Worst. Modules. Ever.

Dave999

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They weren't the Worst Modules but they were damn WEIRD modules and that's Otherspace and Otherspace II where the Star Wars player characters get dumped into an alternate dimension where they have to fight death-worshiping Spider people who use biotechnology.

It's notable because about 10 years later came the Yuuzhan Vong....

Spoiler: Show


 

Dave999

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I actually think I can make a point about this with an example from a module that didn't quite work for me. Thicker than Blood is a very good adventure premise but it requires the PCs to act in a certain way as well.

The PCs are Shadowrunners hired to recover a corporate executive's son, who has been kidnapped by his nanny because she loves him. The PCs are assumed that they will take the kid back from the nanny and hand him over because blood is blood. Except, he's a genetically engineered bio-computer and the corporate executive doesn't care a whiff for him.

When the PCs do it, the corporate executive will pay them then hire assassins to cover up loose ends. Because it's an illegal project, she doesn't want other corporates to know about it, and she doesn't want to look weak by her "son" having been stolen from her (that the PCs know about).
 

Kremlin KOA

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IIRC, this was part of what shaped the rather angry tone of Listen Up, You Primitive Screwheads! People were just not seeing the full range of possibilities in the genre.
This reminds me of many arguments I have had with other CP 2020 players
So many people keep talking about Solos, and how they are overpowered. Because they can be 2 or 3 guys worth of firepower in a fight.
Then I look at the Rocker, and realize their primary weapon is a freaking RIOT! And the initial adventure in the corebook specifically has a rocker bring a riot to a gunfight.
Their answer to "you and what army?" Is "My army of fans!" before a few thousand people charge in. And some of those peeps will BE solos.

Also on the list of bad Modules. "Arsenal of Terror" for RIFTS.
An adventure that shows a major antagonist group (Xiticix) n a different ay than any book, before or after.
An adventure where, if the PCs fail to stop the deadly bioweapon, the inventor will wreck it himself.
 

Talmor

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An adventure where, if the PCs fail to stop the deadly bioweapon, the inventor will wreck it himself.
This is one of my most despised tropes in modules. Even if everything else is golden, the idea "even if the PC's fails, NPCs/Fate will intervene to solve the problem." Nothing ruins a game faster, for me, than having ones failures mean nothing. It's one thing to have your SUCCESSES mean nothing--that's a solid if grim take on the world. But FAILURE should mean something.
 

The Fiendish Dr. Samsara

The elegant assassin
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This is one of my most despised tropes in modules. Even if everything else is golden, the idea "even if the PC's fails, NPCs/Fate will intervene to solve the problem." Nothing ruins a game faster, for me, than having ones failures mean nothing. It's one thing to have your SUCCESSES mean nothing--that's a solid if grim take on the world. But FAILURE should mean something.
But not if it ruins the writer/Gm's wonderful story!

I think that is what makes something like 80% of bad modules.
 

FoolishOwl

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Yeah, it's not great when there's a metaplot that mandates the correct ending to the adventure. It carries with it an implicit threat that if you don't play right, you'll be out of sync with canon, and unable to use future published content.

Which reminds me: supposedly Ed Greenwood put the question to his players, whether they should have the events of the Avatar Trilogy happen in their campaign world, or if they should ignore it and continue on their own path. They voted for the latter.
 

DarkMoc

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I feel like a cyberpunk games that's about changing the oppressive system needs a good mechanic for tracking the wider world that the PCs aren't interacting with directly. Either that or a GM who's very good at layering in those details; if you succeed at blowing up the water bottling plant, you see people in your neighborhood drinking from taps or with their own canteens. Otherwise there's lines at the vending machines for Corp-o-Drink and their branded plastic bottles are cluttering the drainage ditches.
This is why I always try to find a way to adapt the community rules from Underground! to any sort of modern campaign that has any social concerns at all. It's pretty much the only rule set I've seen that explicitly lays out how a PC group can alter their community.

As far as worst modules go, pretty much any of the Mayfair Games' City-State of the Invincible Overlord boxes make it on my list. They weren't unfair like the old tournament modules or Grimtooth's stuff, and they weren't really railroady. No, they suckered you into a world of unimaginable blandness and player ennui that shared only a name with the sandbox masterclass that was the original CSIO. They were the raw tofu of gaming, oddly textured and with no real flavor of their own. They're not the worst because of bad mechanics or bad design, they're the worst because they took a gonzo setting and made it banal.
 

Dave999

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The shittiest general modules for me are the ones that don't require the PCs to be there.

Everything is resolved by the NPCs ala World of Warcraft.
 

Davies

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This is why I always try to find a way to adapt the community rules from Underground! to any sort of modern campaign that has any social concerns at all. It's pretty much the only rule set I've seen that explicitly lays out how a PC group can alter their community.
Those rules are the clear inspiration for the Paradigm Shift rules in the Mutants and Masterminds setting Paragons.
 
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