I was provided a copy of Adventure Most Fowl by Grey Fey for this review. I have read it a few times now, and I have to say that I like it. What you have here, despite what the authors claim is a “one off,” is a collection of characters, maps, and monsters, that in addition to telling the tale provided, opens up the idea, to me at least, of a micro sandbox. I’ll talk more on this later. First, let’s take a look at what is here.
Billed as an OSR module for levels 0 to 1, AMF lends itself very easily to any system under that umbrella that you would like to use, whether the originals B/X, BECMI, or even Advanced, or if you are using more modern OSR systems like C&C, Lamentations, Iron Falcon, or the like. No point listing all of the systems that you could use her. You can literally drop AMF in, either as a prologue, which is what I might do, or as a fork in the road.
I will also say this, though listed as an OSR module, you could easily use AMF in non OSR systems…
Yeah, crazy I know. But there is enough information here, system neutral information, on the town of Kith, it’s inhabitants, and the, ahem, well, let’s say antagonists, for you to run it with anything with very little work. If you are thinking systems like Symbaroum, Shadow of the Demon Lord, or even fantasy themed Cypher system, then you get my drift.
But let’s get back to the book. And always keep in mind that these are my opinions.
Layout – Good
Nice clean two column layout for most of the text, with easily separated sections. Some of the map and picture layout is a bit odd, but not glaring. Font size and style choices are good and readable, both on a phone, tablet, and I would assume in print.
Cartography & Art – Awesome to Moderate
The cartography is Dyson Logos
. Don’t know him? Fix that right now, I’ll wait. Yeah, you see what I mean. I am extremely happy for Grey Fey for getting a commission from Dyson for their work, and I wish more people would use his stuff. One day we will not have maps, we will have Dysons. Okay, I’ll quit gushing. As far as the art in the rest of the book goes, it is fair to middling. I feel that the NPC portraits are a little weak, but I am not an artist either so I hate to judge. From my point of view though none of the art is painful to look at, so I’m good here. You won’t buy this for the art, but it shouldn’t turn you off either.
Writing – Good
For a first work, published at least, this isn’t bad in my opinion. There is a voice here, which is good as a lot of small press rpg stuff out there is very mechanical and bland. Not sure the voice is well developed yet. Does it work for this offering, yes it does. Is it casual and easy to read? Also yes. Can you understand the intent, as it comes to running the game. Yes.
Story/Mechanics – Good to Great
Once you get used to the voice and art of AMF, you begin to see the plethora of information here that you can use. I can easily see using a lot of character interaction with the NPCs, possibly even some of the antagonists. The quest that is given is suitably laughable for zero to 1st level characters, but the directions this story follows can easily take you from light hearted to weird all the way to creepy if you let it, but then this is the your mileage may vary aspect of all such supplements. Though light, the setting aspects presented in the module are intriguing, and worth a read even if you don’t run it. If Grey Fey can incorporate this kind of subtle world building in all of their projects then I won’t be surprised if they do well. The adventure as presented should provide a group with a good session or two, but there is more here to build from should they choose to.
As I said earlier, as I read AMF, even on the first read through, with the way things were presented I was taken with sense that this is the beginning of what would be an awesome format for a micro sandbox, a single hex of a larger hexcrawl laid out with several sessions worth of material. If each following product is presented in the same manner, you can easily build hex after hex of story and adventure. I really hope that Grey Fey keeps up the good work.
Do you want a small, contained adventure area with interesting NPCs and room for development, that can be dropped easily into an OSR, and even some other systems’ campaigns? Then yes, at $4.99, or $2.99 as of this writing, you are getting a good deal and lots to work with.
Well, those are my two coppers, and I hope you find my review useful, and enticing.
Thanks again to Grey Fey for the review copy, and I look forward to what you produce next.