Welcome to Pen & Die’s Infinite Adventures Omnibus Review! Just to be clear, we will be referring to it as the IAO for the rest of the article. The author, Jason Payne of Infinium Game Studios, has created a tremendous body of work with his FlexTale line. The IAO adds to it with 800+ pages containing over 150 detailed and evocative prefabricated locations, providing a wealth of useful material for both the solo player and the GM. Jason’s works usually offer great advice and the IAO brings around 30 pages of useful advice and explanation on using the book. Whether you need a location for tonight’s adventure, or you’re looking to explore more than procedurally generated places, the IAO has you covered. Altogether, I give this supplement a 9/10, especially for solo players.
You can find it in PDF or Hardback print here:
The IAO does not come with a built in adventure generator, although several of Jason’s other works do. However, the locations in the IAO are perfect as Points of Interest during exploration or as beginning/ending points for hex crawl adventures. Incidentally, there is another IGS product, the FlexTale Hexcrawl Toolkit, that provides rules, procedures, and adventure generation for hex crawls. I’ll be covering that book in a future article. Anyway, you can use the hex crawl system of your choice as you travel to the numerous locations found here. Once you arrive, turning to the location entry provides a great deal of useful and unique information. While you may have already had some sort of quest that brought you here, the IAO also provides numerous reasons why your characters might have ended up at a particular location.
While your characters can discover these locations during their explorations, a GM or solo player may also want to roll one of the points of interest up as a starting location. Each one contains numerous opportunities for adventure and storytelling. Some of the locations may hook your party so strongly that it becomes the focus of your campaign. While the IAO may not provide every detail that you will need, it will certainly provide a stable foundation to build off of. One way that I like to utilize the locations is to generate an adventure/quest then roll on the Random Point of Interest Selector Table as the destination. Therefore, while searching for the Monstrous Skin of the Ancient Toymaker, my PC(‘s) hears that it may be found in the Ghostbreeze Hills.
Once a location has been determined, perusing the entry provides descriptions, hooks, terrain information, and special rules. NPC’s do not make an appearance for the most part, but Jason devotes four pages to each location. Locations feel effectively summarized and described so that that the flavor shines through on each one. You will know what you’re generating for each place. Further, you will know what kinds of threats you might face or secrets you might uncover. Every location functions as more than a seed. Maybe more like an adventure sapling.
Mr. Payne wrote the IAO with a wide range of game systems in mind. Most of the main material in the book is system agnostic. You will be able to make some table rolls and consult your system’s bestiary to resolve encounters etc. Some usage of an oracle or generators may be necessary to flesh out NPC’s or details of a location. The author does include some useful supplementary tables that will make the solo player’s or on-the-fly GM’s life easier. A table to generate Difficulty Classes (target numbers) or creature scaling tables allow you to adjust game difficulty for several of the popular D20 based systems. To some, this will represent and unnecessary increase in game complexity. I don’t exactly disagree. However, the author seeks to give the reader procedures that will allow the game world to feel alive.
Although the IAO conforms to the needs of 5e, Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2e, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and OSR games in general; it’s mostly system agnostic material. Tables with specific stats, mostly supplemental, contain columns for each of the above systems. So unless you’re playing something that not based on D20, you’re probably covered. Even then, there is still an incredible amount of useful material for any system.
Use and Supplements
While the IAO covers over 800 pages and comes with an additional Common Reference PDF that clocks in over 100 pages, it is not a complete game system. Players still need a base game. Solo players will need their overlay and oracle system. And all the players will want some sort of background information on the world, nations, and cities encountered. FlexTale products strive to be modular and usable in any fantasy campaign but they already fit directly into their own campaign setting. FlexTale also offers other tools to assist in playing solo, running a hex crawl (alone or for a group), and an extensive exploration of the home setting.
Mr. Payne has produced a HUGE Gazetteer for the FlexTale home setting that includes history, political structure, settlements, ruins, and other points of interest. You can adventure for years through this setting.
Do you have a game system but are unsure of how to get started solo? Looking for a new way to run your solo game? The FlexTale Solo Adventuring Toolkit has you covered. At over 600 pages, this work provides tons of advice, tables, rules, generators, and tools to run your game. The author packed this book full, which can be daunting, but you won’t find a more fully fleshed solo rule set anywhere.
Jason Payne really goes the extra mile to ensure that his products are complete. His Hexcrawl Toolkit covers pretty much everything that you need to know in order to run a Hexcrawl, and even some that you don’t. There is advice on planning, rules for movement, navigation, points of interest, survival, and much more.
The Infinium Game Studios page can be found here:
There’s a wealth of amazing material that Jason has published and it’s all well worth checking out.