Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Sea Queen Escapes!

DCC #75 The Sea Queen Escapes! is a 3rd level adventure by Michael Curtis. Art is by Doug Kovacs (including cover and cartography), Jeff Easley, Peter Mullen, Russ Nicholson, Stefan Poag, and Michael Wilson. The publisher is Goodman Games.

In The Sea Queen Escapes!, Michael Curtis offers an exceptional aquatic-themed adventure that allows you, among other things, to explore the passages within the shell of a giant sea turtle's back.

There some things that Michael Curtis does very well, and this adventure benefits from all of them.

First, the adventure requires that you visit three separate locations. This structure is used in adventures such as Intrigue at the Court of Chaos and The Making of the Ghost Ring. Several of his adventures have relatively linear structures, and this shifting from location to location is the spoonful of sugar that helps that medicine go down. He has a knack for drawing players naturally from one set piece to another, creating a tighter adventure without feeling like the players are being railroaded. Not all of his adventures follow this model, of course, but it is a model that he executes well.

(One might note that Star Wars movies tend to follow this structure as well: Tatooine > Death Star > Yavin IVHoth > Dagobah > Cloud City, or Tatooine > Endor > Death Star, or Naboo > Tatooine > Coruscant, for instance.)

Secondly, the adventure has the potential to change the characters' abilities for part of it, which layers in another thing for the players to juggle. In The Sea Queen Escapes!, although this is nominally accomplished through a curse, it is similar in effect to adventures like Emirikol Was Framed and The Old God's Return. This is just fun, and, again, the author does it well.

Finally, Michael Curtis does an excellent job establishing theme and setting. This will surprise no one who has run The Chained Coffin or examined any of the materials related to the upcoming (at the time of this writing) DCC Lankhmar boxed set. The very successful fourth printing kickstarter for the core rulebook allowed him to expand the material with a mini-setting of the sunken lands of Ru, similar to the Forlorn North expansion in Frozen in Time.

Apart from those things, PCs have good reason to fear the water. Even when they can swim, they tend to be dragged down by heavy armor or carried treasures that they simply do not wish to part with. The sea offers the most alien creatures on our planet, and oceans in a fantasy world only accentuate this. Drowning does not care how many hit points you have left.

For those who are interested, the original pitch for The Sea Queen Escapes! is presented in Scrivener of Strange Wor(l)ds. As another side note, when I converted Harley Stroh's Tower of the Black Pearl to Dungeon Crawl Classics, I was asked to make sure that the swimming and drowning rules therein meshed with those of The Sea Queen Escapes!. This adventure really does supply a grounding for all aquatic DCC adventures to follow!

Evil lurks beneath the ocean! For years it has slumbered, but now it rises once again, threatening to wash over the surface world like a monstrous wave. Only a handful of stalwarts stand between the nefarious schemes of the deep and a world drowned in sorrows, but first they must navigate a wizard’s sanctum, a magical prison, and the most unusual dungeon they’ve ever faced! Can they stem the tide in time or will they lose themselves forever to the Sea Change curse?

Get It Here!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Scrivener of Strange Wor(l)ds

Scrivener of Strange Wor(l)ds: A Game Designer's Notebook was written by Michael Curtis. Art is by Jeff Easley (cover), Doug Kovacs, and Stefan Poag. The publisher is Goodman Games.

In 2016, Goodman Games published three volumes of what were essentially working notebooks of two of their writers and a working sketchbook from one of their artists. These were The Devil's Chapbook, The Drain Chamber, and Scrivener of Strange Wor(l)ds. As with the previous entries, I am going to focus on material related to Dungeon Crawl Classics. In this case, that is nearly the entirety of the work!

Let's take a look inside.

Foreword: By Joseph Goodman. What it says on the tin.

An Introduction or Fighting Words: An introduction by the author.

The Android Underlords Fragment: For Metamorphosis Alpha.

The Horrible Happenings in Huddle: A DCC adventure suitable for 0-level to 2nd level characters. "Life thrives out in the cold hell of space: horrific, utterly alien life that is inscrutable to the minds that dwell on the worlds below. And unfortunately for those who live under thos unforgiving skies, sometimes that life comes calling..."

This is a short adventure, from the early days of DCC, before the core rulebook had been published. Although it could be expanded upon by the judge (there is an "Additional Ideas" section) it is relatively complete in three pages. Michael  Curtis writes "although I knew where I wanted to go with it, I couldn't write a clear path there and other projects started demanding my attention." I, for one, would like to see a fuller treatment one day.

If you are looking for more H.P. Lovecraft-inspired content for your game, this adventure is an homage to The Color Out of Space.

A Night on the Town: Oolvanvar Street Events: A city-based homage to The Warriors, this was a free-form sandbox adventure the author ran at conventions "for a couple of years." These are six encounters Michael Curtis wrote out in case he needed some help in his improv. It might be fun to use this in conjunction with Street Kids of Ur-Hadad.

The Dark Labyrinth: An Old School Dungeon Level: Three rooms from a shared megadungeon project which never materialized. Although the material appears to be written for TSR-era Dungeons & Dragons (or a simulacra thereof), the judge could easily convert these rooms for use in a dungeon crawl of her own.

The Ol' Swimmin' Hole: A DCC adventure for any level, originally intended for Tales from the Shudder Mountains Volume 2. Michael Curtis writes: "I plunged into the Swimmin' Hole a few times, but I never could find the bottom of it and solid rock to stand on." Which means that the adventure didn't reach the point where he was happy with it, as far as I can tell, not that the discerning judge couldn't use this material (in whole or in part) in a Shudder Mountains campaign. It should be noted that there is a link with DCC #83.2: Death Among the Pines.

Intrigue at the Court of Chaos Alternate Encounters: Some ideas that were considered for the vault containing the Yokeless Egg in Intrigue at the Court of Chaos. There is an author's note where Michael Curtis says that "when I don't feel like writing out the whole stat block from scratch" he will simply cut and paste from another manuscript, and then revise. I do exactly the same thing!

The Turtle Dungeon Adventure Pitch: Michael Curtis' pitch to Joseph Goodman for the adventure that became The Sea Queen Escapes!

Chained Coffin Original Beginning: An alternate start for The Chained Coffin.

These last two items are useful for prospective authors. Comparing the pitch or the original text to what was eventually published reminds us both that no idea need be set in stone, and that sometimes veering from that original idea is a mistake.

After Words: An afterword, with an image of two pages of Michael Curtis' commonplace book, showing "a list of unusual and/or cool words" he discovered.

