Over the holidays I picked up a big stack of Frog God Games books for pretty cheap. It was a random assortment of stuff, but thankfully most of it was from their Sword and Sorcery side of things.
Mostly setting books, with a couple of adventures tossed in. One that caught my eye was an older 3.5 edition D&D adventure for characters leveled 7-10. Nothing too original in the basic concept, hunting down an artifact from an old evil cult and stop them summoning a big bad monster.
But right from the start I knew things were going to be bad.
The writing doesn't get better. Between the clunky language, typos, and just incorrect word usage, it's jarringly painful to read. Whoever (didn't) edit this should be fired. Reading through it, I find myself wondering if this was written in another language, and someone used Google Translate it into English, and then they just... published it.
Seriously, there is no excuse for this (above) or this (below).
I know this was at the tail end of the 3.x glut, but this is ridiculously unreadable and unnecessary. And, yes, some of this comes from viewing this through my predominantly OSR sensibilities, but I can't imagine anyone used this stat block.
Speaking of stat blocks, the main settlement has a trio of merchants that run things. For some unknown reason only 2 of them get full descriptions. There is a line at the beginning of the section that says "only the major NPCs with whom the PCs are likely to interact are fully detailed, but it's so arbitrary to only have 2/3 of them included.
This also brings me to the organization of the book. A mess, just like everything else. The maps are all in the back, and the descriptions are all over the book. Which leads to lots of flipping back and forth. Not only that, there's nothing telling you which page the map you want is on. And on the flip side, the maps don't give you page numbers of where they're referenced in the book.
The adventure itself is a railroad in the finest traditions of railroads, and weirdly, is written with numerous bits of "how to run this adventure" type text that would make far more sense in an introductory adventure rather than in one designed for 7th to 10th level characters. For example this bit.
Tracking torches? Really?
I'm only about 1/3 of the way through the adventure so far, but there are a number of instances where stuff happens around the PCs and they can have no impact on the event... Also, spots where the adventure tells us, for example, that an NPC will absolutely NOT do a thing like sell their magic items. But then it'll give a (Diplomacy Check DC 40) immediately after.
If I had paid good money for this on purpose, I'd be so pissed off. As it is, I'm going to finish hate reading it to see if there's anything worth stealing (there's gotta be something?!) I'm also really tempted to take the adventure, completely rework it for classic D&D while also making the damned thing usable and good. I won't, as I'd rather come up with something original, but I'm tempted...