Author Topic: REVIEW: Game25: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth & Temple of Tharizdun (by Ray Dyer)  (Read 844 times)

Offline Olivier Leroux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2343
  • Yip, yip, yip!
Game25: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth & Temple of Tharizdun
by Ray Dyer

Reviewed by Susan McKinney

Ray & Maureen continue a fine tradition. This conversion is a wonderful adventure. I loved the way they combined two modules into a really cool storyline. The ability to converse with creatures and the ability to make choices truly convert this P&P game to a computer "role-playing" adventure.

   Your group has been sent into the mountains to find the ruins of an evil mage's lair. While traveling, you have the chance to befriend a tribe of gnomes and fight some nasty beasties. After finding the ruins and surviving, you are then sent to find the evil temple causing the humanoid raids of the gnomes.


    * Plot Matter: 10
    * Artwork: 10
    * Hacks: 9
    * Text: 10
    * Events: 9
    * Originality: 9
    * Errors: 9

    * Total Rating: 95%

    * Mycroft Rating: 9.5
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 10:25:55 AM by Olivier Leroux »

Offline PetrusOctavianus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
A very large module.
There's quite a large overland to explore, a huge cavern and a large temple complex.

Individual encounters were good, with a couple of epic battles, but the module suffers from no random encounters (I never thought I'd say this) at all in the dungeons, so they feel rather empty.

Also, the room descriptions are too verbose when three screens are needed for what turns out to be empty rooms. And to make it worse the messages repeat every time you step on the relevant square, so it got rather tiresome. Which was a pity, since it was easy to miss the important messages, and I kind of sped through the last part without "smelling the roses", and I was left a bit confused about what really happened at times.

There is a room where you are told that one of your stats are increased permanently, but AFAIK that's impossible to implement in FRUA, and they did indeed not change. So that room is just a red herring.
Which suggests thay Ray followed the pen&paper module too slavishly.

Also, the use of NPCs are poorly done IMO. One of them should have spoken up after killing a certain boss and suggested heading back to base, for instance. And instead of those verbose room descriptions, it would have been better with NPC interjections.
But hey, even Lovecraft made the same mistake in Mountains of Madness, when he described everything in minute detail instead of having the protagonist and his sidekick discuss what they saw. So you're in good company, Ray.  ;)

It's still a good module and definitely worth playing, but unlike the previous modules which had no or only some minor flaws, the flaws were more noticeable in this one. Or maybe I have just played to much FRUA lately and have become too critical?

Offline Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 316


I'll take a comparison to HP Lovecraft any day!

More constructively, several of the older game modules included rooms where PCs could have their stats increased.  Whenever I included one of those in a FRUA game, I made an effort to put a parenthetical statement that this could only be done using the CHAREDIT Program, available through UAShell.  There was a LOT of text in Tsojcanth, though, as you noted, and it's possible that I just ran out of room in that dungeon and decided to leave it out.

Back then, UAShell was pretty well known, and it was hard to imagine a day when we weren't all editing things left and right.  Since Tsojcanth was made well into the Realm series, I may have just thought, " need to explain that at this point."  Which, fifteen years later (give or take), doesn't look like the best decision...

Modern players take note: If a Realm game ever tells you that you can increase your stats, either use CHAREDIT in UAShell...or decide that the DM was lying to you...He's been known to be capricious sometimes...

Offline PetrusOctavianus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 408
Ah, thanks for the clarification.
It did cross my mind that maybe the player was supposed to edit the characters, but since it was not stated I assumed not.

BTW, forgot to mention that I liked the ending, with flashbacks to some of the things the party achieved, and the nice set-up for the next module in the campaign: Ravenloft.