Barrowmaze! A project by Greg Gillespie, with a misty field of barrows under which a sprawl of interconnected passages hides a growing evil. This corruption seeps through the earth, so some graves are suffused with it and their contents are animated, while others are still “quiet.”
Great elevator pitch, great idea. Very thematic. Lots of flexibility within defined parameters. The second Barrowmaze book came with an excellent barrow generator; I sought it out for the generator and was very satisfied with the kind of play the generator allows.
Plus there’s excellent focus on henchmen, on needing sledge hammers and chisels to break into sealed tombs, on using shovels to clear off entry stones to get down in there… this setting is made for characters explicitly planning to rob graves, and with that premise in place, it is a delight.
Now there is a new crowdfunding Barrowmaze effort, including miniatures. The main thrust of the value here, for me, is that Barrowmaze will be consolidated into a single book instead of two books. (And, hopefully the maps will be rehabilitated a bit to not be poster size or awkwardly broken up across multiple pages–my only complaint with the existing Barrowmaze.)
But wait! An RPG crowdfunder? That seems risky. Well, yes, it may well be. But (true story!) I was torn about whether or not to fund Barrowmaze II or Dwimmermount. They were funding at the same time, and so I weighed them to decide which one I wanted to back. I chose Dwimmermount. (There has been the occasional moment of regret.)
And Gillespie slam-dunked his obligation to make a slick Barrowmaze product. Since then, he’s done another crowd-funding effort for tee shirts. So, there is a track record to take into consideration.
I already have both Barrowmaze books, and I don’t want miniatures, so I’m not in for this one. However, I think that the Barrowmaze project is great, and if you are looking for a consistent and loamy-flavored dungeoncrawl, I think this is an excellent place to start. Go take a look!