Tuesday 19 December 2017

The Nazhghad

The Nazhghad was written by Paul Wolfe. Illustration is by Chorazin3d. The publisher is Mystic Bull Games.

The Nazhghad was provided by Mystic Bull Games' Patron Monday feature. This is a full patron write-up, including two 3rd level patron spells (as opposed to the normal one each of 1sr, 2nd, and 3rd level).

The Nazghad was featured in The Nazhghad's Invocation in In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer. This patron is also included in Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between: Expanded, Otherworldly Edition. On his blog post, Paul Wolfe cites Aliens and Prometheus as inspirations.

On the banks of the eastern branch of the River Rgene, the mounds of the jeh, insect-men of alien intelligence and ingenuity, reach hundreds of feet into the sky. These mud and paper cities rival those of the greatest human kings and thousands of jeh build them ever higher.

The murmurings of the Nazhghad drive the jeh priest-kings to build and harvest and conquer, but the entity itself is an enigma. Said to lurk beneath the Thousand Foot Spire, a jeh mound that scrapes the tropical sky, escaped slaves speak of the power of the entity -- that its low buzzing “voice” pervades jeh colonies. Some murmur that other slaves, those specially chosen by the priest-kings, have entered into the entity’s service and left the colonies, presumably as agents in other regions of the Piretis that the jeh and their god covet.

Get It Here!

DCC RPG Quick Start Rules (Portuguese)

The Portuguese version of the DCC RPG Quick Start Rules & Intro Adventure includes Salada de Ratos (Rat Salad), a 0-level funnel adventure written and illustrated by Diogo Nogueira. The Portuguese version is a joint venture by Goodman Games and New Order.

As with Caveira Velha, I am using a scanner and Google Translate to slowly build up an English-language version of this adventure. When I can provide reasonable coverage of the product, I will do so.

Mutant Crawl Classics Character & Creature Codex

Mutant Crawl Classics Character & Creature Codex is published by Goodman Games.

This product is "A booklet of character sheets for all classes, plus worksheets for mutated creatures, NPCs, and artificial intelligences". There are also notes on devising villainous NPCs, creating mutant creatures, and importing monsters from Dungeon Crawl Classics or other systems. Tables 1-1 (Ability Score Modifiers), 6-2 (Artificial Intelligences By Type), 3-2 (Mutations) and 3-3 (Mega Mutations) are also reproduced from the Mutant Crawl Classics core rules.

This product was part of the final stretch goal of the successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter.

World-building is one of the great joys of role playing games, and that's exactly what this booklet is designed to help you do. For what good is a post-apocalyptic world without masses of murderous mutants, craven creatures, or insane AIs?

Filled with character sheets for every level and class, plus worksheets for your own custom monsters, NPCs, and artificial intellegences (all suitable for photocopying), consider this a guide book to creating your own unique sentients, savages, mutants, and monsters for the Terra A.D. setting of Mutant Crawl Classics!

I will provide a purchase link when one becomes available.

How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck: Volume 2

How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck: Volume 2 was written by Jobe Bittman, Mike Breault, Anne K. Brown, Timothy Brown, Stephen Chenault, Casey Christofferson, Chris Clark, Michael Curtis, Chris Doyle, Joseph Goodman, Allen Hammack, Jon Hook, Kevin Melka, Brendan J. LaSalle, Lloyd Metcalf, Bill Olmesdahl, Steve Peek, Jean Rabe, Merle M. Rasmussen, Lester Smith, Harley Stroh, Jim Wampler, James M. Ward, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Illustration is by Chuck Whelon (cartoons), Doug Kovacs (end sheets) and Tom Denmark (cartography). The publisher is Goodman Games.

I wrote about the previous volume of How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck here. Like the previous volume, the 2017 release is system-neutral (and/or covers more than one system). Unlike the earlier version, the 2017 release is a beautiful hardcover with a sewn-in ribbon bookmark and a very nice dust jacket. It also has Dungeon Crawl Classics content. You can also get it as a pdf.

