A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Fun & Facts: For the Hive! by J Gray

Fun & Facts: For the Hive! by J Gray is a role playing game supplement published by Playground Adventures for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This supplement is one of the publisher’s Fun & Facts series, although this is by far the longest of the, at the time of writing, educational adventures in this range. The publisher specialises in making supplements for younger players. The adventure is set in Glavost, first seen in the publisher’s adventure Pixies on Parade and then covered more thoroughly in Glavost: A Fairy Tale Village. The theme of the adventure and the supplement is bees.

Fun & Facts: For the Hive!The supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow at the regular price of $4.95 or as a softcolour print on demand book for $11.95 or both the PDF and the book for $11.95. The PDF is the version reviewed, which was purchased at the reduced price of $2.48. The PDF has 30 pages, of which two pages are the full colour front and back covers, one page is the front matter, one page is the Table of Contents, one page is a summary of the Fun & Facts range and what they’re intended for as well as the Publisher’s Note, one page is a full page colour illustration, four pages are two full page, full colour maps, one version of each labelled for the GameMaster and one unlabeled player version and one page is half facts about bees and half advert. The adventure itself is in three acts, which are preceded by a background and summary of the adventure and how to get the players involved.

Act 1: A Sprite in Need, introduces Bzzercup the Bee Sprite who needs the players help in rescuing the hive of fairy bees she is responsible for from a gremlin and the paper wasps he has bound to his will. There are a couple of NPCs and two new magical items, one of which will allow Bzzercup to communicate with the players through the adventure; these communications are marked in separate boxes, and contain various facts about bees. There is a fairly classical style of logic puzzle that needs solving in order to get the potion needed for the next act, with a simpler version and stat based options for younger players.

Act 2: A Backyard Adventure sees the players shrunk in size, as they will remain until the end of the adventure. The rules on shrinking are simplified from the normal Pathfinder rules to make life easier for the GM and, probably, for younger players. At this size the players have to cross the backyard, with several encounters along the way.

Act 3: Inside the Hive sees the players enter the fairy bee hive itself, and make their way through it to the final battle against the gremlin where they have to free the queen. The adventure is then wrapped up and there are several recommended books about bees listed.

Fun & Facts: For the Hive! in Review

The PDF is quite well bookmarked and the Table of Contents is at a similar level as well as being hyperlinked. Navigation is therefore decent and probably above average, but it could have been slightly better, if the various new items and other minor things had also been bookmarked.

The supplement itself follows a two column layout for the majority of the text, and only had one noticeable error – Bzzercup’s stat block gives her name as Buzzercup. The book is in full colour, with page backgrounds that match the bee-theme, there is one full page colour illustration, and several that are half page, the covers are also in full colour and there are several smaller, appropriate, illustrations throughout the text. The book is therefore very nice to look at.

The text is interspersed with the Bzzercup Facts, which provide various facts about honey bees along the way, some of which are designed to be useful in the adventure. The supplement does lack the integral practical activities seen in the previous two Fun & Facts adventures, although there are three links to origami sites where there are instructions on how to create a paper wasp at different levels of complexity. The facts themselves are done in quite an unobtrusive way, and making them appropriate to various points in the adventure does make it more likely that they will be remembered. There are also various references to Glavost that mean the adventure can be easily incorporated into a campaign set there, but these could also be altered to run it as a standalone, or even elsewhere.

This is an entertaining way of presenting some facts about honey bees, and the adventure does provide a number of different ways of adjusting either its difficulty or its length, making it more flexible for both time and age. Fun & Facts: For the Hive! is a fun little adventure, and the supplement looks very nice as well.

 

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