Writers are desperate and dangerous souls, seldom allowed out in pleasant company. Best left alone in their garrets and fed a steady diet of red meat and whiskey, these madmen and women create horrible works of written art, works they unleash on the unwitting public! Only the brave efforts of editors and publishers can keep these maniacs restrained.

But every once and awhile, those gatekeepers of public safety slip up and the raw scribblings of writers escape into the wild, stalking their prey without mercy. This book is once such breakout, a collection of the works of Michael Curtis, game designer and fiend. Inside you’ll find writings too dangerous ever before to be published: alternate versions of his popular adventures, abandoned scenarios deemed too dangerous to behold, and photographic evidence likely to be displayed in a court of justice some day! Are you brave enough to visit this mental madhouse and emerge unscathed? We dare you to come inside…

Get It Here!


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The Screaming Temple

Q1: The Screaming Temple is published by Pacesetter Games & Simulations.

This adventure was published as a print run of 100 copies. I own one of these copies, but it has yet to surface from among the five skids of boxes still unsorted after my move this spring. As far as I can tell, it was not released as a pdf, so until I have managed to locate my physical copy a full listing will have to wait.

My apologies to Bill Barsh and Pacesetter Games.

Scratch-Off Zero-Level Character Sheets

Designed by Jim Wampler, with art by Stefan Poag and emergent characters alternate rules by Marc Bruner, these sheets use a zero-level character data set created by Jon Marr. The publisher is Goodman Games.

The idea for these appears to have been the DCC 2016 Holiday Module: Twilight of the Solstice, by Marc Bruner.

While I have access to this adventure, I have yet to run it or use the sheets provided. I have heard one complaint that the sheets are difficult to scratch off, but otherwise I haven't heard any complaints. The pdf version of Twilight of the Solstice (which you can get here) comes with a Random Scratch-Off Character Generator pdf, which can be used to generate a limited number of randomized characters. The data set created by Jon Marr is, I believe, considerably larger.

The zero-level character creation funnel is one of the most popular aspects of DCC RPG play. Now we are thrilled to present an even more exciting improvement on that gaming experience! Instead of rolling up 15 0-levels before the game, you can now save time by using these scratch-off character sheets! Yes, scratch-off, just like the lotto. Each character sheet comes with a scratch-off box for each ability score and other key statistic. Before the game you distribute them to your players. They use a coin to scratch off the appropriate boxes, then you let the dungeon diving begin!

Each pack comes with 15 randomized scratch-off characters sheets and a set of alternative rules to implement them!

Get Them Here!



Primal Tales #1

Primal Tales #1 was written by Brendan LaSalle and Brett Brooks. Art is by Dean Kotz (including cover), Jarrod Alberich (cover), Guoh, Amber Harris, and Bradley McDevitt. The publisher is Pandahead Publishing.

Primal Tales is a zine supplying options for adding anthropomorphic animal characters to Dungeon Crawl Classics or Mutant Crawl Classics games.

Anthropomorphic animals have a long history in both children's and fantasy literature. Whether looking at Babar the Elephant, Reepicheep from Narnia, or Rocket Raccoon, these beings have been with us for a very long time. They have, of course, dominated a certain type of animation, as well as creating a sub-genre of mostly Young Adult fantasy with the Redwall Abbey series, MouseGuard, and similar works. And, of course, there are always Alan Moore's disturbing creations in the second volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

At first glance, Appendix N would appear to be bereft of such characters, but looking closer, one can see anthropomorphic animals in The Maker of Universes, by Philip José Farmer, and there are certainly anthropomorphic tigers in Lin Carter's World's End Series. If one delves into the various alien races met in the works of some of the listed authors, I feel certain that you will encounter more than one being that could be considered a primal.

Even previous Dungeon Crawl Classics products have included creatures that might be considered primals, be they simians from Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms, faerie animals from Creeping Beauties of the Wood, avarians from Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure, or manimals from Mutant Crawl Classics.

Still, you might be asking "Is this for me?", and I am going to be providing some suggestions for using this material even if you are not going to have primal PCs.

Let's take a look.

Introduction: What it says on the tin. Brett Brooks describes how Primal Tales came about: "That’s easy: someone asked us. Honestly, we were approached by a DCC fan, who asked if there was any chance of such a book existing. After some consideration, and several conversations with Joseph Goodman and the blessing of Goodman Games, the result is the book you hold in your hands."

The World of Primals: This is a single page, describing the basic assumptions of the world of Primal Tales, and acknowledging that these assumptions may be different in your campaign world.

Character Creation: Rules for creating primal characters. There is a "Primal Family Chart" that uses a d100 to generate over 80 different types of anthropomorphic animal, from "Alligator/Crocodile" to "Zebra". Each of these includes a natural weapon and special traits. There is also a "Primal Occupation Table".

If not using primals in your milieu, the family chart may be used to generate interesting beastmen or humanoids, at the very least. Vulturemen, shark-like orcs, and kobolds with frog traits are all possible, and all grist for the mill.

Savage Warrior: This is the primal version of the warrior class, which is given special abilities when using their natural weapons. If you are not using primals, this class is unlikely to be used...although you could use it as a template for beefing up some of the enemy humanoids and beastmen the PCs might encounter.

Another possibility is that the class might be used to represent a Tarzan or Mowgli-like character, who starts with natural attack damage of 1d3. In this case, the character might be given the Special Traits of the animal type that raise him, if it makes sense within the game. For instance, Tarzan might have "+1d skill checks (anything strength related), +2d climb checks" (using gorilla traits as a model), and Mowgli "Heightened Senses (+2d scent), +1d Skill Checks (Tracking)".

Arcaster: "Arcasters learn their magic from arcane spirits. These spirits are embodiments
of magic itself given form, and are invisible to most. To those who know their secrets and are willing to pay the price, an arcane spirit is a gateway to magical power." This class comes with a new 1st level spell, find spirit familiar.

In a game using primals, it makes sense to limit this class to primal characters. "Race as class" is used, after all, to keep elves from feeling like humans with superpowers and pointy ears, as they are in some other role-playing games. It also helps to keep the flavor of various options from merging.

In a game without primals, there is no reason not to open this class up to either humans and/or elves. Or, hell, perhaps in your world this sort of communion is a "halflings-only" thing!

Chimerae: Spellcasters who can take the forms of various animals, this would be a pretty cool class to include in your game milieu whether it is limited to primals or not. The class includes some animal trait information (useful when creating statblocks for natural creatures, or when modifying beastmen/humanoids, as noted above) and three new 1st level spells: consult nature, resist weather, and spirit healing.

