I picked up So You’ve Been Thrown Down a Well by Ember + Ash back during the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality and got some downtime between projects to get into it. This one stood out to me, because of its fantastic title and cool art. You know me, I always judge a book by its cover. Its an adventure for the Troika system, but frankly, with almost no effort you can run it for whatever your fantasy game of choice is. With a little effort, you could run it in pretty much any system. The title tells you exactly the plot and what you’re in store for, and the cover art tells you one of the main features of the adventure. The worm.
Its not a spoiler to say, the adventure starts with the PCs being thrown down a well. Its a nice jump in, and can serve as an adventure in its own right, an interlude during a bigger adventure, or in my opinion a great way to kick off a campaign.
Tonally, I really enjoy reading the adventure. Its got a matter of factness about the sillyness of the situation I get a kick out of. A nice understated way of explaining absurd situations that I get a kick out of. I don’t mean to imply its a joke of a game, but it certainly isn’t going to be considered something like cosmic horror or dread.
A big selling point for me is Art. That’s a general statement, and it applies to SYBTDAW specifically as well. That bundle has a ton of great content in it. I clicked this one because the cover was cool. Not only does each page of this book have some thematic and well done art, but the whole thing is laid out and stylized. So you really can’t do a measurement of say “there are 15 paintings”. Its one visual piece. The Grecian Urn style is used throughout the book, and its really clever. The Greeks would paint a story around an urn, and this is a story your group will craft.
Overall, I’m pretty sure I plan to use this adventure as the kick-off for my next campaign. I doubt I’ll use Troika, but the structure and content here is really top notch. The folks at Ember + Ash really did a great job here and I plant to check out a couple more of their products after this one.