As with every other "mixed content" product, I am focusing solely on the Dungeon Crawl Classics material. That doesn't mean that you won't want to look at the other content. First off, conversion to Dungeon Crawl Classics is fairly easy. Second, much of it is advice on adventure writing and presentation, and therefore is useful to the aspiring judge.

Unlike most of the items discussed in the DCC Trove of Treasures, this is mostly a book of advice. It contains advice for writing adventures, but it also contains a fair amount of advice for running adventures. I am not going to reproduce that advice here. I hope that the reasons for this are obvious.

Let's look inside.

Adventures in Context: This article, by Jobe Bittman, discusses contextual information as it relates to adventure design.

Encounter: "Dead Man's Chest": This is a short level 1 adventure by Jobe Bittman written for Dungeon Crawl Classics. The adventure pertains to a salvage operation underwater.

Players Make Your World Go 'Round: Author Mike Breault discusses keeping your players engaged.

Encounter: "The Doom of Riego": By Mike Breault, this is a short adventure which does not include any statistics.

Listen! Do you smell something?: Anne K. Brown discusses using details that evoke all five senses. There is an extended discussion of the "Show, don't tell" principle.

Encounter: "Follow Your Nose": This is a short, systemless encounter. Maybe. It actually reads more like fiction. Or the introduction to the actual adventure. Certainly, if run as written, there is little or no agency given to the players...this is more an example of description than anything else. The author is Anne K. Brown.

Logical First Contact: Inventing Intelligent Science Fiction Aliens: Author Timothy Brown reminds us that "A good science fiction alien is more than a guy in strange make-up." Worthwhile reading for the would-be writer or science fiction judge, and elements of true alieness will also help the judge of a more pulpy Mutant Crawl Classics, Umerica, or Crawljammer campaign.

Encounter: "Feeding Time": Timothy Brown offers a encounter/short adventure for a science fiction scenario. Statistics and system are not provided.

There Are No Empty Rooms in the Wilderness: Stephen Chenault wants you to keep all of your players engaged during wilderness adventures. Discussion of weather and terrain are provided.

Encounter: "Four Arrows And A River Running: A Castles & Crusades Adventure: This is a Castles & Crusades "adventure" by Stephen Chenault, which is really an extended encounter you could easily convert to Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Making a Villain: Great games require great villains, and Casey W. Christofferson offers some tools to help you craft a great villain.

Encounter: "Honreed Duclaigh: A Dinner With Death": A short encounter/adventure written for 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons (or something very, very similar). By Casey W. Christofferson.

Raison d'etre - "Or Why Everything in Your Adventure Should Have a Reason for Being There": Christopher Clark offers an article describing how logical placement of elements in an adventure leads to verisimilitude, and thereby increases player enjoyment.

Encounter: "The Overlook": A systemless adventure by Christopher Clark for low-level PCs.

Know (and Love) What You Write: Anyone familiar with Dungeon Crawl Classics knows the name Michael Curtis, who herein writes about knowing your material, and using your passions to your advantage. Are you an armchair historian? Do you have a passion for antiques? Then use the details you know in your game!

Encounter: “Denkin’s Trading Post & Rarities Brokerage”: Michael Curtis gives an example of what he means, by completing an idea partially developed in his article. Based on the potential treasure in the Trading Post, the judge would have to do some rethinking if using this for the Dungeon Crawl Classics role-playing game.

How to Write Encounters That Don’t Suck: This effectively amounts to a basic tutorial by Chris Doyle, but it is worth reading nonetheless.

Encounter: “The Deadly Crevasse”: This is a higher-level encounter in a cavern, which appears to have been written for 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It is written by Chris Doyle.

A Publisher’s Perspective On Adventure Modules That Don’t Suck: If you want to break into the adventure writing field, it behooves you to pay attention to what publishers are looking for. In this case, Joseph Goodman offers some thoughts after 15 years in the business, with nearly 200 adventures published.

Encounter: “Eye of the Storm”: A Sample Encounter: An encounter by Joseph Goodman, written for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Keeping Encounters within the Capabilities of Your Players: Allen Hammack talks about encounter balance. Allen Hammack is one of the TSR luminaries from early days (in fact, he wrote The Ghost Tower of Inverness and Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords), and I can see what he is driving at here. I can. And yet...and yet...I cannot agree with his advice entirely.

