Game: Of Places Most Foul
Publisher: Mystic Eye Games
Series: The Hunt: Rise of Evil
Review Dated: 7th, January 2002
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10 [ Really good ]
Total Score: 39
Average Score: 7.80
Having just recently lambasted Deep Horizon as being a classic example of why pre-written adventures are rarely worth the money I shall hold up “Of Places Most Foul” as an example of just the opposite. “Of Places Most Foul” is excellent value for money. I picked it up from the new release section of my local store because I know Mystic Eye’s website. A good example, I think, of why you should have a website.
“Of Places Most Foul” is slightly more expensive than a single adventure supplement churned out by Wizards. However, you get seven different adventures and four “Foul Locales” as an added extra. That’s value for money already, even if you just plan to plunder the book for ideas.
The scenarios are designed to be used with Mystic Eye’s The Hunt: Rise of Evil but I wouldn’t let that put you off. The chances are that you’re not even going to notice, the adventure ideas fit so easily into different styles of games and even genres. I’m a recent addition to the Dread Realms of Ravenloft and I couldn’t stop thinking that many of the ideas from “Of Places Most Foul” could be easily transposed there.
You’re not buying a book of dungeon crawls either; although some of the adventures are rather linear in nature they tend to build up to more complex entities. The authors avoid the trap of “Big scary monsters must be, ah, er, scary?” with ease and create better and more interesting ways to give your players a spook. The actual adventures are clearly defined as being suitable for X level players as well and even manage to buck the trend to cater only for high powered parties. The lead scenario is rated for 5th level characters, the book runs the scope from 4th to 10th level challenges.
The bundle of scary adventures makes other successes as well. Summary stats for the important/most likely enemies are included with the scenarios and you’re not just lumped with annoying references to the Monster Manual that leave you scrambling through too many pages and books when you should be dealing with the combat scene. There’s more. There are maps and pictures a plenty, the maps are easy to read if not olde worlde and the pictures, I find, are suitable atmospheric. The adventures come with dark grey boxes of text for the DM (thankfully referred to as the GM) to read. These boxes work in theory; they give you an even clearer idea of what a key location is like even if you have no intention of reading the text out to your players. I think the descriptive summaries take a little too much control of the players’ actions and emotions for my personal taste but they’re there to make GM’s life a little less hassled.
I particularly enjoyed the four “Foul Locales” at the back of the book. The samples are much better than the clichéd tripe that could be found in a similar position in a similar book. Since “Of Places Most Foul” is so easy to read I can really see situations wherein the GM franticly thinks . o O (Oh crap! I didn’t expect them to go there!) but calmly reaches for this book and deals with the unpredictable players by putting them in (or just near) these spooky places.
When you pick the book up and thumb it through you will feel the difference. The paper is less shiny white than has become the norm given the mighty Hasbro (Wizards of the Coast) and White Wolf hardback rule sets. You’re thumbing through cheaper paper but that doesn’t mean it is going to fall apart. In fact, some people might even prefer the “authentic” feel.