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Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry (DCC)
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/07/2014 10:33:09
Eine schöne Sache an der OSR–Szene ist, dass es inzwi­schen viele kleine Ver­lage gibt, und sich einige davon am Schrei­ben von Aben­teu­ern ver­su­chen. So auch Mark Bishop, der sei­nen Erst­ling jetzt bei Pur­ple Sorce­rer Games ver­öf­fent­licht hat. Einem sol­chen Anfang wohnt für mich oft ein Zau­ber inne, und des­we­gen inter­es­sie­ren mich sol­che Ver­öf­fent­li­chun­gen beson­ders. Bei Neu­er­schei­nun­gen für Dun­geon Crawl Clas­sics (DCC) oder andere OSR-Systeme sitzt das Geld bei mir sowieso beson­ders locker. Genau die­ses ver­schwen­de­ri­sche Ver­hal­ten hat bei Nebin Pendlebrook’s Peri­lous Pan­try wie­der zugeschlagen…


Inhalt

DCC beschäf­tigt mich nahezu jede Woche, aber zu einer der schöns­ten Eigen­hei­ten des Sys­tems komme ich nur sel­ten: dem Fun­nel. Wenn eine Gruppe von neuen Spie­lern eine Horde von Stufe-0-Charakteren erstellt und mit ihnen auf Aben­teuer aus­zieht, dann ist das oft wun­der­bar chao­tisch, amü­sant und auch für erfah­rene Spie­ler etwas Neues.

Nebin Pendlebrook’s Peri­lous Pan­try ist genau dar­auf aus­ge­legt. Beim Aus­bauen sei­nes Behau­sung ist ein Halb­ling aus Ver­se­hen in einen unter­ir­di­schen Bereich vor­ge­sto­ßen. Neu­gie­rig hat er sich vor­ge­wagt und ist nicht wie­der­ge­kehrt. Auch der ört­li­che Büt­tel, der ihn suchen ging, kam nicht wie­der. Und jetzt liegt es an einem bun­ten Hau­fen Dorf­be­woh­ner, sich von der Spei­se­kam­mer aus in die Tiefe zu kämpfen.Wer will, kann das Erstel­len die­ser Truppe in der Dorf­kneipe aus­spie­len. Die Details sind lie­be­voll aus­ge­stal­tet, inklu­sive einer kur­zen Story zum Namen der Schänke.

Stufe-0-Charaktere sind ja nicht wirk­lich robust – und beim Fun­nel sol­len ja auch weni­ger inter­es­sante Figu­ren aus­ge­siebt wer­den. Des­we­gen tau­chen in sol­chen Ein­füh­rungs­aben­teu­ern der Stu­fen 0 und 1 eher töd­li­che Fal­len auf, schließ­lich sind sie für mehr als einen SC pro Spie­ler aus­ge­legt. Hier­bei ent­schei­det dann eine Mischung aus Wür­fel­glück und schlauem Vor­ge­hen über die Über­le­bens­chan­cen des Ein­zel­nen und der Gruppe.

In der ers­ten Hälfte des Aben­teu­ers über­wie­gen daher noch klei­nere Kämpfe, zu erfor­schende Mys­te­rien, Geheim­gänge und Fal­len. Diese sind durch­aus klug gestaf­felt, lernt man dabei doch auch gleich­zei­tig die Spiel­me­cha­nis­men gut ken­nen. Gene­rell sind die beschrei­ben­den Texte stim­mungs­voll, und trotz der rela­ti­ven Gerad­li­nig­keit des Dun­ge­ons wirkt es doch viel­sei­tig und inter­es­sant. Vor allem aber wird viel Wert auf inter­es­sante Fund­stü­cke für die Spie­ler gelegt. Mit Glück oder geziel­tem Aus­for­schen fin­det man viel, was den Ein­stieg in das Busi­ness als selbst­stän­di­ger Aben­teu­rer erleich­tert. Dabei erwei­tern die Gegen­stände stel­len­weise das Macht­re­per­toire der Stufe-0-SC deut­lich, aber nicht über­mä­ßig. So haben einige gefun­dene Gegen­stände zwar gespei­cherte Magie, aber diese ver­pufft auch nach nur einer Hand­voll Anwendungen.

Spä­ter lau­ern dann zwei bis drei grö­ßere Kon­fron­ta­tio­nen, wobei dem SL kluge Vari­an­ten der Lösung ange­bo­ten wer­den. Ver­star­ben zu viele Möch­te­gern­hel­den, so gibt es eine glaub­wür­dige Mög­lich­keit, wei­tere Figu­ren ein­zu­füh­ren. Eiern die Spie­ler zu sehr herum, kann der SL die Magie der Umge­bung benut­zen, um ihnen ein­zu­hei­zen. Sogar an eine kino­reife Mantel-und-Degen-Aktion bei einem zen­tra­len Kampf wurde gedacht!

