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REVIEW: The Cursed Chateau, by James Maliszewski

November 29, 2011

I think this happens somewhere in this adventure...

Apparently Dwimmermount will soon be inflicted upon an innocent world, which makes now the perfect time to examine one of James Maliszewski’s prior efforts. Thinking of taking the plunge into the wildly-creative imagination of the preeminent voice of the OSR? Perhaps The Cursed Chateau can provide a glimpse of what to expect…

Layout: Contemptible. Page count is 49, a cynical ruse that pretends to deliver value beyond the $4 cover price. Margins are criminally vast, consuming a full third of each page — the text blocks are almost comically tiny, hidden amid vast frontiers of glaring whitespace.

Art: Wretched. The cover shows a staircase… not the most compelling call to adventure. Erol Otus contributes what appears to be an unfinished piece on page 24. Can anyone explain the artist’s intent on page 31? The illustration on page 20 fails in every way possible. The 3-year-old responsible for the drawing on page 22 should be encouraged to play sports.

Maps: Childish. Thank cartographer Robert Conley for an autism-inspired level of detail that is cluttered and ridiculous. Style recalls hotel fire escape graphics, but with a bizarre and unwelcome attention to detail that sees fit to render every last carpet stain, stray bone, tiny patch of rubbish, and broken 2×4. Messy, unattractive, and unnecessary. Also printer unfriendly, with massive black borders and a pointlessly precise depiction of the grass outside the chateau — have additional ink cartridges close at hand should you desire a hardcopy.

Content: Tiresome. Common spells are disallowed to ensure the precisely-laid railroad tracks are not disturbed. Roster of opponents is age-old and presented without significant variation: the most common types of undead comprise 90% of the encounters in The Cursed Chateau. Maliszewski’s bursts of creativity are uniformly familiar: an underground cult of frog-like demon-worshipers, an iron maiden that comes alive, a demon with red skin, horns, and bat wings. Can ghasts accurately be included in the ‘New Monsters’ section? Such dull, reheated efforts fit comfortably into a movement that views cloned rules material as new and exciting.

Writing is poor and rife with hazards of clumsy sentence construction (“Lord Jourdain used the frogs as guardians for some of his treasures, which can be found submerged in the small lake inside a locked chest.”) and humorously inept prose (“Demonic frogs’ red eyes flicker with demonic intelligence and they can speak the language of demons.”).

Additional Gripe: Level 1 is numbered 1-13, numbering begins again from 1 for each of Level 2 and the Caverns. This is confusing and silly for a product so small, simply number the areas 1-40 and be done with it.

Rating: 0 feces-smeared Poag ogre dicks (out of a potential 5 feces-smeared Poag ogre dicks).

49 Comments leave one →
  1. kent permalink
    November 29, 2011 8:38 pm

    Interesting reviewing technique, calmly destructive.

    Chef appraises dubious slab of meat with exploratory cuts, imprecates in French and fucks flesh in bin.

  2. November 30, 2011 6:15 am

    Am I to assume that Maliszewski will not be contributing a holiday guest post this year?

  3. November 30, 2011 6:28 am

    Sounds like Jmal.

    His blog is notable mostly for sheer quantity, pretentious reviews & absolutely zero creative output whatsoever,

  4. Sykirobme permalink
    November 30, 2011 11:39 am

    I dunno. A lake inside a locked chest is pretty damned creative, if you ask me.

  5. Radovarl permalink
    November 30, 2011 12:46 pm

    “Demonic frogs’ red eyes flicker with demonic intelligence and they can speak the language of demons.”

    Really? That’s unusually bad even for Pope James’ consistently stilted and bumbling prose.

  6. November 30, 2011 1:30 pm

    More reviews please.

  7. Radovarl permalink
    November 30, 2011 3:04 pm

    LOL. I just commented on The Pope of Old School’s latest blog post, ’bout his upcoming “Thousand Sucks” reboot.. Said I was looking forward to its YDIS review. Took about 20 minutes for him to delete my comment. Thin skin? Naaaaaww. What a staid, humorless little goblin-faced twit.

    His answer to a question about the contents of his brilliant new piece of shit?

    “Thousand Suns is basically Poul Anderson and H. Beam Piper the Roleplaying Game, but with 21st century special effects. Does that help?”

    Great, take the two least imaginative space opera machinegun scifi (and I don’t mean SF) outputters of the last sixty years, stir in some Spielberg and stir (not shake like Bond, that’d be too out there). Great, Traveller on a cocktail of Geritol and Cialis, just what I need. Boo.

    • November 30, 2011 4:28 pm

      Great. Beam me up Scotty to the USS SUCKDUNGEON.

  8. November 30, 2011 4:23 pm

    Shouldn’t the skeleton on the bed be that of a child? And maybe a pumpkin for a head on the one standing?

  9. Timothy permalink
    November 30, 2011 6:31 pm

    I’m tempted to get this just for those sentences. They hint of hidden gems.

    And that was nice of Zak to pose for the picture above. Who is his new retired sex industrial worker friend?

