovecraft story (the Nameless City in fact).   There are plenty of degenerate lizard men, a cult to a forgotten god ala Lair of the White Worm, undead galore and of course dinosaurs and crazy snake-people cultists.

While there is nothing per se new here, it is all put together in a rather interesting and fun way.  Yes this adventure is dangerous.  The first room is enough to kill most parties and they have not even gotten into the city yet.
There is a bit of "old school ecology" here, ie monsters seem to be here for the sole purpose to be killed, but that is fine really and the adventure does give reasons why everything is in the place it is in.
The maps are nice, but I like mine a bit larger, but that's fine.
The plot is thin, but more robust than most of the old school modules it emulates and it does, I think, exactly what it was setting out to do.

What do I like about this?
Well the obvious and acknowledged nod to both Lovecraft and the dungeon crawls of old are nice.
Killing undead is always a plus in my book.
Loved the desert setting.  Investigating pyramids is always a blast.
Snake-People as secretive cultist like bad guys pretty much moves anything to the top of my list.

So this adventure succeeds for me on many levels.

I would have liked some more art sure, but what is there is very useful and the rest I guess is up to me and m players.  Again, bigger maps would have been nice.

The Nameless City comes in two flavors, S&W Complete or Core Rules/OSRIC version and a S&W White Box Version.  The rules are the same, except where needed and the monster stat blocks differ.  Of course either version should work well with any version of D&D or it's clones you desire.  Heck even with a very, very minor amount of tweaking I bet it would work well with 4th Edition, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds or even Ghosts of Albion.  If I were Mythmere games I'd be looking into a CoC version myself.

The Nameless City is fun adventure and one that can be run in an afternoon or so.  And for the price it is a steal.

5 out of 5 stars

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