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    A Bird in the Hand $7.99
    Average Rating:5.0 / 5
    Ratings Reviews Total
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    A Bird in the Hand
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    A Bird in the Hand
    Publisher: Design Mechanism
    by Hannu K. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/11/2021 08:03:47

    Bird in Hand is a must have scenario for Monster Island, the most useful sword and sorcery sandbox I have used in the past 40+ years of GM’ing (I have GM’d Monster Island since 2013). Monster Island setting and the scenario itself can be used almost anywhere and in many settings from sword & sorcery to pulp among others. In the Monster Island and in the scenario city people are humans and natives of the island are lizard people but that is easily changed to other kind of jungle dwelling natives. The scenario itself is easy to drop into any ongoing Monster Island campaign – adjusting or adding the hooks and NPCs accordingly. In my campaign it was sword and sorcery based setting, humans from the continent in the port city and headhunting human tribes in interior. We played with characters in mid level skills and long history of roleplaying.

    The scenario starts in Grimsand – the only civilized town in Monster Island and the writing brings Grimsand to life. There are multiple interesting NPCs that you can interact with and get in trouble with. The actions your players can have an effect on the NPCs, plotlines on the scenario and also on your future in Grimsand. The first part of the scenario stays in the city and a session or two will be spent there with plenty of opportunities for roleplay, using variety of skills to figure out what is going on and dealing with the increasing number of forces interested in the maguffin. I liked that there were multiple options written out for the various paths players may take. As in great scenarios there are multiple paths thru the first part of the scenario. Eventually the party needs to brace themselves and head into the jungle for most likely a two or three session romp but it could be more. Monster Island interior is deadly so players better be prepared and they will be lost in the jungle if you push into the green interior without the right combination of skills and help. If you are quite lucky and resourceful you may be able to tackle the jungle part with one long session but I would not push it that way.

    Hex crawl rules at the end of the scenario are pure gold – making the island itself an adversary that needs to be tackled. They will be used extensively in my ongoing campaign on Monster Island and would be useful also in other jungle or difficult terrain based campaigns.

    This is a scenario that melds with the tone and the spirit of Monster Island. It is a worthy addition to Monster Island, Mythras and a great sword and sorcery scenario – and that is high praise indeed.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    A Bird in the Hand
    Publisher: Design Mechanism
    by Susan F. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/09/2021 09:48:29

    I'm a big fan of the monster island setting and was so pleased when I heard about this scenario. A bird in the hand really lived up to my expectations! It manages to include enough detail for you to bring the NPCs and events of Port Grimsand to life whilst not being overly bloated or wordy.

    I don't want to give too much away, but the book is almost two adventures in one - your lucky players will get to experience the hustle and bustle of Port Grimsand and it's colourful characters in the first half, before heading into the jungle for an expedition they will never forget.

    Additionally the hex crawl rules make travel itself and eventful (and potentially hazardous!) undertaking, especially for the unprepared.

    It also helps that the book is layed out in a really intuitive way with everything easily accessible whilst you're running, so you don't have to worry about memorising everything.

    Would totally recommend!

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    A Bird in the Hand
    Publisher: Design Mechanism
    by Leon P. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/03/2021 05:53:24

    So up front I have to say I don't like writing reviews and I especially don't like to do so for adventures I haven't run. That said, I really want to run this adventure and definitely feel it should come recommended if you intend to play Mythras/Monster Island. I will try and stay spoiler free.

    If you're not familiar with Monster Island you should think about becoming so, however a clever DM should be able to easily substitute the contents of this module and their own creativity as a substitute.

    I was going to call this a little adventure but at 60 pages (inc. Covers) and chock a block full of events and info it feels anything but. Broken into three distinct chapters you cover quite a bit of the traditional adventure pillars, social/exploration/combat and there is plenty of opportunity for a variety of character builds to shine.

    The story is interesting and fun with a plethora of NPC's to act as aid or foils as well a wonderful mix of exciting environments to explore and challenge the PC's. It's difficult to do it justice without spoilers so you'll just have to take my word...or buy it.

    The individual chapters should offer many nights of enjoyment as the players are challenged in a variety of ways from a possible heist, trekking through a hostile jungle and some exciting exploration keeping all your bases covered. If you enjoy a good pulp action adventure you'll enjoy this.

    Tonally I was reminded of such films as Doc Savage or Indiana Jones the environment is reminiscent of Kong Island meets Tortuga.

    As a GM I was particularly impressed at the ease in which this adventure could be expanded and the advice given to help new GM's, a lot of guidance is given in each chapter to help with structuring that part of the adventure but it is 'guidance' not railroading. The section on Hex Crawls is certainly useful and one of many pieces that you could easily carry over to other games alongside NPC's, creatures and so forth.

    The art is excellent, with some lovely story pieces and some simpler but useful, clean and well done map pieces. The cover is particulaly excellent and captures quite a bit of the feel for the adventure.

    Hopefully my poor review hasn't put you off picking this adventure up, if like me you're a time poor GM then you'd be mad not to. The heavy lifting is done for you. If you're not time poor then the material here could add many nights of enjoyment to your existing game.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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