  10. Otto permalink
    November 30, 2011 6:57 pm

    Don’t you know originality is overrated?

  11. Lamentations of Gygax's Ghost permalink
    December 1, 2011 4:20 am

    Hell, I went lightly searching for other reviews and all the blog-o-sphere EVER says about any module is “reviewing this is hard as I don’t want to GIVE THE ADVENTURE AWAY so I’ll keep it brief”. Then it’s a bunch of nonsense about how original and AWESOME the module is. To be honest that tells me nothing. Hell, if one of you panty waists had told me Death Frost Doom was a rewrite of The Lichway with a reference or two to Evil Dead II in a review I’d have saved five bucks finding that out myself. Unfortuately OSR reviewers are a bunch of circle jerking wimps that will surely suffer the fate of the Donner Party before it’s all said and done.
    Death Frost Doom, most AWESOME and ORIGINAL plagiarism of a module that was actually a good module before Raggi changed two or three things to reference a bad black metal album.
    Hmmm, YDIS, can I be tapped to write reviews as well?

  12. Timothy permalink
    December 1, 2011 10:06 am

    Hey, check out Faggi’s latest post, pumping up the Carblowsa controversy to pump up sales. He even reprinted McKinney’s whiney-ass “Barker did it first!” excuses. Surprised he didn’t comb through Grogturdia posts to find those dickhead apologists who compared him to Vance and Leiber. We’ll see those boys hiding behind first amendment rights very soon, while attacking those who use the same rights to voice their disapproval.

  13. December 1, 2011 11:49 am

    Gotta say I am a Carcosa fan, although I did get the expurgated edition. Beats the Realms any day.

  14. December 1, 2011 6:50 pm

    Would it have hurt to throw in some Tegel Manor comparisons?

    • December 1, 2011 8:02 pm

      Other than both taking place in a house, there’s no comparing the two. Tegel wins its modest points on charm, a trait that JaMal neither possesses nor can manufacture.

  15. December 1, 2011 8:57 pm

    Judging by that picture, I think Wrinklequim has aged some more..

    • Roger Moret permalink
      December 1, 2011 11:18 pm

      I’d still titty fuck her. That is one hot old broad.

  16. Zakfaggot permalink
    December 2, 2011 10:57 am

    “And that was nice of Zak to pose for the picture above. Who is his new retired sex industrial worker friend?”

    Timothy, that isn’t me. It’s obviously a skeleton prop. But the girl on the bed is actually my GF Mandy. So much for the Canadian health care system. Wanna buy one of her grimy bras so we can afford more AIDS medicine for her?

  17. December 2, 2011 1:48 pm

    Out of curiosity, is Zak Princess porn like real legit porn made by professional producers and production houses, or is it just the porn equivalent of OSR games – done by amateur hacks with a couple of open source software tools and internets access?

    • Radovarl permalink
      December 2, 2011 2:58 pm

      Is there a difference?

    • December 2, 2011 7:19 pm

      Not much I’m guessing. ANyone got a link to Zak’s porn?I gotta see this shit for myself.

  18. December 3, 2011 3:58 pm

    Wow. Still here, still taking the easy shots, slightly smaller crowd of sock puppet, syncophants, and Hunter S. Thompson Wannabees; and still boring.

    • December 3, 2011 8:48 pm

      SHOW US YOUR TITS BITCH! YGGR!!!

      • December 4, 2011 1:49 pm

        Oh come now. You saw them every day when you were a dear, suckling babe.

        Love and XXXX’s

        (So you can’t call more often ?)

    • December 4, 2011 11:31 am

      What’s a syncophant? Is that one of the 44 monsters in Atlantasia that nobody has seen before?

      Oh, wait…I get it. You must mean sycophant. Jeepers, you really put us in our place. Thanks for the insight!

      • December 4, 2011 1:48 pm

        Nicely done. A spelling flame. Gosh, that just shows me that this is still edgy and interesting.

      • December 4, 2011 6:34 pm

        I think a syncophant might be a five headed elephant or something.

        She’s still one stupid cunt though. Close your legs, you fucking whore. You’re getting flies and stench in here.

  19. Lugh permalink
    December 4, 2011 9:43 am

    I realized that nobody reads the “About” page because well, anyone who comes here knows what this all is about since it has no appeal to anyone outside this community, so I figured I’d crosspost.

    “I gotta say, even though your site is not funny for anyone not deeply versed in the OSR, it’s served the valuable purpose of making me not want to read their blogs or look at their work at all.

    Also the insufferable linked comments about how they WILL persevere through your just HORRIBLE trolling are precious. Don’t they know that this shit is complete gibberish to anyone who hasn’t memorized James Maliszewski’s biography?”

    • December 4, 2011 1:54 pm

      You missed one:

      “The real reason I hate those self important bloggers is that they didn’t ask my permission first.”
      —Bill Silvey AKA “The Dungeon Delver”

      And with one post, YDIS is spared years of costly therapy uncovering their motivations. Well done !

      • Roger Moret permalink
        December 4, 2011 5:43 pm

        Can we get back to your tits, please?

