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DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2016
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2018 07:46:09

Remarking on how Goodman Games has been an enthusiastic supporter of Free RPG Day since its inception in 2007, they're now proud to present two adventures. Moreover, they've gone overboard on covers with five different designs which were distributed randomly to retailers. Those who download the PDF get to see them all!

For Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG there is a Level 1 adventure called The Madhouse Meet, set in the forthcoming Lankhmar campaign setting (yes, the Fritz Leiber one). As a 'meet' adventure, it's designed to start off a campaign in Nehwon by throwing a disparate bunch of player characters together as they attempt to escape the clutches of a bizarre sorcerer from lands far beyond Lankhmar. It's designed for four characters but will work with fewer. After some background explanation for the GM, the adventure begins with our luckless heroes banged up in a cell. Hopefully they'll make a break for freedom... A lot of use is made of Luck, and there's a note to the effect that guile rather than brute strength is often more effective in Nehwon! While a short adventure, it is well written with atmospheric descriptions and plenty of ideas scattered around that could lead to further adventures. It's a good taster for both the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and the Lankhmar setting.

The other adventure, for the Mutant Crawl Classics RPG, is a 'character funnel' adventure for some 15-20 level 0 characters, with each player running multiple characters. It's called The Museum at the End of Time, and involves a bunch of younglings sent out on a 'Rite of Passage' to survive in the wilderness, retrieve a functioning artefact of the Ancients and, if possible, trigger whatever mutations lurk within their genetic code. This bunch has chosen the high-risk high-stakes option of venturing into the trackless Glow Desert in their quest. After a couple of days and whatever random encounters you throw at them, they arrive a a structure which they can explore and loot. It is not, of course, devoid of defences! There are some wonderous and inventive artefacts to be found, many of which will lead incautious or curious characters into no end of trouble. There's some excellent advice for the GM about presenting artefacts to primitive people who haven't a clue what they are, which will benefit anyone trying to describe items to a party ill-equipped to comprehend them, never mind this adventure.

Both are cracking little adventures in their own right, as well as good introductions to their respective systems. There are no rules given here, provided you know the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG mechanics you will be able to cope. Pre-generated characters for both adventures are available on the Goodman Games website. Enjoy your foray into these settings!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2016
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DCC Lankhmar: Masks of Lankhmar
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/19/2018 13:17:13

This 1st-level adventure set in the city of Lankhmar is intended as a 'meet' adventure at the beginning of the campaign, an opportunity for the party to form up and forge some common bonds as well as to complete the adventure. It's designed for a small group but will require both a wizard and a thief.

There's a succinct background for the GM, and then an explanation of how the adventure begins - it's suggested that it begins in media res, and runs fast and fun to at least one of three possible climaxes, depending on what the characters get up to as the adventure progresses. Put succinctly, what will become the party encounter one another as each character independently decides that it would be a good idea to burgle the home of a renowned collector of valuable items and caravan master on the night he's throwing a big party to celebrate the acquisition of his latest piece. At this masked ball, all the player-characters find themselves in the cellar antichamber to the collector's treasure vault... but before they can puzzle out why anyone else is there when they snuck in alone, some security guards arrive and a fight breaks out.

The fight isn't designed to be too challenging, so once the guards are defeated, the player-characters can make introductions as they catch their breath and decide what to do next. Hopefully they'll realise that they might do better co-operating than working on their own. The challenge of actually getting into the vault ought to do the trick... but that is only still the beginning of the adventure. What they find will lead them on to further discoveries and riches - but they still need to exfiltrate and, well, shall we say that they may not be the only people who thought it was a good night for a heist.

Once they are outside with their loot, a spot of research will be necessary, as what they discover points to a greater treasure, a set of magical gold masks. Hopefully this research will again be collaborative, further cementing the group together. There's an optional encounter with a potential patron, and then it's time to mount a further raid on a former temple in town to get the goodies. With atmospheric descriptions and many encounters, there is ample opportunity for plenty of high jinks before the objective is attained - an inkling of this is revealed by some detailed rules for running foot-chases across the rooftops.

The final section covers ending the adventure. Given the clear and present danger the masks pose to the entire city, some or all of them might have been damaged by now, lowering their value... that is, if they didn't get loose to cause problems all over town. Oh, and the Thieves' Guild probably want a word. Winding up the adventure is no easy matter, there are lots of loose ends to sort out and most of them have the potential to lead to further adventures.

