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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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DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2012
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/29/2017 04:41:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This collection of modules clocks in at 20 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page introduction/SRD, 2 pages mystery map contest (here, you could finish a map and write an adventure to win money), 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 14 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This booklet contains 2 adventures: Michael Curtis provides “The undulating Corruption” for level 5 characters, while the second module, “The Jeweler that dealt in Stardust” is penned by Harley Stroh and intended for level 3 characters. Both of the adventures sport a handy encounter table that lists the respective encounter type. The second page provides a fantastic b/w-handout that depicts the adventure location of the second adventure. The cartography also deserves mentioning: The first module gets a top-down map, while the second sports a gorgeous, isometric b/w-map…though I do wish it came with a player-friendly version…or in pdf-format, at least as a layered image, so I can turn off the room numbers, cut it up and hand it out. It still kinda works for that purpose, but, at least to me, the lack of a player-friendly map is a downside.

This review was requested and sponsored by one of my patreons. The review is based exclusively on the pdf-version, since I do not own the print version.

All righty, as always, this is an adventure review – as such, the following text will dive into heavy SPOILER territory. Players wishing to play these modules should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only judges around? Great!

So, “The Undulating Corruption” is pretty much a straightforward sidetrek, one that should sport a wizard PC currently suffering from a corruption, for that is the primary angle: Hidden away in hilly terrain, there is the Crucible of the Worm – a shrine that ostensibly can cure corruptions! But as the PCs approach the crucible’s location, a massive explosion shakes the earth…well, turns out that, for once, other adventurers and not the PCs have screwed up, big time. Provided the PCs manage to defeat the self-reproducing black sludges there, they can find the sad and doomed survivor of the adventuring group – the poor sod is beyond saving, but he can fill in the blanks: The crucible contained an entity of chaos, the Night Worm consumes corrupted wizards and excretes them, free of the taint – but the entity is free, hungry and potentially very dangerous.

A trail of black slime slows magical pursuit (unless you want to hasten the game), and thus, the PCs are on the trail of a massive, very dangerous entity: In order to catch up with the Night Worm, the PCs will have to cross a river without falling prey to corrupted catfish; soon thereafter, the PCs may recruit a cleric, who can provide help or even accompany them…and pretty soon thereafter, the PCs catch up with the massive entity and its corruptive beasts. The final adventure locale is intriguing: Within the insides of the massive worm, the PCs find an extradimensional place; there, the worm’s digestive system, the degenaphages, may attack…but they also provide the means for being cured: Spellcasters can attach an umbilical cord; if they are lucky (and feed the entities with spell-energy, enhancing the chances) they can shed a corruption…get out…and stop the worm before it carves a trail of destruction through the lands. Very unique sidequest!

The second adventure, “The Jeweler that dealt in Stardust” is basically a heist: Boss Ogo, one of Punjar’s notorious fences, hasn’t been seen in a month. His place seems rife for the picking, right? Well, unbeknown to the PCs, Ogo has been touched by Ygiiz, the Spider-Mother, via a crystal. He has managed t lure agents of the dread thing from the vast beyond. Meanwhile, his second in command and the gang members are loyally guarding his house – which is, as noted before, represented in a phenomenal b/w-artwork/handout. Unless the PCs are VERY careful, the guarding rogues will call for backup, following the PCs…which may well result in nasty consequences.

Speaking of smart approaches: If the PCs act in a clever manner, they may well enter the house via a less conspicuous manner – and find the hanging, webbed and bandaged bodies that act as anchors to the carnivorous spiders conjured forth. Eliminating these ritualistically prepared bodies (and yes, PCs can find that out!) immediately makes the module much easier…but also announces the presence of the PCs. Then again, that would be a pity – the magical spiders have actually multi-stage attack routines, which is pretty fun! Assuming the PCs manage to pass the strange spider-things, Ogo’s traps and provided they aren’t slain by their own shadow (which may be animated by a deadly candle), they will have a chance to stop Ogo…and potentially have their mind sundered by the crystal themselves. On the plus side, the PCs can find the eponymous stardust – its use may not be evident at first, but it can provide a one-time luck increase…oh, and yeah, it can be used to create more of those mind-shattering crystals…but who’d want that? Anyways, at the very latest once the PCs escape Ogo’s home, they’ll still have to contend with the ambush of aforementioned ruffians. Yeah, the module is potentially pretty difficult, unless the players act smart…which is just how I like it.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no issues in formal criteria or rules-integrity. Layout adheres to a nice 2-column b/w-standard and the b/w-artworks and maps by Doug Kovacs are phenomenal. The absence of player-friendly versions for the maps in particular is a pity here. The pdf comes with basic bookmarks.