When devising an adventure, I personally try to scale things based upon an imaginary average group of characters. If the actual players have a smaller group, can't open a door, or whatever, I most emphatically do not scale the adventure to the group. IMHO, superior play includes preparing for encounters that target your weaknesses as well as your strengths. And, if you should happen to all be charmed by harpies and eaten, well, that is what happens.

Dungeon Crawl Classics puts mechanisms like Luck and Spellburn into the player's hands. Might Deeds can help disengage from a foe. Patrons and gods can be called upon for aid. And, if there is a TPK, the action can always pick up in Hell.

So, I say, Yes, keep this stuff in mind when designing adventures if you must, but No, now when running them. What the judge anticipates happening does not need to happen at the table.

Encounter: “The Goblinoid Differential”: A system-neutral trap encounter by Allen Hammack.

Making Monsters Cooler: Jon Hook describes how to modify monsters to make them less mundane. His sample creature uses a 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons statblock. In addition to the excellent advice herein, I urge you to consider The Monster Alphabet and The Random Esoteric Creature Generator.

Encounter: “All That Glitters Is Not Gold”: Jon Hook provides an encounter written using 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons statistics.

An Adventure’s Story: Kevin W. Melka discusses crafting your adventure like a story. There are games whose adventures are written like this. I would encourage the prospective judge to instead consider the adventure's story as "What happened before the PCs got involved?" and "What is the current situation?" Even an adventure that follows a sort of story structure (like Prince Charming, Reanimator, or The Dread God Al-Khazadar) should follow only the likely course of events, ensuring that the players are free to chart their own character's destinies.

Encounter: “The Old Lair”: By Kevin Melka. That looks like a late 3.5 Edition statblock to me.

Unleashing Your Dungeon Creativity: Brendan J. LaSalle gives every prospective GM a course (or refresher course!) on how to keep your creativity flowing. And how to write better. And he reminds you to take good care of your playtesters.

Encounter: “The Chamber of 100 Axes”: Brendan J. LaSalle hits the random article finder three times on Wikipedia, reads the article, and then provides an encounter for Dungeon Crawl Classics based on the results.

Something Worth Fighting For: Author Lloyd Metcalf talks about PC motivations, and why the GM might want them to have a family and a hometown. Making this actually work in-game is discussed in a fair amount of detail.

Encounter: “Shock Spiders”: By Lloyd Metcalf, using a creature whose statistics are given in 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons format (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).

Building Better Encounters: Monstrous Symbiosis and Environmental Factors: Bill Olmesdahl discusses how multiple monsters, as well as environmental factors, can be used to create better encounters.

Encounter: “The Swamp of Doom”: 3rd Edition example by Bill Olmesdahl of the principles in his article.

ATMOSFEAR: How do you create a feeling of unease among your players? Steve Peek supplies advice for building tension in your games, which is as applicable to horror-style games (such as Chill or Call of Cthulhu) as it is to the more traditional fantasy games the article focuses on.

Encounter: “Dark and Deep”: By Steve Peek. As much a piece of fiction as it is an encounter, this offering is systemless.

The Sense of Adventure: Jean Rabe discusses engaging all senses when creating or running RPG adventures.

Encounter: “Water’s Garden Shop”: A bit of fun that appears to be designed around Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, although statistics are not provided.

LEGO® Building Toy Maps: The legendary Merle M. Rasmussen discusses the use of Lego when running games and designing scenarios meant to engage the players creativity.

Encounter: “Shipwrecked on Lay-Goh Island”: "A dungeon without walls and a wilderness without beasts of burden" intended for use with Lego, by Merle M. Rasmussen. System neutral.

All Aboard for Adventure: Lester Smith describes the "train yard" method of adventure design, as well as the three-act outline. This is the only "How To" article that doesn't include an encounter by the same author.