This adventure presents the fast, violent fun that ought to fill the pages of any adventure in Lankhmar, and should set up the new-fledged party as a force to be reckoned with as the campaign proceeds.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC Lankhmar: Masks of Lankhmar
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DCC Lankhmar: Patrons of Lankhmar
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/18/2018 09:21:35

This book serves two purposes. It introduces some of the major movers and shakers of Nehwon and, by presenting them as 'patrons' within the Dungeon Crawl Classic RPG, sets them up ready to play their part in your game whether or not your party's going to Lankhmar any time soon.

There's seven of them all told, and they all appear in the tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Frank Lieber - so if you don't know them, get reading for even more background about each one. For convenience, there's a list of stories in which each one features, so once you have picked one you know what to read. They are Death, Issek of the Jug, Mog the Spider God, Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, the Rat God, the Sea King, and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face. However, Ningauble has already been written up as a patron in Through Ningauble's Cave, and the material is not replicated here. So in effect there are six patrons in this book.

Each one's entry begins with a brief outline of who they are, and what pledging to them entails. Then there is a table showing what might happen as a result of an Invoke Patron check. Not all outcomes are pleasant... or is it that some are more unpleasant than others? Patron Taints are also imaginative - if Death is your patron, for example, you may find yourself suddenly somewhere else with a compulsion to kill a given person... they are due to die, and Death has sent you to collect the soul as he's otherwise engaged! Then there's a third table for Spellburn. These again have been crafted with loving care.

It's obvious that a lot of care and attention has gone into creating very appropriate entries on all three tables for each Patron. They suit the personality and style of the individual as presented in the story and have good game balance of benefit and curse, these are going to work well as Patrons for those party members who (are desperate enough to) approach them.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DCC Lankhmar: Patrons of Lankhmar
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DCC Lankhmar: Through Ningauble's Cave
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/17/2018 09:36:03

This is a rather strange supplement. It's not an adventure, yet it can feature in your games. It's a location and an individual, drawn from the world of Lankhmar, and in a way serves as an introduction to this wonderful place. If you want, for example, to move an existing campaign to Lankhmar you can have the party discover the entrance to the cave somewhere in the current campaign world...

The first part provides a description of both the cave and its owner, a wizard by the name of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes. If you know Lankhmar already you are probably familiar with him, if not suffice to say that he is a... well, it's a bit difficult to describe really. Somewhere within the caves squats something, something that appears man-like, cloaked, with all that you can see of his features being seven glowing eyes. He's one of the two most powerful sorcerers in Nehwon, opinions are varied as to whether he's the most powerful one. (He thinks he is, and it's probably best not to argue, certainly not if you are with him at the time!) Nobody knows just what he is, although rumours about. His passion is the gathering of information, rumours and facts are all grist to his mill.

Unlike most Nehwon wizards, Ningauble is not solitary by nature. He loves gossip, lore, stories and even the occasional fact far too much, and is always in search of new people to bring him such choice snippets... the party will soon fall under his sights if they have not done so already. Once someone has become one of his 'Gentles', as he calls his spies, he never lets go, although years may pass between assignments. One day another of his missives will turn up. Some seek him out, asking for his patronage in return for services, others he picks out as useful. They'll get the patronage, but he'll demand the services he wants, and is not above blackmail or threats when necessary.

Next, we find out about the cave itself. It's all a bit allegorical, but when you are actually there it is real, frightenly so at times. Somewhere in the middle is the Audience Cave, where Ningauble himself is to be found. There are other folk here as well. Other Gentles. Creatures which dwell here. Creatures which have just wandered in and not found the way out. These and more may be encountered (and, yes, there are random tables for when the party visits). The cave has many entrances, likely into several worlds and other places. One's Nehwon, of course, and one may be your campaign world... or indeed any other place you'd like to take your adventures.

There are plenty of examples - places you might emerge into and things that might happen in them, encounters and their consequences - to get you going. Indeed there's material here that could spawn a whole bunch of adventures, pick the ones you like and develop them into something that will keep the party coming back to the Caves for more.

Finally, Ningauble is written up as a full-blown Patron according to the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG rules, should you decide to use him that way for one or more members of your party.

Overall, there's a lot here to delve into. Some won't make much sense out of the context of Lankhmar, but if you do know it everything hangs together to bring the rich strangeness of it all to life at your table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC Lankhmar: Through Ningauble's Cave
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/16/2018 07:35:54

Designed for a party of 15 0th-level characters (with the anticipation that each player has three characters), this adventure sees this motely horde of novice adventurers attempting to stem a plague of abductions that has recently blighted a village. For best effect, as this is supposed to be a starting adventure, this village is home to most or not all party members, thus they have a vested interest in its wellbeing. Some of those abducted may be friends or family...

