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#Harshmode Monday #7
#Harshmode Monday #7
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC] $2.75
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Clayton B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/13/2014 22:58:46
You can't beat the weird vibe of this module. Flopping, vampiric vermin. Dancing, hypnagogic horrors. Potions the party knows it shouldn't drink, but inevitably will.
There are a couple cool items. I appreciate the seeding of some spells for DCC judges who like their wizards to have to quest for them. Lots of unique monsters and hazards is very much in the spirit of DCC and is a great plus in my book.

There are a couple things that kept me from rating this a solid 5, however:
One of the most important monster's info is a bit spread out, and over two pages at that. This makes it harder to pick up and play. You'll have to study all the monster abilities and probably take notes to figure out how to run the encounter smoothly. Some kind of summary box or shorthand would have been appreciated.
Most of the room description text is short, but it runs long in a couple places. People will have different feels about boxed text, but my preference is two lines or less.
The map is rather sterile. It would have been nice if it had a few illustrations between the rooms for traps and monsters as reminders. One of the biggest rooms has bones littered about it, but that isn't conveyed on the map at all; you have to read a long boxed text to remember to convey that part to the players. The room title helps, though.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Gabor L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/06/2013 14:01:13
This dungeon section is a module in the truest sense: designed to be placed “in the characters’ path if they travel down a corridor that you have not yet detailed”, it slots into megadungeons as easily as it could become a single one-night scenario. In 12 pages, it outlines a compact 25-entry encounter area built by an evil cult, and now inhabited by a cursed monster who had once been the cult’s implacable foe. Meant for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, it converts easily to your preferred D&D variant or edition, and has good production values.

There is a very lurid, in-your-face sense of the grotesque in the DCC role-playing game, and Bone Hoard follows this style very faithfully. Its rooms and passages are inhabited by the results of playing with bizarre magical forces, and the various creatures, objects and even magic items come across as strange and unwholesome. Where else but here could you find “a golden coloured bladder of some unknown substance, extracted from some creature from another plane of existence”, and let that be your reward for being an adventurer? Where else will you face the equivalent of giant rats – but boneless and equipped with leech-like mouths? Of course, there is a fine line to walk between horrid and laughable, but I believe this module walks it. The strangeness of the location and its various horrors is not just a set of descriptions that use Lovecraftian imagery, but also has in-game relevance; the set-pieces are interactive and allow interesting experimentation, even if the approach to the encounter area is mostly static.

Sometimes, the room descriptions and GM instructions overstate the obvious, or present vital information in so much detail that it becomes unwieldy (especially if it is dropped into a game without preparation, one of its intended uses). Occasionally, difficulty checks are given for trivially easy tasks, and treasure values are listed for non-valuables like “horn spoons worth 2 cp each”. This is more trouble than worth, although to the author’s credit, it is much more interesting to find horn spoons than yet another set of generic jewellery worth 300 gp. There are a few empty rooms filled with rubble too many. Some careful editing would have done this product good – it is a good 6 page scenario in twice as many pages.

Make no mistake: this is solid, playtested, utilitarian material, a module (component) with a lot of imagination. We need more adventures like this. Although designed for its specific assumptions, it remains easy to use outside the context of the DCC RPG, and its weirdness is perhaps even more enhanced.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/15/2012 06:55:51
Designed to work equally well as a location stumbled upon when exploring or somewhere sought out on purpose, the book begins by giving the background to how the place came to be (an intriguing tale starting with chaos-worshipping cultists and continuing with a meddling mage...), provides a few hints that could be developed into plot hooks if you want to have the characters hear about it before they arrive, and then launches into a room-by-room description.

The whole flavour of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG game is well-maintained, with traps a-plenty and some interesting stuff to find (even if you have to figure out how to use it). It appears quite generous in magic items, albeit most are 'one-shot' devices, but that makes logical sense once you figure out what's been happening there... and there are some novel (quite scary) monsters, too.

