Sunday, December 29, 2019

Notes on Gardens of Ynn

The Gardens of Ynn is a delightful procedural pointcrawl, written by the talented Emmy Allen. I was fortunate enough to receive two copies as a gift from friends and family, and I inaugurated a session yesterday.

This is not a review in full. Instead, I will just note some thoughts, including tweaks I will make the next time I run the Gardens.
A wizard PC's spellbook, plus the "totally random" spells Detach Limb, Too Fast, Wall of Asbestos, Kindergarten, and Blaspheme

  • The book is laid-out well. I did find it useful to write a cross-reference to appropriate tables or entries.
  • I was uncertain about how to use the rumor table, since it was unclear to me how the inhabitants of Ynn could keep society with each other. This would have been a good place to put more overt advice on how to write adventures for Ynn-- something I am interested in doing. (Watch this space)
  • You could totally do an Over the Garden Wall-esque game in Ynn, bending the encounters to a relevant theme. When I ran it, the original party was composed of pensioners and retired adventurers, and the best location was an enchanting maze created by an old grandmother-tree so that she would not be lonely.
  • I love how easily Ynnian changelings can reintroduce players of dead characters, but its abilities aren't very interesting to me. I'm especially leery of giving half the party the ability to resurrect from flowers. A couple of times I just had players take up the roll of a salamander or a rose-maiden, and that worked out fine. Perhaps I will write up simple rules for level one PCs from Ynnian society.
  • I love how the map looks after a session! When I ran the first session, I did not show the map to the players as I marked it out, but that was probably a mistake. Looking at the map would have helped them realize they can actually go back to previous locations if they know the way.

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