There's a brief outline of how the adventure is intended to play out and a fair bit of background for the GM explaining how the situation came to be, and who is responsible. The adventure itself begins with a ruined keep that looms over the village from a nearby hilltop. There are plenty of rumours, and the first task facing our heroes is to decide which are fact and which are fiction. Each player can roll a D10 against a table of rumours, but there are no hints as to their veracity - they will have to make their own minds up. Naturally, the rumours offer valuable clues, but the fake ones can also lure foolish characters to their doom!

The first thing the party will have to decide is how they will approach the keep. Each route, and there are several, has its own dangers, and has a detailed description along with the particular challenges appropriate to it... and then there's the wandering monster table, on which each area features as well! Depending on the route chosen, there is the possibility of a spot of tomb-robbing, but beware: items taken from there are cursed! Although sample curses are provided, the GM is encouraged to make up his own based on whatever he's got planned for the campaign to come.

Once inside, each area comes with a graphic and atmospheric description along with notes about who (or what) is there to fight and what loot is available. Much is not obvious and will have to be searched out... and of course there's still those wandering monsters who may choose to happen by at an inopertune moment. The 'keep' portion ends with the discovery of stairs leading downwards...

As you can imagine, there is more to explore below. There the source of the evil awaits. Lucky, organised and courageous parties might be able to deal with it, maybe even keep their minds intact. Some of the abducted villagers are here in chains, and may be rescued - if any player has lost all their characters, they made a ready source of replacements, else all they want to do is flee for their homes.

The whole adventure is well-resourced with clear maps, a couple of player handouts and excellent descriptions coupled with notes on what's to find and what's to kill in each place the party goes, along with plenty of opportunities signposted for GMs to add clues to further adventures of their own making. An excellent introductory adventure to start a new campaign in the spirit of this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea
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DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2016
by Paul G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2018 14:50:45

I have run both of these adventures for friends and played in one. My thoughts:

The Madhouse Meet actually changed one of my players from a DCC skeptic to a fan. This is an urban adventure (really, a house adventure) for a small party. Very tight and easy to run with little prep. The players enjoyed the game and I enjoyed running it.

The Museum at the End of Time had my players asking for more MCC. They liked the setting and the weird twists. I also played in this game (prior to running it myself) and enjoyed it thoroughly. The judge amped up (or so I thought) the gonzo nature of the adventure and it worked well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2016
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #79: Frozen in Time
by Aaron T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2018 19:12:07

This is the one that started it all for me. As a first time player, or a first time judge, if you’re looking for an introduction to DCC RPG, you can’t go wrong with “Frozen in Time” by the inimitable Michael Curtis.

It’s billed as a Level 1 adventure, but it can also be used as a zero-level introduction to a weird science fantasy campaign. Experienced judges will find that this adventure provides them the opportunity to add creatures and encounters that can take their campaign in lots of weird, wild directions.

A simple to run adventure with tons of potential.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #79: Frozen in Time
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Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom
by Robert N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2018 13:48:57

Cool, well-conceived adventure for 5E that introduces some new monsters and makes for a substantial side adventure to a campaign. The underlying plot of the Glitterdoom could be expanded into a greater storyline in a campaign if desired.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom
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Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
by Robert N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2018 13:42:53

Awesome RPG! I originally thought DCC was merely a retro-clone of original D&D, but after reading the core book I learned that DCC is the best realization of the 1E AD&D Appendix N in RPG form. I currently play and run a campaign in 5E, but I'm trying to get my players to at least try a one-shot of DCC. The things I love about DCC: the artwork is the best, bar-none for any fantasy RPG book; the writing is concise, easy to understand, and engaging (as much as I love 5E there have been sections of the core books that put me to sleep); magic is mysterious, somewhat uncertain, and potentially corrupting; the 0-level funnel looks very fun and filled with action; player characters have humble beginnings and are unlikely to be superpowered in ability scores; character classes are simple; luck as an ability score adds an interesting element to rolls; the critical fumble and critical success tables are fun; the dice chain is an interesting mechanic; and finally, player characters are vulnerable (in 5E it's really hard for a player character to die).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
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How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck
by James C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2018 21:18:26

This book is a brilliant product for aspiring fantasty/sci-fi writers and GMs/DMs alike. It contains sage advice on a range of different topics within the sphere of world creation, from stroytelling techniques to the design of environmental features, monsters, villains, and beyond. The tips and tricks provided are deceptively simple and straightforward, but in many cases reflect the kind of commonsense wisdom that can only be gleaned from years of adventure writing/game-running experience.

