Monday, 5 February 2018

The One Who Watches From Below

DCC #81: The One Who Watches From Below is a 1st level adventure by Jobe Bittman. Art is by Fritz Haas, Doug Kovacs (including cover and cartography), Stefan Poag, and Tom Galambos. The publisher is Goodman Games.

First, some history. As part of the DCC RPG Free RPG Day 2012 offering, Goodman Games introduced the Mystery Map Adventure Design Competition. The winner of that competition was Jobe Bittman, and The One Who Watches Below was developed from the winning entry. Of this submission, Goodman Games writes:

"There were many great submissions to the competition, but Jobe Bittman’s stood out above them all. This adventure has a strong Appendix N theme, unique encounters that your players will remember for a long time, many highly visual scenes that will stand out in your players’ minds, and some terrific twists and turns. It also features one of the most creative player handouts you have ever seen. Prepare for a very fun time. We think you’ll enjoy this adventure as much as we did."

They are not wrong.

Some observations:

  • You may have heard that Jobe Bittman invented a whole new way to role-play. While this observation is somewhat overblown, there is a high probability that your group will encounter something that makes role-playing very different and fun from what you are otherwise used to.
  • The monsters are cool, flavorful, and thematically appropriate. Jobe Bittman manages to walk that narrow edge of design without falling into the abyss of being too gonzo. There are laser harpies. There are eye slimes. "The only thing more fearsome than a cockatrice is a double cockatrice." 
  • The player handouts are reminiscent of old TSR-era Advanced Dungeons & Dragons handouts. This is a good thing, in my opinion, and is often the case with Goodman Games adventures.
  • The final encounter is one which you and your players will remember for a very long time to come. The author has done a great job of making a very complex scenario manageable at the table.

The rumors are true! The secret cave of the mystics holds a hoard of treasure vast enough to buy the kingdom seven times over. Gold coins piled as high as snow banks! Gleaming swords and jewel-encrusted wands crackling with arcane energy! Precious gems as large as your fist! The only thing standing between your present circumstances and a life of fabulous wealth is a pesky, slumbering elder god with a penchant for consuming entire worlds, an endless army of vat-grown hybrid monstrosities, a veritable tidal wave of disembodied eyes with awesome powers, giant acid worms, and a curse with the power to rip the still-living eyes from your skull. Do you have the mettle to stare down a god or will your eyes forever adorn the vault of The One Who Watches From Below?

Get It Here!


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