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    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Pay What You Want
    Average Rating:4.1 / 5
    Ratings Reviews Total
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    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
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    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/05/2015 11:40:39

    Why Review a Free Product? It will still cost you some time to read and some ink to print if you choose. I'd like to know if it's worth it and I thought someone else might as well. I will not hesitate to spoil the adventure (SPOILER ALERT).

    Physical Product This is an 18 page PDF in a two-column format with an easy to read font and a format that mimics the early TSR modules. I read it easily on my phone.

    Pros The cover and interior illustrations are exceptionally well done and very evocative of the 'good old days' of roleplaying. The adventure is given some slight backstory which is interesting enough and generic enough to fit into pretty much any campaign. You're hired to go to a deep hole filled with monsters and given a pretty sizable pile of gold up front to do so. "Promise to return with the thing that I want and you can keep all the rest!" Prices better be pretty high in this kingdom to keep players from just leaving town!

    I especially like the atmosphere of the cave and some 'house-ruled' stipulation that certain dungeon-destroying spells can't be used. That this is more or less by 'GM-fiat' that any 'narrative' reason may or may not bother you. It didn't particularly bother me. The atmosphere is different and can easily be explained by a 'curse' and the spells should never have been allowed in ANY game in the first place.

    The map is very well done and I appreciate it being in the easier to read black, rather that the blue typical of that error.

    Of course one of the things we get to in the dungeon is a 20 foot tall animated statue in a 10' x 10' corridor. But you can't say that's not old school. You're players tolerance for those kinds of details may vary. Of course, inside the statue is a priceless gem. Why? Cause that's the way it was done in the old days. No other reason given.

    The system is 'old-school-generic' which plenty of products were back in the day.

    I like the fact that some valuable books are given titles which always adds to the flavor of treasure.

    There is a wilderness map that is of the hex-and-symbol variety. Not pretty but functional, easy to place in a campaign and very period-appropriate (1980). For authenticity I suppose it is placed (along with the dungeon map) in what appears to be the middle of the book as if it were pull-outs.

    The dungeon has several different alternative paths the players could take, so I appreciate that you have at least the choice of which direction to go in.

    I like the secret doors being described by their mechanism which makes it more fun to describe.

    A "safe haven" room is provided which is a thoughtful touch.

    Cons The Size (SZ) characteristic is not explained under the Introduction, but is used for many of the monsters. It's pretty easy to figure out though.

    In room number #4 an item is referred to as valuable, but it's worth it not given. The text says it's too heavy to move, but that's never stopped players from trying. There is also a tapestry that has historical information on it and is probably valuable, but no value is given.

    The books are given no monetary value however. The spell book found has got a lot of very high level spells in it however, including ALL 0-level spells.

    At one point "the chill is noticeably different". No further details.

    While the dungeon is described as a 'tomb' it is outfitted as if it were some sort of military fort. Nothing that can't be hand-waved away, but not very consistent either. Again, you can't say it’s different that the old school model.

    I would have liked the doors to be marked on the map as to which ones are open and which ones are locked.

    There is a very well described piece of treasure given that "compels" whoever holds it to "remove it from this place" but the details are left purposefully vague so the GM can decide it's significance. Personally I consider this lazy writing. The writer should go ahead and tell me what HE decided and if I want to change it I will. But don't just leave it 'unknown' and make me do all the work - after all, that's what I'm paying you to do! Even if I'm not really paying.... But what it does do is impressive enough as written. Though it is described as 'cursed' I can't really see much downside to keeping the thing. There is an excellent illustration of it however.

    Overall This is a bit of a "monty-haul" dungeon. The dangers seen rather low and the money found seems rather high. There are at least five 'masterwork' weapons and a 'Defender' sword. As an adventure for 4-6th level characters it seems fairly easy and they certainly won't be that when they leave! That's not to say there is no danger, but I can't see more than one player getting killed here. Curiously absent was at least a Wandering Monster table which I think could have upped the stakes in this adventure and given it much more tension than it has. Since all the monsters seem pretty much locked in their own rooms, it seems like EVERY room could be safe once it's cleared.

    Should I Check Out Their Other Products? For me personally, no. This is a pretty mediocre dungeon with nothing particularly special about it that makes me think I MUST have it in my campaign.

    However, it is at least the equal of TSR/Judges Guild and better illustrated than most so if you need a generic old school dungeon that's good for a night of play or a side-trip while visiting a city or hiking in the mountains, this will definitely do the job.

    Certainly better that most 'free' products.

    This introductory product has definitely told me what they are going for (TSR lives) and they have done it very well.

    It's just that for me personally I already have plenty of those old-timey dungeons and can't see any particular reason for more of the same.

