The Past’s Grasp Playtest Review

The Past’s Grasp is a wonderful adventure, and may be my new go-to one-shot. I playtested it with a great group with greater success. I thank Franky for the opportunity to be a part of its playtest.

I used a mix of 2400 Exiles and OZR, using the backgrounds generated to inspire a character. The group consisted of:

A Canid-Spliced Soldier, a horse-sized French Bulldog with a similarly horse-sized head of a human. Has a rifle screwed into its shoulder. Goes by Bruce.

A Dust Merchant by the name of Trader Joe, who commonly confuses dust for his dust.

A Plague Eater named Hammond, who was accidentally reanimated by Kentucky. Known for their 2m prehensile tongue.

A Sand Skimmer with a sand-encrusted Sextopus™ that he wore as a backpack. His name is Dirk.

A Starmind Adept named Prawn. His powers include being uncomfortably awkward.

Xenoarchaeologist who is 12 years old with a PHD. Her name is Kentucky Smith, who minored in EVERYTHING and wrote her dissertation on Star Titans.


I started to write a full synopsis of everything that happened in the session, but… I don’t think anyone wants that. So, instead, I’ve added “Review” to the title and will share my thoughts!

  • Lots of great improv material, and is open enough for me to insert my own things as the dungeon goes on. I LOVE when I can do this during a session, and don’t feel beholden to what’s written, in that I can easily go off-book.
  • It’s amazingly evocative. I had many “ooh, that’s cool” moments as well as many laugh out loud moments.
  • The dungeon is HUGE. Not in terms of room-count, but in that you need to spend HOURS getting to each room. I get there’s the hazards table for that reason, but I think that some tool to really make the dungeon FEEL huge is needed. It could’ve just been how I ran it, but it seemed kinda unimportant that the players had been in the giant for 16 hours and needed to sleep. The tool I personally propose is some sort of timer. There needs to be some active force that will change the giant in some way, that the players need to “race” to stop (I say “race” because it’d be over a day to get from one end of the dungeon to the other!). It could be a variety of things, but it needs to show that the players are changing the dungeon in some way.

A timer or similar, in my opinion, is the ONLY thing holding me from saying this is one of my favorite dungeons ever.

I highly look forward to its full release!


So glad to hear that you enjoyed it! I think if we expanded it we would definitely expand the environmental space. I think we were envisioning that the time spent would be summarized at a high level. Its something I’ve been both really interested with but also struggled with is depicting the passage of time. Its a huge space and how do you convey that effectively while also not just packing it full of stuff? Don’t have a great answer yet, but still mulling it over!

I see I cannot attach the file, let me find a way to hyperlink it in!

Here it is if you want to see it!