Sunday 4 July 2021

DCC#2 Beneath the Well of Brass

DCC Day #2 Beneath the Well of Brass is a 0-level funnel adventure written by Harley Stroh. Art is by Doug Kovacs (cover), Chris Arneson, Tom Galambos, Cliff Kurowski, Jesse Mohn, and Stefan Poag (including cartography). The publisher is Goodman Games.

At least part of the purpose of a 0-level funnel is to make clear what happened to these particular characters, that they can never simply go back to working fields or scaping out garderobe middens. Well, this adventure is going to accomplish that, and how it ends will set the tone, in all likelihood, for the PC's careers (at least in the short term).

Another thing the funnel can accomplish is to ensure players understand that the game will kill you if you act without caution and that you are not guaranteed any sort of balance. Oh, and that the universe is full of weirdness, with other planes of existence far closer than you think. This funnel accomplishes all of those things as well.

Actually, this funnel introduces Dungeon Crawl Classics amazingly well, and I predict that it will join Sailors on the Starless Sea, Hole in the Sky, and Frozen in Time as a fan favorite.

As long as you’ve known of the flame-licked caves and suffocating caverns, they have been forbidden to your people. But three days ago the Black King and his brigands overran your small hamlet, taking friends and family hostage. His demands are as simple as they are impossible: Venture into the burning caverns and return with the secret of eternal life.

Now, standing before the seething fissure, armed with only your simple tools and desperate courage, you must accomplish what an army of blackguards cannot. The Well of Brass awaits.

Designed to be run in a single session, this introductory 0-level module wrenches your PCs free from their humble lives and casts them into a world of high adventure. Many will perish amidst the strange mysteries, weird foes, and forgotten magics, for only the most courageous and cunning of reavers can emerge from Beneath the Well of Brass.

Get It Here!

Saturday 3 July 2021

DCC Day 2021 Adventure Pack

The DCC Day 2021 Adventure Pack was written by Julian Bernick, Marc Bruner, and Bob Brinkman. Art was by Russ Nicholson (cover), Brad McDevitt, Stefan Poag (including cartography), Chris Arneson, Tom Galambos, Doug Kovacs, Cliff Kurowski, Jesse Mohn, William McAusland (including cartography), and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games.

The Adventure Pack contains three adventures that can be run in a single session each. As of this writing, I have not had the opportunity to play or run any of these.

Temple Siege! was written by Julian Bernick, and is a level 1 adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics, inspired by the Cossack stories of Harold Lamb. As a point of fact, I have not read Lamb to date, so I can't say how well the author captured the spirit of these stories. The adventure is unusual in that the exploration portions are interspersed amid waves of attacks.

Reading through this, one of the things that I like best is that the author followed the general guideline that NPCs do not need to follow the rules. Secondarily, the villain of the piece is so well known and hated that his body itself is a significant treasure. Moreso to some than others!

Fathoms Below Witch Isle is a level 1 adventure for DCC Dying Earth, but, sadly, you get no sneak-peak at the mechanics of the (at this time) forthcoming boxed set. The adventure is written by Marc Bruner, and could potentially take place in any DCC game milieu, although the details make use of the flavor of The Dying Earth. It is difficult to say how long the video will remain, but as of this writing, there is a live play video of this adventure on the Goodman Games Twitch Channel. Notably, this is the first published adventure for DCC Dying Earth.

The Neverwhen Rock is a 0-level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure, written by Bob Brinkman based on a concept by Jim Wampler. If you, like me, are a fan of Doctor Who, you will not be able to avoid noticing the many homages to the series. I recently created statistics for Silurians; you can see how my work compares to that of Bob Brinkman by picking this up. Not that one is better than the other - they are different interpretations from the same inspiration. And, of course, you will discover quite a few other nods herein. You may also note a nod to The Land of the Lost, unless I am mistaken.

Get It Here!

Thursday 1 July 2021

The Bakeneko

The Bakeneko is written by Gustavo Tertoleone. Art is credited to Gustavo Tertoleone. The publisher is Black Dog

This is a character class written for use with Old School Essentials, Caves & Hexes, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Like The Jester before it, this product does make some use of harder-to-read fonts, but this doesn't extend to the important text.

The Bakeneko is a Japanese nature spirit, a yokai, which takes the shape of a cat, of a humanoid cat, or even a human. In this they are similar to Faerie Animals, but there the similarities end. Bakeneko get a number of class skills, which they need to allot points to in order to use. All of the skills are potentially useful, and the Bakeneko can gain more points (potentially) at each level. The skills are roll-under, d6-based, so that if you have 2 points in the Necromancy skill, for instance, you have to roll a 1-2 on 1d6 to use it. Skills may have other limitations; for instance, Nine Lives can only be used nine times.

Some of the skills are not well defined, and will require judges to adjudicate when and how they apply. This is an artifact, in part, of the OSR aesthetic, in part due to the pamphlet-sized space the class is published in, and in part, I think, because the class abilities are written to make sense in more than one game system.

Altogether, this is a good class, and will fit well into an Oriental/Asian-themed DCC game.With minor name changes, it would work well in almost any game. A judge running a game in Dolmenwood could use this class as a substitute for the Grimalkin in Wormskin #1. See also the Black Cat class in The Class Alphabet.

In the Far East, located in a secluded island which is home for an entire nation, live a group of powerful individuals who have deep connections with nature itself. These beings are called yokai by the local people. Some of them get used to living among humans, disguising themselves to look like us. These are called Bakeneko, cat spirits who can take different forms, like humanoid cats or regular cats, and some may even take the face of other people to look exactly like them! Be ready to become a Bakeneko and live huge adventures in a far land.

Get It Here!