Spiel­be­richt

Beim Spie­len sind mir dann doch mit­ten­drin zwei Sachen auf­ge­fal­len. Ich musste mehr­fach etwas län­ger her­um­blät­tern und suchen, weil min­des­tens zwei Beschrei­bun­gen für Türen nicht in den Räu­men waren, aus denen sie her­aus­führ­ten. Ein Teil der Beschrei­bung von Raum 1–10 fin­det sich vor Raum 1–8 und 1–9, weil der angren­zende Gang keine eigene Num­mer hat.

Cha­rak­ter­er­schaf­fung habe ich durch den Cha­rak­ter­ge­ne­ra­tor von Pur­ple Sorce­rer Games ersetzt. Ein­fach vier Cha­rak­tere pro Seite aus­dru­cken, aus­ein­an­der­schnei­den, mischen und ver­deckt ver­tei­len. Man­che der alter­tüm­li­chen Lehr­be­rufe führ­ten mal wie­der zu eini­gem Nach­fra­gen und kur­zer Inter­net­re­cher­che. Nicht­mensch­li­che Cha­rak­tere ent­ste­hen durch die Tabel­len­ver­tei­lung sowieso immer sehr selten.

Einige Cha­rak­tere wer­den nur dadurch inter­es­sant, dass die Spie­ler kein Inter­esse an ihrer Wei­ter­ver­wen­dung haben. Also pro­biert man schon mal gewag­tere Aktio­nen, und wun­der­bar chao­ti­sche Ergeb­nisse sind die Folge. Es wurde viel expe­ri­men­tiert, und auf­grund der magi­schen Gegen­stände des Aben­teu­ers auch auf Stufe 0 Magie gewirkt und Untote vertrieben.

Weil wir dies­mal mit abwisch­ba­rer Matte gespielt haben, wurde uns zum ers­ten Mal das unsäg­li­che Gedränge bei einem Fun­nel bewusst. 15 Figu­ren in einem schma­len Gang? Wirkte selbst mit far­bi­gen Spiel­stei­nen unwill­kür­lich komisch. Das Aben­teuer ist übri­gens für 16 bis 24 Figu­ren bestimmt.

Zu beson­de­ren Ehren kam ein unbe­deu­ten­der magi­scher Gegen­stand – ein Ast, auf den Magi­scher Mund gewirkt wurde. Der Zau­be­rer lag im Ster­ben, und sein letz­ter Hil­fe­ruf erklang noch lange nach sei­nem Tod. Eigent­lich ein nutz­lo­ses Ding, außer für einen kur­zen Stim­mungs­mo­ment viel­leicht. Aber die Spie­ler tauf­ten ihn „Stecki“ und pro­bier­ten solange damit herum, bis ein NSC tat­säch­lich die Stimme erkannte. Sehr beharrlich.

Zwei Kämpfe waren mir hier­bei für 15 Anfang­s­cha­rak­tere zu stark gewe­sen, und ich habe sie jeweils leicht abge­schwächt. In die finale Kon­fron­ta­tion schaff­ten es 8 der 15 Bau­ern­söhne und drei NSC-Verbündete. Es über­leb­ten letzt­lich 6 SC und 2 NSC. Reich zogen sie davon. Vor allem erleb­ten wir viele jener genia­len Momente, für die DCC immer wie­der gut ist. Es gibt in die­sem Aben­teuer viel her­aus­zu­fin­den und viel aus­zu­pro­bie­ren, was gerne auch in Kla­mauk ausartet.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Ange­sichts der Qua­li­tät des Inhalts und der guten Optik, sind 4,49 USD defi­ni­tiv in Ord­nung für die­ses Modul. Die Sei­ten­zahl wurde auch nicht künst­lich aufgebläht.

Erschei­nungs­bild

Jen­seits des Titels und der Rück­seite ist das PDF in Grau­tö­nen gehal­ten, was übri­gens sehr stil­voll aus­sieht. Die Text­menge pro Seite und Schrift­größe emp­fand ich als sehr ange­nehm, und hilft vor allem beim Lesen im elek­tro­ni­schen Format.