The adventure is well-resourced, with a blank players' map as well as the regular one, both provided in the book and as separate JPG images that you can download. The actual descriptions are clear, with relevant monster stats and notes on how they will behave in combat just where you need them.

This is very much a 'dungeon crawl' and a very good one in the classic form... (oops, typed that, then read it back!). It provides challenge in combat, resource management and figuring out what's happening, but characters who like talking will have to talk to each other! An enjoyable session should result.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2012 06:37:00
This adventure for the DCC-ruleset is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover and the total of editorial and SRD make up about 1/2 a page, resulting in a total content of 9 1/2 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential player may wish to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! First of all, the module comes with DM-maps and player-friendly maps you can cut up and hand out to your players - kudos for that! The module consists essentially of a mini-dungeon that can be inserted into a dungeon of your own devise, coming with an eastern and western entrance. The pdf is truly in line with DCC's core concepts of unpredictable magic and potential drawbacks - the treasure awarded is mostly single use or fragile. Fragile? Yes, for one treasure is actually a balloon containing a breath of life! Now that's a cool idea! Once, these halls were the halls of a dread cult and the weird boneless leech-rats are but one of the things to come in these halls. Also rather nice and seldom seen - excavating parts of the complex is also part of the module and turns out to be rather dangerous!

The namegiving dancing horror, though, would be one cool critter, coming with the abilities to extract skeletons from its victims, displace voices and worst of all - it leaves its victims alive when doing so! And then there's the hoardling, an undead abomination resembling a snake/centipede-being somewhat resembling an Ophidius. Have I mentioned the tin soldiers and the intelligent blade the PCs can find?
The pdf comes also with high-res jpegs of the dungeon-map.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column standard and the artworks and full-color cartography are nice for the very low asking price. The pdf also comes with extensive bookmarks, which is nice to see indeed.

This module provides us with a nice sidetrek-dungeon to insert in you DCC-campaign and indeed, with some minor work and experience with 2nd or 1st edition modules, could be converted into other rulesets rather easily - why? Because the central selling point of this module, at least for me, lies in the eerie, unpredictable and wondrous atmosphere it evokes via so beautifully-disturbing things as the creatures and e.g. magical barnacle-growths. This module feels rather fresh in its ideas and even though it is a free-form dungeon, provides us with options to easily insert it and add a nice little boss-fight. What could one want more, especially at the very fair asking price? Not much, and since I lack any true gripes, I'll thus settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform due to the low price.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/26/2012 06:40:06
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/07/26/tabletop-review-bone-ho-
ard-of-the-dancing-horror-dungeon-crawl-classics/

Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is the first release from newcomer Purple Duck games. It uses the Dungeon Crawl Classics ruleset which makes me happy as I’m a big fan of the system. The truth is, though, that I picked up the adventure sheerly because of its title, because it is awesome. Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is for 2nd level characters, but unfortunately, it doesn’t state how many PCs it is made for. That’s a small, minor issue though, as reading through the adventure will let a Judge/GM/Keeper/Storyteller know if there’s enough here to challenge his or her players.

Like most Dungeon Crawl Classic adventures, Bone Hoard is a straight up hack and slash affair. This means you’ll be going from room to room killing things dead without too much of a plot or storyline. I was really happy to see that the Judge is given a good amount of background and back story so that he can understand why this particular dungeon is there, the raison d’etre of the two possible main antagonists and the history of the locale. I love having that sort of information, which sadly several DCC adventures (including some by Goodman Games, creators of the DCC system) tend to leave out. Judges can feel free to flesh out the story of Bone Hoard as much or as little as they want, depending on how much impetus the PCs need to go skulking around in a long-forgotten death trap.