If you are not using primals in your game, you might just want to call this a "druid"! Even if you do not want PCs using this material, there is plenty here to crib from for NPC antagonists.

Lamia: Patron of Mother’s Nightmares: "There are many conflicting stories about the life of Lamia and where she originated. Some say that she is the cast-off lover of a god, cursed by that god’s spouse. Others claim that her children were stolen by a jealous, barren goddess, who drove her to madness and down a path leading to atrocities that corrupted her and gave her great power. Then there are those who say that she is a succubus who escaped from the depths of hell, intending to find the perfect child to call her own. Physical descriptions of her vary widely. Sometimes Lamia is described as having the torso of a woman and the body of a lioness or a huge serpent. At other times, she is seen as a beautiful woman with the maw and fangs of a deformed beast."

Lamia is given a full patron write-up. As a patron who combines human and animal natures, Lamia is appropriate to this work. There is nothing, however, that limits Lamia from being used in any campaign.

For other versions of Lamia, see the Sanctum Secorum Episode #35 Companion: Hundra (1983) or D.A.M.N. Magazine #1 - Winter 2017.

Lamian Monsters: Three monsters are supplied:
  • Lamurae: "From the nightmares of mothers and the essence of Lamia, the Lamurae were born. Ranging between one to three feet tall, the Lamurae resemble the shadows of death and decay."
  • Lamian Succubus: "In the vast demonic realms, to have a name is a badge of honor. And in the annals of the succubi stories, no name is more revered than Lamia. Many of the succubi have devoted themselves to Lamia, seeing her as one of their own who has elevated them to newfound power and prominence. To that end, the Lamian Succubus is unlike any other." For other types of succubi, see The Balance Blade in The 13th Skull, The Crimson Void, and the Sanctum Secorum Episode #35 Companion: Hundra (1983).
  • Avatar of Lamia: "The fact that no one can agree upon the origin or appearance of Lamia is not helped by the manifestations of her avatar. Those who have survived seeing her manifest have claimed that they have seen three different incarnations: The Maiden, The Beast, and The Demon. However, the true number of incarnations has yet to be accurately documented." Statistics for all three avatars mentioned are provided.
These monsters are appropriate for use in any Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign, and are in no way dependent upon the use of primals.

They exist everywhere. Among the common people they are talked about in quiet tones. Half man, half beast. Stories of them are told around campfires and hearths.

They inspire curiosity...
...confusion...
...and fear.

Many call them monsters.

Some call them heroes.

They call themselves primals.

Get It Here!


Monday, 28 May 2018

Meanderings #3

Meanderings #3 was written by R.S. Tilton and Jeff Scifert. Art is by Mario Torres (including cover) and R.S. Tilton. The publisher is Epic Meanderings.

Disclosure: I am a Patreon member. I am mentioned in "Credit where credit is due: The Source of the Inspiration.", which is part of the Introduction.

Meanderings is the house publication for R.S. Tilton's Bastion campaign milieu, although the articles it contains are generally universally applicable to diverse Dungeon Crawl Classics campaigns. Some issues contain material focused on other game systems that the authors are interested in, although this issue is firmly focused on DCC. There is no specific theme to this issue, except for the rather generic "options".

Let's look inside.

Introduction: What it says on the tin.

Review Corner: An overview of Mike Evans’ Hubris: A review of Hubris, starting with "This is one Hell of a book. It’s a great setting, as well as an amazing resource for any DCC Judge." and then going into details. Written by R.S. Tilton.

Tools of the Trade: What are Thieves’ Tools?: Author R.S. Tilton examines thieves' tools, giving a list of items both in a basic tool set (as listed in the core rulebook), an expanded thieves' tools set that can grant a bonus to some skill checks. An even better master set, as well as magical tools, are also described.

Bladed Weapon Styles: Cloak & Blade and Sword & Scabbard: Similar to Off the Charts! in Meanderings #2, this article by R.S. Tilton offers two new Mighty Deeds. It uses the Mighty Fumbles and Mighty Criticals option from Steel and Fury.

Reeling in Clerics: By the Gods! House rules for Clerics: If you are finding clerics a little overpowered in your home game, R.S. Tilton offers some house rules to reign them in. I am especially pleased with the "Individual Disapproval ratings" rule, which answers the question: "What happend when I keep healing an ally who is offensive to my god?" Rather than simply upping the cleric's Disapproval, the author makes it harder to target the offensive recipient.

In Defense of Luck: Using Luck defensively: House rules by R.S. Tilton to use Luck to adjust AC, reduce damage, or instantly succeed on a recovering the body check - whether rolled over or not! The author also suggests ways in which non-thief or halfling characters can recover Luck, which would promote using it more. Judges may wish to consider the Fleeting Luck rules in the upcoming DCC Lankhmar to give players more incentive to use Luck without allowing every class to regenerate it.

Magical Weapons: Three new unique magic weapons: Written by R.S. Tilton, these are:

  • Flamebrand: "Forged in the crucible that is Caldera Crenox, the weapon appears as a longsword, pitted and scarred from extreme heat. When grasped, the weapon begins to heat up as the tip glows red hot."
  • Remnant: "This weapon is all that remains of the bastard sword of King Balhazara III. The weapon appears as a broken long hafted short sword of unusual metal, though to any weaponsmith, it is obviously part of a larger weapon."
  • Wolfshead Axe: "This mithril axe is forged with a massive wolfshead motif as part of the head of the axe. The haft is made of pure moonstone, elaborately carved and inlaid with silver. The axe shines brighter as the full moon approaches."

Each of these weapons uses milestone and effect dice. A milestone is something that happens in-game to increase the effect die and/or unlock other powers. The author describes the effect die thus:

"Unlike a deed die, the effect die only generates a predetermined result; it does not automatically increase attack and damage results. Many times, the effect die result is simply additional damage, especially with the lower end results."

Crowd Surfing: Judge’s Tips to bringing a city of life: R.S. Tilton offers advive for judges running urban settings.

Classes of Bastion: The Graft - A warrior...enhanced: Authors R.S. Tilton and Jeff Scifert bring you an enhanced human warrior using bioarcana and technoarcana grafts to make himself both more than - less - than human.

"You are an enhanced human, a brutal sign of end-times, sacrificing your humanity for survivability, a mercenary who fights for the highest bidder. Whether using the crude bioarcana grafts or the more refined technoarcana ones, and unlike those with minor grafts, you are less than human, and yet so much more, part machine, part monster, one step away from a permanent trip to the Warpwastes. With each replacement, you risk your very essence and humanity."