Run Your Best Game Tonight: DCC luminary Harley Stroh offers some advice on running adventures that don't suck. Harley writes "Back to my doomed campaign. I had made a second, far more offensive mistake by planning the PCs’ story in advance. I had robbed the players of any agency, replacing it with an experience I thought would be cool." I strongly recommend that you keep those words in mind when reading some of the other advice in this volume.

Encounter: “The Oracle”: A system-neutral encounter by Harley Stroh.

The Risk vs. Reward Equation: Jim Wampler reminds you that big risks require big rewards, and vice versa. Big rewards here do not mean more gold pieces, but rather epic stories that players will love to tell years after the last die has dropped. Note that Jim Wampler is not talking about story as "what will happen", but rather what the PCs will overcome and/or accomplish and/or learn from the adventure...the stories they had a part in creating, rather than the story the GM tells them.

Encounter: “The Caprapod Nursery”: This is a short encounter by Jim Wampler, written for Mutant Crawl Classics.

Player Character Death: James M. Ward (of Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World fame) does not mind at all when a character dies during a game. He writes "Learning from the words of Gary Gygax, I feel the possibility of character death is necessary to promote the best in game play. The tension of worrying about the life of your character brings great joy to the game play." I could not agree more!

Encounter: “Smallish Chamber of Doom”: James M. Ward revisits Monty Haul from the early days of The Dragon and The Strategic Review. I'm not really sure which system the statistics are designed for.

Tell a Story: Author Skip Williams, thankfully, is discussing the stories in the adventure's background, rather than "What your PCs will do". Pitfalls as well as benefits are discussed.

Encounter: “Chogti’s Lair”: Skip Williams follows up the previous discussion with a concrete example using late 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons as his system.

How to Design Setbacks That Don’t Suck: In the fiction that inspires the game, the protagonists do not move from one narrow victory to another. Rather, they encounter setbacks and defeats on their way to final triumph. Steve Winter discusses how to do this in role-playing games, without the players feeling that they are being abused.

Encounter: “Lair of the Chokebats”: Steve Winter supplies a cavern encounter where things go from bad to worse. The adventure is largely system-neutral.

Joseph Goodman has done a fantastic job of bringing voices from the Good Old Days of the hobby together with more recent authors of equally excellent work. This volume is far more likely to inspire the prospective Dungeon Crawl Classics judge than is Volume 1 (at least, in my opinion), but if you pick this up in pdf format, you'll get both volumes. You can compare them yourself. Let me know in the comments if you think I am wrong!

Get It Here!

Friday 8 December 2017

Camazotz the Death Bat

Camazotz the Death Bat was written by Carl Bussler and published by Stormlord Publishing.

This is a partial write-up of a new patron, based off of Mayan mythology. This patron would not only fit into the Brimstone setting of Black Powder, Black Magic, but might be useful for Dark Trails Weird Frontiers, an Umerican campaign utilizing The Children of the Sun, or any other Dungeon Crawl Classics milieu with a Meso-American element to it. Patron spells are not included.

Camazotz, the bat god of death, fear, and blood was shackled in the House of Bats in the Underworld, and in the centuries since, evidence of his existence has almost entirely disappeared.

The statues and frescoes recovered through exploration depict Camazotz as a large man with a vampire bat’s head and bat wings. He wields a jagged dagger in one hand, and the severed head of a person in the other.

He survives on blood, thrives on fear, and demands his followers to supply him with both. These offerings slowly revive Camazotz’ strength, and he waits patiently for his chance to escape and take revenge on the world.

Get It Here!

Both Foul and Deep

CE 9: Both Foul and Deep was written by Daniel J. Bishop, with art by Brett Neufeld (including the cover) and Mark Hyzer, and cartography by Tim Hartin of Paratime Design. The publisher is Purple Duck Games.

Disclosure: I am the author.

This is the ninth volume in the Campaign Elements series, which began as an attempt (by me) to ensure that I had the materials necessary to run a great Dungeon Crawl Classics game when the unexpected occurred, when players wanted to Quest For It, or when I needed to run filler because some players could not make it to a game. I have a tendency to think that these things are absolutely necessary for the Dungeon Crawl Classics judge.

