Undying Sands Review

14 July 2021
The zombie camels were appreciated

The humble hex crawl doesn’t seem to get that much love outside of the indie and OSR RPG space. Rocking up at a random location, rolling a table or two, and making something up can be a bit overwhelming. But what if… the locations were completely random too. Enter this GM screen slash roleplaying adventure setting. You get a screen with the adventure’s rules and tables on it, a vague map of a pyramid, and a bag of hex tiles that players will be drawing from as they explore. Each tile has either an event, a location, or just some sand. It is a desert after all.

Our group bolted it on to the Into The Odd system and off we went, wandering the desert looking for anything of value to pay off the debt. As a player aid it’s kind of exciting handing back control to players in such a basic way. It’s certainly not the GM’s fault that the players stumbled into a dangerous set of ancient robot ruins, they pulled the tile from the bag after all. Building up the desert world (which can be all shuffled in a, frankly hilarious, sandstorm) has all the satisfaction of a Euro tile layer, with the additional joys of classic roleplaying world generation.

One complaint was the emptiness
of the desert itself, as, while you can roll random tables for encounters, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as good as when they do find a useful location after a long trudge of dwindling resources. It’s sort of the point, but more stuff to do in the nothingness of the desert may have helped. Still, the zombie camels were appreciated. One for those looking for a new twist for their group, especially if the randomness and components appeal.

Christopher John Eggett


Designer: Adriana Oliveira & Andre Novoa

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Publisher: Games Omnivorous

Pages: 3

Ages: 12+

Price: £30

This feature originally appeared in Issue 57 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.

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