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Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
 
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Average Rating:4.2 / 5
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Larry L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2011 07:33:14
Nicely done. Very good for starting players new to the game. A bit hokey with the shrunken part, but easily sidesteped. It seems to me I downloaded a supplement that fleshed out the Welwyn and a few of the significant characters. That was great support.

I want more of the same - on both counts. Well done.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/22/2007 00:00:00
Nothing harder then starting the first after Gen Con review. But luckily I prepared for it and had a really fun product in mind to get me back into the review swing of thing. It is an adventure, and a fun one that is easy to insert into an existing campaign. That is exactly what I did. I did a bit of foreshadow but not too much as it is a low level module but the set up was easy. Adventures are one of the most useful things on the market and it is a shame they do not sale well. But Goodman Games I think it making the adventures people want to buy and play. They have many others that are like this one, easy to use, highly creative, and challenging. That is pretty muxch everything I want from a module.

The Dragonfiend Pact is an adventure for second level characters by Goodman Games. Goodman Games has this brilliant line of adventures called Dungeon Crawl Classics of which this is the eleventh in the series. The modules are all designed like the old style great adventures of first edition. They have really captured the feel and creativeness of them and possible most importantly the look. The blue colored maps seem to be the exact shade of the old maps that lots of us grew up with. The modules is written by Chris Doyle who?s name I have seen on a few other things and he seems like an up and comer in the industry. One of the nice things about the module is the size as it is only sixteen pages long. The best thing though is the two dollar price tag. I am not one to usually mention price, but a module this cheap there is no excuse not to own three.

The adventure is for low level characters and starts in a town like so many others. The town is not detailed as the adventure starts with the party going down the well. This is my one and only complaint about the module. I would have preferred a bit of a mystery allowing the characters to follow some clues and find their way to the well instead of just starting there. This is change though is simple to do and it is what I did when I ran the module. The modules for me made complete sense. There were no encounters that made me wonder why this creature was there or parts that made no sense. There are traps but the text shows why they are there and again it makes sense for there to be traps but also in the placements of the traps. I am pleased to say that the traps work very well catching most of my players each time.

Some spoilers as I do not want to give way the whole module here, but there was one other thing I did change. One of the adversaries is a lycanthrope and I did not want to deal with characters getting the disease in my campaign so I altered him out. This affected the back story some but I was able to fill in the holes and move the story along with in an existing campaign. That was one thing that really impressed me with the module. I was able to use what they provided and fill and a few things here and there to make is fit seamlessly in my own campaign .

It is a fun little module filled with some small creatures that really prove size matters. It has creative encounters and fun potential. Actually while I have yet to get all the Dungeon Crawl Classics I really have not been disappointed in what I have seen at all. This seems a really good line of books to collect and own. Goodman Games really has a hit product line on their hands here.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/27/2006 00:00:00
By whatever means the DM chooses to devise, the PCs are convinced to investigate thievery in a small town, venturing into a cavern system below the town's well. In order to investigate beyond a certain point, the party must use a conveniently placed stock of potions to reduce themselves to rat-size, making many alterations to the encounters that follow.

This is a relatively short low-level encounter with only a few surprises or unusual events beyond the main set-up. The final encounter is dangerous for this level, especially for Tiny people, but circumstances work to the party's advantage. The history of Welwyn conceals several twists that the PCs may not completely resolve in this encounter.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Mark G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/09/2005 00:00:00
?Dungeon Crawl Classics #11 ? The Dragonfiend Pact? is a 20 page pdf 2nd level adventure for the d20 system published by Goodman Games. It has always been the goal of the dungeon crawl classic line to provide you with an adventure that:

a) doesn?t waste your time with long winded speeches.
b) aren?t set in a weird campaign setting.
c) have Npcs that are meant to be killed.

Essentially, they should remind you off adventures like B3, and not FRC2, if you are old enough to know what product have those codes. It should be ?a 100% dungeon crawl, with monsters you know, traps you know, and secret doors you know must be there.? So how does the 11th entry in this long running series fair?

