Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Reviewvember: Flame and Fortune

 Today I ran a one-shot of Flame and Fortune from the Tabletop Curiosity Cabinet blog. I did this to fulfill my own challenge for Reviewvember

  1. play with content from someone else’s blog, then 
  2. write about it on your blog.
Please join me in doing likewise with an adventure, class, or magic item from a blog you admire, even if you can only do step 1 before the end of November.

This will not be a full play report. Instead, I'd like to talk about the dungeon as informed by the game I ran in it. This one-shot was played over the course of two hours on discord with five players, reusing characters from previous games. These characters possessed classes from various blogs, the monster, flex wizard, baboonist, prophet, and soulcaster wizard.
I selected Flame and Fortune because it was short and straightforward in writing, and because I felt it had a memorable premise well-realized in the floating volcano and the zero-G magma chamber. In play, the party did not end up doing much exploring or making use of the jacquaysed features of the dungeon, but the structure of the dungeon definitely facilitated a quick, incident-filled session.

Flame and Fortune features three intelligent creatures in the volcano. The first encountered, a researcher, rolled an aggressive reaction roll and then was killed and eaten by a party member, so there was not as much negotiation with her as there might have been. In the dragon's hoard, the party discovered that the magic sword they had been sent to retrieve was intelligent as it threatened to wake the dragon, and that led to an exciting back-and forth in placating it. I felt like the module's notes on roleplaying the sword, as well as notes on what it wanted and feared, were pretty much exactly what I would have needed to decide in order to make that challenge work. The PCs sneaking across the hoard to grab the weapon suddenly getting blindsided by a complication (the sword doesn't want to leave) is proper D&D.

On my preliminary read, I was worried about the volcano's central chamber, where magma slowly floats up in bubbles to a ceiling shaft in a zero-gravity environment. The module has some tables to roll on for navigating the chamber and its fissures and tunnels, sort of agnostic about the exact method for doing so, saying:
If players use a strategy to cross the room that relies mostly on luck (spanning a rope between the two points, vaulting to the other side, etc.) you could use this luck table for each character crossing
I was worried that the result would be too vague or feel disconnected from the method, but I actually found it was easy to adapt and sold the danger of the chamber well.

Another point I'd like to make is how much I adore the little MS Paint illustrations. They communicate exactly what they need to and the dragon is pretty cute and well-expressed! Look at this:
Overall, Flame and Fortune is a quick, well-made, straightforward dungeon. It's pretty small but it feels monumental, and most games could stand more of the reliable joys of volcanos, dragons, and talking swords.

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