Umbral Market - Bioarcana Grafts: Grafting Bio-organic parts: An article on bioarcana grafts. It is noted that the article is a placeholder, which the authors intend to revise after the release of Mutant Crawl Classics. R.S. Tilton and Jeff Scifert are the authors.

It should be noted that a review of Mutant Crawl Classics appears in Meanderings #2, so it is reasonable to assume that this revised version of the grafts article already exists (or partially exists).

Zeroes to Heroes: Paper minis for level 0s: Each issue of Meanderings to date has included a
loose insert on card stock of paper minis for zero-level games. This issue is no exception.

Get It Here!


Greenwood of the Fey Sovereign

Greenwood of the Fey Sovereign is a 0-level funnel adventure written and illustrated by C. Aaron Kreader. The publisher is Studio 9 Games.

Disclosure: I have an editing credit on this product.

This fey-themed funnel adventure, which hit the virtual shelves one day after Fae Hard, was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. While both are funnel adventures, and both are fey-themed, their take on this is very different. While both adventures begin with the hapless 0-level PCs pressed into service, the nature of that service is utterly different, as is how escaping servitude is resolved. From that point on, the biggest similarity - apart from the fey theme - is that the PCs are caught in the midst of a conflict they would probably rather avoid.

In essence, the set-up for this adventure serves to move characters into the otherworldly Greenwood, which is a subset of Elfland, and there to ensure that enough conflict exists to motivate players and whittle down the starting characters. The author has taken a general view of the fey that I approve of. To whit:

"The creatures of Greenwood are not easily identified—what man calls elf is actually a vast collective of diverse and distinct creatures including (but not limited to) pixies, brownies, goblins, demons, wild elves, and devils. There is no common elf here. To rubes, the crea-tures within may be mistaken for tiny men, thin green women, or even elves, but are of no known race. Resist telling players the name of what they are seeing—describe entities in terms they would know. If asked, “Is it an elf?” convey ambiguity. Elf characters will know that fey woodlands contain creatures more ancient and mysterious than themselves, and often these creatures appear not as they really are."

The Earl's pressgang, and the inclusion of Pertrub to goad the PCs into action, allows the judge to engage in a bit of fun. Pertrub would fit well as a foil to Cugel the Clever, excepting that the PCs are likely to make a more permanent end to him than Cugel tends to do. I recommend grabbing the Vancian Word List from the Sanctum Secorum Episode #21 Companion: The Dying Earth and really going to town with this character.

Parts of the adventure are more linear than I would like. While this does seem to be common for funnel adventures, I don't think it was strictly necessary here. A matrix of potential encounters in the Greenwood, depending upon the choices of the players, possibly with some random element to underscore the nature of the otherworldly woodland. This isn't entirely necessary, though, and is really no different from the invisible bridge in Hole in the Sky - it gets the PCs to the location(s) where the real action will take place.

In addition to the adventure, this products includes a new character class - the wild elf, or wildling. These elves are vulnerable to any metal, and use weapons made of wood, stone, and the like. They gain some thief abilities, and some limited spellcasting.

War is looming. The Earl of Nanch and his neighboring elven kingdom are sharpening the spears of aggression. Those on the border are split between two dangerous dynasts. Pressed into duty for lord and country, the peasants and gong farmers of Nanch find themselves in a strange and unnerving forest full of denizens older than the practice of naming. In this new world, the rules of life and death are a game of whimsy practiced by fantastic forces, and bizarre ancient feuds re-ignite in the chaos of war. Those errant attendants of Nanch will be fortunate to survive the madness of either ruler!

Get It Here!



Friday, 25 May 2018

Fae Hard

Fae Hard is a 0-level funnel adventure written by James A. Pozenel, Jr., based on a concept by David W. Fisher. Illustration is by David W. Fisher. Cartography is by Del Teigeler. The publisher is Shinobi 27 Games.

Disclosure: I backed the successful kickstarter that this was a stretch goal for.

This adventure is inspired by, and an homage to, the 1988 film, Die Hard. Knowing something about the movie will make the adventure more enjoyable, but I am happy to say that, while the adventure uses themes and situations from Die Hard, it doesn't attempt to reproduce the movie itself. Instead, it gives you a funnel adventure taking place inside a faerie mound. As a stretch goal for Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition, the adventure not only (appropriately) deals with fay creatures, but deals with patrons. Two patrons are reproduced from the Elfland Edition volume.

“Terrorists have seized Nakato... No, that’s not right.
Unseelie faeries have seized Noc Marb...”

Long enslaved in a faerie mound for past dealings with the local fey, you wake to the slaughter of your jailers. Is this your chance to escape? Will you rescue your overlords? It's time to FAE HARD!

Get It Here!


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Incursion of the Ultradimension

MCC #3: Incursion of the Ultradimension is a 2nd level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure written by Michael Curtis. Art is by Doug Kovacs (cover and cartography), Tom Galambos, Friedrich Haas, Stefan Poag, Chad Sergesketter, and Mike Wilson. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Disclosure: I have a playtesting credit on this product.

This was the first Mutant Crawl Classics adventure that I actually ran or played, and it has survival horror written all over it. Overbold PCs will likely die early. Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

The last line of the final paragraph on page 20 unfortunately is completed after the header on page 21. This isn't a serious problem; just something to be aware of.

It rises — silent, ancient, and ominous — from the depths of the Monster Ocean.

A curious relic of the Ancient Ones, long forgotten beneath the waves. Then, without warning, alien creatures never before seen on Terra A.D. spill forth the ravage the land! This is the Retreat of Delirium, home to strange super-science and creatures not of this world.

What fiendish plans do they have in store for the rad-blasted world of Terra A.D.? Venture through the Retreat’s glowing door and discover what awaits beyond!

Hive of the Overmind

MCC #1: Hive of the Overmind is a 0 level Mutant Crawl Classics funnel adventure written by Julian Bernick. Art is by Stefan Poag (including cover and cartography), Chris Arneson, Tom Galambos, and Cliff Kurowski. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

Younglings on their Rite of Passage are shocked to regain consciousness with no memory of how they came to be in a gigantic insect hive far to the north of their homelands, laboring as drone-slaves of the savage ant-men. In a land where an “insect revolution” has taken place, the PCs must contend with insectoid mega fauna and a maze-like underground installation before facing the ominous Overmind: a building-sized insect queen cybernetically linked to an ancient chaotic AI.

The Ghoul Prince

The Ghoul Prince is a 2nd level adventure by Zzarchov Kowolski. Art is by Alex Mayo (including cover). Cartography is by Dyson Logos. The publisher is DIY RPG Productions.

Disclosure: I have been offered a print copy of this product for free in exchange for this listing. I paid for the pdf version, and I would have made this listing anyway.