In addition, when I first conceived of this project, I had recently written Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror and Through the Cotillion of Hours for Purple Duck Games. Filling someone else's map spurs creativity...you have to answer "What does this map suggest?" and "How do I use this space?" I commissioned Tim Hartin of Paratime Design to devise 15 maps with a small number of encounter areas for this purpose. When I described my plans to Mark Gedak at Purple Duck, he instantly offered to pay for the maps and publish the results.

At the time of this writing, we are now 6 volumes away from completion for this series. When it is done, judges will have a hell of a lot of material to help take their campaigns in whatever direction the players desire.

Writing and art for Both Foul and Deep is being funded through a Go Fund Me campaign, with an eye towards releasing the pdf version as a Pay What You Want product. At the time of this writing, it is only available through this campaign.

So what's inside it?

Both Foul and Deep focuses on sewer systems, those places where Player Characters seem likely to go sooner or later in milieu with an urban setting. The main part of the Campaign Element discusses diseases (you get six) and the hazards of fire in the sewers (including potential collapses) before jumping into the scenario that "fills in" Tim Hartin's map. There is also a section on random encounters, which uses a different die depending upon average party level, if you want "balanced" encounters.

As with all Campaign Elements, there is a "Squeezing it Dry" section to help you reuse the material. One of the design goals of the series is to give you more bang for your buck.

Three Appendixes are included.

Appendix 1: People of the Sewers describes folks you might run into in the fetid areas beneath the city, what they are doing there, how they are likely to react to adventurers, and what statistics the harried judge can use to represent them. Fourteen entries are included, some of which have multiple statblocks.

Appendix 2: Monsters of the Nether Dark describes 30 different creatures that might be encountered in the sewers, from those a judge might easily include in a zero-level funnel adventure to monsters that can challenge even high-level adventurers.

Admitedly, some of these monsters are quite disgusting: the fecal ooze, for instance, is "a huge, pulsating mass of fecal matter and raw sewage" that can spew "a narrow stream of nearly-liquid feces with great force". Some, like the giant black widow spider or the chaos ooze, can easily be used in other settings. Other, like the globlins, are even potential allies. There are even some, like the guttersnake, that have turned out to be all too real!

I have even managed to include a dragon that is appropriate for the cesspools and rivers below your campaign's most ancient city!

Appendix 3: Squallas, Mistress of the Night Soil Rivers, is an abbreviated write-up of a new patron, containing the invoke patron spell check results for the Lady of the Sewers.

As is generally the case with these releases, "All text is considered Open Game Content, except that already identified as Product Identity under the DCC RPG open license declaration." This means that, yes, you can include a cesscaeda swarm in your own adventures, have a place where characters can become infected by brownlung, and include Squallas, and then publish the thing yourself. It's not just allowed. It's encouraged.

Get It Here!

Thursday 7 December 2017

Grimtooth's Ultimate Traps Collection (Honorary)

Grimtooth's Ultimate Traps Collection was written, according to the credits, by Grimtooth the Troll. Personally, I suspect Grimtina wrote much of it, and Grimtooth took the credit. The foreword is by Harley Stroh. There are interviews by Jim Wampler, Rick Loomis, Paul Ryan O’Connor, and Bear Peters. Additional material is by Steven S. Crompton. Art is by Steven S. Crompton, Liz Danforth, Michael Von Glahn, Scott Jackson, Steve Jackson, Jim Wampler, and Jeff Dee. The publisher is Goodman Games. The original publisher of the Grimtooth's Traps series was Flying Buffalo Inc.

This product was produced following a successful kickstarter campaign, and is given an honorary listing because of the (at the time of this writing) upcoming Grimtooth's Trapsylvania for Dungeon Crawl Classics. Two Grimtooth's adventures have already been published for DCC: Grimtooth's Museum of Death and Grimtooth's Tomb of the Warhammer.