Die Illus­tra­tio­nen sind gut, viele davon sind im ver­nied­li­chen­den Stil ande­rer Purple-Sorcerer–Pro­dukte gehal­ten. Es sind genug vor­han­den, um den Text auf­zu­lo­ckern. Das Titel­bild gefällt mir beson­ders in sei­ner schlich­ten Art. Die hand­ge­zeich­nete Karte ist in einer anspre­chen­den Schrä­gan­sicht gestaltet.



Bonus/Downloadcontent

Batt­le­maps und Falt­auf­stel­ler gibt es als Extra-PDF beim Kauf zusätz­lich. Auch das Art­work ist noch­mal in grö­ße­rer Auf­lö­sung zum Aus­dru­cken beigegeben.

Fazit

Ich habe das Aben­teuer in einem Zug gele­sen und war sehr ange­tan. Es ist über­sicht­lich auf­be­rei­tet und auch optisch anspre­chend – Karte und Han­dout sind beson­ders ansehn­lich. Von der Gestal­tung zen­tra­ler NSC bis zu den ein­zel­nen Räu­men wirkt das Modul lie­be­voll gemacht, ohne sich in unnö­ti­gen Details zu ver­lie­ren. Auch am Tisch wusste es zu überzeugen.

Pur­ple Sorce­rer Games hat ja bis­her nur John Marr’s eigene Aben­teuer ver­öf­fent­licht, aber mit Mark Bishop hat sich ein Wei­te­rer gefun­den, der sich zu ver­öf­fent­li­chen lohnt. Hut ab vor die­sem Erstling!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry (DCC)
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Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry (DCC)
by Bruce C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2014 01:41:22
I picked this up on release as I love the tone and presentation of previous Purple Sorcerer publications and was curious to see this, their first adventure with a different writer, Mark Bishop.

The introduction is solid and well written and the rumour table adds some flavour, though the players will be in no doubt as regards which direction they need to take from the get go. Some may see this as 'railroading' but in a convention or similar environment it's important to get straight into the game and personally I have no problem with this approach.

There are some great original monsters and some very well thought out encounters, I particularly like the run in with the 'Toad-Spiders' early in the story. As this is a level 0 funnel adventure characters would usually get little chance to dabble in magic, but there is a nicely written opportunity for one of the characters to acquire a classic spell, allowing new players to see DCC's fantastic magic system in action. There is plenty of danger and peril in the adventure which matches my expectations of a DCC character funnel. This game is not about 'balanced' encounters! That said I'm sure with quick thinking and some good roleplaying the player characters can succeed and find the missing halfling, even though things are unlikely to work out exactly as they had hoped!

The presentation, artwork and maps are up the the usual excellent Purple Sorcerer standard and the PDF includes a separate appendix file with battlemaps and paper minis which make great 'props' even if you don't usually play the game with figures. Personally I'd love to see someone produce a selection of 'level 0' type paper minis to complement the excellent monster minis that Jon includes with all of his adventures (If I had any artistic talent I'd have a go myself!)

I'm yet to run this adventure as a live game but I've read it through a couple of times and I can't wait to try it out. It might just be the perfect introductory adventure for folk new to tabletop and to the Dungeons Crawl Classics RPG in particular.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Perils of the Sunken City (DCC RPG)
by Peter S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2013 16:11:10
This is a great module for a first-time DM - like me! I'm really enjoying playing through it - the art style is light hearted, but the material is still edgy. Some of the traps seemed tough to understand when reading, but in play the were fun. This module also provides a nice starting point for other adventures in Mustertown. Overall, a great module!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Perils of the Sunken City (DCC RPG)
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A Gathering of the Marked (DCC RPG)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2013 08:04:54
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/07/03/tabletop-review-a-gathe-
ring-of-the-marked-dungeon-crawl-classics/

Purple Sorcerer Games puts out a series out adventurers for Dungeon Crawl Classics that take place in the region of the Sunken City. Their fourth and latest, A Gathering of the Marked is the longest so far, clocking in with a page count of nearly fifty! Now not all of those pages are for the adventure. You’re also getting detailed maps, paper cut out miniatures, and outs and more. I was impressed with all the extras that came with that adventure. If that wasn’t enough, you get three different versions of the adventure – one for the Kindle, one for a generic e-reader and one for mobile devices. I found the mobile one to be the best overall on all devices while the default PDF seems to have issues when viewed on a computer (a bit of lag with loading the overlaying images and content). Getting three versions of the same adventure in different formats is great as it ensures each DM can use the one that works best for him or her, and also makes the $5.99 price tag all the more enticing. Sure you may only use one of the three, but at least you don’t have to worry about formatting errors and the like.