This adventure begins with an interesting premise. Note that I am not talking about the premise of the adventure itself, but the premise of how the adventure is written. The author writes:

"So this adventure is starting with a weird question I’ve been playing around with: how easy can you make it to slot a published adventure into the wildly different campaign settings of actual tables, without destroying all the flavour and actual value of that adventure as a useful tool."

"The idea is that there is a central frame of an adventure with a lot of set dressing that is used to cement it into a setting. The frame of the adventure is unchanging, while the set dressing is specifically labelled with an accompanying index so the GM can reference
notes with what is on the page.

These are not just cosmetic changes, and they do impact the play of the game."

This is an interesting framing device, but it takes space to convey. Examples of using this adventure location as a barrow, a desert tomb, and an alpine mausoleum are provided. There is space to create your own frame using these as examples. To make better use of the adventure, consider using the alternative frames when devising other sites of your own. By using bits and pieces of a given frame across several adventures, you can get full value for those you do not include as part of your version of The Ghoul Prince proper.

The Ghoul Prince himself is a great adversary, and is given appropriate (but easy to use) mechanics to promote his role in the adventure. The judge will may have to create stats for some creatures, although the author took this into consideration and offers the judge easy ways to avoid it.  Still, I prefer full statblocks be included for all creatures, and there lack herein is the only serious failing I see with the adventure as written. On the other hand, this does make the adventure easier to adjust for other level parties.

Overall, monsters and setting elements are good and flavorful, but if the judge doesn't do her prep work, she may find herself flipping pages - a lot! - during actual play. The pdf is password-protected, but content copying is allowed, so it would be possible to cut & paste the details you need into a single document, and then print it before game time. I would recommend this. I would also take the time to copy statblocks you might need from the core rulebook so that you don't need to look them up at the table.

By introducing some holograms and medical-superscience, this would also work well as a Mutant Crawl Classics adventure. The framing set-up would allow it to work with Crawljammer, Umerica, Transylvanian Adventures, or any other setting you might wish. It would even work well in something like Nowhere City Nights or the Brimstone of Black Powder, Black Magic.

The adventure also includes a full patron write-up for the Bone Lady: "a powerful demon that takes the form of an old crone. She haunts the wilderness around the tomb (in a regional sense) and appears only at night. When encountered or summoned, she will be next to a magically appearing crater filled with bones that she stirs and tends with a long pole. Anyone who peers into the pit to see its contents must make a DC 12 Will Save or be driven to dig out their own skeleton and add it to the pit, becoming frantically obsessed with doing so." 

This patron does not grant unique spells, but offers ones which already appear in the core rules.

Get It Here!


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Data Orb of Metakind

MCC #8: The Data Orb of Metakind was written by Jim Wampler, with additional writing by Tim Kask. Art is by Stefan Poag (cover), Tom Galambos, Friedrich Haas, Barrie James, Cliff Kurowski, Jesse Mohn, and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games.

The Glowburn podcast has devoted two episodes to Pure Strain Humans in Mutant Crawl Classics. You can find them here and here. Questions get raised because part of the design of Mutant Crawl Classics is that artifacts will create part of the balance of the emergent game. This product is, in a way, an example of how to do so.

In a way, Quest For It may be even more important to Mutant Crawl Classics Pure Strain Human PCs than it is to Dungeon Crawl Classics PCs - but then, there are far more game-altering artifacts in the average Mutant Crawl Classics campaign to quest for. Strange items that might kill you, or might elevate you above the common lot of your kind, are as important to adventure design as are strange mutated creatures that probably want to kill you. Again, this product is a strong example of the kind of game-altering artifact the PCs might attempt to recover.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

For the first time, an entire 24-page supplement devoted to a single artifact of the Ancient Ones!

The most holy of ancient relics, The Data Orb of Metakind has been passed down between tribal shamans and mystic mutants from generation to generation for thousands of years. If you can successfully bond with the golden orb’s AI, tetrabytes of arcane technological data can be yours, if you but survive its use.

For while knowledge is power, it comes at a price.

Crawling Under A Broken Moon Compilation

The Crawling Under a Broken Moon Compilation was written by Reid San Filippo with guest authors Anna Costa, Benjamin Baugh, Bob Brinkman, Chris Tamm, Daniel J. Bishop, David Baity, David VC, Diogo Nogueira, Eric Fabiaschi, Jon Carnes, Kevin Searle, Nate Marcel, Quinn Coffman, R. Dale Bailey Jr, Ryan Moore, Sean Ellis, Talon Waite, and Tim Bruns. Original cover art is by Aaron “Nunkeymutts”, Brad Morris, Claytonian JP, James Yoder, Lee Anthony Deadpoolrus DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Matt Hildebrand, Reid San Filippo, Sarah Richardson, Stu Rase, and Todd McGowan. Original interior art is by Aaron “Nunkeymutts”, Anna Costa, Brad Morris, Claytonian, CY, David Coppoletti, David Wayne Lutz, Diogo Nogueira, Frank Turfler Jr., Fred Dailey, H-Box, Hovig ghostontheshell DeviantArt CC BY-SA3, James Yoder, Lee Anthony Deadpoolrus DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Mark Bulahao DeviantArt (CC BY ND3), Matt Hildebrand, Matt Jordan, Matthew Zatkoff, Maxime “ChaosFeeder” Beaulac, DeviantArt (CC BY-ND 3.0), Mitchell Hudson, Naam (naamaak.blogspot.com), Nate Marcel, Ray Otus, Reid San Filippo, Richard Tingley, Rick Kammer, Sarah Richardson, and Todd McGowan. The publisher is Shield of Faith Studios.

Disclosure: I am a Guest Author.

Inside you will find a new Foreword by Jim Wampler.

Following this there is a Table of Contents by Issue, followed by the immensely useful Alphabetical Monster Listings, Alphabetical PC Class Listings, and Alphabetical Locations Listings.

For more information on each issue, see individual listings:

Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
Issue #4
Issue #5
Issue #6
Issue #7
Issue #8
Issue #9
Issue #10
Issue #11
Issue #12
Issue #13
Issue #14
Issue #15
Issue #16
Issue #17
Issue #18

The first four issues can also be found in Crawling Under a Broken Moon Zine Collection Volume 1, Issues 1-4.

Get It Here!




Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood

MCC #5: Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood is a 4th level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Harley Stroh. Art is by Doug Kovacs (including cover and cartography), Cliff Kurowski, Eric Lofgren, Jesse Mohn, and Stefan Poag. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

When your tribe’s prize possession — a functioning medibot — finally breaks down, your Seeker team is given a holy quest. Take the dead bot on a long and perilous journey to the the monks of The Holy Medicinal Order in hopes that their shamans can repair it. But the monks are not as the legends portray, and there is definitely something dark and dangerous going on in the holy monastery.

The Apocalypse Ark

MCC #6: The Apocalypse Ark is a 5th level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Brendan J. LaSalle. Art is by Stefan Poag (including cover and cartography), Tom Galambos, Jesse MohnRuss Nicholson,and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

The Ancients called it Beta Collection Unit NC-787.

Its mission – to find, collect, and categorize animals and plants, record their DNA, and when required, strip invasive mutant DNA from extant creatures to create genetically pure stock. Then the Great Disaster came. Beta Collection Unit NC-787 sat dead and inert for ages while the world evolved around it for thousands of years.

When stories of a rogue “smart metal” being the size of a mountain come to your village, no one takes them seriously, at least until the treaded 10-story-tall monstrosity begins cutting a gigantic swath through your hothouse jungle homeland. Invulnerable to even the mightiest mutations, your only hope to stop its menacing march is to find entry to its interior and access its power sources and sinister inhabitants.

Monday, 21 May 2018

A Fallen Star for All

MCC #2: A Fallen Star For All is a 1st level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Tim Callahan. Art is by Doug Kovacs (cover), Stefan Poag (including cartography), Friedrich Haas, Cliff Kurowski, Eric Lofgren, and Jesse Mohn. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Note that the interior title page lists this as a 5th level adventure, which would be quite different. I am guessing that this is a formatting error carried over from MCC #6: The Apocalypse Ark.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

A meteor strike in the taboo crater country opens up a huge chasm in which lies a largely intact city of the Ancient Ones. 

The resulting land rush to go claim the newly available cache of ancient artifacts draws interested parties from all over Terra A.D., and at the direction of your tribal elders, that includes you and your Seeker team.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Crepuscular #1: Sanctum of the Snail

Crepuscular #1: Sanctum of the Snail was written  and illustrated by Joshua LH Burnett. The publisher is JLHB Polytechnic.

This zine focuses on events near and within Xöthma-Ghül, the Crepuscular City. The cover is fantastic, reminding one of a psychedelic black light poster that wouldn't look out of place in the 1970s.

Let's look inside.

Sanctum of the Snail: This is a 0-level funnel adventure designed to put the "fun" back in funnel. Not that Dungeon Crawl Classics funnels are not fun, but there is a sense of silly gonzo-ness to this adventure that is reminiscent of The Wizardarium of Calabraxis. If you know me, you know that this is high praise. While the encounters and the artwork suggest that a grain of salt be taken by everyone involved, the tone of the writing is actually serious, which hits just the right note.

It was a fairly pleasant trip until the storm hit. Your ship sank, and now you and the other survivors--peasants, pilgrims, and gongfarmers--are stuck on this jagged spire in the middle of the ocean. The storm rages all around you while monsters crawl out of the sea. It looks like the only way off this rock is down through that weird door. Who will live and who will die in this 0-level funnel adventure?

Moonblossom & Chance: Two-page comic strip. "The roguish adventures of Xöthma-Ghül’s favorite sword & sorcery couple."

Blorgamorg, the Chthonic Snail: "The Chthonic Snail patiently crawls through the hidden places below the earth, always chewing, always listening, always feeding on the secret wisdom of the world. Blorgamorg is a patient and wise entity, who eschews the petty conflicts of law and chaos. He prizes knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Lore sustains him. All secrets are known to him. Blorgamorg values servants who show tenacity, fortitude, and foresight. Rash and hasty minions displease him. Blorgamorg bitterly hates Bobububilz, and followers of the Chthonic Snail must always guard against the machinations of the Demon Lord of Amphibians."

A full patron write-up is provided.

Items of Interest: "Magical items to tempt or torment your crawlers." Included are two items:
  • The Learned Slug-in-a-Jar of Cornelius Plunk: "As its name indicates, this is a well-educated slug suspended in jar full of pink fluid that belonged to the sage Cornelius Plunk in Times of Old."
  • Flail of the Snail: "The Flail of the Snail is a haft of bronze surmounted by an iron head shaped like a snail shell. The grip is wrapped with slug leather, and two buttons are set along the haft."

Vagabond District: Thirty NPCs which might be used as hirelings or henchmen, not all of whom are 0-level schmucks. Some of them are very unusual, such as "Quvark, humanoid platypus" and "Xander-372, syntheric man".

Get It Here!

Sanctum Secorum Episode #35 Companion: Hundra (1983)

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #35 Companion: Hundra (1983) was written by Daniel J. Bishop, Bob Brinkman, Ari-Matti Piippo, and Ian Shears. Art is by Sophie Black, Crashing Course, Rafa Lee, Madguten, Ethan Nicolle, Lorena Pereda, Ari-Matti Piippo, Michael Richards, Setvasi, and Yuka-Soemy. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 35: Hundra (1983), which discussed the film by Matt Cimbar. The featured adventure was The Trolls of Mistwood by David W. Fisher.

Disclosure: I did some writing on this Episode Companion. In addition, an adventure I wrote (The Tribe of Ogg and the Gift of Suss), and an adventure I co-wrote (Curse of Mistwood, with David W. Fisher) were discussed. Finally, it was announced that I won the April Contest, meaning that the DCC Trove of Treasures will have a listing for Super Number One Food Tower!

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Character Classes

Amazon: "Refusing to be subservient to men, the Amazons are tribes which consists solely of women. Nomadic, these warriors travel to avoid the conflicts which inevitably arise when they encounter male-dominated societies. Preferring to live in peace, these women are well trained in the arts of war and do not shy from combat, for none are their superior." Class by Bob Brinkman. This is the only thing in this Episode Companion which related directly to the featured film.

Bard: "The tradition for song and storytelling spans all cultures and times: bards, minstrels, skalds, wise-men, soothsayers, troubadours and shamans all spin the same magic of the Word, bringing new meanings and ideas to those who care to listen." Class by Ari-Matti Piippo.

For another take on the bard, see Crawl! fanzine #6.

Monsters

Baal Zymymar: "This potent demon has power over a legion of seventy-two lesser demons. It appears as a giant (20' tall) goat-headed man with a patch of bare flesh shaped somewhat like an upside-down star on its forehead. Baal Zymymar gives off an offensive smell, not unlike that of a great goat, but muskier and strangely disturbing to those who smell it. The demon can communicate telepathically or speak in any known tongue." This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post.

