TSR The Cult of Abaddon - Release from NuTSR/TheEvilDM

Faolyn

(she/her)
Unfortunately, that's what NuTSR has done here. They gave credit to some artists, but not all. By doing so, they have incorrectly stated that this art (from Alekzander, Axebane, and Kimagu) is by someone else (Vincent Florio, Donald Semora, Forge Studios). That's intellectual theft. It's possibly just an oversight in editing, but that doesn't make it any less of a problem. If you put a can of tuna in your pocket and forget about it, it's still theft when you walk out of the store without paying for it.
It's probably an oversight, or just laziness, as nobody at NuTSR seems willing to make much of an effort at the best of times. Or maybe they googled stuff and used images that didn't have watermarks all over them and didn't bother to find out who the artists were in the first place. But when I saw who they failed to credit, I suddenly wondered if it was because two of those people are "foreign" (Kimagu is Hungarian and Alekzander is Ukranian--hope he's doing all right) and that made it "less important" for them to care about crediting properly.
 

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I found a couple interesting things on the back cover.

Just below the ISBN is this note: "Cover Art by: Madre Shipton" I don't know what to make of this. The cover art is credited inside the book to Felipe Gaona at Fat Goblin Games. There's no art on the back cover. Maybe a reference to an earlier version?

Also, the back cover contains the text "The cult is attempting to harness the souls of these deaths to summon Abaddon the Demon from his dark prison deep in the depths of the Underdark." I am pretty sure Underdark is one of names that is not free for use under the OGL. The back cover is the only place it shows up in the adventure, so I'm guessing this was supposed to be scrubbed but got missed. Could be a costly mistake.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
I found a couple interesting things on the back cover.

Just below the ISBN is this note: "Cover Art by: Madre Shipton" I don't know what to make of this. The cover art is credited inside the book to Felipe Gaona at Fat Goblin Games. There's no art on the back cover. Maybe a reference to an earlier version?

Also, the back cover contains the text "The cult is attempting to harness the souls of these deaths to summon Abaddon the Demon from his dark prison deep in the depths of the Underdark." I am pretty sure Underdark is one of names that is not free for use under the OGL. The back cover is the only place it shows up in the adventure, so I'm guessing this was supposed to be scrubbed but got missed. Could be a costly mistake.
Yeah, that's a disallowed word. Does the module even have a copy of the OGL at the back? Cuz it's supposed to.

As far as Don goes, I imagine people would be less confused if

  • he didn't have a close relationship with LaNasa and went to the ground defending him last summer
  • worked with Justin closely for a while
  • has almost the same writing style as Justin (complete with atrocious grammar)
  • only produces vaporware to date, constantly promising release dates that come and go. He's been promising stuff almost every month since last September.
  • "creates" the same type of products for the same marketing demographic
 

Stormonu

Legend
Read through @DLIMedia 's partial review. Sounds like the lack of editing is pretty bad - not quite The Forest Oracle levels of bad, but fairly close.

Is the adventure even runnable in its current state?
 

Maggan

Writer for CY_BORG, Forbidden Lands and Dragonbane
I must admit that I am a bit surprised at the thought of an editor being the person to salvage a badly written text. Shouldn't the text be sort of okay at the get go? Sure some cuts here, some suggestions for rewrites there, some grammar fixes. But the responsibilty for the text being of sound structure and passable grammar and spelling must surely rest on the writer?

Or is it normal for writers to turn in bad text to be fixed by editors? Is that industry standard?
 


I'm disinclined to pay even $9 for this train wreck to see for myself, but I am curious about the actual adventure itself.

@DLIMedia already confirmed it's not anything special or worth salvaging.

I'm curious if it's sandbox, narrative, if it tries to introduce any unique monsters, if the dungeons look original or did they rip off Dyson's Delves...
 

Stormonu

Legend
I must admit that I am a bit surprised at the thought of an editor being the person to salvage a badly written text. Shouldn't the text be sort of okay at the get go? Sure some cuts here, some suggestions for rewrites there, some grammar fixes. But the responsibilty for the text being of sound structure and passable grammar and spelling must surely rest on the writer?

Or is it normal for writers to turn in bad text to be fixed by editors? Is that industry standard?
I'm no editor, but I've turned in texts to them. They're humans, just like anyone else so you at least want to put your best foot forward - or they may just give up on you.

But a spell-checker should have caught a fair number of the problems in that document. The case/tense mixups, less so. But, any second pair of eyes would have caught a LOT of the glaring issues.
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Is the adventure even runnable in its current state?
Technically, yes... but it will take the DM far more effort than usual to make sense of it all.

I must admit that I am a bit surprised at the thought of an editor being the person to salvage a badly written text. Shouldn't the text be sort of okay at the get go? Sure some cuts here, some suggestions for rewrites there, some grammar fixes. But the responsibilty for the text being of sound structure and passable grammar and spelling must surely rest on the writer?

Or is it normal for writers to turn in bad text to be fixed by editors? Is that industry standard?
Depending on the editor, there may come a point when they may say "I can't fix this." Or maybe they'll charge you significantly more because of the amount of effort involved.

My experience in those extreme cases, where the editor actually goes though and effectively rewrites everything because it's terrible, is that the original author does not take it particularly well and actually gets enraged at the editor. The end result, depending on the author's ability to realize they need to better themselves, is to either go back to the drawing board, publish the train wreck, or bury the product in a deep grave.

Also, Grammarly is free... It's not perfect, but it's a significant help.
 

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