This product contains the full text and contents of the original Grimtooth's Traps, Grimtooth's Traps Too, Grimtooth's Traps Fore, Grimtooth's Traps Ate!, Grimtooth's Traps Lite, Grim Buck, Grimtooth's Traps Comic, Grimtooth's Traps Bazaar, and Grimtooth's Dungeon of Doom. New material includes interviews, the Grimtooth's Traps Boardgame, illustrations, and a new bonus traps chapter.

Essentially, this book is a hell of a lot of traps, many of them exceedingly cruel and/or devious in nature, and a system-neutral dungeon which utilizes many horrific traps. Let extreme paranoia be your watchword, for it will surely be that of your players once you spring these on them!

Five classic Traps books collected in one volume, giving you over 500 engines of destruction, delver dicers and player character crushers. Now remastered and with new art by original Traps artist Steven S. Crompton. This collection also includes an entirely new section of never-before-seen traps from Grimtooth's archives, along with behind the scenes articles on the origins of Grimtooth and the Traps phenomenon. Plus rare art, Grimtooth comics, Trap puzzles, and more!

Get It Here!

Wednesday 6 December 2017

D.A.M.N. #2 Web Supplemental

The D.A.M.N. #2 Web Supplemental was written by Paul Wolfe, David Persinger, and Bob Brinkman. Art is by Thomas Novosel (cover), David Fisher, David Persinger, and Doug Kovacs. Beaver art is Public Domain. Cartography is by Matthew Ray and Paul Wolfe. The publisher is Mystic Bull Games.

Disclosure: I am responsible for Bob Brinkman having to write up a bunch of beavers, as I made that request in Secret Santicore.

D.A.M.N. #2 overflowed its page count. Let's look inside.

Duel at Midora Temple: Characters: Character creation, weapons, armor, and class information for Paul Wolfe's adventure in D.A.M.N. #2. Maps are included.

Nalfeshnee’s Spells: The spells for David Persinger's patron in D.A.M.N. #2.

Maps for Attack of the Frozen Führer: Exactly what it says on the tin. Maps for Julian Bernick's adventure in D.A.M.N. #2.

While the Gods’ Laugh...extra stuff!: To use with Marc Bruner’s 10th level funnel, you get a Build-Your-Own Rod of Karma, character sheet masks that hide characters abilities until revealed through game play, and the maps for ease of use or printing.

Giant Beavers of the Toronto Ruins: Bob Brinkman provides six critters that can be used in your Dungeon Crawl Classics and Mutant Crawl Classics games. He does a good job of it, too!

Flammable Hospital Crowdfunding Preview: This appears to be reproduced from D.A.M.N. #2.

Get It Here!

Blog Post Here (with more content)!

D.A.M.N. Magazine #2 - Autumn 2017

D.A.M.N. #2 - Autumn 2017 was written by Marc Bruner, Paul Wolfe, David Persinger, James Spahn, Julian Bernick, Jason Sholtis, and James Pozenel. Art is by Thomas Novosel (cover), David Fisher, Dave Persinger, Jordan G, Doug Kovacs, Jason Sholtis, Stefan Poag, and Marc Bruner. The publisher is Mystic Bull Games.

Disclosure: I helped nursemaid the first issue of D.A.M.N. into existence, and helped to move the publication to Mystic Bull so that it could continue to thrive. I am also mentioned on pages 4 and 5. Finally, I have a finger in Angels, Daemons, & Beings Beyond: Elfland Edition (I wrote a forward and backed the kickstarter) and more than a finger in Dark Trails Weird Frontiers (I wrote some critters and elixirs and suchlike...indeed, I am still doing writing for David Baity on this project). You can safely assume that I am biased when discussing this product.

Let's look inside.

From the DAMNed Pit: "Emergent Play and Long Delays" is an editorial by Paul Wolfe. The editorial has an addendum for "Late September", and the issue hit the virtual shelves on November 29th, so it is clear that there were a few delays. Perhaps there was some wait on content, but it is not apparent that this is so from the issue, which is so chock-full that it spills over into a free web supplement.

These items of "News in Third Party Publishing" include some things which have now been out for a bit, but it is definitely worthwhile to have a feature like this in D.A.M.N.!

d14 Rumors and Reports: Mostly fun.