One area where a Purple Sorcerer release for Dungeon Crawl Classics differs greatly from a Goodman Games one is with the art. Goodman Games adventurers tend to have dark, grim and gritty artwork straight out of the earliest days of tabletop roleplaying. Purple Sorcerer adventures tend to use a more cartoonish feel. I personally really like it as it’s not only a juxtaposition from the extreme body count and horrible violence that a DCC adventure contains, but the style really stands out regardless of systems. I look at the art the same way I do a Lego video game. It’s very cute but said cuteness isn’t for everyone. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, the art in this (or any Purple Sorcerer) adventure will definitely help make the adventure memorable, especially with the sheer amount of handouts with crazy pictures on them.

A Gathering of the Marked is probably the longest and most detailed Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure I’ve ever seen. It’s designed for either 16 Level 0 or eight Level 1 characters, which sounds like a lot to those new to DCC, but it’s pretty on par with what the system is written for. There is a HIGH player death count in DCC and so each player is encouraged to have two or three characters each. That sounds like it might be hard to roleplay, but DCC is more about the combat and roll-playing that character development and figuring out what makes your guy or girl tick. Even with the sheer amount of characters, it’s going to be hard for players to make it to the end of this adventurer. Although no one encounter will lead to a TPK (Total Party Kill), I would be surprised if even a fourth made it to the end of the adventure…and those will probably die there. Yes, A Gathering of the Marked is one of the most lethal Level 0 adventures for DCC and if you know the system, that’s saying something. That said, if you read the adventure and feel it’s too deadly/not deadly enough (!?), you can always scale back the encounters. It’s your game, after all!

The crux of A Gathering of the Marked is in the same. Seems the poor PCs are the descendants of members of an eeeeeeevil (INDEED!) cult and as such, when they hit maturity, a strange glyph appears on their forehead, causing a burning sensation and prodding them towards their eventual fate – The Winnowing. The Winnowing is a series of trials to see which of those that bear the Mark of Athax are worthy of being members in the dark cult…and which are merely worthy of being eaten, disemboweled or what have you. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of encounters as the PCs go through the trials and tribulation of The Winnowing. Can they survive, and if so, do they join the cult their forbearers were once members of, or do they try and stop the cult from gaining any more power, saving their descendants from eventually going through the same they have had to? More importantly, can they do it themselves, or with the help of a unexpected and cryptic ally?

There really isn’t much in the way of story here. The plot is pretty thin and straightforward, but that’s very much in line with Dungeon Crawl Classics. The emphasis is more on the non-stop action and if you’re a gamer that prefers adventures with a lot of talking head moments or detective work, you won’t find it here. If you are looking to see cheesemakers and fishermen trying to hack their way through zombie thingies and a big ogre, then this is for you.

One of the things I really likes about this adventure were all the items a character could find which would enable them special bonuses upon reaching Level 1 – as long as they chose the class relating to that item. You might find magical gloves that gives your agility a massive boost and some extra thieving skill points if the owner of the item chooses Rogue/Exotic/whatever as his First Level class. There are other neat magic items too, like the MASTER SHOCKhelmet, which is hilarious and lethal at the same time. So even if characters do die horrible in this adventure, the survivors will get some pretty nice bonuses once they level up, thus ensuring their chances of continued survival will be even greater.

I do need to make one more mention of the length. Unlike most DCC adventures which can be played in a single session, it will take two or three to get through A Gathering of the Marked. Make sure you realize this and can devote the time to the adventure because it is that long. The good thing about breaking it up into two or three sessions is that players can replace their massacred characters between sessions –as long as the DM has a good place to shovel them in.

All in all, I think A Gathering of the Marked is the best adventure I’ve seen from Purple Sorcerer Games yet. While it’s not the best DCC adventure I’ve read, the fact you are getting so much stuff, combined with the length of the adventure, means I can strongly recommend it to fans of the system. You’re definitely going to get six dollars worth of entertainment out of it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Gathering of the Marked (DCC RPG)
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Lair of the Mist Men (DCC RPG)
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/16/2013 06:20:23
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/04/16/tabletop-review-lair-of-
-the-mist-men-dungeon-crawl-classics/

Generally when I review a Dungeon Crawl Classics product, it ends up being from Goodman Games or Brave Halfling Publishing. This time around, we’re looking at a product from Purple Sorcerer. This is their third release for Dungeon Crawl Classics and it is also what they call a “mini-adventure,” although I’m not sure why it is called that, as it has roughly the same page count as the “full adventures.”