I have to give the product four stars out of five, however, because it contains a significant number of elementary typos and mistakes. One or two orthographical glitches lend a degree of character to a volume, but when a book's description indicates that the content has been authored by a plethora of legendary writers, the customer can expect it to contain nothing less than highly-polished prose. As a copy editor myself, I just can't see that there is any excuse for the number of errors that crept into the final release, which is a shame as it is the only thing preventing this book from being truly exceptional, as opposed to merely very good. In the end it is only a minor irritation, though, and the content is (as indicated above) stellar.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck
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Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
by Norbert P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2018 13:19:36

Old skool with a twist of new skool! see my youtube review of this game....

DCC review: https://youtu.be/so4UyNgD0Zg GM screen for DCC: https://youtu.be/9Yy53t--uOw



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
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Goodman Games Gen Con 2013 Program Book
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/04/2018 02:15:13

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Program Book, originally released as a means to connect to fans, was released as the first of its kind, for Gen Con 2013. It clocks in at 68 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 65 pages of content, though not all of this would be directly usable gaming material.

For example, the first page is the luck chart – a funny and pretty cool idea: You roll on the chart upon purchasing the book at the booth and get some cool benefits. Okay, you can get freebies if your lucky…but perhaps, you’ll also need to provide bile for Harley Stroh’s inkwell… ;) There is also some friendly ribbing with the Troll Lord crew going on – enjoyable, sure, but of limited use beyond picturing how fun that may have been. Anyways, after that, we are introduced to the Goodman Games crew – we basically get short bios of the band, with favorite books, last games played, etc. noted – 11 pages, plus one autograph page.

After a brief advertisement, we get a recap of the fatalities the DCC iconics crew suffered and 3 pages of brief previews of upcoming material for DCC. We also get a page of upcoming material teasers for Age of Cthulhu, and 2 pages of teasers for upcoming system neutral content.

After this, we get Michael Curtis “The Undulating Corruption” and Harley Stroh’s “The Jeweler that dealt in Stardust”, the two modules originally released as Free RPG Day adventures in 2012 – please consult my review of that file for details on them. There is btw. also a 2-page DCC-poster here.

After two pages that announce the return of the world of Xcrawl, easily one of the most unique settings out there, we get a brief summary of the world’s assumptions and the rules for dwarves, elves and gnomes in the setting – it should be noted that PFRPG is assumed as the default rules-set employed for Maximum Xcrawl. For a more detailed breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the setting, please consult my review of the hardcover.

This module, just fyi, can also be found in another source: To be more precise, it is the module featured in the 2013 Free RPG Day adventure. Please consult my review of that book for a detailed break-down of the adventure. It should be noted that the 2013 Free RPG Day offering also contains an excellent DCC adventure AND pregens for both adventures. The pregens for this Xcrawl adventure are not part of the Program Book, just fyi.

After this adventure, we get a 1-page schedule/exclusives-list, 2 pages of photos, a one-page explanation on how to join the DCC road crew. We end with a one-page pinup poster of Shana Dahaka.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, no complaints there for the most part. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-page b/w-standard and the pdf comes with nested bookmarks. The cartography for the modules inside is nice.

Now all modules in this book are very good; they are fun and Michael Curtis, Harley Stroh and Brendan LaSalle all know what they’re doing. That being said, unless you are a diehard completionist and fan who’ll get something out of the digital posters etc., then this will not necessarily be for you.

Why? Well, the game-relevant content herein can be found in the Free RPG supplements for 2012 (which contains the 2 DCC adventures) and in the Free RPG supplement for 2013, which contains, beyond the rather cool Studio City Xcrawl, also Daniel J. Bishop’s excellent “The Imperishable Sorceress” adventure. Both pdfs clock in at $4.99 each, which means that for 10 bucks, you actually get one amazing module MORE, than if you purchase this booklet in pdf for $12. It’s just 2 bucks, but yeah.

