X6: Quagmire! A great wilderness romp for Expert, but the art doesn't sing

AD&D Modules Jeff Butler Steve Peregrine TSR

Good old Merle M. Rasmussen did manage a few very inspired modules in the 1980s, and X6: Quagmire! absolutely makes that list.

This adventure, for characters 4-10, is a nice little romp through exotic climbs to a mythic ‘spiral city’.  Its purpose seems to be to expand on the D&D Expert set and show exactly how to run a true wilderness adventure.  To this end, it does a great job, and the mass of charts and encounters in the back will help any DM if they are looking to flesh out the travel aspect of a D&D campaign.

The artwork, however, leaves something to be desired. 

Cover artist Steve Peregrine really fails to capture the ‘magic’ I’d seen with his work for I.C.E. on their Middle-Earth Role-Playing, and perhaps that is because he’s been asked to do color work.  His lack of expertise using color is evident, and I’m saddened because he’s was fully capable of doing some of the most sublime b/w illustration I’ve ever seen.

Inside, artist Jeffrey Butler gets the nod, but his work is heavy handed and comes off leaden.  It lacks a bit of flare, but Jeff always does quality work, so I'm not knocking him, it is just that I don't usually 'feel' Butler's work.   

Diesel does the maps, and they are certainly the best artistic piece of the module.

So in closing, great content, but not much to show from the art.

Artistic Rating: 2 [out of 5]

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