Bathtub Reviews are an excuse for me to read modules a little more closely, but I’m doing this as a critique from the perspective of me, playing, and designing modules myself. They’re stream of consciousness and unedited harsh critiques on usually excellent modules. I’m writing them on my phone in the bath.
Break Their Pride By A Woman’s Hand is a free trifold pamphlet module by Dan D. It is a point crawl through a city recently sacked by an invading army, who brings their god with them to desecrate enemy temples.
This module is rad, although I’m not sure the trifold format behooves it. A number of mechanisms are at play that didn’t become clear to me immediately, but it’s short and concise enough that reading the whole module isn’t a chore at all.
There are a few mechanics here, and a detailed final reckoning that to a degree makes the module goal-oriented. The subtitle, “Attack and Dethrone God”, is probably a better name than the apocryphal reference of the actual title, with regards to clearly identifying the goal of the module. The actual title implies a lot of unstated intent — namely that the PCs are likely citizens of the city, that the two titular women are likely to redeem the city.
Most of the fourteen points of interest are one paragraph plus a number of bullet points, where bullet points specifically refer to dynamic aspects such as NPCs or clarifying options. Two NPCs are their own “points of interest”, and the invading God’s rules are split across sections which I don’t adore. There is a map with multiple options for entry and exit from all points of interest, and which you can use to track the invading gods movement.
The naming conventions have old-testament bronze-aged vibes, and honestly I think the module should’ve leant into that more by naming more of the NPCs, or away from that (“The God”, “The City”, “The Invading Forces”) instead of going half way there.
Overall, I think this is one of the strongest short adventures I’ve read. It’s concept dense, memorable, easy to run and interesting, with clear vectors for the PCs affecting the outcomes both at a micro and a macro level. Great if you want to write a dense pamphlet module and need to see what it looks like as a one-shot or to kick off a sandbox bronze age campaign.
4th April, 2023