Monday 11 October 2021

They Served Brandolyn Red

The DCC 2015 Halloween Module: They Served Brandolyn Red is a 0-level funnel adventure written by Stephen Newton. Art is by Doug Kovacs (cover and cartography), Bradley K. McDevitt, and Stefan Poag. The publisher is Goodman Games.

This module is dedicated to Michael T. Frezzo.

This listing describes the original, digest-sized release of this adventure. Originally released as the first Halloween DCC adventure from Goodman Games, it went on to become the inaugural offering in the DCC Horror line.

It has been said that good adventures start with good stories, and I take that to mean the story that seeded the adventure rather than the story that the PCs will follow. Horror adventures often make strong use of this, as horror tends to be about uncovering the sins of the past as much as it is about trying to defeat the fears of the present. They Served Brandolyn Red does this very well.

The other major component of horror adventures is the Terrible Thing That Can Happen To You. Funnel adventures have a lot of death, but the Terrible Thing usually has to do with survival. As a result, most horror adventures focus either on one of these components or the other. It is easier to link characters to backstory in funnels, and easier to include Terrible Things once a character has reached level 1. There are a few adventures which do both of these things extremely well, but they are rare.

In the case of They Served Brandolyn Red, the author leans into the backstory. The adventure utilizes family trees, tying initial PCs into the adventure's background. It begins with a wedding, and as marriages are critical to the backstory, this gives a nice thematic tie-in. The story also ties directly into DCC Horror #4: The Corpse That Love Built. These two adventures are very much in the Gothic Horror genre used by the Hammer Horror films, which would make this adventure usable in Transylvanian Adventures with a few changes.

They Served Brandolyn Red was the featured adventure on the third episode of the Sanctum Secorum podcast. It is also discussed in a few other episodes. It is also mentioned in Episode 59 of the Spellburn podcast. You can find another review here. You can read more about the adventure from the author here.

The village of Portnelle is once again bright and festive. After years of feuding, the town’s most prominent and influential families will finally be making peace as the youngest generations are joined in marriage. However, when an evil born of dark secrets refuses to stay buried, blood will flow like wine at the reception.

This wedding is one your fellow villagers will talk about for generations!

The original version of this adventure is no longer available, although the DCC Horror version is.

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