The Entourage of Baal Zymymar: Five demons (four specific demons and one type of demon) that are linked to Baal Zymymar. This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post.

Bear Bat: A big bear with bat wings and a venomous bite, by Bob Brinkman.

Bear Crab: A crustacean crab that regenerates, by Bob Brinkman.

The Death Dealer: "The Death Dealer is an un-dead reaver mounted on a great black warhorse. His eyes glow red, but no visage can be seen beneath his horned helmet." This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post. Includes statistics for the Death Dealer’s warhorse.

The Following Thing: "It looks like a well-dressed man in a long black suit with tails, but its face is a stag skull with dead white eyes. It does not walk, but crawls on all surfaces with equal ease. Once it selects a victim, it will pursue that victim relentlessly..." This entry, by Daniel J. Bishop, was originally from a blog post.

Patrons

Lilith: Author Ian Shears describes the "mother of monsters, the queen of demons" with a full patron write-up. Several creatures related to Lilith are also described:

  • Empusa: "Some say Empusa look like attractive women, but from the waist up. One leg is solid brass and the other is a donkey's. Others say that they have the form of a dog but are covered in scales and their head is that of a beautiful blonde woman." For another version of this creature, see D.A.M.N. Magazine #1 - Winter 2017.
  • Lillim: "The Lillim are named after their dread mother. They look like attractive young women with pale skin and stark black hair. Their eyes have no pupils. A pair of jet black bat wings sprout from their back, allowing flight. Although considered plain-looking compared to the succubi, Lillim know they are at least cute and titter and giggle constantly as if at some unspoken jest."
  • Lamia: "Another child with varying form, the Lamia all have the top body of a perfectly attractive woman form the top up. From the bottom they either have the body of a lion or a serpent. Regardless of their form they are the proud warriors and hunters among Lilith's children." For another version of this creature, see D.A.M.N. Magazine #1 - Winter 2017.
  • Succubus: "What is there to say that has not been said of Lilith's favorite children? They embody the ideals of mortal beauty and exist to pervert the natural order by taking advantage of said ideals. These foul ladies seek to seduce men, destroy and dethrone paragons of good and law, and to topple the churches of her hated rivals." For another version of this creature, see The Balance Blade in The 13th Skull.

Lyrics

Hundra-Struck: According to the Episode Companion, this is "To the tune of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck with apologies to Angus & Malcolm Young and all blame to Daniel J. Bishop". Lyrics by Daniel J. Bishop.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #34 Companion: The Face in the Frost

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #34 Companion: The Face in the Frost was written by Bob Brinkman, Marc Elsenheimer, Christopher Lee, Ian Shears,and Anton Wilsbach. Art is by Assumzaek, Dominic Barnhill, Marc Elsenheimer, Pikadude31451, and SpyrusTheVirus. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 34: The Face in the Frost, which discussed the novel by John Bellairs. The featured adventure was Emirikol was Framed by Michael Curtis.

The Face in the Frost was also discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Apparently, there was once a lost prequel, as well as an unfinished sequel.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Featured Adventure

The Fate of the Ruthless Wizard: "Tyrannized by a cruel Wizard, the villagers of Pico have suffered for many years. Broshgar the ruthless came a long time and claimed the old tower in Pico's center for himself. Formerly a watchtower, built for a war long forgotten, he turned the building into his home and the whole village into his property. Out of fear of his arcane might, the villagers did nothing to resist him as he stole their food and tools, burnt their fields and even abducted their children."

This is a 0-level funnel adventure by Marc Elsenheimer.

Spells

The Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!! asked for spell entries in March, so it is not surprising that there are some spells in this Episode Companion. Bob Brinkman's additional Runic Alphabets, below, arise from the mention of more than two such alphabets in The Face in the Frost.

Drain Vitality: "The caster weaves necromantic energy to siphon the vital force of his foes." An Honorable Mention in the March Contest, this is a 2nd level wizard spell by Christopher Lee.

Illumination: "The caster creates a magical, heatless light source of varying intensity." This 1st level wizard spell, by Anton Wilsbach, was the First Place winner in the March Contest.

Runic Alphabet (Dwarven): "This spell imparts unto the caster the secret knowledge of the dwarven rune-masters." This is a 1st level wizard spell, by Bob Brinkman.

Runic Alphabet (Infernal): "This spell is a jealously guarded secret among infernalists, allowing them access to the runic language of the Hells." This is a 4th level wizard spell, by Bob Brinkman.

Sunbolt: This 1st level cleric spell is the Second Place winner of the March Contest, by Ian Shears.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #33 Companion: The Powder of Hyperborea

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #33 Companion: The Powder of Hyperborea was written by Bob Brinkman, Jen Brinkman, Marc Bruner, and R.S. Tilton. Art is by Giuseppe Aureli, Crodeart, J. L. Hilton, Christos Karapanos, Sandeep Karunakaran, Andrew Minor, MrTroll, Mihaly Szemenyuk, and R.S. Tilton. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 33: The Powder of Hyperborea, which discussed the short story by Clark Ashton Smith. The featured adventure was Street Kids of Ur-Hadad by Edgar Johnson.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Classes

The Huntsman: “You are the rarest of occupations, that which stalks the night, seeking to destroy those creatures that hunt your fellow humans. You are a champion of the community, though greatly feared by the populace, as many Huntsmen fall under the sway of powerful monsters and ravage the countryside.” This is the February Contest First Place winner, created by R.S. Tilton.

Gods of the Eternal Struggle

Author Bob Brinkman brings you two of the deities associated with Hyperborea.

Leniqua: "Among the lesser gods of Hyperborea, perhaps none is so favored by the wealthy as Leniqua, god of the moon. Within his ancient temple in the suburbs of Hyperborea’s capital, Uzuldaroum, are kept thirty-nine maidens. The virtue of those maidens is guarded by the temple guards, as well as golden and jeweled chastity girdles."

Tsathoggua: "An alien god from a time when humans had yet to crawl from the primordial ooze, the cult of Tsathoggua is shrouded in mystery." Statistics for formless spawn (servitors of Tsathoggua) are also provided. See also The Weird Worm-Ways of Saturn and The Vault of Ash.

Magic Items

The Powder of Hyperborea: Jen Brinkman provides game mechanics for the titular substance of this story.

Men and Magicians

Alchemist: Information on, and statistics for, alchemists are provided by Marc Bruner.

NPCs

Bob Brinkman provides statistics for two characters in The Power of Hyperborea. The author uses the Jobe Bittman method from The 998th Conclave of Wizards. They are:

Marquanos: "High priest of Leniqua and religious whoremonger, Marquanos personally holds the keys to the thirty-nine girdles. Repugnant in word and deed, this priest only cares for the lascivious delights offered to him by his position within the temple."