Michael Curtis and Harley Stroh deliver two amazing little adventures here. The two modules ooze sword and sorcery flavor. The modules are dangerous and unique in concept, and while the first one is more of a sidetrek than anything, it gels well with the “Quest for it”-aesthetic of DCC. Both modules can imho be used in other rule-sets with relative ease; the crunchy bits don’t dive into the depths of the rules per se; they don’t have to. In short: This is a great offering and one that made me curse under my breath that I didn’t manage to get it in print. That being said, for the pdf version in particular, player-friendly map versions would have been greatly appreciated. Apart from this, I can’t really find serious flaws within the modules; they hit their intended tone pitch-perfect. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo and the amazing, little heist that btw. makes for a fine convention-style game in length and density.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2012
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #82.5: Dragora's Dungeon
by Kim F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2017 04:40:56

This was originally reviewed on the Open Gaming Network.

We take products and review them, intending to give the reader the best chance of evaluating whether this particular release is for them.

There is, of course, a scoring system, similar to that used elsewhere, in a 5-star rating, which we have determined as follows:

1 – Bad 2 – Mediocre 3 – Decent 4 – Good 5 * – Excellent

The following review is an OPINION piece and only reflects the opinion and tastes (because ultimately, all reviews will be based on personal taste) of the reviewer.

That disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with the show!

This week we give you…

Dragora’s Dungeon! Publisher: Goodman Games

Author: Harley Stroh (conversion by Daniel J. Bishop)

Cover Artist: Clyde Caldwell

System: Dungeon Crawl Classics

Page count: 28 ( 1 page cover, 1 page map, 1 page interior cover and credits, 22 pages of content, 1 full page artwork and 1 other map, 1 back interior cover and 1 page back cover).

Before we start, I have to confess that this is an older title, as it felt as if there’s been a bit too much Pathfinder and Starfinder being reviewed lately, so I went a little left-field for something else, hence an oldie but goody, Dragora’s Dungeon.

As usual for adventures, I’ll be trying to avoid spoilers, even though this adventure is several years old. If you want spoilers, I’m sure you can find them elsewhere.

First, we have a look at the cover, which is a frankly gorgeous piece by Clyde Caldwell. I do have a weakness for his artwork because I find it to be vibrant and alive, and especially his dragons are just appealing. Perhaps it is the “old-school” feel, that draws me in. Regardless, Clyde has a talent for both dragons and the female form, and the scantily-clad warrior woman on the cover of this adventure cannot be anyone other than the Dragora mentioned in the title of the adventure. The cover itself, with the warrior woman, the dragon, the treasure chest and the castle looking walls in the back, puts me in mind of a dungeon crawl, which, HEY, it’s the name of the system, so mission accomplished there.

Strangely enough, I don’t find there to be that much actual DUNGEON crawling in the adventure. That said however, there’s an encounter in an inn to set things off (classic entry, though I fail to understand why you’d allow a saving throw on such a plot point, in a game where it’spelled out that things will not always be fair (minor spoiler: the spell being used is supposed to be able to affect nations, so why would it not affect this small group of adventurers?)

The PCs are then led on a romp through the wilderness until they find a rift, that they can climb into. Said rift contains a number of encounters as well as an entrance to a Forgotten Jungle, which makes for a nice change of scenery and a cool hop from one area to another. Later though, it takes them to a Forgotten City, and I have to admit that I’d have liked to have seen one of them named something else since it’s kind of implied that they’re both forgotten and lost to time. Regardless though, it’s an old-school staple to use that sort of name, so I won’t complain too much.

Eventually, the PCs enter this forgotten city and end up in a fight with Dragora and the dragon on the front cover (who is, in fact, her lover). Quite nice to see a female BBEG, as I’d semi-expected it to be the dragon who was manipulating her. It was a nice surprise to realize that SHE was, in fact, the one using the dragon, and the one in charge.

And so we come to the conclusion:

I really liked this read. The maps are gorgeously hand-drawn, even if they at times seem a bit busy, and the cover makes me wish that it was available as a poster size. The adventure itself flows quite well, but it does become a bit too much like rail-roading at times. I suspect that’s a matter of taste though, since this is an adventure with a number of years on it, and we’re looking at it through the eyes of a reader in 2017, where we have become used to open solutions being the norm.

I cannot stress too much, however, how HARD this adventure will be, if your players are not careful. It is designed for level 1, but the end boss (Dragora) is level 5, and she has a dragon. That’s some serious opposition right there, even if she will flee if the PCs put up a competent attack. That said, if you’re planning on running this adventure, your players should have their wits about them. This is old-school at it’s finest. If you run into a trap, you are likely to DIE.

And here’s the verdict, I’m going to give this 5-stars. I really enjoyed this little read, but that 5-star comes with a caveat. Had this been for Pathfinder or modern 5e, I likely would have rated it around 3, but because Dungeon Crawl Classics is SPECIFICALLY designed to give you that old-school feel, and because this adventure delivers just that, it rates much higher. If you’re looking at this, as a gamer who wants a more modern experience, you need to look elsewhere for your fix.