The story revolves around a series of robberies in a small town and an even deeper political power struggle for control of the town. The module is broken up into essentially two sections, the first details a secret area underground connected to the town?s well. It is to this well that the thief is thought to have escaped. The second part of the module details another lair, this time belonging to the Dragonfiend of the products title. This section of the adventure can only be reached through the use of specialty magic items designed to facilitate the adventure (plot device).

For being a self-confessed dungeon crawl, the module presents a lot of variety in the types of encounters offered. As this is a low level module and the PCs do need some specialty equipment to have a good chance of success, a number of helpful incidental items have been planted in the adventure to give the PCs an even chance at success even at some of the harder encounters. There are a good mix of monster battles, secret doors, traps and an encoded message to decipher (I think my group pieced it together in 30 minutes of dedicated study; I have never seen them so determined to solve a puzzle.) The challenges range from 1 through 6, presenting a fairly wide range but as I stated earlier tools necessary to overcome the harder challenges have be interspersed into the adventure. These tools (like masterwork silver daggers) are inserted in a natural way and seem to fit in natural, instead of some modules that have pedestals with glowing artefact (geez, I wonder if we need the uber magic sword to win) or other contrived solutions. My players found the adventure challenging at some parts but felt that overall it was a very balanced game.

Overall this is a really strong, really cheap, adventure from Goodman Games that hits a lot of their design targets. However, it?s the ?weird campaign? setting that this adventure fails on. As you?ve I?m sure the product description you know that, ?the heroes must shrink themselves with potions of improved reduce person and explore a series of dangerous rat warrens where their prey is larger than they are!? This leads to some really interesting gameplay in the second half of the module but to my group it also felt awkward.

By taking these potions, the characters are reduced to Tiny or Diminutive size which alters the player character?s weapon damage, attack bonus, and skill modifiers. Although this was clearly laid out and easy to follow, it was very time consuming and required many adjustments to our character sheet. This stopped the flow of the game and disrupted the module for me. My suggestion would be to not adjust the character?s statistics, but instead use some planning time and scale the monster?s up appropriately, that way the game won?t stall out here. (So Badgers would go up 2 size categories to large) This will create more work for you the DM, but its your prep work out of game instead of in game time lost.




LIKED: Cheap, Cheap, Cheap
Balanced adventure.
Nice mix of monsters, traps, secret doors, and a nice cryptography puzzle
Shh!!! don't tell Goodman Games, although all NPCs with stats are meant to be killed, there are a good number of unstatted NPC that could partake in excellent non-combat encounters. We actually interact with many NPCs at length and found it helpful. (Even though not necessary)


DISLIKED: Size altering mechanics complicated enough that when applied to players at the table, it will likely wreck the flow of the adventure.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Gary T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2005 00:00:00


LIKED: The price. An excellent value for the money.

DISLIKED: The characters having to run around the size of lilliputians is not to everyone's taste.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Jason W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2005 00:00:00
I like the whole concept of this line of adventures. One of the things I've really disliked about the direction adventures have gone now days is the need for writers to fill in an entire region around every module. I don't need that. I have my own world and I enjoy having adventures I can just plop in where I want them without having to either re-write a good chunk of the adventure or have to change my world to fit the adventure. Being able to just drop these adventures in when I need them fills a badly needed hole I feel.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Thomas E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/08/2005 00:00:00
Overall a fun adventure that had the players excited and also laughing at times. Monsters were challenging and the main foes were memorable. At first the players thought they were going to have an extremely difficult time as wee folk, but after an encounter or two, they got more into the swing of things. Overall, lots of fun and we used this adventure as a one-shot break from our normal campaign.

LIKED: The artwork and style of the adventuree was quite nice, in keeping with the other modules in the Dungeon Crawl Classics series.

DISLIKED: One particular encounter was a bit overpowering for the PCs since the terrain was hugely in favor of the monster. I had to re-work it so that the monster withdrew after taking damage.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2004 00:00:00
Fun 'small' adventure with a very interesting quirk. Takes me back to the old days without necessarily sacrificing the strengths of the d20 ruleset, I have enjoyed all the DCC modules I have bought so far.

