It Came from the Scriptorium Quick Review

It Came from the Scriptorium is an adventure released by Stellagama Publishing for its Cepheus Engine based rules ‘The Sword of Cepheus’ and ‘Barbaric’. Available on Drivethru RPG for $1.99 as a PDF, it contains a total of 23 pages. The adventure is designed for 3 to 5 player characters, based on a horror theme set in a dungeon. The first few pages describe the background and history leading up to the adventure; the pretense to the players getting involved is a tribe who live near an abbey have recently seen much of the local game and creatures they hunt for food beginning to mutate and a sense of evil descending on their lands. The monks that inhabit the abbey sole purpose was originally to copy and reproduce texts relating to the church and kingdom, until this stopped due to the invention of print. Unfortunately, being sent to the abbey isn’t considered as a positive religious vocation. Monks that have committed sinful acts are now sent there to maintain any remaining texts relating to the unspeakable and dark arts. The inhabitants of the valley (the Storm Wolf Tribe) were originally semi-nomadic until they eventually settled in the valley, learning agriculture, how to forge iron and manufacturing trade goods such as leather or basic ironworks.

Without going into too much detail (for spoiling it for potential players), the group will be tasked by the Storm Wolf Tribe, with exploring the abbey as it appears to be the source of the evil now plaguing the lands. A colour map of the dungeon is provided for the referee detailing fifteen key locations, along with numerous smaller areas and descriptions. A warning to players though; there is a high chance that a large number of the group will be killed or injured in some form or another, so having a wide variety of equipment and means to heal would be highly recommended. Much of the adventure involves dealing with the undead or powerful creatures that are either controlling them or spreading evil across the surrounding area.

This is the author’s (Ivan Cantero Muñoz) first published adventure; though the adventure is a essentially a dungeon-crawl, I don’t think experienced players shouldn’t look on this with any distain. I found it well-written with plenty of descriptions and material for each location, with an obligatory ‘end boss’ to round the adventure off. There are six pages of NPC’s, monsters and magic items at the end of the book which could be reused in further games. Indeed, there is potential for a follow on adventure if the players aren’t quite successful in defeating the chief protagonist.

There is plenty of appropriate monochrome artwork throughout the book; if I had one criticism of the book is that I found the large full-page skull watermark on every page initially distracting on a first read. On subsequent reads I got used to it, but I still found my eyes having to ignore it with a bit of effort. However, I don’t want this minor thing to distract from my overall recommendation to check this adventure out. Even if you don’t use Cepheus Engine as your rules set, with a little conversion it could be used as the basis for a couple of nights gaming. It’s good to see adventures appearing for the Sword of Cepheus / Barbaric rules and hope to see many more soon! I would like to thank Omer Golan-Joel of Stellagama Publishing for kindly sending me a copy of the book to review.

About AlegisDownport

Musings on the Traveller RPG world, technology, astronomy and digital art.
This entry was posted in Adventures, Cepheus Engine, scenario, Stellagama Publishing, Sword of Cepheus and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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