Veezi Phenquor: "Wizard-Alchemist and secret member of the Hyperborean Cabal (see Sanctum Secorum #8), Veezi spends his time during his recent retirement in the research of ever greater potions and unguents."

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #08 Companion: Life of Eibon, containing information on the wizards of the Hyperborean Cabal, can be found here.

Spells

Make Potion (spell expansion): Marc Bruner expands the list of potions from the core rulebook.

Nightmare Nimbus: "The caster summons forth swirling hallucinatory clouds of nightmare to disorient and terrify his foes. Contact with the vapors is enough to trigger the spell effect, although inhaling them enhances the result." This is a 2nd level wizard spell, by Bob Brinkman.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #32 Companion: Attack From Atlantis

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #32 Companion: Attack from Atlantis was written by Bob Brinkman, Jon Hook, Clifford Morton. Ari-Matti Piippo, James Pozenel, and Anton Wilsbach. Art is by Jon Hook, Holy Lof, Papapanda, Ari-Matti Piippo, Peter Siegl, and Anton Wilsbach. The publisher is Sanctum Media. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 32: Attack from Atlantis, which discussed the novel by Lester Del Rey. The featured adventure was The Sea Queen Escapes by Micheal Curtis.


Disclosure: A product I did some writing for, The Lost City of Barako, was discussed in this episode.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Classes

Ancient Hyperborean: "The hyperboreans are an ancient, antediluvian race, who ruled the world back when the earliest men were still but mewling apes. Their civilization was brought low by a dimension-spanning curse, a creeping doom from beyond the lurid veils of reality. For the hyperboreans were wizard-kings, molding reality with forgotten magics, and con-sorting with all manner of daemons, elder entities and starbeasts from the Great Nether."

In some ways, it is strange that this class was not included in the Sanctum Secorum Episode #33 Companion: The Powder of Hyperborea. Class write-up by Ari-Matti Piippo. The Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!! called for class entries in February, so this may simply be an early example thereof.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 8: Clifford Morton wraps up the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

Monsters

The Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!! called for monster entries in January, and we see herein the fruits of that invocation.

Blood Rats: "Blood rats are hairless creatures with tough leather skin. They have large black orbs for eyes, and a circular lamprey-like mouth. Blood rats have a gland highly sought after by wizards, for it contains a secretion that is vital in the creation of the Vampirism potion..." By Jon Hook.

Bone Ghost: "Bone ghosts are created when a wizard, aspiring to become a lich in his afterlife, steals a bone from a recently-deceased individual and uses it in an arcane ritual." By Jon Hook.

Gobloid: "A gobloid is a goblin mutant created by the experiments of the twisted Baron Nahum Whitlock. By exposing ordinary goblins to the otherworldly rays of the Outre Stone while directing their transmutation and ensuring their obedience with ancient demonic rites, Whitlock hopes to create a monstrously twisted army that he can unleash on his enemies." By Anton Wilsbach.

Harringo: "A harringo is the grotesque amalgamation of an old crone, a reptile, and an ostrich." By Jon Hook.

Hydradeatya (Carnivorous Plant, Giant): "Created in the conservatory of the warlock Baron Nahum Whitlock, the hydrandeatya is a once-normal flowering plant mutated by exposure to the entropic effects of the Outre Stone into a giant carnivorous abomination." By Anton Wilsbach.

Ichthyosaur, Mutant: A creature that actually appears in the featured novel, written up by Bob Brinkman.

Korpuz, Messenger of Ahriman: "Deities often use intermediaries to communicate directly with their worshipers and priests. Only the most fervent and powerful among a deity’s clergy have any hope of interacting with their godhead. Korpuz is one of Ahriman’s messengers. He is tasked with conveying his master’s desires and answering his charges’ prayers." This is the January Contest 2nd Place winner, by James Pozenel.

Octobear: "Transmogrifier and teratologist, Xultich, bred abominations in his laboratories. One of his earliest experiments was the arctic monstrosity, the octobear. The octobear has the head of an octopus and the body of a polar bear. Octobears have the tracking abilities and raw strength of a polar bear, plus the tentacle dexterity, ink cloud defense, and camouflage abilities of an octopus." This was the January Contest 1st Place winner, by Jon Hook.

Pummel Golem: A construct, by James Pozenel, which is usually instructed to pulverize "something into a bloody paste with their massive pinions".

Sunjelly: A creature not unlike a gelatinous cube with a heat ray, by Jon Hook.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature she likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!


Sanctum Secorum Episode #31 Companion: Jack of Shadows

The Sanctum Secorum Episode #31 Companion: Jack of Shadows was written by Daniel J. Bishop and Clifford Morton. Art is by Pedro A. S. Fonsesca, Beatriz Galiano, and Elena Kheidze. The publisher is Sanctum Media. Cartography is by Daniel J. Bishop. This product is produced in association with the Sanctum Secorum podcast.

This Episode Companion is based on Sanctum Secorum Episode 31: Jack of Shadows, which discussed the novel by Roger Zelazny. The featured adventure was The Jeweler Who Dealt in Stardust by Harley Stroh.

Jack of Shadows was also discussed on the Appendix N Bookclub podcast here.

Disclosure: I did some writing for this Episode Companion. It also includes some cartography I did.

Within you will find:

Contest Information

Sanctum Secorum's Super Number 1 Contest!!

Featured Adventure

The Ruined Keep: Written by Daniel J. Bishop, this is one of two scenarios originally written for Raven Crowking’s Fantasy Game (RCFG), the “fantasy heartbreaker” I was writing before I switched to Dungeon Crawl Classics. I converted this adventure to the DCC rules, to be used as a funnel for 12-18 0-level characters or 1st level adventure for 4-6 PCs. RCFG was already moving away from D&D tropes; conversion to DCC increases the distance, but this was an early scenario, so it has big spiders, giant frogs, and goblins. All of the new creatures are direct conversions from the earlier version of the adventure. I have tried to make them interesting.

This scenario had originally appeared in Raven Crowking's Birthday Mathom 2014.

Fiction

The Blood-Drinking Box, Part 7: Clifford Morton continues the tale started in Sanctum Secorum Episode #25 Companion: The Fallible Fiend. This is based of off Terry Olson's Elzemon and the Blood Drinking Box.

As with previous Companions, this volume can help the discerning Dungeon Crawl Classics judge determine how to stat up creatures from whatever movie or literature he likes.

It's free!

Get It Here!