    Good but not special.

    [2 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    Michael, Thank you for the review! I just so happens that I am in the process of revising this adventure to be more in-line with the expectations of the OSR community. I will take all of your suggestions to heart and try to implement many of them as I write. I hope you will download the revised version when it is available, and perhaps add an addendum to this review. Perhaps we\'ll hit closer to the mark of what you expect. Thanks again, Alex Karaczun President, Mischief, Inc.
    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/22/2015 19:43:47

    I actually quite liked this Module. I did run it with D&D 5e rules and it found it was quite easy to convert. My gaming group definitely enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. I definitely recommend this and recommend throwing them at least $5.00 for it. It's definitely worth it and easy to convert to any version.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/21/2015 00:54:19

    I've been seeing this module around since 2013, and I've been meaning to check this bad boy out for a long while. Mischief Inc has been teasing me with this one in my Drivethrurpg feed for a while and its an interesting run through reading through OA. As a pay what you want title its pretty damn well put together. This module has several interesting features: A its truly edition nuetral and could be used with any edition of the world's most popular fantasy adventure game. Second it emulates many of the conventions and tropes of older edition adventures. Third this makes this adventure an easy fit for any old school retroclone. Everything from the stat blocks for the monsters, the artwork, the basic intro here is top drawer. If your going to get into a mid range module for an OSRIC or AD&D style game this module is a god sent. But here's the thing this module could easily be used with a swords and wizardry rule set or Labryth Lord especially with the advance companion. The basic plot of this adventure reads through like a TSR era adventure but more heavy on the sword and sorcery aspect. According to the Drivethrurpg blurb: Rakoss was a great wizard of ages past who served the Emperor of Maere. Tales tell of his prowess as a military strategist, but they also tell of his fall. It is said that although he won campaign after campaign for his emperor, just one failure earned the wrath of his master. The Emperor had Rakoss, his generals, strategists and personal guard sealed in a tomb somewhere in the Ganlaw Mountains, and cursed them. Who knows what treasure was buried with Rakoss and his retinue, or what horrors remain to test any who might enter the tomb. Certainly only a brave few would dare seek out the final resting place of Rakoss, and even fewer can survive the terrors of The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying! "The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying" is a challenging adventure for 3-6 characters of level 4 to 6. Much of the fantasy elements are twists on the classic AD&D 1st edition of play and with a bit of work could easily be incorporated into a game such as the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg system game world. The monsters are deadly and some of the encounters would have to be used with an experienced party. There is enough meat here to challenge the PC's on a number of levels. All in all the quality of the adventure is quite surprisingly good and the writing complex with plenty of adventure hooks for future releases. Much of this module is well thought out and delivers on exactly what it promises, a pilot episodic adventure from Mischief Inc. It feels and plays with some very interesting twists on some potentially nasty enemies for the PC's and introduces a fully fleshed out vile villain with not a wrap up in sign. This is done on purpose but for a eighteen page adventure with quality artwork and more this is an essential adventure to grab.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by Sean K. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/20/2014 23:01:58

    Downloaded 0A "The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying" to check out the quality of the product. I've been playing RPG's since 1980/81 . (1st addition everything really) These guys put out a GREAT product! Their stated goal is to produce a product in the old style format, with the old style feel, and they HAVE done it! Having DM'd/GM'd many, many games over the years I can tell that these guys put ALOT of work into their module(s). The writing could be a little better but I still give it 5 stars. The artwork is simple & to the point just like in the old days, and it is easy to place it in the context of the adventure. (dungeon crawl BTW, mostly) The maps are very well done & easy to read & interpret. Scan quality was fine, no problems. I will be spending money for the next installment. Mischief, Inc. has proven themselves to my satisfaction. (so far anyway) Give these guys a shot, they should be encouraged to produce more good products for us. 18 pages for levels 4-6 by Bob Pennington

    Hope this helps everybody! Later! :>) SK

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by Randy G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 10/06/2013 11:34:58

    I really liked the module. I'm running it as a PbP game on the Mischief, Inc. forums. Besides having the old school feel of a classic dungeon crawl, there is also a bigger story going on that involves the main character. While that story does not come to completion in this publication, you get the feeling that the plot will be continued in future releases.

    As a platform-neutral module, it is not married to any particular rule set. But it does offer alternatives for specific game mechanics depending on what type of rule set you wish to run it in. For example, the module presents the monster stat blocks using ascending AC, but in the introduction to the game, the author presents an easy formula for converting ascending to descending AC. There's also information on movement, hit dice, and other mechanics that are ubiquitous to fantasy role-playing games.