For the old-schoolers out there though, this is just the thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #82.5: Dragora's Dungeon
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DCC RPG Quick Start Rules
by Tim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2017 12:42:42

A neuronphaser.com review.

Briefly, the DCC RPG Quick Start Rules are a player's manual allowing Player Characters to reach level 2 in any of the core classes (warrior, wizard, cleric, thief, elf, dwarf, halfling), plus enough gameplay info for a Judge (AKA Game Master) to run the game through the two included, one-session adventures. If you're just looking for a thumbs up or thumbs down, this is a solid thumbs up, with maybe a caveat or two.

For those looking for something lengthier: this is a great starting point, and absolutely sets out to do what it's intended for, which is to get a game of DCC up and running in no time, with a minimum of fuss. Save for advanced GMing techniques and higher levels, you get everything you need here, and the two included adventures are of a nature that a quick skim and you're on your way to running these things in no time. That's fantastic! The layout of all the info is tight and concise, as well as feeling complete -- I didn't notice anything missing from the gear and combat sections from the core rulebook of the full game, so there's no "missing" stuff that will trip you up or create a bump in the learning curve when you move onto the full rulebook and higher levels of play.

That's an overall win, but I have my personal gripes that I know are pretty specific to me, so take this with a grain of salt. The first is that I think the class write-ups could have gone to higher levels without that much added page count (spells would be the big one, though, and I'll talk more on that in a second). This could have been a complete "Player's Manual" that not only was a quick start but also provided players with a cheaper, smaller-than-a-massive-brick reference book, and the page count might have only increased by a handful of pages. But the spells...spells are a huge section in the core rulebook, and obviously it'd be tough to include that in a player reference without bloating the page count. This is where my other gripe comes in: spells are pretty complex in that they have lots of moving parts and thus lots of tables to reference. I think spells could've been the one "learning curve bump" where they dumbed them down for the quick start, or removed some of the options such that you'd still get a "complete" player's reference manual out of this, but left out some spells -- or some spell rules, such as the full reference tables for many spell functions -- such that those surprises would come from the Judge, through gameplay and interaction with the game world.

That second gripe is a very personal, admittedly nebulous one that shouldn't be seen as a knock against the game. It's more like a note for how a player manual could be set up for DCC. I didn't knock off any stars for either of these gripes given their nature.

See more reviews, resources, and releases for DMsGuild and DriveThruRPG at neuronphaser.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DCC RPG Quick Start Rules
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Fifth Edition Fantasy #4: War-Lock
by Benjamin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2017 14:01:36

All in all a solid product. The crowd I was DMing for were younger. They had some problems with the lead-up and found it hard to maintain their attention. I would highly recommend it for an adult audience, however. The concept behind the module is excellent.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #4: War-Lock
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2016 Halloween Module: The Sinister Sutures of the Sempstress
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2017 01:39:56

A friend asked me to run a one-shot for his birthday, and we happened to celebrate the weekend before Halloween. I did some digging and found this module. The birthday celebrant and the rest of our group are glad that I did! This adventure is appropriately creepy without going too far. There's a moderate amount of body horror, but it relies mostly on macabre imagry and building tension. The players particularly enjoyed the last scene, and not knowing what was the truth and what was a lie. I watched the players squirm, wondering which path to follow. We completed the adventure in about 4.5 hours, which is just right for a one-shot.

If you're looking for a DCC adventure to run on Halloween, I recommend The Sinister Sutures of the Sempstress!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2016 Halloween Module: The Sinister Sutures of the Sempstress
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2017 Halloween Module: Shadow Under Devil's Reef
by Karl S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2017 23:45:25

I was looking forward to finally running my first holiday-themed adventure, but I feel pretty let down by this one. The module starts with a fairly loose hook where the players had better want treasure for saving a princess. Much of the subsequent adventure bogs down in a shipwreck, which is filled not with the advertised Halloween (Cthulhu) theme but with faux-Indian six-armed demons and undead that bogs down under most rooms being packed with encounters that essentially punish the players for looting.

I've also found gammar/typographical errors in the module and I'm of the opinion that the folks at Goodman Games can do better than that.

Goodman games has numerous, far better modules that not only keep your players better entertained but also have a strong Halloween theme without the label.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2017 Halloween Module: Shadow Under Devil's Reef
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Fifth Edition Fantasy #2: The Fey Sisters' Fate
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2017 23:35:53

Hi, I ran this adventure as a first time DM to 4 seasoned players and they all really enjoyed the adventure as did I! Good fun with a few twists and turns along the way to keep everyone on their toes. A lot of very useful information and the readable narrative really helped me a lot. I added briarwood berries as a 1d4 heal and offered up the new background to a Paladin at the end of the advenure. Am looking at running Glitterdoom for their next adventure...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #2: The Fey Sisters' Fate
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