Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Troika Pamphlet Jam Reviews, Part 4

We're coming down the home stretch with these reviews. After this, I'll post one last review compilation of the remaining 13 pamphlets and then onto the review roundup.

What is this? Chronologically ordered reviews of every module from the Troika pamphlet adventure jam that ended a month or so ago. Here you'll find reviews of the 28th-39th pamphlets submitted to the jam. Below, find links to the rest of the reviews:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 5


A Star Fox-esque cadre of roguish space animals heist oregano from a slug crime boss in their junker starship. With each subsequent sci-fi reference, we crawl further from Troika's science fantasy into a wacky-space-opera hole from which there is no return. There's some encounters, a background, and rules for spaceships. It's not my thing, but if it is yours go forth and enjoy War Fox of the Space Dunes.

By Philip McElmurray

Dream Midden

A pleasant and modest little adventure into a world of caves and mushroom people. I like the snail taxi, the potential for immortality via Death Shroom inoculation, and the inexplicable scale. Did the quest-giving alchemist shrink the players to tiny size off-screen, is the author confused between inch and foot demarcations, or should I learn to stop worrying and love the Troika?

By Bear Commune

The Walking Gaol

Go and free a prisoner from the Waking Gaol, a jail within a giant golem. Apparently you'll know your target when you see 'em, but really it's anyone's guess. A rarity in this pamphlet jam, the dungeon uses puzzles. Some decent ones too. There's a lot to like here between the open ended encounters and ambiguous hook. There's a bit that misses, but it mostly hits. And where it fails, I'm inspired to get in there and fix it.

By Klum

The Department of Doors

Thousands of doors await in this secret doormaker's guild warehouse. They lead anywhere and everywhere, but mostly they lead to pure joy for you and your friends. Do you want to play Monster's Inc, but Troika and better? Yes, you do. This module delivers in every way you'd hope. Delightful door-destinations, portal-riffic encounters, tantalizing hooks, weirdos lurking around, everything. It does exactly what it needs to do as a pamphlet and I still want a full-length chapbook version.

By Max Kämmerer

The Last Stand of Septimus Nox

If you've read this far and noted the author below, you might know what to expect. This is no more practical than any other Lutra Ludos, but it's one of his better ideas. Shrink down to minute scale and confront a tyrannical wizard lording over a tiny people trapped by fictitious threats from outside. It's so open and ripe for player hijinks you could almost run it just from the pamphlet. Almost. If you're confused or curious about this mysterious Lutra Ludos character, I encourage you to read one of his 10 pamphlets submitted to this jam. This is a decent place to start a delve into Ludos's oeuvre, though I'd recommend A Wizard Did It as his best or The Birdcage as most exemplary of his style.

By Lutra Ludos

Panic on Pyramid Prime

This pamphlet looks cool. Triangular glyphs over psychedelic flows of harsh black and red prime you for a cool fucking adventure, which this almost is. The premise is great. A multidimensional apocalypse ravages a pyramidal plane and only the players can storm the pyramidion palace to save the day. The actual adventure takes players through a series of nondescript rooms fighting enemy after enemy with only a single opportunity for a non-combat solution. I love the setting and the aesthetic, the enemies are individually awesome, but there just isn't an adventure here that I'd want to play.

By Alexei Vella

Dwarf Stars

Speculative fiction-fiction on far future D&D. Tiefling and Genasi roles in spaceflight, Dwarven hegemony. A micro-system or perhaps extremely optimistic 5th edition D&D supplement, maybe a minable idea or two if your Troika tends towards the 40k.

By Lutra Ludos

Wanted: Belladonna Mortsafe

Where in the world is Belladonna Mortsafe? Probably in the Flea Market, or the House of Indolent Blooms, or the Department of Doors, or someplace equally likely to host a dashing rogue up to no good. The problem with this module: Your players will love Mortsafe too much to ever wish her harm. The next Troika pamphlet jam should be called "The Belladonna Mortsafe NPC jam" because I need more of this in my life.

By James Holloway


A post-mortem adventure idea paired with a countdown of apocalyptic events. Nothing about this feels so uniquely afterlife-y that you could not slot the apocalypse into a mortal campaign world if you like. The countdown hooks well into things likely to impede or disturb a typical adventuring party and feels appropriately apocalyptic.

By Lutra Ludos

Slime Temple

Sail down the slime river to rejuvenate yourself in squelching pits and falls. Keep noble company among multifarious ooze species, perhaps seek an audience with Mother Ooze herself. I'd like more specific Treasure ideas but the ooze flavors and effects are quite nice. Thumbs up for the vertical map.

By Ember + Ash

Across☆The Humpbacked Sky, Baby!

Bounty hunting across the humpbacked sky, supported by narrative tools and minigames. A bit more storygame-abstract than what I typically go for, but it feels appropriate for an adventure of this scope. The sample spheres and orbital threats make for compelling golden barging.

By Aaron Burkett & Carolyn Pagan

The Shinnanig Inn

Cool your impulses on the beaches of the Sea of Thought, attended by silver butlers and a golden hotel awaiting your reprieve. Great blocks of text and tedious skill challenges obscure nuggets of good ideas. A contender for one of the greats if adapted to RPG-practical language and stuffed with more game, but stubbornly unwieldy as is.

Paul Sciberras

1 comment:

  1. I really love and appreciate your pamphlet jam reviews. Thanks for wading thru all these for us!