Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: DCC Free RPG Day 2012

I'm only about a year and a half late in getting around to reading the stuff I picked up from last years Free RPG Day, but it was worth the wait.


The Dungeon Crawl Classics offering was a 16 page module with two adventures packed into it, as well as a 2 page Mystery Map Adventure Design Contest.

The first adventure, The Undulating Corruption, written by Michael Curtis, has the adventurers happen upon a scene of recent desolation and corruption. Over the next 6 pages they will follow the trail of destruction across farms and to the gates of a large town, and face an otherworldly being which may actually be beneficial before they destroy it.

I really like several things about this adventure. The backstory sets things up wonderfully, but then totally tosses the expected dungeon crawl out the window in favor of a wilderness chase. The creatures that the PCs will encounter are interesting, and are written so that they will present a challenge and also be potentially one of the stories they'll tell in the years to come.

The Undulating Corruption is written for a party of 5th level characters, especially if it includes a wizard with some corruption. Because it's a big chase, it's a pretty linear adventure, but that doesn't take away from it at all, and (presuming this is dropped into a campaign, and not used in a one shot) should the players opt to not give chase, it can have some nearly death frost doom level consequences.

The Jeweler That Dealt In Stardust is a 3rd level heist written by Harley Stroh. He recommends The Tower of the Elephants by Robert E. Howard and Lean Times in Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber to help you get into the right mindset prior to running the adventure. The basic story is that a mob boss/jeweler hasn't been seen in a couple of months, and his shop has been shut all that time. No one has been seen going in or out... and neither have any of the treasures reportedly kept in the shop. Like any good heist, there are some twists and surprises.

It's written in such a way as to allow the players maximum flexibility in how they want to handle the heist, whether it's through the front door, or the back garden, or whatever else they can come up with. There's lots included to help set the tone of the heist, and to keep players on their toes.

The front inside cover of the module has a handout for the PCs, while the back cover has an ad for the DCC RPG. The artwork throughout is sparse, but well placed, and typical of the DCC ascetic.

If you managed to grab a copy last year, congrats. If you didn't, it might be worth snagging a copy, even if you don't run DCC. I think it's a bit steep at $5 for 16 pages, especially when it was available for free in hard copy format, but if you find it for cheaper, grab it!

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