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Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
 
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Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/31/2008 08:38:28

An RPG Resource Review:

This was the one that started Goodman Games's successful line of Dungeon Crawl Classics, in which they claimed to be attempting to create the feel of the original 'dungeon bash' adventures of early D&D. Despite the rather depressing introductary statement that stated the NPCs were merely there to be killed, the line has actually produced excellent role-playing adventures which combined the best parts of Dungeons & Dragons as it has evolved over time.

In this adventure, a bunch of 1st-3rd level characters arrive (presumably while going about their own business) in the remote mining town of Silverton, whereupon their aid is enlisted to clean out a deserted mine full of rather nasty and aggressive wererat goblin bandits who have been making a nuisance of themselves in the area. Once your characters are in Silverton, three different ways are suggested for getting them involved - only one of which involves that stand-by of being approached in an inn. Indeed, the whole adventure is full of helpful suggestions for the DM, laid out clearly so that they are ready to hand just when you need them. A comprehensive, yet concise, backstory sets the scene for the DM, and provides him with local knowledge to let slip in conversation should the characters chat before rushing off to storm the mine.

However, conversation over the beermugs is not why we are here, and the rest of the product consists of a whole four levels of abandoned silver mine to explore. Well, 'abandoned' by its original miners - there are plenty of others in residence who really don't want to be disturbed. Everyone has their reasons for being there, and their own plots and plans to be busy with, but they would rather attack intruders than debate with them. For each room, there is a clear description of the contents and inhabitants, with detailed directions as to how they will react and fight once the characters enter. A novice DM should feel confident with this level of support, while a more experienced one will be impressed with every detail being to hand when he needs it.

If you are looking for a low-level adventure full of excitement and strenuous combat, in a well-designed situation where everyone has a good reason to fight, then look no further!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by victor f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/22/2007 00:00:00

I have enjoyed running the DCC games. easy to follow and fun to play<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: a little long<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Robert K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/16/2006 00:00:00

This product remimded me of some of the dungeon crawls back when I first started playing D&D in the 1970's. Back then, it was fine that the monsters lived next door to each other with no apparent ill will towards each other and that treasure was more or less random. These days, however, it's so much more important with the 3.5 D20 system to have more than that, and that is where this adventure falls flat. I cannot vouch for the rest of the modules in the series except one beginner mod that I bought at a convention in hard copy. That particular mod featured a unique game twist, a nicely done dungeon crawl where the monsters were at least together, if not always having each others best interests in mind. This mod is basic in every way.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The only thing I liked about this mod was a reminder of the old days of D&D when I first started playing. The monster stats and the village aren't too bad either.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: This mod is a straightforward dungeon crawl in theme from the beginning days of D&D. If that is your cup of tea, then you will like this mod. If you are like me and the old style dungeon crawl isn't to your taste, then you would be better suited to buy some of the old 1st Edition mods here like Rahasia, Castle Amber, All That Glitters, etc; which are better at the storyline. Most of them are also updated to 3.5 version via the internet in several locations.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Disappointing<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Disappointed<br>



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Daryl M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/29/2006 00:00:00

Great product. Very convenient and professionally done. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Kevin N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/04/2005 00:00:00

This is what D&D is all about. Takes me back to the good ole days of dungeoning.<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: Everything<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Nothing<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Daniel G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2004 00:00:00

A solid, good dungeon crawl. Good for when I was an adolescent, but now it seems a bit juvenile. Still, worth the fun of playing with my 12 year old.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Jason M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2004 00:00:00

This was my first Goodman Games module I bought and it was for my first D&D campaign I've ever run. I thought it was excellent, for what it was designed to be: A "dungeon hack" with traps and a number of different enemies to hack up. I've been a player for 15 years and as far as a good hack n slash module goes, this one is very good.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Ken M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2004 00:00:00

Great adventure. It felt like I was back in 1984 again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Jeff S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2004 00:00:00

First in a series of "old school" dungeon crawls that bring back fond memories of the early-TSR days. Kudos!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Ronald R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2003 00:00:00

Nicely done module. My players really enjoyed it. I look forward to more modules from Goodman Games.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Thomas E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/04/2003 00:00:00

Overall a very good adventure. The players liked it quite a bit and it was especially a good adventure for the one member of our group new to the 3/3.5 edition rules. The villains were exciting and believable, and the final epic battle had the PCs quaking in their adventuring books from the beginning.

There were, however, several mistakes, some type-os and some discontinuities in the plot. For example, one of the main bad guys was creating undead, but was not high enough level to make undead. Another problem was that I missed that some of the clerics were not given spells or domains. It made it a little difficult to run the encounter on the fly, but hey, it worked.

The main villain was then used in another couple of adventures that brought the characters up to 5th level. Quite exciting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #1: Idylls of the Rat King
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Malcolm M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/12/2003 00:00:00

"Retro-feel" dungeons seem to be back in these days, but this module is more than just nostalgia-massage for the old-time gamers.

Idylls of the Rat King demonstrates why old-school style D&D adventures can be preferable to modern, bloated. pseudo-epics:

  1. It's your adventure, for your game world. The adventure setting is only as detailed as it needs to be. The starting town, it's inhabitants, and the relevant adventure areas outside the town are all properly detailed. The authors don't try to force a "melieu" or a setting on you -- the default "heroic fantasy" setting the core rulebooks imply is also implied here. If you want to darken the setting, deepen it with detail, add millenia of campaign history, or otherwise customize or "weird-ify" the setting, that's your perogative as DM, when preparing the module -- as well it should be!

  2. It's a streamlined adventure, without being simplistic. As above, if you want to add side-treks or extended character bits while running this adventure, then more power to you as a genuine DM. The authors of Idylls of the Rat King concentrate on giving you a site-based plot with one or two genuinely good twists. It's "linear" insofar as it's site based, but linearity done properly does not mean that the players are led by the nose, or forced to act in ways they don't choose. Idylls of the Rat King offers a clear "mission", and the adventure has a beginning. a middle, and an end, with some suspense and some twists along the way. That's good linearity. That's "The Lord of the Rings"-style linearity. That's one of the oldest and most popular structures of storytelling on Earth..

  3. It's not stupid. Sure, at the risk of death for heresy, some of the things Grandpapa Gygax and his crew created for the early D&D adventures were extremely fun -- but some of the stuff was just, well, stupid. Gygax' penchant for one-roll-live-or-die lethal traps is infamous, and some of the scenarios in the early modules confounded even fantasy-world logic (Why are all these monsters living peaceably side-by-side in this dungeon? How does the dragon eat, sequestered in that small subterranean cave far underground? Why are there so many monsters thriving near a substantial settlement of gnome fighters?) Idylls of the Rat King manages to avoid design stupidity without bogging the adventure down in unnecessary or irrelevant explanation in the process.

  4. It's a an adventure for first-level characters that isn't boring! How often does that happen in the modern age of D&D?

With crisp, clean artwork and layout, plus an engaging story, Idylls of the Rat King is one of the best D&D adventures I've seen in a while. Goodman Games has managed to resurrect all the good qualities of first-edition D&D here, while leaving all the dross behind. No pretention; no dead-weight detail -- just straight-ahead, sword-and-sorcery fun. I give it my highest recommendation.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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