Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review - Fighting Fire - A Game within A Game within A Good Cause

Fighting Fire - A Game within A Game within A Good Cause

For those who haven't heard Ernie Gygax's house burned down back in February 2013 and he was hospitalized with congestive heart failure in November 2013 from which he is recovering nicely. So Mark Clover over at Creative Mountain Games has written a fun (and slightly poetic) adventure in aid of Ernie. Much was lost during this fire but lives were saved; now friends and supporters are rallying round.

Fighting Fire is a narrative adventure that can be used by any game system. It is a bit tongue in cheek and heavily laden with references to the fantasy persona of many of the old guard and royal family of D&D/AD&D. The adventure is also lavishly illustrated with quality art.

The central idea of the story-line is that the town has become a center of wargaming which allows the people to settle disputes that were once settled with actual wars. It reminds of Dave Trampier's Wormy comic strip where wargaming and role-playing were activities within his fantasy monster community (though highly illegal in Wormy's World) and it can make a nice diversion for a group which may want to sit down at a boardgame on their RPG night and not get too far away from their campaign.

The adventure in itself is a fun encounter with notable people inside the outline of the shops and business of the town (detailed with a nice town map and many character illustrations). Then from there it is town to wilderness to dungeon fulfilling all the adventuring nutritional requirements.

I will say that unless you are a DM that enjoys a great deal of winging it (as I do) you will need to do some prep work, especially to note down the stats for whichever game system you play. You can also take the framework and alter it to make the adventure as serious as you like, but as written I find it to be enjoyably light-hearted.

I think you will Fighting Fire is worth the coppers for the module in of itself, but you also to get to show your support for Ernie Gygax. I don't think anyone will be disappointed in the adventure, the art or the cause.

And here is a note from Mark regarding further adventures:

"A second adventure in this series "Cold. Cold Heart" was playtested prior to and during Gary Con VII and is in the pipeline for publication *AND* a third adventure in the series "Head in the Clouds" is being playtested as we speak.  The second finds the heroes heading north through the mountain pass to recover Ernie's stolen heart, which he had secured in a box using a type of philacterial magic in a misguided attempt to make himself more safe.  In the third, a cloud giant castle is floating its way toward Gamington as the power behind the forces previously thwarted wishes to wipe out the town and heroes once and for all."

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