    Personally, I wished the module was a bit longer, but as a free release, I think the publisher was intentionally trying to whet the appetites of the readers for future paid releases; and I think they did a good job of that. This module definitely left me wanting more.

    The layout and art work were really top drawer. You couldn't ask for anything better. As their first product, I think Mischief, Inc. really hit one out of the park with this module. They have definitely set a high standard for future releases. I'm hooked and will be anxiously awaiting new products from them.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by Chris K. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 10/05/2013 13:19:01

    The first product from Mischief, Inc., The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying is an adventure for characters between 4th and 6th level that is written to be compatible with most old school systems. The text doesn't refer to any specific system, but it does include monster stats that, while not exact to any specific system, are written to be reasonably compatible (though they may require some small tweaks) for most old school games. It is a location-based, dungeon crawl-style adventure.

    The adventure is sixteen pages (eighteen if you include the front and back covers). There is a Table of Contents that, despite being fairly brief, is perfectly adequate. The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying is, at the time of this writing, listed as Pay What You Want on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. The PDF is bookmarked for all the relevant sections, but it is watermarked.

    After the Table of Contents, the book has an Introduction that includes an explanation of the monster stat blocks, then moves into the Adventure Background, Getting the Players Involved, Default Narrative, and Alternate Plot Hooks. The background includes setting information, though the very next section, Getting the Players Involved, has some advice on how to tailor the adventure to a GM's individual campaign. The Default Narrative section is basically a plot hook and introduction for the players that the adventure assumes is used, though the next section, appropriately named Alternate Plot Hooks, provides some alternate means for the GM to get the players interested in the adventure.


    Getting into the meat of the adventure, the next section, entitled Getting There, deals with the party moving on from whichever city or town they start in to the actual adventure site. There's some basic information on an attack on the party from a roving band of ogres, but the details of the encounter (aside from the number of ogres) are left up to the GM. After that follows all the different rooms and encounters that the party may encounter within.

    Most of the encounters in the adventure are fairly short, but interesting. The dungeon map is a standard 10-foot grid, and the module also includes a good hex map of the surrounding area (if the GM chooses to use the default module setting). The hex map features mostly terrain features, and is large enough for a GM to add plenty of additional dungeons or other challenges to the area.

    The dungeon features multiple secret doors, though how difficult these doors are to discover is mentioned in vague terms like “difficult to discover” rather than explicit numerical values. This isn't a bad thing – it allows the GM to adjudicate for a variety of systems with multiple different methods of finding secret doors.

    The necromancer the dungeon is named for, Rakoss, is not present in the module. Rather, the PCs have the opportunity to find a phylactery (which may or may not be real, according to GM preference) that could easily lead to more adventures related to the ancient necromancer.


    Overall Impressions Looking over the entire adventure, it's immediately clear that The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying has taken a lot of inspiration from old TSR modules and other old school adventures. The art is good; most of it looks like art that might have been in an AD&D module. Similarly, the boxed text for GMs to read and the simple page styling hearkens back to the aesthetics of classic modules like B2: The Keep on the Borderlands.

    Some of the adventure's features are left vague or left to the GM. For a module designed to be broadly compatible with multiple game systems, this is just fine. Specifics like environmental effects on unprotected adventurers are explicitly mentioned to be up to the GM; rather than describing specific effects, this allows GMs to insert weather or exposure rules from whichever system they choose to run this module.

    Overall, I would definitely recommend this module to any fan of old-school play or dungeon crawls. The cartography and art is solid, and the writing is clear and concise. The setting information is basic and provides just enough information to give context to the dungeon, while still being open enough for a GM to use the module in just about any fantasy setting. I would give this module a solid 4 out of 5 stars, and I'll be using it in the near future for sure.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    F1 The Tomb of Rakoss the Undying
    Publisher: Fire Born Games
    by VP401533 K. H. L. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 10/01/2013 05:01:31

    This is a short adventure (didn't affect my scoring though) and basic dungeon crawl. I paid $x to obtain it and support the designer although it is lauded to be free.

    More to the point, is the adventure module good?

    Yes - old school basic adventure in a dungeon crawl scenario. Editing is good (only saw one or two mistakes) and formatting is ok (there's one text that was split). Monsters and treasures can be easily converted into any rule system (not sure about 4e since I don't play it anymore).

    No - Plot is too thin and doesn't tie in to the adventure at all. Strange things like ant that sting? Call it something else like BeeAnt but not "Giant Ant Soldier". Why is the manticore in area 15? Why are mummies in the wizard lab? Nothing mentioned ties it in. Why is the storage room the safe haven? Sorry. This adventure falls flat.

    [2 of 5 Stars!]
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