      • December 4, 2011 6:35 pm

        YGGR… AND TITTY FUCKED!

  20. December 4, 2011 7:24 pm

    Girl, I am reminded of Monty Burns “thrashing Smithers to within an inch of his life” by your ineffectual blathering.
    “Unmasking” YDIS is so three weeks ago. No one gives a fuck who it is, but the whiney pretentions of the blogosphere can use a lLITTLE PRICK now & then.
    (there’s your opening, have at it like the 1000’s have at yours)

    • Radovarl permalink
      December 5, 2011 6:38 am

      Sorry, I have to take the opening: we already have far too many little pricks in the OSR blogosphere….. Ta dum tum..

  21. December 5, 2011 8:30 am

    girl2-497, didn’t you forget to change your login when you posted as Misstress?

    If you’re not the same, let’s start a kickstarter to produce the first OSRporn featuring a hot anal lesbian scene between Misstress and you.

    • Roger Moret permalink
      December 5, 2011 9:41 am

      Finally a kickstart I can get “behind”. Bravo! I’ll earmark five bucks for that one.

  22. December 5, 2011 9:56 am

    Awwww Boo Fucking Hoo. The UNDERDARK JIZZETTE blog is closing. Why? Because the tool that writes it is afraid of the big bad lawyers and WotC because he uses their trademarked ‘Underdark’ in the title of his precious little suckdungeon. Typical of the OSR Turdosphere blowhards, he’s stirring up shit and blaming the big bad corporate game company and Copyright and Trademark law and creating a tempest in a teapot! They didn’t even send him a Cease and Desist Order yet but it’s still all their fault and he must pull the blog immediately! GET A CLUE YOU ATTENTION SEEKING HACK: WOTC DOESN’T KNOW OR CARE THAT YOUR SUCKDUNGEON EVEN EXISTS!!!

    • Overdark permalink
      December 5, 2011 10:55 am

      What a gutless, ignorant dipshit. In a “movement” where a couple of clueless nitwits actually plastered the old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons name, dragonified ampersand and all, right on the cover of their crappy module, and every other blog uses copyrighted artwork as a header, that this biker-lookin’ fatbeard would have a little more moxy.

  23. December 5, 2011 12:06 pm

    “Out of curiosity, is Zak Princess porn like real legit porn made by professional producers and production houses”

    I’m not aware if Mr. Suck has commented on this, but no Zak does not seem to have any kind of affiliation with any major adult film professionals. Zak happened to come to LA and fit in with the sleezy side of “art,” and got a scene or two in low end “art” porn because of his friends, who he admits are scumbags (not in those words but it’s true) Anybody with some decent equipment can throw together an artsy porn and aim it at the underground “burlesque” crowd or whatever. More often than not they use it to get laid from moronic skanks, and sell the scenes for pennies. So there is some proof he got laid, big whoop. But the generally unlaid gaming community have flocked to his blog because he was also a gamer with this “porn star” angle. But he is mostly a poser and a sham. Look up his Wikipedia entry and it is so obvious he wrote it himself. There is a comment that says he donated his adult work money to worthy charity. But that is a laugh because guys don’t get paid any real money for porn, high or low end. Maybe a couple hundred bucks. Many of the same guys you see in porn from the 90’s through now that you recognize as having been in a thousand pornos still drive shitty 1995 Toyotas and live in little shitbox apartments in Hollywood or the Valley. It don’t pay. So he has gamed with some whores big deal. In the real, non-gaming world whores and strippers are something you accidentally kill at a bachelor party, and have your drunk friends help you bury the next morning. But of course that beats playing D&D and using old copies of Dungeoneer as favors at your bach party.

    The only legit porn person Zak has been around is Sasha Gray, and neither he nor his pals were friends with her. Sasha was coming to the end of her gang bang career, and was looking to do anything but fuck on camera (pussy and ass probably blown out from the gang rape simulations). She got involved in that boring Axe situation because she was looking to cash in without getting corn holed and eating jizz. But it was just another thing that Zak Princess was able to “wow” horny, wank-happy geeks with and grow his phoney rep.

    • December 5, 2011 12:37 pm

      Thank you for confirming what I was thinking. Those porn “star” women he’s with seemed excessively trashy and skanky, even for that industry.

    • December 7, 2011 8:55 pm

      Wasn’t Stoya in one of the I Hit It With My Axes at some stage?

  24. December 5, 2011 12:39 pm

    I just want to remind everyone that Faggi the Flame Princess is having a blowout sale on his entire PDF catalog. If you head over to 7chan or 4shared, everything is available for free download, including Zak Princess’s epic suckdungeon turd, VORNHYMEN.

  25. FASERIP permalink
    December 5, 2011 1:59 pm

    Zak’s a mope.

Trackbacks

  1. To the 441+ suckers who have bought into Dwimmermount « Your Dungeon Is Suck.
  2. PrinceofNothingReviews: The Cursed Chateau (Lotfp); Drowning in the footsteps of Giants – Age of Dusk

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