Tabletop Review: Trouble Brewing (BareBones Fantasy)
Publisher: DwD Studios
Page Count: 12
Cost: $1.99 (PDF)
Release Date: 04/25/2013
Where to get it: DriveThruRPG
Trouble Brewing is an adventure for BareBones Fantasy, a simple fantasy role-playing game. This adventure is for 3-5 characters of rank 1, or higher rank characters if the GM ups the strength of the bad guys. The premise of this adventure is that there is a town famed for its drinking establishments that has experienced an outbreak of violence that is not readily explained.
The opening hook for the adventure is that players stumble upon a senseless murder outside of a tavern, one dwarf has murdered another in cold blood. Players will have to decide what to do, whether to chase down the murderer as he stumbles away, etc. After dealing with the crime scene, players will get a chance to talk to the constable who might offer them some cash to figure just what in Tenkar (the name of the town) is going on. This is where the all-too-familiar interrogation part comes in, where the players try to determine where they need to go and what they need to do. What I really like about this section is that there are three tiers of information that the players can retrieve: that which is easily obtained, that which will take some work to uncover, and that which is only learned if the players specifically look for it.
One place the players are sure to start looking is in the tavern itself, partly because the rest of the town is rather absent so this is either an opportunity for the GM to do some town-building or some on-the-fly creation. The module text only covers what is absolutely necessary. So, as long as the tavern is investigated further the characters can advance the story. If they get caught up in exploring the town for whatever reason then the GM is somehow going to have to get them back to the tavern to move the plot along.
Sure, Blame The Little Guys
Spoiler alert, this is where I allude to the twist while trying to avoid outright explaining it. Basically, the characters should discover that the new owner of the tavern became such under mysterious circumstances, and if they follow the rabbit trail of clues they should discover that something not very nice is going in the sewers below the tavern…and it involves ale…and it’s gross. Once the characters get down there they will have a sort of mini dungeon crawl until they discover the whole truth, and hopefully put a stop to whatever is going on.
Overall, it seems like a nice little scenario that shouldn’t take more than one session unless somehow they players really get on a tangent or the GM wants to stretch it out with his or her own efforts. The story is nothing all that special, standard investigate and eradicate procedure, but should be fun for gamers who like BareBones Fantasy. Everything is written and presented well, and the layout is nice with a good background and excellent maps. The only weird thing is that I couldn’t tell if the blocky objects above some sections were just some strange graphic or if they were supposed to be titles that got messed up somehow in the production process. Also, the back of the PDF seems to imply color maps within but everything inside is in black and white. Otherwise, I have no complaints, seems like a good product, although it would have been nice if Tenkar were fleshed-out a little more. It’s cheap too, and if you like this adventure there are more on the way: the next one is Slimy Trail of the God-Snail.