Now, if you’re a collector and want the adventures herein in print and can’t find the aforementioned Free RPG Day offerings, then this may be worth checking out. Personally, as much as I enjoyed the Good man Games crew’s write-ups etc., I considered this to not really be worth owning, at least not in pdf. The content that’s here is excellent, but as it is right now, I’d only recommend this to the most die-hard of DCC-completionists. All others are served better by checking out the Free RPG Day adventures. So yeah, for most folk, particularly for gamers that own the Free RPG Day modules, this will be a 2-star offering. For collectors and completionists, this may be 3 stars, which also represents my final verdict. If you don’t have the adventures, I’d rate “The Undulating Corruption” as 4 stars, “The Jeweler that Dealt in Stardust” as 5 stars and the “2013 Studio City Xcrawl” at 4.5 stars, so yeah, I’d recommend getting the adventures, they are all worth owning…but get them via the Free RPG Day offerings instead.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Goodman Games Gen Con 2013 Program Book
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DCC RPG/Xcrawl Free RPG Day 2013
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2018 04:53:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This offering, originally released for Free RPG Day, clocks in at 26 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested and made possible by one of my patreons.

This booklet contains two adventures, “The Imperishable Sorceress” by the esteemed Daniel J. Bishop, a DCC adventure for 1st-level characters, and the “2013 Studio City Xcrawl” for Maximum Xcrawl, which employs the Pathfinder rules – penned by none other than Brendan LaSalle. Both adventures come btw. with an array of pregens – big kudos for their inclusion!! The DCC-adventure has a fantastic map of its setting – it is exciting, cool and stunning…I just wished that the pdf was layered, or sported a second version to allow the judge to cut up a player-friendly version sans keys, secret doors, etc.

Anyhow, you know how this goes, right? The following is a discussion of adventures and as such, it will contain MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR THE DCC MODULE. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only judges around? Great!

Aeons ago, the Cleft Mountains were situated below the sea, home to a strange, highly intelligent insect-race, a cross of scorpions and centipedes; these entities are who carved these halls, which are now the seat of power of the eponymous, imperishable sorceress, also known as Ivrain the Unkind. This sorceress has happened upon the secret of eternal youth…of sorts. Her research allowed her to grow an undefeatable body in her vats, but the alchemical waste she produced did raise one of the ancient Builders from sleep. Wresting control from her, she cracked her skull. Her spirit remains bound to this complex, to be more precise, to her star stone, and her deadly, demonic minions remain. However, via the coins bearing her countenance, she can send her mind across the land, calling out to sucker…her, I mean “valiant heroes” – and thankfully, one of the heroes carries her blood, allowing her to call to the “blooded” PC.

Now, here I need to comment on one amazing aspect that most reviewers probably wouldn’t care about: The doors in the complex? They are strings of adamantine wires that relax when touched – the alien Builder’s equivalent of doors. It is a small thing and while they may be “locked” or “unlocked” by builders, it is flavor that I adore, that provides a unique sense of the strange here. As always, we get a handy encounter summary. We do not begin directly with the complex exploration, but first have the PCs test their mettle by ascending towards the complex. In order to reach the entry, the PCs will have to brave the weather as well as savage, degenerate tribesmen or the deadly degenerate cold stinger – a descendant of the builders, reduced to mindless hunting. Walking into the ancient complex, the PCs will have to survive the spirits of predatory fish and finally meet up with Ivrain’s spirit – who begs the PCs to help, while also advising caution – the blooded PC may well use the star stone, but since it can only be used once…well, she has no intention to remain as she is.

Exploring the complex, the PCs may unearth pseudo flesh – quasi-organic putty that can prevent scarification…but more dangerous: 1000 feet away, behind gratings and in stasis, there is the Builder, and the entity can send forth ectoplasmic filaments that may well result in the Builder hijacking the body of one of these primitive mammals…Among the treasures, a nasty, demon-hating blade called Nightraker may be found…as may an adamantine mole. Ultimately, the PCs will need to survive wasp-things, wrest the star gem from a mighty Type II demon (who is about as cooperative as you’d expect)…and provided they have not fallen to a very splat-worthy death, the PCs can still screw up in a rather diverse and delightful array of ways: Surprise: Putting Ivrain in her imperishable body is a bad, bad idea. But hey, the chthonic entity that has constantly hassled the PCs may well take over that body, so there is a decent chance that such foolish PCs may escape…though frankly, it remains to be seen if the Builder possessing Ivrain would be better…

/SPOILER’S END FOR THE DCC-MODULE.