Lair of the Mist Men is a continuation of The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, but you don’t need to have played that adventure to get full use out of it. That’s because Purple Sorcerer has included the seminal battle with the mist men from that adventure. You can use it as an optional start to the adventure in order to get the ball rolling, or you can just jump feet first into Lair of the Mist Men as written. I love that Purple Sorcerer has given you this option, especially since Lair of the Mist Men is a THIRD of the cost of the other Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures they have released.

Lair of the Mist Men is for six to eight Level 1 characters. Like most Dungeon Crawl Classics adventurers, it is light on story and heavy on combat. In this case, your village has been besieged by the mist men for nigh on three months. Finally, the players have found a way to track them to their lair, and so they set off to right wrongs and gain revenge on their accursed enemies. Hey, it’s not Shakespeare, but it does the job nicely. The players journey through a creepy swampland where they will fight resident locals and mist men in order to gain access to the cave in which they dwell. There, players will alternate between saving villagers thought lost forever, killing mist men and discovering the true source of the evil plaguing their village. The entire affair can be finished in one or two sessions, depending on how much the DM pads things out and how much the players stay on track. If you have Against the Vortex Temple (which isn’t actually available yet…), this adventure MAY lead directly into it, based on the choices your players make.

Besides the set six encounters in the adventure, you have a random encounter chart (you know, I’ve never actually met anyone that really uses those) and a neat little side effect of the mist men cave where characters spiral down into madness as if this was a Call of Cthulhu adventure. Between the sheer amount of combat and the insanity factor, this will be a hard adventure for players to come out of intact, especially when most DCC adventures call for even more players than this. Depending on how your team fares, you may want to ratchet down the encounters some if you don’t want to achieve a TPK (Total Party Kill). That said, the insanity effect is played more for comedy than anything else, and because comedy is all but nonexistent in other DCC adventures, I’m unsure how players will react to that. I mean, I love comedy, but DCC is a grim and gritty game and so I can see others being… more inclined to treat this system as SERIOUS BUSINESS and find fault with the adventure because of this.

In addition to the core PDF, Lair of the Mist Men comes with two bonus PDFs. The first is a set of three maps, and the second is a page of paper standee miniatures to represent the antagonists for the adventure. Both are a nice touch, although the artwork may be a bit TOO Cartoony for the core DCC fanbase. Generally, the art in Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures tends to be of a similar style to first edition AD&D or even OD&D, but the art here is decidedly comedic in style and more Warner Brothers than Larry Elmore. I think the art is a fun change of pace for the system, but I can definitely see a lot of DCC players poo-pooing the adventure based on the art, which is a shame.

Finally the adventure comes with four pre-generated 0 level characters, which is a bit nonsensical considering that a) this is an adventure for 1st Level characters and b) there are only four pregens but the adventure is for six to eight characters. Not really sure what the point of this inclusion was to be honest, but hey, extra content is extra content, right?

All in all, Lair of the Mist Men is a fun little adventure. Sure, there are some spelling errors like “Blassimers! Descrators!” when the text should be, “Blasphemers! Desecrators!” but Purple Sorcerer Games is a two man operation and I can speak from experience about how hard it is for one to edit your own writing, so I can give this a pass in some respects. Still, it is a professionally done piece, and one would think they would have at least run the text through a spell checker. With a price tag of under three dollars, and some very unique antagonists for your PCs to encounter, Lair of the Mist Men is well worth investing in if you enjoy playing published adventures with your Dungeon Crawl Classics troupe. There’s a good amount of humour to the adventure, something you don’t find in DCC adventurers outside of Purple Sorcerer games, so mileage may vary in that respect, but you’re still getting a fine, memorable adventure for your three dollars, and if you have players that take their a gaming more serious than what’s provided here, feel free to tweak the adventure to fit their needs instead of forcing them to adapt to it. If you like what you see here, perhaps it’s time to start the “Sunken City” series of DCC RPG adventures.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lair of the Mist Men (DCC RPG)
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The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk (DCC RPG)
by William P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2013 17:08:46
Wow....tough to even know where to begin, so I will keep this short....Incredibly cool backstory, great setting, engaging and memorable NPCs, well-written, awesome full-color maps all the pieces are in place. Read aloud text (some of it a bit tongue-in-cheek) helps the novice GM, while veterans will appreciate the obvious opportunities to add their own flavor and expansion.

This adventure lasted my party close to seven hours and left them wanting more. I can't recommend an adventure more highly than this one. As a side note if you had any doubts about Joe Goodman's Dungeon Crawl Classics system...buy it and run this adventure as is. Generate multiple 0-level chumps and bumble forward hoping for survival. It will be a guaranteed blast. Looking forward to watching this product go Gold!

William C. Pfaff
President of Escape Velocity Gaming

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk (DCC RPG)
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