There aren’t a lot of monsters in Bone Hoard. It mainly consists of some creepy rat-like creatures, some odd spider thingies, and some six inch high automatons. Instead the adventure relies more on mood and the Judge’s ability to set the tone of this abandoned locale. I like that this adventure was combat-lite compared to a lot of other DCC adventures as it made the climactic battle against the Dancing Horror all the more dramatic and impressive. I have to admit, the Dancing Horror is perhaps the creepiest antagonist I’ve yet encountered in a DCC adventure and it almost feels like it was ripped out of the Call of Cthulhu system. I loved its attacks and the horrible things it could do to the PCs. You probably won’t get a TPK (Total Party Kill) situation from it, but this battle will be one the PCs remember for a long time afterward. Even better, there is one more potential surprise here for players: an intelligent magic sword.

All in all, Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is not only a nice short adventure that can be played in a single session by you and your friends, it’s a very well done affair that has me looking forward to whatever Purple Duck Games next release is. At only $2.75, this adventure won’t break your wallet and it’s one of the more balanced adventures for the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. If you are a fan of the system, definitely consider picking this up for your game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Brian B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/13/2012 15:27:53
Not bad, a reasonable dungeon. Nothing special, but it works for low level characters. I'd recommend it for new GM's/Players

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Marvin B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/13/2012 13:45:57
The DCC RPG is a fun game, and this is a particularly fun module. My group really enjoyed battling the creepy monsters and had a great time overall.

It's a short module and can be played in 1-2 sessions. The layout is well done and the text is clear and easy to read, which is important for me as my eyesight starts to fade.

Definitely a good purchase, especially at this price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/12/2012 03:25:52
Spoilers ahead

I read Bone Hoard after reading Goodman Game's People of the Pit and Free RPG Day 2012 adventures, and just can't say that I was as thrilled by this adventure. It's not a bad one. It's your typical "mage dies and adventurers investigate his long-lost dungeon". But, aside from a terrifically terrible "it'll suck out the bones from your body and taunt your friends with what's left" monster, there's not *that* much you haven't seen in, say, your typical D&D adventure. I think had the author had designed the scenario more heavily around the theme of "bone and flesh", it would have more impact. But, as it stands, I'm waiting for Goodman Game's next release.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/05/2012 09:15:29
I've been dying to talk about AL-1, Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror (by Daniel Bishop) for nearly two weeks now. How can that be when it was just released this morning? Purple Duck Games was nice enough to send me a preview copy of Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror to peek at and it was damn good. I just wasn't able to talk about it. Grrrr!

First things first - it's a 2nd level adventure, and at the moment the only second level adventure released for the DCC RPG. Which means I probably won't have a chance to run it until September or later, but that is fine.

The map is laid out like a classic fantasy RPG dungeon map, and it looks great. I should mention at this point that there is a copy of the Referee's map at the end of the adventure, but this time without the rom numbers. The unnumbered map is also included as a hi-res stand alone JPG. Yep, Purple Duck Games understands what is useful to enhance a game session being run online via one of the various VTTs or even Google+ Hangouts. It's little things like this that mean a lot.

Did I mention that the PDF is bookmarked? Unlike larger PDFs, this wasn't needed, but again is a nice touch and certainly useful for navigation.

I am going to make one small suggestion for the future - maybe a second copy of the GM's map can be added in the next release (this suggestion applies to pretty much all adventure publishers). It would make reading the PDF that much easier if I could have a copy of the map and a copy of the PDF side by side on my monitor as I read through the adventure. If you think about it, this is why the early TSR adventures were printed on the inside of the removable adventure cover - so the map and the text could be read side by side. Just a thought.

Back to the adventure. There are a handful of magic items. Nearly all are single use, and maybe not even that many uses. Still, a party that perseveres to the end should be amply rewarded. Well, maybe not amply, but rewarded on some level ;)

As for the adversaries, they range from strength in numbers to damn dangerous on their own, which is one of the reasons I like the DCC RPG so much - everything can be a threat.

I'd love to delve deeper into the adventure itself - it is a wizard's workshop and you can guess that much of the fun is related to that fact, but I'd hate to give away a spoiler. I suspect it will be a decent challenge to a 2nd level DCC RPG party and I look forward to running it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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