The book then proceeds to present the 2013 Studio City Xcrawl adventure – Division II, levels 6 – 8. The Xcrawl is run by DJ Prime Time, a clever media wizard, who is seeking to break the media’s stranglehold on its audience. The Studio Xcrawl is a competitive event: 5 groups are participating in it, and in the end, a Clap-o-Meter will determine the winner! So yeah, the task of the PCs is not to simply crawl through the dungeon, but to do so in STYLE! After a brief explanation of nomenclature, the nature of Xcrawl, etc., Brendan LaSalle’s module properly proceeds: We get detailed lead in flavor text, as the audience sings “America Super Potens Maximus”, the DJ introduction…and of course, the live studio audience! (As an aside, this probably would gel well as a sidearm of Iron GM…just sayin’) – holographic exotic dancers act as treasure…but there is a risk: There is always a chance that, instead of treasure, a whammy monster is called forth! The PCs will have to be smart regarding risk and reward…

There are a couple of pretty cool rooms to be found – but, at this point, I’d have to go into SPOILERS. So yeah, potential players should jump to the SPOILER’S END-section.

..

.

All righty, so, there is, for example, a room, where the walls are closing in, while monsters wearing sponsor shirts attack. Oh, and you have to open three locks, sans magic. All are trapped. Problem here: The walls are closing in and while it is in the interest of the DJ to have the PCs trigger the traps (Flaming walls! Bladed column!!), there is a bit of an issue here: You see rigging/disarming traps in PFRPG takes different amounts of time based on the complexity of the device; now, one could assume them to be simple…but effect-wise, they very much look like complex/intricate devices.

And yes, this is certainly something a good GM can handle…but it’s still a rough patch that could have been avoided. Defeating dungeon wights allows the PCs to get a break before things become challenging: The PCs wander into a room, cloaked in illusions to appear like the outdoors: On tiers of a massive tower, there are glowing eggs; there are very real, armored terror birds (with remote-controlled crossbows!) and worse, a team of excellent kobold sappers starts firing a trebuchet at the tower, attempting to wreck the eggs and thus, the PC’s chance of winning here! What about dealing with a flying shadow squid that thinks with random portals and can attack through them? Yeah, there are some really cool challenges here! After braving such ordeals, cowardly PCs may leave – to the boos of the crowd (and loss of fame), but true heroes will get a chance to duke it out with the potent boss of the crawl, the fire giant Koholorone! Defeating the giant should yield the PCs a proper triumph. 3 magic items are included in the write-up, and the map of the crawl, studded with sponsored advertisements from the Xcrawl world is cool – though we do not get a player-friendly iteration of the map.

/SPOILER’S END FOR THE XCRAWL MODULE.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, also on a rules-language, with only minor hiccups one in a blue moon. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard. The cartography for the DCC-module in particular is excellent, though I did find myself wishing we got proper, player-friendly versions. The pdf only sports rudimentary bookmarks to the start of the respective adventures, but on a plus-side, the inclusion of copious pregens for both modules is a big plus.

Daniel J. Bishop and Brendan LaSalle deliver two excellent adventures here; the Studio City Xcrawl is bonkers and fun in the right ways (and not yet as brutal as later offerings in the setting), while Daniel J. Bishop once again shows why he is one of my favorite authors for Sword & Sorcery-style adventures; the right combination of the familiar and weird blend with great visuals and extremely evocative details. Both adventures are radically different in themes, system and setting and both can be considered to be excellent examples of their craftsmanship. That being said, I found myself somewhat saddened by the lack of player-friendly versions of the map (retouching the secret doors and numbers is a pain). Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars – both of the adventures warrant the fair asking price on their own, if you ask me.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG/Xcrawl Free RPG Day 2013
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea
by Alexander R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2018 20:15:19

This adventure rocks my socks.

If you're looking for a pulpy, gorey, almost-everybody-dies type adventure. Look no further. Sailors on the Starless Sea makes use of DCC intriguing "character funnel" by making your players the angry mob out to rescue their captured townsfolk from the forboding castle.

I have a bunch of friends who are horror nerds and this game really appealed to them. The crazy 70s pulp vibe bleeds through with Kovacs' art and Stroh's flavor text here. Each encounter is more like a fantasy grindhouse movie than the last.

I'm definitely going to check out more of Stroh's stuff for DCC.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea
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Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom
by Sarah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2017 23:01:57

I loved running this as a one-shot. Superbly written. After one read through I felt like I could sit down and run it - everything I needed was included, including all stat blocks. The combats and environment features were dynamic and fun. The story was well thought out and everything in the dungeon made sense. The loot the players picked up in game was useful (and again made sense for it to be there story wise) - which is great for one-shots. The dungeon as written ran almost exactly 4 hours. My game went longer because I added a tavern scene at the beginning. Highly recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom
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