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Re: (TFT) Half assed review of the Island of Lost Spells

I've gone through ILS solo, and hit about 75% of the paragraphs.  I agree with the overall assesment, that the dungeon seemed to make sense, and the treasure that was won seemed reasonable to be there.

I really liked that there is a random factor in a number of paragraphs, it just seemed to make the adventure a bit more real for me.  I intend to go through it again solo, since I went right to the island the last time, and I'd like to explore the village a bit more this time.  Eventually I'll run my group through as a "one off" rather than as part of the campaign.

I also noticed a few minor errors, for example wolves are refered to as jaguars in one instance (which I'll report to Mr. Dew).

Overall, I'd say a B+ is about right.  I liked it a great deal, at least as much as I recall enjoying Security Station, which benefits from the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia.  ILS has an interesting backstory for a densely populated dungeon, populated with combatants, puzzles, clues and treasuer.  As programmed adventures go I thought it had a pretty fair mix of encounters that did not require combat.  Though some of the combats could easily get you killed.

Also, I really liked getting a big combat map and a bunch of counters, opening it brought me back to the early eighties and the thrill of opening a new metagaming microquest.

All in all, big fun.  Well worth the $12.


PS.  I am really looking forward to the SF and Western adventures, especially to see how they adapt their TFT compatible ruleset (Legends of The Ancient World).  Naturally I am interested in seeing how those adaptatons would port over to TFT.

-- Rick Smith <rsmith@lightspeed.ca> wrote:
Hi everyone,
   I have GM'ed a group thru the Island of Lost
Spells and want to put up an early review.  We 
did not get to every paragraph in the adventure,
but we did see ~90% I would estimate.  (We did
get down into the dungeon under the estate and
found most of the big treasure I believe.)

   First impressions were very favorable.  You 
charter a boat to take you to an island where
a powerful (dead) wizard had a manor and magical
library.  You fight monsters and loot the place.
There is a bit of money, but most of that is 
long gone.  The best treasure is spells.

   Their version of TFT has several new spells,
so it can be a bit of a thrill to get a spell
that the GM and players have never seen before.
I have my doubts on if I want some of these 
spells unaltered in my campaign, but I have 
allowed my PC's to keep them for testing 
purposes with the understanding that the spells
may someday mutate or simply vanish.

   The adventure does a good job of giving out
a fair bit of treasure AND making it feel like
it is reasonable that this treasure could 
logically still be there.  A nice trick.

   The system that they have for moving thru
rooms and corridors is excellent.  Their
system uses fewer paragraphs for moving about
than does Death Test.

   There are some typos in their book.  For
example in the town they refer you to the
alchemists but no paragraph exists for that 
location.  Other paragraphs are identical which 
I feel is almost certainly an error.  I spotted 
a couple other small errors.  Their website did 
not have any errata for these errors.

   However, the adventure is at its foundation 
a move into a new room and fight.  It does this
well but... does it have flair?  Almost.

   I should likely reserve final opinion on 
this product until I have played thru the final
10% but neither my players or I feel any 
pressing desire to do so.

   I would rate this product a B+.  (This would
be higher than all the Metagaming Microquests
with the exception of Grail Quest, and perhaps
Orb Quest.)  

   Others who have played both adventures, what
do you think of this one compared to their 
first adventure?

   I feel that the product is well worth the $15 
or so that it cost.

   Regards, Rick.
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