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Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
 
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack\'s Gold
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/17/2018 07:51:17

If someone handed me a treasure map tattooed on a nicely-tanned piece of human skin, I'd probably scream and run away! Hopefully your party is made of sterner stuff, for this is a map made by the legendary pirate Bloody Jack Dascombe, proportedly giving the location of his ill-gotten gains, including loot from an Imperial treasure fleet that he plundered an hundred years ago.

The background is simple and straightforward, telling of a brutal pirate, his infamous last raid, and the 'Empire' whose treasure fleet he robbed... and his ultimate fate, like most pirates, at the end of a rope. References are loose enough for you to weave this all into your campaign world's history, possibly enriching it in the process. The map does show the way to the treasure, it just omits to mention minor details like the traps and other threats a would-be robber will face. There's a few ideas for how you might get the party to the right place, as the action presented here opens with them on the right island to commence their explorations. The island is uninhabited, but previous residents have left traces behind. With these and more will the party have to contend.

Then you find out what's really there, and who created the map and why. These are all matters to keep very quiet about until the party is committed to this adventure. Suffice to say that the labyrinth is being actively managed, and that it's largely filled with undead and other recruits from Hell. This is no walk in the park. There again, the treasure is pretty magnificent if the party ever reaches it. (Of course they then have to figure out a way to get it home unmolested...).

The adventure itself comes in five 'levels', the first being the island itself. It's well described with sufficient clues that the party ought to realise that it's not quite right. The second level is the complex left by former inhabitants. Sea tunnels and no less that TWO labyrinths make up the rest, providing ample scope for delving - including the possibility of underwater combat. Throughout, there are detailed atmospheric descriptions coupled with monster information, combat notes and stat blocks.

This adventure offers a hard-fought slog to get to a treasure that is going to be difficult to actually profit from acquiring, not to mention a couple of little twists at the end that might spoil the party's enjoyment of their new-found wealth. The entire piece is written in a 'GM/Designer-vs-Players' style, combatative rather cooperative story-telling (although of course you can run it however you like). It provides a nice challenge for a mid-to-high-level party, something that can often be quite hard to balance. And the idea of a 'managed dungeon' is really rather neat and hangs together well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/17/2006 00:00:00

Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold is a great adventure, well presented and edited by Goodman Games. It is 36 pages long including front and back cover, and 4 maps. The adventure does have that great episodic feel of 1st edition modules (complete with an Earl Otis cover) with a piratical flare added, the art is average to good without taking up too much space and adds to the feel nicely. If you run a nautical campaign this adventure drops in with grace and ease (soon to be used again for tormenting characters in my Skull & Bones campaign) but can easily fit into any ongoing d20 campaign.

As with all the other DCC modules I have seen this is packed with adventure, flavor and serious danger. The writing is sharp. Joe Crow tosses in asides to the DM and with his flair for detail makes for an entertaining read. Your players will hate this man and that, my friends, is a good thing.

The treasure trove - if your characters are good enough and persistent enough to find it (luck will not and should not do it for them) - is on the large side. However, it comes with some strings attached and is also wonderfully low on magical items to loot so there is some balance. Once found there is the not-so-small task of dragging it all back to the surface - if the PCs miss one secret door that will mean taking it down a couple dungeon levels before taking it back up and out. Then there is getting it all back to the ship. No small order. Getting rid of that treasure will be tough and just recovering it may make the PCs some powerful enemies (imagine being hunted by the equivalent of the Spanish or English Navies in the 1600s). Goodman Games was thoughtful enough to produce a web enhancement for this product on their website allowing a DM to sic Bloody Jack on the PCs after they have sailed away with the goods.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This adventure is tight and can have many repercussions if you incorporate the history into your setting. In short this adventure was a great read and a grand success at the gaming table. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Um, I thought of something: Art. It can always be better and could have used more player hand out art!<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Simon L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2006 00:00:00

A fiendishly (no pun intended) tough adventure with overtones of the Oak Island Money Pit. The DCCs often seem to be consciously pastiching old AD&D modules and is remniscent of Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, and perhaps a smidgeon of Tomb of Horrors (although that accolade really goes to Tomb of the Devil Lich).<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: As with other DCCs, it's easy to insert in an ongoing campaign, yet has a pleasingly sinister atmosphere of its own. It requires careful play from the players not to go really badly wrong. There's a neat little back story and, with roleplay, the PCs can make a deal they may regret.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: I have to say, apart from being wary over its general difficulty there's not much I dislike.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Robert F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/17/2005 00:00:00

A very entertaining module. Enough well done conent for several sessions of play.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Lennart S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2005 00:00:00

Neat adventure, lot's of fun and battles. The reward is a bit high though. You can use this adventure to add some "pirates of the carribean" flavor to your fantasy if you want - you can also play it like a normal dungeon crawl. It's up to you. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by dan a. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/22/2004 00:00:00

One of the best products i have seen in the d20 system. well though out good planning and an excellent adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Michael A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2004 00:00:00

A throwback to 1979, this is a classic 1st Edition style adventure without the aimless wandering mosters, plot gaps, etc. Nice job.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #4: Bloody Jack's Gold
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Chris P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2004 00:00:00

Overall, a pretty good adventure. Nice 1st Edition feel, could be combined with C1 hidden Shrine of Tamoachan for those who like to convert oldies-but-goodies (and have the time).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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