1. A hardcover binding strong enough to repel a Brain Invader. The book must somehow be secured to head to remain 100% effective.
2. A rich, vibrant setting with multiple instances of “Damn I wanna run this NOW” on every single page.
3. A game book that forgoes character sections in favor a describing a world with enough hooks to inspire a thousand characters.
4. Some of the best plot hooks I’ve seen in gaming. I could run games set around the Fate Exchange or the Boardwalk War for years.
5. Art that ranges from Badass to Totally Badass.
6. The Barrowmen’s Horrify ability finally gives you a way to play the Vault-Keeper from The Haunt of Fear. That’s pretty great.
7. It’s got Hill-billy Giants. And, more importantly, it’s got Hill-billy Giantesses!
8. Efreet Kong. Just deal with that for a second.
9. The tagline for Djinn Cigarettes (“your wish for flavor is granted!”) is just damned good copy.
10. Speaking of copy, the entire book is written in a bulletproof style that I wish we saw more of in game stuff. It’s conversational yet packed with information, and contains enough cheek to stay entertaining. Highly readable stuff.
11. It’s nearly rules-agnostic. It’s written with an eye toward OSR systems but the only mechanical bits are in the monster section and the occasional mention of an NPC ability. I would happily run Weird Adventures in Moldvay, LotFP, BRP, FASERIP, Savage Worlds, FATE, or D20 Modern. In fact I think a Gumshoe-based detective game set in The City or Heliotrope would be pretty spectacular.
12. Alan Moore and Rick Veitch’s Greyshirt is explicitly called out as inspiration. If you haven’t read it, buy a copy the same day you buy Weird Adventures.
I am immensely impressed by Weird Adventures. Trey does more in 160 digest-sized pages than most settings do in twice the page count. In recent years the only thing that compares is Kenneth Hite’s The Day After Ragnarok. It would be easy for a lesser author to lose control of such a wide array of ideas and influences, but Trey maintains a tight grip on his vision. The atmosphere is heady and focused here. Everything feels cohesive and natural.
Buy this book. Even if you don’t think you’ll run it, Weird Adventures is worth the cover price as a fun read all by itself. But I can’t imagine any self-identified gamer being completely immune to its charms.
This is the stuff of True Adventure, folks.