Content: A sinful floating prison crawl.
Writing: Creative framing which reflects Anthelia’s court intrigue in each tortured soul and accursed deck.
Art/design: Illustrations that channel the influence of the seven, and their sins.
Usability: Randomization elements enhance replayability.
Content: Contains detailed information about the settings as well as copious random tables
Writing: Very text heavy, and the writing carries a lot of the descriptive weight
Art/design: Fairly straightforward single-column layout in black and white with some yellow highlights and lots of grody illustrations
Usability: Includes a separate handout of images and maps for the players
Content: A 12-room semi-aquatic dungeon
Writing: Well written with lots of character and atmospheric details
Art/design: Primarily uses the clean, clear style of Rotblack Sludge
Usability: Layouts and design make this simple and easy to run
Content: 40+ nightmarish monsters, a vampire-like class, lore, tables, a dungeon.
Writing: Renford P. Logan’s journalistic endeavors frame this collection of strongly themed creatures and locales. Realistic portrayals of disturbing events lend weight to the creatures and locales. It is enjoyable to both read and reference.
Art/design: Characterful two-tone illustrations and text elements in a balanced layout. Reserved but impactful use of color.
Usability: Thematic organization in a strong table of contents make for low prep referencing.
Content: A character class adapted to aquatic environs
Writing: Class options provide mechanics, color, and some humor
Art/design: Illustration helps to visualize the characteristic transformations
Usability: Aquatically oriented but usable in landlocked situations as well
Concept: “While languishing in a drunken stupor in a coastal town flophouse … you were abducted by a press gang.”
Content: A seafaring framework inspired by Tom Waits (and Herman Melville (and whoever wrote The Book of Jonah))
Writing: Sets the scene and provides a plethora of options for play
Art/design: Supports the nautical theme subtly but effectively
Usability: Intended more as a toolbox than a unified dungeon or set of mechanics
Concept: “… word has come to you from an old fisherman with great promise. He says he has seen a hulk adrift far from the shore and wants a crew of brave souls to climb aboard and plunder its riches.”
Content: A maritime salvage adventure full of mutiny and mystery
Writing: Lots of atmospheric descriptive text along with well-written letters, stats for black powder and nautical weapons, and a whole slew of monsters
Art/design: Nicely made maps; monochrome palette conveys the sensation of approaching and exploring the ship by night
Usability: Rotblack Sludge-inspired layout is extremely efficient
Concept: “The crew of the Unjust must retrieve the Heart of the Sea, a relic said to be in the clutches of shipwreck-luring Sirens.”
Content: A perilous nautical adventure with stats for characters, monsters, and mechanics for maritime hazards
Writing: Provides the necessary information and atmosphere but avoids being prolix
Art/design: Primarily textual but well organized, and includes some illustrations with an OSR feel
Usability: Mostly presented in bullet points, which makes skimming and quick reference easier; download includes graphic and text-only versions
Concept: “For a few hours each year, the seas beneath the glaciers of Kergüs retreat, revealing salted dungeons in their wake. Within these waterlogged tunnels of ice – the CLAMS.”
Content: Grab your CLAM-picking gloves—an audience with Anthelia awaits the winner
Writing: A briny feast for the senses with Karl’s signature sense of humor
Art/design: Easy to read with ample visual cues for navigating each room’s description and for moving back and forth between descriptions and map
Usability: The CLAMS are barbed, and the tide waits for no scvm
Concept: “There is no nest of scurvy rats as foul or felonious as the pirates of Corpsewake Cove!”
Content: A self-contained, sandbox-style swashbuckling adventure from inciting incident to bloody climax
Writing: Text-heavy but clean, clear, and effective on all levels; includes lots of description as well as stat blocks, tables, and other mechanical components
Art/design: Balances out the verbal elements with lots of vivid, nautically themed designs
Usability: A fair amount of content and moving parts to manage, but nothing a seasoned and conscientious GM can’t handle
Content: A fishman. Ready to drag you below.
Writing: Stats evoke a dangerous aquatic stalker. Ready to ambush isolated scvm.
Art/design: Black & white horror movie poster.
Usability: Keep moist.
Content: An alchemical accident, a corpse dam, an impending flood, and the rise of the corpse king.
Writing: A simple core concept with delightfully foul framing to make for a truly unique disaster.
Art/design: A floodwater of corpse illustration. Purposeful typographic choices distinguish descriptive versus mechanical text.
Usability: A fair balance between dynamic design elements and accessibility.
Content: Boating, fishing, treasure hunting, and gruesome death in one package; some interesting interconnected elements and connections to other 3rd-party adventures
Writing: Straightforward and descriptive with an undercurrent of humor
Art/design: Clear, easy-to-navigate layouts with some nice illustrations
Usability: Nonlinear but not particularly complicated
Content: An undead denizen for coastal settings
Writing: Sets the tone and scene for encounters
Art/design: Relatively subtle and unintrusive
Usability: Well-demarcated sections and stats for easy reference