Well, not all reviews. Ordinarily, I try real hard not to troll reviews of Usherwood products. However, I came across one that I feel I must comment on. However, I feel that to do so directly on the site where the review was posted would be highly unprofessional. So, hopefully putting my thoughts on the Usherwood blog will seem slightly less unprofessional. I wont call out the reviewer personally, but I will break the review down into its constituent parts here.
So, without further ado, let’s get started;
Foray into the Wilderness is a free product, and there’s a good reason why. It is a horrible product not worth the money.
Sorry you feel that way, but actually it’s free because it is a novelty product, just as all the other adventures that appear within the High-Adventures from Middle-School product line. ‘Novelty’ meaning, it’s intended to be a quick read of nostalgia for how were playing back in the late 70’s through early 80’s.
The artwork is mediocre (and that’s being generous). The font used simulates handwriting and makes it illegible. The document tries to simulate being written in a notebook. Instead of being quaint, it makes it doubly difficult to read.
Heya, if I am not making money on a product, you can bet I wont be spending too much in the way of artwork. The cover art (by Daniel Lorentsen) is stock art available through RPGNow.com, and I felt lucky to find it. Simulating handwriting in the font and on notebook paper; yes, an intentional design element. The original intent for all these products is to simply scan what existed at the time we created it. Unfortunately the author’s handwritten originals were in a pencil so light as to be completely unusable. Thus, the use of a hand-writting style script.
The content itself seems to have been written by a 5th grade munchkin player. From what I can see, we have a few notes on what could possibly be the start of a properly written adventure.
A 7th grade munchkin player actually.
Essentially, there a badly drawn map with 7 encounters. The encounters themselves provide just the barest of information on the type of monster and treasure. There are no proper descriptions or background information.
Refer to the marketing verbiage that is included with all the HAMS projects; “Usherwood Publishing has spared all expenses to present to you this line of ‘classic’ First Edition and OSRIC™ compatible fantasy-based roleplaying game adventure modules. We haven’t even bothered to type-set the manuscript, because really, why bother? These adventures may not be good for your matured sense of high-adventure, but they should be good for a laugh or two.” I am not sure I can make it more clear than that what you should expect from these products.
After that, there’s a GM Adventure log, with an empty Notes page, an empty Module Title page, and empty Summary Matrix, Weapons Matrix, Combat Matrix, and Spells Inventory pages.
Well, you got that much correct anyway.
It almost looks like the author took old notes from when he was 13 years old, scanned them and tried to pass them off as a proper module. If that is the case, either keep it to yourself or complete and polish the module properly.
Again, refer to the marketing verbiage that is included with all the HAMS products.
The module ends with advertisement for additional products from Usherwood Publishing. Here’s a tip. If you include a sample of your products, make sure the sample is at least of some type of quality, not the junk you provided.
Not sure if you’re commenting about the quality of the HAMS products, the map making products, or the Bone-Hilt Sword products here. However, I stand by all Usherwood Publishing products, and it saddens me to see them categorized as ‘junk’.
I, for one, will not purchase any products from Usherwood Publishing.
I really don’t know how to respond to this final sentence of the review. I wont try to convince the reviewer of the value of the HAMS products. He obviously thought he was getting some other kind of product. I can only say, next time, read of the whole description of what you are downloading before downloading it.