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Me and my partner are playing Steve Jackson's Sorcery for the iPad together at the moment. It's her first rp experience of any kind and she's loving it! So I'm thinking I might DM something for her next.

What I'm looking for is a high quality adventure in a fantasy setting (preferably low fantasy) that has quite a lot of descriptions of characters, encounters, places etc. for me to read straight from the book. Ruleset is not so important, if the rules are too advanced I can simplify them. A good storyline wouldn't hurt though, and it should be possible to adapt the adventure for one player one DM.

Any suggestions?

I've been asked to specify this question further, but I think I'll try to clarify my question instead. Bare with me.

What I'm looking for is a published adventure (not a game although I greatly appreciate the advice on games that I've received). I want the adventure to contain lots of text that I can read out loud to the player. That's the important part and I don't think there are that many adventures like that out there. Most of them have only a few short paragraphs (usually italicized) intended to be read to the players. One adventure that does provide a lot of text to be read out loud (and the closest I've found to what I'm looking for) is the multiplayer gamebook The Riddling Reaver by Fighting Fantasy.

I'm also hoping I can find an adventure that isn't simply hack 'n' slash, but that has a captivating storyline. I'd also like it to take place in a low fantasy setting. What ruleset the adventure is written for is less important however. I'd prefer the rules to be simple, but I can always simplify them if need be.

Does anything come to mind?

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This is a pretty vague set of requirements given the thousands of extant fantasy adventures, of which there's someone considers each of them good... Consider adding more to narrow it down. –  mxyzplk Jan 2 at 14:08
    
Right, well I didn't really think there were so many adventures out there that provides the DM with a lot to read. I found the multi-player gamebook the Riddling Reaver, which is almost what I'm looking for, it's just that I'd like it to be a little bit more sophisticated and grown up. Low fantasy would be nice, not too many bizarre creatures and not too much combat. Hope that helps. –  Nick Jan 2 at 14:55
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Based on your edit, I think you're going to be disappointed by RPG adventures. No RPG adventure has that much read-aloud text, even in TSR's heyday, simply because improvisation is the expected play mode and that precludes too much prose that might contradict the improvisation. You've already discovered gamebooks and should probably continue your search in that direction; that's the only place you'll find more than scattered paragraphs of text. –  SevenSidedDie Jan 2 at 23:53
    
Yes, I suppose you're right. If I remember correctly from my old roleplaying days I think some adventures include descriptions to be read out loud of every room on a map though, and perhaps of a few NPCs and encounters too. That would be alright. I too would regard it a problem if the read-aloud text interfered with improv. –  Nick Jan 3 at 12:30
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4 Answers

You might want to take a look at my Scourge of the Demon Wolf. It doesn't have much in the way of read aloud text, though I do write enough details in each encounter for a referee to run it with little prep. What prep there is thinking about how to roleplay the NPCs rather than preparing any type of mechanics.

While statted out for Swords & Wizardry (an OSR Retro-clone), it is a low fantasy adventure originally run using GURPS then later adapted for S&W. A reviewer stated that it felt more like a Harn/Ars Magica Adventure than a D&D adventure.

It's divided into two sections, the first the adventure itself, and the second a sourcebook about the places mentioned in the adventure should you want to continue to use them in your campaign. The sourcebook briefly details the surrounding region.

Another low fantasy adventure I can recommend is Field of Daisies from Columbia Games. It is for Harnmaster but like all Harn product it is mostly statless and can be adapted for most low fantasy RPGs. It has a quickstart for Harnmaster in it but you can ignore that.

Field of Daisies is about finding some serf boys missing from the manor along with a creepy cave adventure.

I also have a free setting that a lot of people like called Blackmarsh. However it is more medium fantasy than low. Again it is written for OSR Retro-clones but the stats are so minimal, it can be easily adapted to any fantasy RPG. If you want a print copy it's available on RPGNow. It is written in the hexcrawl format which has a lot of local detail in a easy to digest format.


Overview of Scourge of the Demon Wolf.

Three died. They were mauled beyond recognition. The Baron sent his huntsmen to kill the beasts and for a fortnight they tramped across the countryside. Between their whoring and drinking they killed twelve wolves, parading their skins through the village. They were hung on poles as trophies of victory. Then the huntsmen left, the beasts slain, the village saved, so we thought.

As the fields turned golden under the summer sun the killings began again. Four more died. Then the Baron's man, the bailiff, was killed on the high meadow in sight of Mitra's Temple. His screams could be heard well into the village. He was only identified after we reassembled the pieces.

With the help of the priest, I wrote a report to our liege, the Baron of Westtower. My report ended with,

There will be no harvest until the beast is slain and the killings stopped.

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That excerpt is nicely written! I will have to have a look at your adventure your other recommendations. Thanks! –  Nick Jan 3 at 20:01
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I have two suggestions:

  • The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild published by Cubicle 7 in 2011 is a relatively new RPG set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. It emphasizes narrative and description and is light on magic. Very evocative of the mood of Tolkien's books. The One Ring has won several awards & receives favorable reviews.
  • Lone Wolf The Roleplaying Game, published in 2004 by Mongoose Publishing is a fantasy RPG system based on the Lone Wolf series of fantasy adventure gamebooks from the 1980s by Joe Dever. I recommend the Lone Wolf RPG because it's a direct adaptation of "choose your own adventure" style fantasy gamebooks in the same genre as Steve Jackson's Sorcery. Rules are light, combat quick & easy, and the setting is richly described, based on the 28 books in the original series. A revised edition called Lone Wolf Adventure Game is slated to be released early this year by Cubicle 7, in a boxed-set format.
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Thanks! Lone wolf in particular caught my eye. –  Nick Jan 2 at 23:45
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After a little more research I discovered Cubicle 7 is going to publish a revised version of the Lone Wolf RPG sometime during the first half of this year. See this link: forums.cubicle7.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=572 –  RobertF Jan 3 at 5:18
    
Good to know! I also had a look at the Lone Wolf multiplayer gamebook, which is more of a simple RPG than a gamebook. It did however contain a short adventure with quite a bit of text for reading out loud. It could be a good start. –  Nick Jan 3 at 12:07
    
@RobertF you might want to edit that into your answer rather than leaving it as a comment –  Phil Jan 4 at 11:21
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Javafueled has suggested Warhammer Fantasy, and I couldn't agree more!

As for being specific about which adventures you should choose, let me suggest the most excellent Enemy Within campaign. I can't recall how much read-aloud text there was in those modules, but the immersiveness of the environment, the deviousness of the plots, the rottenness of the NPCs and the pure joy of reading those adventures has never been topped by any other RPG publication. At least the way I remember it.

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Will have a look, thanks! –  Nick Jan 4 at 10:38
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I'm plowing ahead and will recommend my goto setting and ruleset if an attempt to answer the general question is going to help at all.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd Edition

The system is out of print, however the entire library is available in PDF from DriveThruRPG. It meets the core criteria of the posited question:

  1. Fantasy Setting
  2. Low Fantasy and Magic (magic is present, but corrupts)
  3. Career System archetypes with rich descriptions
  4. Rich, but not overwhelming, bestiary
  5. Setting enjoys investigative over "hack-and-slash" adventuring, but combat system is quick and deadly.
  6. The Warhammer setting has 25 years of active development
  7. An active and robust pulp novelization line
  8. One (1) 250 page (very manageable) core book to start. Go as deep as you want with additional material
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Will definitely have a look. Thanks! –  Nick Jan 2 at 23:46
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