Author: Benjamin Schäfer
Publisher: Miskatonic Repository
Page Count: 12
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – $2.99
Lost Symmetry by Benjamin Schäfer is the author’s second offering at the Miskatonic Repository; his first being Too Close to Home which we previously reviewed. In this scenario, the players are students at Boston University in the 1920s. Their classmate James Bryant is absent from class one day. It’s unusual for James to miss class. He’s a bright boy with a future in mathematics, even his professor thinks so. Being James’ only acquaintances, and concerned for his well-being search for him. A look around campus leads to a few clues to his activities and current whereabouts. Time is of the essence as there is one more lecture before Professor Edward Hartman’s exam. Can the players’ characters reach James in time or will they need to get a note from an eldritch horror to grant them a makeup exam from Professor Hartman?
At 12 pages the scenario is a quick one; a single session. It would likely make for a good convention game, quickly moving players to locations with little choice, but as a home game not so much. With a small page count comes a lack of information and clue trails. The content is very light and offers no deviation without improvisation or work on the Keeper’s part to flesh out a broader story. The fixed placing of the clues along with no other neutral locations to replace them creates an atmosphere of failure. The scenario lacks a detailed backstory or any context to the overarching story. Adding to this, there is no build-up to the horror or practical reasoning for its use. The story is unexciting and its climax forced.
The only thing Lost Symmetry has going for it is its presentation. It has a nice abstract image for its cover and a uniform layout inside. The copy, what little there is, is easy to read and absent of mistakes usually found in self-publications. The handouts are professionally illustrated. Definite skill and thought went into the design of the publication. I only wish the same level of detail existed with the story.
Lost Symmetry is far from perfect. It has the potential. The story can easily be moved to other eras as nothing outlined in the story is 1920s specific. Its location can also easily move. One of the playtesters moved the scenario to Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. The overall story is pretty basic. Track a person via a clue trail to a monster fight. For a con game basic works fine but if a Keeper is going to use this for their own group they will want to do more.
At the purchase price of $2.99, I’m disappointed. Other than the professional quality illustrations of the handouts there really isn’t much here to get excited about. Based on the brief outline I gave above, a Keeper could construct his own scenario as equally exciting or better. Perhaps I’m missing something or the author failed to transfer the cosmic horror in his head to the printed page. For me, this scenario is a pass. There are plenty of other scenarios out there that require less work and provide a better mystery.
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