Today was a little different. Today I took the time, slowed myself down a bit, and decided I would really sink my teeth into an article. In my list of PDFs to get around to reading I still had an epic tier adventure, Flame's Last Flicker, by Shawn Merwin. This adventure was hyped up quite a bit, with a Design & Development article preceding it, and the adventure itself being a sequel of sorts to a verified classic Dungeon adventure about as historic as they come.
By Page 3, however, I was already sorely disappointed. Again. The writing in this is simply terrible. I haven't even had time to absorb the linear plot or stale, safe, by-the-numbers combat encounters. No, this was some froo-froo roleplaying bullshit that tanked it for me. The following line is what really grinds my gears, something that many D&D authors throw into their writing that is one of my pet peeves (emphasis mine):
"Amid the destruction lies the crumpled form of a human female in plate armor."
Human female? Is that how the author describes a woman? Who the fuck talks like that? "Hey guys, let's go down to the bars and see if we can pickup some females!" It's as though the author was an alien zoologist studying human beings from afar, never having actually interacted with them, and now must describe them in detail.
Some may say I'm being too harsh and judgmental, that I'm kind of an asshole who tramples on a lot of people's D&D picnics. This is just throw away fluff text, right?
Well, fuck you, I demand better. The authors of these articles get paid, not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but pretty good compared to the writing industry at large. I would think that a paid author would know better than to write something so boring, dry, and technical. This also isn't just throw away text that doesn't matter. This is, by the adventure's own description, part of the first paragraph of text the players will ever hear at the table. This is the adventure's first and thus most important impression, and the author sets the tone to that of a car alarm installation guide.