Wednesday, September 13, 2023

LOTFP Review: A Gift for All Norway

Is it?  Is it really a gift for all Norway?

Disclaimer:  Reviews are for referees.  I'm a spoiler.  Stay out, players.

I'll come right out with the judgment… I have some issues with this adventure for campaign play because of how much work is left to the referee, but it'd work fine as a one-shot at a convention.

A Gift for All Norway is a short book - 16 page pamphlet with a soft cover.  The dungeon involves the adventurers entering a cave seeking a stolen artifact, the Heart of Hrungnir, named after a figure from Norse legend, a Jotun.  Within a few rooms of the cave structure, it should be apparent the characters are traversing a gigantic digestive tract like the miniature scientists and doctors from the movie Fantastic Voyage.  Challenges include environmental factors (like lakes of acid) and oozes and slimes (crawling and slithering anti-bodies).  There aren't really NPC roleplaying opportunities in the dungeon, and little or no treasure (unless the players keep the artifact).

All gut-tract dungeons need more Raquel Welch.

If the player's find the artifact, there's a location where it fits in the dungeon, and funny things can happen.  I won't spoil all the fun!  It's definitely a gift for somebody.  I can imagine a party making it to the ultimate location, and deciding what to do next should be an interesting dilemma.

My knock on this one for campaign play is it requires a bit of hand-waving or a lot of referee work.  The players supposedly start in England, travel to Norway, and have to deal with an evil Nordic cult waiting for them at the village of Vihavn not far from where the adventure begins.  All that stuff is left for you (the referee) to figure out.  The evil cult is actually just called "the Nordic cult".  I asked ChatGPT to help me name it and the AI cranked out a handful of evocative names:

  • Frostfang Covenant
  • Rimeborn Disciples
  • Hrungnir's Cursebound
  • Jotun's Whisper
  • Jotunheim's Doomcallers
  • Frostforged Creed
  • Nidhogg's Vanguard
  • … you get the idea.

So you’re buying (and playing ) this one for an 8 room romp through a digestive track dungeon (no Raquel Welch in sight) and a LOTFP worthy decision.  For a one-shot, you could start the players already in Norway - right at the cave mouth - and probably get through the dungeon in a 2 hour convention slot.  I can see it being a satisfying short dungeon in those circumstances.

It's kind of weird this batch of LOTFP adventures had two "crawl around the inside of a giant ancient being" adventures - don't forget we had Meanderings of the Mine Mind earlier, and now A Gift For All Norway.  They are very different - we're talking about Night at the Museum vs Fantastic Voyage.  The Mine Mind is all about interacting with anachronistic people, while this one is Man vs Nature (and by Nature, I mean gigantic digestive and respiratory tracts).

You can get this one at the usual places, the LOTFP store and DriveThruRPG:  A Gift for All Norway.

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