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Knowledge Illuminates Pay What You Want
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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Knowledge Illuminates
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Knowledge Illuminates
Publisher: GM Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/09/2013 11:01:58
Knowledge Illuminates is a 28 page (24 pages + 1 cover, 1 toc and 2 end pages) adventure for Swords & Wizardry complete, though it could be used with any OSR game.

This adventure is designed to be the start of a campaign or the first S&W adventure.
There is quite a lot of information here in case the players want to go off exploring on their own. There is also a fairly detailed XP allocation chart in back, helpful for new GMs.

This adventure is also released under the Pay What You Want feature. So if you have some spare change and need a good starting S&W adventure then this might be exactly what you are looking for.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knowledge Illuminates
Publisher: GM Games
by Jeremy Z. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/10/2013 04:11:52
I came close to buying this once, but glad I waited for the PWYW version to see if it was worth buying. Most of this product is filler. In 30 pages, you have a small outdoor area with 7 locations, and a 11 room dungeon. More concisely written, it would fill up 2 pages. Indeed, some of the modules by the illustrator of this module, Digital Orc, have huge dungeons in similar amounts of pages. How? No filler.

It has a new spell, which is way overpowered for its level, as it's like animate dead (in that it creates undead), but does it to a living target.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Knowledge Illuminates
Publisher: GM Games
by Brendan F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/24/2012 06:47:02
For a low price you get a small, well-mapped and entirely playable dungeon environment, some exterior sites, a little background for the writer's campaign world and that's about your lot. Usable but unimpressive.

I have a more in-depth review of this adventure at http://knightsoftheblackbanner.blogspot.com/2012/02/knowledg-
e-illuminates-review.html

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Knowledge Illuminates
Publisher: GM Games
by matthew j. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2012 12:21:08
This first (of a proposed series) of One Shot Adventures from Tim Shorts I snagged and read over lunch one day and it, along with the other two products above, have spurred me on to start prepping my own OSR game. This 15 page adventure starts with a sort of sandbox set up with a small regional map with numerous ideas and fun bits that could keep a group running around for a few sessions with a teeny bit of fleshing out by the GM. Here is where we see one of my favorite parts of the entire product. Viz. I won't give up what it is because it will be a surprise to players, but man it is a great idea. A great idea that I will be stealing, thanks Tim. ;)


Once the players progress through the adventure the enter an eleven room dungeon for a well thought out and pretty spooky adventure. The creatures are tough and scary and presented in a great, clear way. What starts out as an everyday ordinary adventure and in the end comes up as a pretty unique and interesting adventure. Heck, Tim even includes a new spell, new monster and a new magic item. Very cool.


The adventure is story driven and every thing is in place for a reason, not just for a fight or treasure. It just all makes perfect sense. This is my sort of adventure and Tim has done a great job, this is one adventure I would certainly recommend.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Knowledge Illuminates
Publisher: GM Games
by James S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/03/2011 22:20:54
Knowledge Illuminates is the first module from GM Games and the kick-off for the author's One-Shot Adventure Series line. The module is written for 1st and 2nd level characters with a suggested maximum of 8 levels. Tim and Ivy were kind enough to send me a review copy, so let's get started!

Tim Shorts is a DM. I know this because I've read his module. It's always a pleasure to see a DM at work! :)

The module opens with introductory and background material, consisting of, amongst other things, an Alchemist's Doom, Marvelous Substances, a Dangerous Artifact and a Wicked, Metal Looking Demon! There are some cool ideas here, which can be expanded upon and used throughout a campaign. Some of these might readily be developed and become major focal points during the PC's careers. This material, along with several possible adventure hooks, sets the stage for the second and third parts of the module.

The adventure begins for the PC's, with an outdoor area to explore. The DM is provided with a keyed Hexmap, on a scale of 1 Hex = 1/4 Miles. A page of the module is devoted to presenting the Hexmap, which shows the features of the area, elevations and 7 keyed areas for the PC's to find. Hexcrawl time, baby!

Along with the Alchemist's Workshop they're looking for, the players will probably run into some monsters, interesting sites and find themselves some treasure, as they go about exploring the out-door area. There are opportunities for combat, as well as ways said combat might be avoided. Some of the encounters could turn a bit bloody and there's a possible encounter with an Ankheg, in particular, which I would expect to kill at least one character.

The aforementioned Alchemist's former Workshop will eventually be found and serves as the Dungeon for the adventure. It's accompanied by a map which is scaled 1 square = 5 feet. Again, a page is devoted to the presentation of the map and there is a second, smaller copy of the dungeon map on another page, which is handy and still big enough to be perfectly usable with my middle-aged eyes.

The dungeon is a short, straightforward affair, with 11 keyed areas. It's rather linear, but I think that's fine for a small dungeon. Tim gives us some traps, monsters, nasty tricks, cool dressing and a little bit of weirdness. Overall, our author makes good use of his dungeon and it should prove to be a lot of fun! Again, things are likely to get a little hairy (Undead, man! Undead!) and the players are going to have to be sharp. They will run across some magic items (some really cool arrows in particular) which should help them deal with the worst of it, if used judiciously. This section ends with a Concluding the Adventure wrap-up, which offers some suggestions for further developments.

The final and fourth section, lists new spells, creatures and magic items which the reader should find generally useful and there's some cool stuff here.

As mentioned above, the maps are by Robert Conley. For those not familiar with Mr. Conley's cartography, this means they're very, very good!

The text is two-columned and features a few drawings from The Forge Studios. Monster stats are in bluish shaded boxes and a few sections have additional advice for the DM, given in italics. I noticed one typo. I found the overall layout and design to be pleasing to my sensibilities. :)

The module instructs the DM to call for a Skill Check roll, at certain points and at the beginning of the module, Tim advises the reader to ignore these if he wishes. The DM will probably already have a way of handling this sort of thing and the usage implies, pretty much, how the Skill Check and associated Difficulty Level are to be utilized, but I would have appreciated a bit more information, regarding the author's intentions, here. A newbie DM might find himself at a loss, as to how to handle this.

The Cool, Metal-looking Demon mentioned above isn't a foe in this adventure, though he is described and his minions do show up. I still would have liked to see a Monster Block write-up for the fellow, because I like reading stats for Cool, Metal-looking Demons!

I enjoyed Knowledge Illuminates and if you're in the market for a low level/starter module, recommend picking it up! I think it'll prove to be quite fun to Run and will also be useful for ideas, inspiration and general reading pleasure! This is another PDF, which I'll be printing out. Congratulations Tim and I'm looking forward to your next release!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Knowledge Illuminates
Publisher: GM Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/10/2011 19:05:05
Knowledge Illuminates is the first in a series of One Shot Adventures from Tim Shorts (of the blog Gothridge Manor). Written for Swords & Wizardry, but usable with any of the Old School rulesets, we are presented with a semi-sandbox that serves as a very nice campaign starter.

I call it a semi-sandbox, as the area map includes only the area local to the main encounter location, and there are no population centers on that map. So the GM will need to set the players upon the road to adventure. Thankfully, Tim has provided the GM with an assortment of interesting hooks to get the players involved in the story. It's a damn interesting story too.

Nice maps, great hooks, well written adventure. It's damn close to a home run. There's always a "but": but there's a handful of typos that spellchecking on the computer won't find, but are noticeable upon reading. As this is a PDF release, correcting it shouldn't be too big a deal, and it doesn't detract from an otherwise excellent adventure.

Actually, it is almost "rules lite" in nature, as it requires role play and thinking as much as, if not more, then roll play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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