DMs Guild Review – 2112

A one-shot adventure based on the 1976 album by Rush.

dms guild review

A review copy of “2112” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Perseus

I’ve reviewed nearly 100 products on the DMs Guild, including adventures based on movies, fairy tales, and other adventures. I can honestly say I’ve never see an adventure inspired by a rock album – until now.

The band Rush was the direct inspiration for 2112, a one-shot mini-adventure based on the 1976 prog-rock album of the same name. It’s a uniquely cool concept for an outlandish one-shot, but it’s all over way too quickly.

As is the case with lots of prog-rock and sci-fi stories of the era, 2112 centers around a dystopian, centrally controlled community and the people who obey the will of their rulers, in this case a bunch of priests.  It’s set in the future in a different dimension, which 5e’s moldable rules can easily stretch to accommodate.

As a one-shot the PCs are given leave to create their own level 3 characters, though everyone starts as a commoner stat-block to recreate the feeling of being one of the mindless masses, which serves as an interesting handicap early on.

Several elements of the excellent 20-minute title track are on display during the first few pages, including an individual finding a guitar, awakening the PCs, and motivating them to infiltrate the central temple (Rush is an awesome band, in my humble opinion, and you can listen to the whole album on Spotify. RIP Neal Pert!).

All three band members appear as NPCs as the party makes their way inside the temple and are contacted by the Elder Race, ready to return and free them all if they can defeat the head priest and shut down the shield over Megadon.

dms guild review

Unfortunately just as things pick up, they’re over. The temple dungeon consists of basically two rooms. After the PCs are given their proper character sheets, they’re told what they need to do, quickly followed by a  final showdown with the head priest, a scaled-down CR 2 mage.

Pacing a one-shot can be tricky, especially as “one-shot” can mean anything from three to six hours depending on the group. My own D&D sessions typically last fewer than three hours, though with a one-shot we can go as long as four.

But even as a one-shot, this adventure is way too short. The temple needed to be expanded with a few more rooms into a proper, though still tiny dungeon crawl. I enjoyed the little puzzle door at the entrance but the PCs needed a chance to explore at their own pace, as that first act is prone to cutscenes and railroading.

The climactic boss fight against the low-level mage is destined for disappointment. There’s a fight right before with several temple guards that I would definitely combine together to give poor Father Brown at least a moderate chance of surviving more than a single round against a party of fully rested level three PCs. Another reason the temple needed expanded – to drain the party’s resources.

The 10-page adventure also suffers from some grammatical errors and poor sentence structure. I typically let a few errors slide, but there are more than a few sprinkled throughout, and the relatively small amount of text makes them stand out even more.

I appreciated the included maps of the dungeon, though the isometric map points to a larger dungeon design that I wished had been properly implemented. As it stands there’s not enough here to build a proper one-shot adventure around, as much as I love the concept.

Pros:

  • A sci-fi mini-adventure based on a prog-rock album.
  • Decent mix of exploration, combat, and social opportunities.

Cons:

  • Excessively short, even for a one-shot.
  • Poorly written.

The Verdict: A one-shot adventure based on a rock album is an excellent idea, though 2112 needs a bit more meat to be worthy of the legendary band.

A review copy of “2112” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

One thought on “DMs Guild Review – 2112”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s