Game: Smuggler’s Bane
Publisher: Politically Incorrect Games
Series: Iron Gauntlets
Review Dated: 11th, October 2004
Reviewer’s Rating: 10/10 [ Breathtaking ]
Total Score: 11
Average Score: 5.50
What it is:
A small, though suprisingly complete adventure for the “Iron Gauntlets” heroic fantasy role-playing game. The characters are tasked by the authorities of a small fishing village to root out a band of smugglers from a nearby cave complex.
What I liked:
Let me count the ways.
The first point has to do with the series in general. For this review, I also perused “The Hidden Temple” and found a pleasant consistency in style, approach, and art quality between the two. Not only does this make the products easier to use once one is familiar with the system, it also points to a general level of care taken by the publisher. It takes a lot of work to stick with the same layout between two or more different products and it’s nice to see indie publishers who care enough to do it right.
The second point is in regards to the adventure its self. While it’s nothing terribly original, it’s a nice approach to an established theme. Without spoiling it for those who may play this adventure in the future, I’ll say that the plot is surprisingly complete and interesting for the adventure’s relatively short length.
But my favorite feature of the book lies at the end where the publisher provides printable, folding miniatures unique to the adventure. This not only serves the effective, tangible purpose of giving the group miniatures to use, it also goes a long way toward bumping up the inspiration level of the players. Let’s face it, fighting a monster is more interesting if you have a good reference for what that monster looks like. I especially like the huge, man eating crab. Yikes!
What I didn’t care for:
Sadly this, my favorite portion of a review, is going to be relatively short in this case.
My biggest complaint is the “been there, done that” factor of the overall theme. Not two weeks ago, I ran a “smugglers in a local cave” adventure for my regular role-playing group. The truth is, it’s been done. The flip side is, there’s nothing hugely wrong with a new take on an old idea.
My minor nitpicks are petty and unimportant enough to lump them all in one paragraph… I don’t like that “copy and paste” is disabled. The lack of bookmarks will annoy people who use them (I don’t). And, finally, there’s more whitespace than I’d prefer in a professionally published work. (That one’s so minor I should be smacked for mentioning it, but I have to dig to make this section worth writing at all, so there ya go.)
As you can tell already, I liked it a lot. Is the plot particularly unique? No. Does that ultimately matter, after the adventure is done and your players