A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement ASA: Picnic at Forest Cove by Kelly Pawlik

ASA: Picnic at Forest Cove by Kelly Pawlik and published by Playground Adventures is an adventure for 2-4 characters of levels 1-2 for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Playground Adventures specialise in making family friendly adventures, particularly aimed at children, for a number of different rule systems. This particular adventure fits into the Fun & Facts educational adventures (focussing on Science and Environment) and the After School Adventures (short adventures intended to only take an hour or two) categories. The supplement is covered by the Open Game License (although the license itself isn’t in the supplement; there is instead a link to the license on the company’s website.

ASA: Picnic at Forest CoveThe supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow at the regular price of $1.99 but it was purchased at the reduced price of $1.00. This is a short, nine page PDF. One page of the PDF is the full colour front cover and one page the activity sheet.

The supplement is effectively divided into two sections. The first four page section is the adventure itself, where the players are on a picnic (the contents of the basket are detailed, and can prove useful) from their school accompanied by a teacher. After encountering, and speaking to, some animals, the players then have to see why the local area has become toxic to live in and solve the problem themselves.

The second, three page section (and the accompanying activity sheet) includes a cookie recipe and an activity based around the cookies, where the players participate in a simulated coal mining game where they have to “mine” the cookies and restore the environment afterwards, using play money and a number of other easy to find accessories.

ASA: Picnic at Forest Cove in Review

The PDF has bookmarks for the various sections, something of a surprise for a supplement of this length, although there is no other index. The supplement is easy to navigate. The layout varies between one and two columns, mostly depending on the section. The adventure is mostly to a two column layout whilst the activity is only a single column.

The supplement itself is in full colour, and looks beautiful, although there is only one illustration inside it. The rest of the colour layout is in the page backgrounds.

No stats are provided in the adventure for the various creatures; instead, there are hyperlinks to the relevant pages of the Pathfinder Reference Document on the Paizo site. There is also a link to a site about coal mining.

The adventure is short and easy to run, and there are a number of different ways that players can solve various problems – violence is not the only option listed, and creativity should be rewarded if they come up with other solutions. The activity should also be found interesting by children.

There are a couple of flaws with the supplement, which is otherwise very good. There are no experience, or other, rewards listed, which means that the GameMaster will have to generate these if it is used as part of a larger campaign. Additionally, the activity is completely separate to the actual adventure, even though it is on a related topic. It would have been better if they could have been integrated together, rather than being separate. Still, ASA: Picnic at Forest Cove should be a fun adventure and activity to run with children. Click here to buy it from RPGNow.

 

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