Monday, July 23, 2018

Quake Alley Mayhem!

David Lewis Johnson has released the first adventure for his Gathox The Vertical Slum setting (read about it here): Quake Alley Mayhem. It's design for use with Swords & Wizardry, which means it will fit most retroclones well enough, and interestingly its a tournament module, so it's good for running at your local con, so people can see the sort of wild creative the OSR is about.

The setup is simple: The leader of the Purple Rockets has had a magical artifact (the Holy Driver--a big drill-thing like something a Dreadnok might use) by these cyclopean alien ne'er-do wells and he wants it back. They've hidden it in their trap-laden and dangerous "inverted tower" safehouse. Get it back, and you'll reap a reward, but you have to make it out alive.

Dave tells us the fatality rate in the playtests was well over 80%, so "mayhem" is well put. Further reason it would be perfect for a con or oneshot, though it obviously can be dropped into an ongoing campaign. The gonzo setting and weird gangs gives the whole enterprise a Heavy Metal magazine feel, or at least a Heavy Metal gloss on a grindhouse film. It's a very fitting approach and a strong answer to the question "what do you do with Gathox?"

Dave's artwork is rough, but never sloppy. It at once invokes an old school feel, but also a bit of a punk aesthetic that complete fits the material. The aesthetic continues to the pregen record sheets, but not to the map which is sensibly business-like and readily. The single column layout reads well in pdf.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should check out Quake Alley Mayhem. It's available at fine digital rpg sites everywhere (well, two of them).

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