There was some concern about corner damage occurring while shipping, but my copy arrived in perfect shape. The book was packed well. It was obvious even the intern who packed my book was infected with the high quality vibe which oozes out of the book. A gorgeous book by any standards.
But how well does it play? I don't know. I'm not old enough yet to play this. But it is just a game book, after all. I will want to have it at the table in some physical form. I have two, three choices? Well, purchasing another book doesn't feel like much of a solution. At fifty dollars I want to have everything I need for the experience, you know what I mean?
There is the PDF which comes with full purchase, there is even just the PDF you can buy which makes the content accessible to most people. Sure there is the cost of printing out your own pages, but you can print what you want and in no way should you feel conflicted.
A marriage , healthy and vibrant, takes time. This book is a deep, luxurious bed for Dungeon Masters to roll in. How many hours have I sweated crappy adventure modules after throwing away five bucks, rebuilding the wretched content into something which would hold my players attention for more than five minutes? Like all of them. Maze of the Blue Medusa does not require this of me. I must study to deliver the content correctly. You would be a fool to think you can just "wing" this megadungeon. Organized in a manner to think you could by unseen hands, unknown hours of quiet talk, maybe there is tape? but the work will foil you. It takes the supposition which TSR threw in every DM's face "You will need to read this adventure module completely before you run it for your players" and actually makes good on the promise. Lets face it, the only reason you had to read a module thoroughly before play was because it sucked and was organized so poorly the only way you could use it was a total parsing of contents, shred, then appropriate.
Maze of the Blue Medusa rewards the patience of the serious Dungeon Master. It is so dense and digestible and worthy of long drives in the desert with an old cassette playing in a choked out car stereo, angry at the end of life, it is stupid good on the most bald face appraisal. Patrick Suart is amazing for holding it all together. All the way. Zack filled in the gaps brilliantly. I'm guessing this collaboration was completed online. That such luminaries, working talent, is being conducted remotely and coherently is staggering. The brick and mortar crowd holding Monday morning meetings contemplating units moved must be shitting their pants seeing productivity dollars go up in so much smoke stacks. The OSR is such the Velvet Underground. Independent, and unprofessional. Which doesn't mean unaccountable. Everyone's work gets criticism, help, guidance, support. It happens because most OSR participants trust if all good effort is put forth a MAze of the BLue Medusa will arrive and all will game immaculate.