Trilemma Adventures Volume 1

Posted 09 Jun 2021 to Fantasy

OSR style adventure locations with fun maps, quirky denizens and a trove of ideas.


What Is It

181 page PDF by mostly by Michael Prescott containing 55 adventure sites or locations. Each site is densely detailed in about 2 pages. The whole thing is system neutral, and can be used with any fantasy game system. There is also a bestiary, with a collection of custom creatures. Many of the sites could be linked together to form a campaign. A separate PDF has player versions of all the wonderful maps.

How I Used It

I have used about 10 of the maps when running Forbidden Lands, Shadow of the Demon Lord, and Worlds Without Number campaigns. Sometimes I would totally disregard the text and keyed locations and make up my own, adapting it to the story as needed. Sometimes I would use the site as written. My favourite is probably "A Litany of Scratches" which contains a vampire tree and undead in a crumbling monastery with partially flooded lower level.


The Good

  • Wonderful isometric maps. Whenever players see them in Roll20 you can sense they are intrigued and engaged, because this is something different and very visual. Many maps have a verticality to them, with high and low areas, or holes in the floor that descend to other areas. These are fun to traverse, and it really adds to a sense of *exploration*.
  • Brief writing, ready to play. The text explaining the adventure is brief and wastes no words. Important things are bolded, rather than repeated. This means the text is actually useful at the table. I would highlight parts in my pdf, to draw my eye during play, but it was not necessary to do much more.
  • So many, easy to drop into your campaign. Each adventure site is small enough to cover one or two sessions of play. They're largely self contained and I was able to use them, with light reskinning in a variety of settings.
  • Rich weirdness in monsters. Reading the bestiary chapter is entertaining. The monsters are dangerous and new. Your players, even if they are experienced, will never have encountered these things before. No stats are provided, because the book is system agnostic. I would read the short paragraph describing what they look like and what they can do, and substitute stats for some other similar monster from my game system of choice.
  • Roleplaying scenes. Not everything needs to be killed. Each location includes at least one NPC who has an agenda.
  • Situations not plots. Each site is described by its layout and its inhabitants. The inhabitants have a simple agenda and goals. The PCs are free to approach the situation in whatever manner suits them. Most dungeons have multiple entrances and shortcuts to move vertically. Many sites include a threat, like an unkillable automaton that walks slowly, that is a puzzle to be solved rather than a bag of hit points to be depleted.

The Not-So-Good

  • Some are a bit too out-there. The imagination of the authors is astonishing, with weird creatures living in wondrous ruins. A few of the adventure locations were just too weird for me to use. For example, "The Extent of Gamandes" is a pocket dimension with bogs and marshes inhabited by intelligent magic giant seagulls. That's not easy to just slip into your standard fantasy game. I don't mind, because there are so many other great usable adventure locations.


Whenever I run a fantasy campaign, I return to this book. I page through the maps to pick one that looks fun, and that might suit the story. I highly recommend it.



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