6 Automata of John Carlson


Automata Run Amok - a Detail

Recently John Carlson asked me if I would be interested in illustrating his OSR adventure, Automata Run Amok in the politest e-mail I have had the pleasure of receiving in a long time. What ensued was a fun collaboration and the opportunity to help shape a very enjoyable entry-level adventure. Oh, I also drew a few pictures for it.

Go Get This Adventure

It’s pay what you want from John’s Dwarven Automata press, and worth every pfennig you want to pfay.

I Can’t Give A Proper Review

Because I helped create this adventure, and had a pokey finger or two in some of the final solutions, but I can expand on John’s self-deprecating description. What makes this adventure worth your time?

  1. It’s a good intro for a PCs coming into a big city. The adventure is full of widgets and bits to poke at, which will ensure a fun session, but also give the DM a fair few ideas of how to mix up and expand bits of cityscapes.
  2. It has an interesting layout that should make it quite easy to pick up for any DM – hopefully!
  3. It has good NPCs with interconnected motivations, which you can use or drop, but they do mean that this adventure is written to let the DM run the whole module in two or three different ways depending which side the PCs choose. And the endings are different (though to be explored more in a later adventure, I believe).
  4. How would I run it? Do you remember the Prison of the Hated Pretender by Gus L of the Dungeon of Signs? In scope this is similar (well, a tad more expansive), but grounded in a city and the rivalries of the living. I’d read through it and then spend 10-20 minutes taking notes on how to slot it into an adventure – or just dump it on the players right off. There is enough right there to see which direction the game will take from there on. Also, John mentions OSRIC and other OSR rule sets. I would have zero qualms about running it as is against 1st to 2nd level 5E characters. Against 3rd level, I’d amp up some of the opponents and traps.
  5. Finally, it has my illustrations and an isometric map I put together inside, so I’d appreciate some personal feedback as well.

Technical Stuff

The illustrations are B3 pencil and F-C PITT artist pens on Deleter B-type comic book paper 135kg.

And now, to repeat. Go Get This Adventure