Underworld Ranger: This is a character class designed for the Dungeon Crawl Classics version of Operation Unfathomable, which in turn gives a bit of a preview of the tone and art for Jason Sholtis' megadungeon setting. Writing and art are by Jason Sholtis, with Paul Wolfe supplying the DCC conversions and Stefan Poag supplying additional art.

Some parts of this article, like the Underworld Foraging Success Table, are quite fun and flavorful (pun intended). Strap on your ZR1 Dissuader, check your Chaosometer, and leap....er, carefully and stealthily creep....into the fray!

Third Party Spotlight: Dark Trails: Dark Trails Weird Frontiers is David Baity's Lovecraftian Weird West setting for/adaptation of Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Third Party Spotlight: AD&BB Elfland Edition: James Pozenel provides a preview of the upcoming patron supplement:

Queen amongst the sea-faeries, Dahudmorgan inhabits the rocky shores of Menegond, Thousand Rocks. During the day, she hides within a magnificent golden city under the sea or in one of the natural caves or grottoes in the sea-cliffs surrounding her home. At night she sings from her perch on one of the rocky islands that stretch along the coastline, combing her long golden tresses.

Invoke patron results, patron taint, and spellburn are supplied.

Duel at Midora Temple: This is a 0-level funnel, written by Paul Wolfe, which brings Oriental Adventures to Dungeon Crawl Classics in the form of the Ketsuin Empire. This is a complex adventure, taking place in a complex setting. You will need to download the web supplement to make characters. There is more than a small chance that PCs will oppose other PCs. There is more than a small chance that a player will be running two or more PCs which oppose each other. Good stuff!

(See also: Monk.)

Dashing Deeds Abound!: The Swashbuckler Class: Author James Spahn provides a class somewhere between the warrior and the thief, capable of Dashing Deeds of Daring, possessing a luck die, and having the ability to add both Personality and Agility modifiers to AC when unarmored.

Nalfeshnee: Lord of Pigs: A complete patron (except for the spell write-ups, which can be found in the web enhancement), by David Persinger. This includes statistics for wereboars and gore golems.

Lord Nalfeshnee, King Nalfeshnee, the God of Gluttony, or the Master of Butchers. Knowledgeable in vivisection, consumption and hoarding, he is the progenitor and namesake of all Nalfeshnee demons. When the most gluttonous of mortals die, Lord Nalfeshnee inserts their souls into his own mutilated horrors, forming the lesser Nalfeshnee who guard hoarded masses of treasure and relics of chaotic power. He frequently makes deals with rapacious mortals, granting them a short life filled with worldly delights, fattening their souls for future servitude. Secret guilds of butchers who desire customers with an endless hunger serve him. Wizards may make pacts with Lord Nalfeshnee, exchanging access to chaotic forces, in exchange for shepherding wild chaos magic back for their master’s consumption.

Attack of the Frozen Führer: This is a 3rd level adventure, by Julian Bernick, written for Nowhere City Nights. The mainstay of Nowhere City Nights in 21st Century technomagic pulp noir, but this adventure takes place in 1940. It revolves around Hitler's attempt to recover the Spear of Destiny from a museum in Nowhere City during World War II.

While the Gods Laugh: Author Marc Bruner offers a 10th level funnel adventure for your enjoyment. Yes, a 10th level funnel. Yes, I know that sounds ludicrous, but yes, Marc Bruner pulls it off in a way that is very Appendix N. Once more, you will want to grab the web enhancement before running this.

Submissions: Guidelines for submissions.

Flammable Hospital Crowdfunding Preview: This preview, by "the Mongrels" is....actually, I'm not sure what it is. It appears to be a LARP funnel based of Dungeon Crawl Classics? But there is a map? Perhaps someone will enlighten me in the comments...?

Those with the DAMNed Pen: Author bios.

Get It Here!

Friday 1 December 2017

The Children of the Sun

The Children of the Sun: An Umerican Gazetteer was written by Sean Ellis, with art by Nate Marcel. The publisher is Shield of Faith Studios.

