Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Review DCC's Lankhmar: Through Ningauble's Cave

So not too long ago, Dungeon Crawl Classics acquired the rights to Lankhmar. Now, I have to admit, I've not read a single page of Fritz Leiber. Not due to any lack of desire, but more just a simple case of I haven't gotten around to it yet. It's on my list, and somewhere upstairs I've got Ill Met in Lankhmar, but it just hasn't percolated up to the top yet.


In spite of this, I picked up Through Ningauble's Cave by Michael Curtis, mainly because I've been pleased with just about everything Michael Curtis has done up to this point... we'll see if that holds true once I get Stonehell 2 in my hands, but so far, he's a proven adventure author for me.

Unlike most releases this isn't an adventure. It's more a patron supplement and introduction to the setting of the world of Nehwon. The first 7 pages are devoted to introducing Ningauble, explaining how he makes use of those who call on him, and the cave itself as a setting, plus 2 pages of cavern geomorphs for DM's to use. The cavern system isn't just the locations, it's also the inhabitants. And while Ningauble itself is the primary inhabitant, he isn't alone. Numerous servants, other adventurers, and random travelers wander the dark and ever twisting passages.

After the cave, 6 pages focus on 5 different locations that the cave exits to on Nehwon itself. Each of these exit locations includes adventure ideas, and a sample encounter. Each of these places seem interesting enough for more than one adventure

Of note, the cave exists as a link between numerous worlds, not just Nehwon. This includes (as the DM wishes) Earth, The Purple Planet, The Shudder Mountains, and even post-apocalyptic worlds, and other strange locations. The Warden from Metamorphosis Alpha maybe? Or a Red and Pleasant Land? Or anywhere else that you want to toss the players.

Ningauble himself (itself?) as a Patron is described over the last 3 pages, including the expected Invoke Patron, Patron Taint, and Spellburn charts. As Ningauble is a gossip-monger, he is happy to be patron to those who will bring it new lore. It loves information, especially secrets, and will happily take any and every tidbit that visitors are willing to give him.

While not being familiar with the source material, I can much more easily see how Ningauble would make an excellent patron, if a somewhat demanding one for DCC characters.

As usual, the art is up to the usual excellent standards that DCC consistently sets. If you're a fan of Lankhmar, or need a new Patron for your players, this is definitely worth picking up. Ignoring the last 3 pages, it's pretty system neutral, and so could work for just about any fantasy RPG.

On the off chance that you're interested in DCC, but haven't gotten the rule book yet, Goodman Games is running a kickstarter for the 4th printing. $40 gets you a hardcover and PDF of the rulebook, plus a whole bunch of other stuff including 4 free adventures (which would cost you $40 by themselves).

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