Sometimes a big, multi-session campaign that lasts for the entire career of your character is just not what you want. It’s nice to occasionally have a quick side quest or a little mini-adventure just to change gears. This month, Lion Forge’s Quillion imprint has got you covered with Rolled & Told #1.
Writer: E.L. Thomas, Tristan J. Tarwater
Art: Max Bare, Jade F. Lee, Ben Sears, Nicole Goux, Jemma Salume
Cover: Naomi Franquiz
Publisher: Lion Forge
Release Date: September 26, 2018
Cover Price: $7.99
Previously in Rolled & Told: If you were lucky you picked up the free zero issue of Rolled & Told at your local comic or gaming shop. It has the perfect adventure to start of new players and old alike, and a really great article about how to use a Mimic to the fullest!
ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!
Rolled & Told is a publication for enthusiast of role-playing games, and honestly, there is not really anything like it currently on shelves. Each issue, the creative team plans on giving you all the tools needed to run a new adventure for your role-playing group. This issue starts off with the adventure map, then a full-length adventure, a series of articles related to role-playing games, and then a mini-adventure. The adventures are designed for low-level adventurers, specifically, a group consisting of four or five 2nd to 3rd level characters, although you do get directions to make it playable for 4th and 5th level. For the new player, or those who pick up the title to see what all of the fuss is about, you get a quick and short glossary of terms you will need to know, and then the meat of the adventure of presented.
Experienced Dungeon Masters and role players will recognize the format in which the adventure is presented pretty quickly. You get a plot, background, and even suggestions on getting your players interested participating. This particular adventure involves a stolen airship, sky-pirates, goblins, gnomes, and plummeting bovines. It seems a tribe of goblins have come across a goblin airship and have hi-jacked it. The gnomes who own the contraption are in pursuit astride steam driven wagons, and by coincidence, they need the help of some adventurers to regain their property!
A full adventure is given, complete with a map, stats (statistics) for unique creatures, NPCs (Non-Player Characters), and even a full group of PCs (Player Characters) if the group wants to use them. The presentation is very good, and there is an element of humor in the adventure which is always fun to play with. After the adventure, you are even given an “Ending the Adventure” sections which discuss the consequences of different outcomes and the EXP (Experience Points) rewards structure for many of the various outcomes. The adventure, titles “Hoist The Jolly Gobbler!” is written by E.L. Thomas, the Lion Forge lead game designer, with illustrations by Well illustrated by Jemma Salume (Adventure Time, Regular Show), and they both show a love of the game with their contributions. It looks to be a great adventure for any party. Beside Salume’s illustrations, there is a two-page comic style section where the provided PCs are shown meeting the leader of the gnome pursuers, just to add to the flavor.
E.L. Thomas also contributes two articles to this issue. The first discusses and gives advice for DM’s (Dungeon Masters) who want to create class-specific adventures and another called Random Nonsense, which provides some very imaginative pirate themed random treasure tables with a decidedly seafaring theme to them. Jade Feng Lee (The Castoffs, Steven Universe) provides a great illustration for the first article, while Max Bare (Mystery Afoot) provides spot illustration service to the second. The third article for this issue is by Justin Peniston (Hunter Black, Eternal Descent) and discusses ways to adjust the critical hit rules found in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, and gives options on making them unique to your table. There is even a d10 result table which can be used or adjusted with different consequences for critical hits, or fumbles.
All this I’ve talked about would be normally worth twice the price of admission, but that’s not all. They also include a mini-adventure, “Pull Your Weight” written by Tristan Tarwater (Shamsee: A Fistful of Lunars, Princeless: Girls Rock/Girls Leadership Anthology) with illustration by Max Bare. Suitable for 1st to 4th level characters (but adjustable for higher levels) includes a map and everything else you expect in a full-size adventure.
Last, but not least, scattered throughout the title are PCs suitable for use in the adventures provided or for your players to claim. You are given the following 1st level characters, a Hill Dwarf Fighter, Wood Elf Ranger, Lightfoot Halfling Rogue, and Human Wizard. These can be used by your players, turned into NPCs, or even handed out to new players that want to try role-playing games for the first time.
A TREASURE TROVE OF CONTENT
This magazine is published under the Wizards of the Coast Open Gaming License, so everything in it is compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. I have to say that I was pretty shocked with the amount of content which Lion Forge provides in this issue. There is enough adventure here for possibly two or more solid sessions and enough other, more behind-the-screen type information to put a lock on it’s being a valuable resource for DM’s and players alike. The pin-up style illustrations which run throughout the book are from rising stars such as Nicole Goux (Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions, Black Crown Quarterly), Naomo Franquiz (Misfit City, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) and all of the other great artists I’ve already mentioned, gives a feel of quality. This is far from some cheap homebrew stuff and is of a quality which hasn’t been seen in the role-playing publishing circles for years.
BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT RESOURCE FOR NEW AND OLD PLAYERS
I’ve played role-playing games, as a games master & player, for a long time. Let’s just say I cut my teeth on the Moldvay and Mentzer Basic editions. I’ve seen a lot of supplemental magazines in that time as well, and honestly, so help me Gygax, this is probably one of the best examples of targeting novice and veteran players that I can remember. It contains fun adventures, as well as some excellent articles. Top it all off with some wonderful, non-traditional, art and you have a great title that I highly recommend.
ROLLED & TOLD #1 is a great title for die-hard fans of RPGs as well as those who can only play the occasional game. I’m going to say this is a solid buy that you won’t regret.