Disclosure: I backed the Umerican Survival Guide kickstarter.

This is an add-on for the successful Umerican Survival Guide kickstarter, a sourcebook for characters and adventures from and in the Kingdom of the Sun, a warped future version of Mexico that exists Under a Broken Moon. As such, it has potential use not only in an Umerican campaign, but as a sourcebook for any Western-themed game (such as Dark Trails Weird Frontiers or Black Powder, Black Magic) or post-Apocalyptic game (such as Mutant Crawl Classics). 

In fact, if you want to add a little Meso-American flavor to your regular Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign, there is a lot of material here you can use. If you are running the Memories of the Toad God series of adventures, this supplement can help you flesh out the Xilonoc people of that series' jungle setting.

Let's look inside:

The People: A rundown on the history of Mexico, which acknowledges not only the Forgotten Wars of the Un Men as a factor in Mexico's descent, but goes back to the Spanish invasion and the American drug wars.

The people of the Kingdom of the Sun are well described, with both cultural differences that are certain to come up in play. Enough information is given to handle PCs from the Kingdom, or to describe the area to outsiders seeking (probably fatally) to despoil the region.

New Classes: In addition to Thieves, Warriors, and Wizards from the core rulebook, the People of the Sun may be Barbarians (as described in D.A.M.N. #1), Psions (as described in Mind Games), Mutants (from the Umerican Survival Guide), of one of two new classes:

  • Half-Bloods are strange, almost-fey creatures with human parents. They have a random group of special abilities, including some otherwise restricted to Clerics of the Wasteland, as befits spirit-creatures sent by the Plumed Dragon,
  • Jaguar Knights are stealthy warriors capable of taking the form of jaguars.

Goods of Atlan: Weapons, armor, and coinage of the Kingdom.

Magic and Psionics: Includes rules for running Ulli matches, "a game played between two teams with an equal number of players who attempt to throw a psychically charged ball through a vertically hanging hoop."

The Kingdom of the Sun: Describes the difficulties facing life in the Valley of Mexico's polluted environs. Includes rules for spontaneously having your DNA unravel (becoming a mutant), starvation and dehydration, and carnivorous flora.

Patrons and Religion: Everything you need to know, as a judge or player, about worship in the Kingdom of the Sun.

The People of the Sun believe in daily offerings of blood and pain to their gods as payment for continued life. They sacrifice a captured warrior or volunteer at complex ceremonies that occur monthly, and use knives or plant spines to draw blood from their tongue, earlobes, or genitals and sprinkle the resulting “Wine of Life” as a daily offering, sometimes even hourly!

Enjoy your visit!

New Patron: Huitzilopochtli: Imagine the Aztec God of War (and the Sun) given new life through a famous drug kingpin from before the Apocalypse. Complete patron information is provided, including three new patron spells.

Monsters Under the Sun: According to the author:

The monsters native to the Valley of the Sun are generally one of three types. Tech creatures are the result of high technology: artifacts that have survived 21st century man or the Un Men of the Forgotten Wars. Mystic monsters have their origin in the redirected soul energy from Hernan’s overloaded mystic web. His memories and imagination were suddenly given life: most are remnants of Mexica folklore… the gods and monsters of the so-called Aztecs. The polluted environment has created its own share of monsters: Mutations have sprung up from the original denizens of the area.

These three types of beasts are not strict delineations. In fact, it is actually possible for a monster to be all three. But these guidelines may help in the brainstorming and creations of your own Monsters of the Sun.

Sean Ellis provides you with a dozen monsters to get you started. They are: Armor Goblin (Tzipitio), Blood Golem (Ezzo Atlacatl), Bonelord (Omiteuctli), Famished Beheader (Pistaku), Filth Eater (Tlahēlcuāni), Giant Rubber Grasshopper (Olchapoli), Hairy Skull (Cucuy), Itzpapalotl (Clawed Butterfly), Monstrous Caiman (Cipactli), Night Axe (Ceyo Itztopilli), Scaled Man (Xincayotli), and the Spiny Water Thing (Ahuitzotl).