Review: Rogue Games – The Defeated Dead (Colonial Gothic)


Colonial Gothic: The Defeated Dead
The Defeated Dead is an adventure module for the Colonial America fantasy horror system Colonial Gothic (powered by the 12° system) written by Bryce Whitacre and published by Rogue Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

The Defeated Dead is a mission-driven adventure for Colonial Gothic taking the PCs through various areas in Ohio and Indiana. It is actually a three-piece module consisting of a small amount of setting material, the adventure module, and some small mechanics for running a mass battle. I will not spoil the adventure, so this explanation will be brief.

The adventure is written with a specific goal in mind while the storyline creates several opportunities where the PCs are pulled away from their forward momentum. It takes place after the Revolutionary War and follows the workings of the US army as it builds new forts west on the frontier. That’s about all I can say without spoiling the individual encounters.

OVERALL

If you are looking to run adventures or campaigns through Ohio and Indiana, The Defeated Dead is a great addition to the Colonial Gothic system and provides a decent adventure to carry the PCs through. If anything, it can easily be farmed for adventure hooks and by putting together bits and pieces, you could spark a new campaign venturing west after the Revolutionary War. It is an adventure and it does contain a storyline and fleshed-out encounters, but you may need to fill some of the gaps.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 5 out of 10
Colonial Gothic books typically contain a simple yet clean and effective layout and format. The Defeated Dead does not follow those previously established standards. The font becomes difficult to read at time, especially during the dialog sections, with headers that are a bit boring. There is also a poor usage of white space and lots of editing errors. Compared to regular Colonial Gothic publications, The Defeated Dead is sloppy. However, it still is a simple and relatively easy-to-read layout; it just needs a lot of TLC. One thing that really stands out on a positive note are the excellent maps contained within the adventure. They are very visually appealing and a great reference tool for the adventure.

Storyline: 7 out of 10
I’m a bit torn on the storyline. The story itself is a good and interesting story, it’s just poorly developed. The bulk of the best stages of the adventure occur in the middle with the final encounters becoming a bit lackluster (other than the final clash which I won’t spoil). I like how the story was developing, but when the PCs finally reach their destination, everything seems a bit rushed and not very detailed. The over-arcing story is still a good one, but like the publication, it needs a little TLC. On a side note, there is a fair amount of source material there to easily expand upon the adventure and shape the final encounters in a different manner.

Desire to Play: 8 out of 10
The Defeated Dead may have its faults, but it does have a really nice flow of events that fit in very well with the themes that surround Colonial Gothic. In addition to the adventure, as with many Colonial Gothic adventures, there is an amount of source material there that can be used within and outside of the adventure to creature further encounters or even spark a campaign. The theme and time-line of events make the adventure desirable for play, although modifications may be required.

Overall: 7 out of 10
The Defeated Dead is a good adventure. It may not look the best and the storyline may be rushed in the end, but overall it really follows the theme of Colonial Gothic and contains a number of encounters that will keep the PCs guessing. If anything, a Game Master can use it as a sourcebook, creating their own adventures; using the NPCs and locations as story fodder.

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