Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Treasure Vaults of Zadabad Review

The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad is a level 1 hex crawl for DCC written by Carl Bussler and Eric Hoffman.

The tropical island of Kalmatta, and the lost city of Zadabad are full of the pulpy tropes you'd expect, from pirates to pigmy natives, giant beasts and ancient monsters, and for those willing to explore such an island, treasures to equal the challenges!



So what specifically do you get with this? About 40 pages detailing the island, it's various locations, inhabitants, monsters, and magic items. Many maps, a smattering of illustrations, and what could easily be weeks of play, if not longer. The random encounter charts are nicely divided up among the various terrain types, and the random treasure charts have a nifty feature where some treasures can only be encountered a limited number of times, and the chart has check boxes to help you keep track.

It's definitely NOT designed for a one off session, but that's a feature, not a bug.

Carl and Eric manage to avoid going over the top with the weird/fantastical elements that DCC so easily lends itself to, while managing to include just enough that you know this isn't your standard D&D setting. And the thinly veiled inspirations, once your players catch on, are so well executed that anyone who's willing to play DCC will appreciate it. I personally love the ax.

One of the things that really works for me is the fact that, as an island, you can drop it just about anywhere. For example, it wouldn't feel too out of place somewhere off the Razor Coast. Also, because it's low level DCC, it would be easy enough to drop into any other old school game, or even 5e if you felt like it.

Physically this is a really nice product. Heavy paper, with a thick cardstock cover and full sized 8.5"x11", so worth picking up the hard copy over the PDF.

If you're not convinced, you can always download Surviving Kalmatta – A Player’s Guide to The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad for a free taste of what the adventure has in store.

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