Saturday 24 April 2021

DCC Lankhmar

DCC Lankhmar is a boxed campaign setting which includes three books, two maps, a judge's screen, and an adventure. Primary writing is by Michael Curtis with additional writing by Daniel J. Bishop, Bob Brinkman, Edgar Johnson, Brendan LaSalle, Terry Olson, and Harley Stroh. Art is by Doug Kovacs (including cover art and cartography), Stefan Poag (including adventure cover art), Brad McDevitt, Chris Arneson, Cliff Kurowski, Jennell Jaquays, Tom Galambos, and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games. This product was officially licensed from the estate of Fritz Leiber.

Disclosure: I did additional writing for this project.

This boxed set is packed. When additional materials came out for Peril on the Purple Planet and The Chained Coffin, I was able to keep those materials together in the box. That is not the case with DCC Lankhmar - the adventures will not easily fit at all! This is not a criticism; it as an observation of just how much material the prospective judge and players are getting here.

The two maps provided are by Doug Kovacs, and represent the lands of Nehwon and city of Lankhmar. The city map, in particular, is massive and detailed. Michael Curtis was able to travel to the Fritz Leiber Archive at the University of Houston (because the Kickstarter was a massive success), resulting in the most accurate map of Lankhmar (in terms of Leiber's vision) that has appeared in a role-playing game product to date.

The three booklets are The Judge’s Guide to Nehwon, the Compendium of Secret Knowledge, and Lankhmar: City of the Black Toga. Between them, they supply all the information judges and players need to bring their own vision of Lankhmar to life. This includes new rules (including fleeting Luck, new ways to use patrons, new patrons, and more), descriptions of the lands of Nehwon, advice for running urban campaigns, and so on. The adventure, Dungeon Crawl Classics Lankhmar #0: No Small Crimes in Lankhmar, was written by Michael Curtis, and will have its own entry in the DCC Trove of Treasures. You can find a preview pdf of these boxed set materials here.

Full patron write-ups are provided for Issek of the Jug, Kos (or Kos of the Dooms), Mog the Spider God, Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face. Incomplete patron entries (consisting of invoke patron and agent assistant effects) are provided for the Gods of Trouble, the Hates, and Winged Tyaa. Statistics are provided for Fafrhd and the Gray Mouser at various points of their careers as well as other important characters appearing in the original stories. Over 20 monsters are also supplied, which covers the majority of creatures mentioned by Fritz Leiber in the Nehwon stories.

For me, personally, the chance to contribute to this project was a fantastic opportunity. I became aware of the Lankhmar stories due to the "Nehwon Mythos" section of the original AD&D Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia. I was in high school when I found a few of the stories of the Twain in the school library. It was not until I started seriously delving into Appendix N following adopting Dungeon Crawl Classics that I read all of the Fritz Leiber stories of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Being able to become an actual part of this set, no matter how small a part, was almost like being able to contribute to the works that had helped to shape me as a game master so many years ago.

DCC Lankhmar has come up on Spellburn a few times. It is discussed on the Sanctum Secorum podcast here. The source material is discussed on the Appendix N podcast here. Lankhmar comes up elsewhere in the DCC Trove of Treasures as well.

The boxed set officially licensed from the estate of Fritz Leiber!

Enter the thrilling world of Fritz Leiber’s Nehwon, home to the legendary city of Lankhmar and the infamous heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser! Prepare yourself to battle members of the city’s nefarious Thieves’ Guild in fog- shrouded alleys, to barter for cursed curios in the Plaza of Dark Delights, and to seek the wisdom of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face! All this and more is possible with DCC Lankhmar.

This boxed set contains comprehensive rules options and new material for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG explicitly designed to capture the unique setting of Nehwon and Lankhmar, the City of the Black Toga. Inside, you’ll find new spells, monsters, magical items, patrons, and rules to make your DCC RPG campaign more like Leiber’s exiting stories—including the popular “Fleeting Luck” mechanic where good fortune blesses your characters one minute, only to dash their hopes the next.

This set also includes a detailed look at Lankhmar and provides the judge with an assortment of descriptions, tables, and adventure ideas to get their DCC Lankhmar campaign up and running with a minimum of effort, including the adventure No Small Crimes in Lankhmar and a beautiful city map illustrated by Doug Kovacs. A copy of the Dungeon Crawl Classics rulebook is required to use this boxed set.

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