LIKED: Great price, good concept, retro style maps and illos. For the price it can't be beat.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Matthew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2004 00:00:00
Goodman Games may be one of the greatest publishers of d20 adventures. Their ?throwback? dungeon crawls are quickly becoming things of legend among gamers, presenting great adventures at reasonable prices, especially factoring in their PDF market. [I]The Dragonfiend Pact[/I], by Chris Doyle is certainly one of those adventures that will be an excellent addition to any GM?s collection. The fact that it can be purchased in PDF format for $2.00; this is a ?must buy.?

One of the greatest things about [I]The Dragonfiend Pact[/I] (like many of the Goodman Games adventures) is the fact that it can be dropped into any campaign with such a minimal amount of effort with only the need to change some of the names and places to make it seem like it fights right into one of the GM?s campaigns.

In [I]The Dragonfiend Pact [/I] the PCs find themselves in the middle of a mystery. They must find out who is stealing treasure from a small town and find out how are the culprits smuggling the ill-gotten gains out of the town even though the town is under tight security. In addition to solving the crime, getting down and dirty (quite literally, actually), there is some political intrigue, some unusual characters and even the chance for romance. Naturally, the GM can add or subtract any of these if they wish, but there is certainly enough available for the GM to provide a few nights worth of entertainment.

Without giving too much of the plotline away, the basic premise of the adventure involves tracking down the perpetrators of a crime at the bequest of the young, na?ve and attractive mayoress of a small village. The adventure takes the characters underground and through a network of caverns to discover and confront the mysterious criminals. In classic ?dungeon crawl? format, most of the excitement takes place in a series of encounters, all culminating in a fun and memorable adventure. Whether the GM and the players are the ?beer & pretzels? crowd or the serious hardcore types, there is certainly something for everyone to love.

One of the specific things I found endearing about this product (and it can be said for almost any of Goodman Games? products) is the ?throwback? feel. I admit it. I?m getting old. At age 31, I can look back fondly on the old 1st edition [I]Advanced Dungeons & Dragons[/I] and remember how much fun I had and adventures like [I]The Dragonfiend Pact [/I] brought it all back. The style of the writing, the Erol Otis style of art (by Jason Edwards and Brad McDevitt) and the exciting sense of adventure, all allow me to reminisce. Any of you who remember (as I do), many Saturdays spent playing [I]AD&D[/I] until as long as my parents let me, know exactly what I am talking about.

Overall [I]The Dragonfiend Pact[/I] is a solid adventure because the writing is well organized, the plot is clever but not overly complicated and the GM has the freedom to make changes to the plot without really affecting the integrity of the adventure. Certainly, it is not the most brilliant piece ever written but I can certainly say that it is better than many adventures being published, these days.

Another thing that impressed me involved the way that the characters become involved with the adventure. Many adventures make a draconian attempt to force characters to become involved (the king orders them, someone tricks them, etc.) Much like the great adventures of the early 1980?s, the plot is straightforward, giving the characters the ability to control their own destiny. More often than not, players are fully aware of when they are being railroaded and I can promise that most players resent it.

[I]The Dragonfiend Pact[/I] is really the kind of adventure that most companies should emulate when trying to put together their own adventure. With the PDF market as open and successful as it is, more people should take advantage of producing adventures of such high quality with low production costs. Gamers and companies could both benefit equally. As I said, whereas there is nothing brilliant or groundbreaking bout [I]The Dragonfiend Pact[/I], there is a subtle dignity involved with how it creates its? story and can provide entertainment for the group with minimal preparation by the GM.

I give this a 4 out of 5.

LIKED: Playability and excitement.

DISLIKED: It would have been nice to have had some more unusual monsters or maybe even a puzzle or a trap.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #11: The Dragonfiend Pact
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Jason S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2004 00:00:00
AN excellent take on a dragon based dungeon crawl. An inovative enough encounter to make the adventure worth running. You willl need to do some work fleshing out the areas outside the dungeon to make this adventure really work for your game and some DM's may bawk at the lycanthropic enemy ( a very weid choive of were creature).

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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