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Dungeon Crawl Classics #23: The Sunken Ziggurat
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #23: The Sunken Ziggurat
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #23: The Sunken Ziggurat
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/25/2006 00:00:00

I do not know if I should be insulted or what. I ran Dungeon Crawl Classics: #23 and my party said? well let me just quote them:

?Best adventure we have ever had?. ?That was great? ?Great way to start a new chapter in the game?

These were just a couple of the compliments I got form players after running Goodman Games Classics #23: The Sunken Ziggurat. Not to say I do not receive compliments like that, but rarely are they that highly graded. And there is good reason for the Sunken Ziggurat receiving such high remarks. It is one of the best modules I have read and ran with each level of the dungeon an entirely new experience.

For those unfamiliar with Goodman Games, they write wonderful adventure modules called Dungeon Classics and lie to people and tell them that all the NPCs are suppose to be killed. They remind me of the big ole bully in high school. He may talk about how many people he beats up, but we all know who that sultry soprano voice in the glee club is coming from. In any case, this adventure has at least 2 NPCs whom are not suppose to be killed (or at least are not killed by a good party), thus disproving the Dungeon Classics creed.

For the Dungeon Master

This adventure has a Babylonian theme yet fits into any campaign setting with a swampy area to hide some ancient ziggurat. The adventure starts off with some exciting out of the temple combat with a fun magic item found. Then the PCs descend into the ziggurat fighting some of the uniquely created creatures by Goodman Games such as the Tablet Golem (whom now has a permanent NPC roll in my campaign ?that that Goodman Games that is three NPCs not killed). There is not a lot in the way of unique magic items, but there is a game altering potion of youth that has the potential to change your game. The theme of the adventure is stopping an evil god from manifesting itself in your game world.

For the Dungeon Master Whom is Afraid that a Module would Ruin His Own Amazingly Created Classic Adventures

Get over yourself. Even I, the Iron DM, knows that every one of my adventures is not as polished, crafted, written as most of the Goodman adventures. Moreover, their adventures are so loosely plotted and written that it makes it easy to incorporate your own campaign?s history and NPCs into the mix. My PCs are not fans of big ole dungeon crawls, but the sectioned chapters of the Sunken Ziggurat allowed me to take out one of the levels easily. In the beginning of the adventure, there is a chart of all of the encounters, furthering the easy of use factor by allowing you to preview and delete encounters you do not wish to partake in. If your party does not like lots of combat, take out some of the miscellaneous stuff. If your party does not like puzzles delete them as well. The Sunken Ziggurat is written to be expansive to a number of different gaming groups.

The Iron Word

The Sunken Ziggurat is great for the DM whom needs an entire adventure or one whom only needs portions. The theme is not too exotic where it does not fit into normal fantasy settings. The monsters are unique and the puzzles are creative and move the plot along. Best of all there are some really flavorful NPCs whom do not have to be killed. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: - The Babylonian theme is not very overbearing, allowing this dungeon to be in any swampy area in your campaign world

  • The chapter system of the book allows certain parts you do not wish to do to be taken out.
  • The writing is great. Every level feels like an ending and theres very little repeating. (FOr DMS: There are some neat ways to screw PCs in this adventure) <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: - I didnt find many of the handouts too useful. Most are pictures of areas. I prefer handouts to emphasize on the plot. Handouts of the various tokens would have been more useful and worth printing out. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #23: The Sunken Ziggurat
Publisher: Goodman Games
by Malcolm M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2006 00:00:00

The Sunken Ziggurat is yet another quality addition to the Dungeon Crawl Classics lineup. Author Richard Pocklington has created a solid D&D adventure with a fantasy-Babylonian flavor which sets it apart from almost every other D&D adventure out there.

The Sunken Ziggurat is an excellent "change of pace" adventure, and it doesn't require substantial changes to your player characters, their situation, or to your game world, in order to run. So long as you can accommodate the idea that an ancient Babylonian-style culture once existed in the history of your campaign world, you're good to go.

If you want to do the Indiana Jones thing, and have your player characters travel to distant lands to track down the mysterious Sunken Ziggurat that way, you can add all that in yourself.

As ever, Goodman Games understands the realities of the gaming table, and knows that many gaming groups need to get into the action as quickly as possible. So, whether the mysterious stone tablet takes your players to distant lands, or merely to a foreboding swamp in the player characters' home nation (implying that their medieval society is built above the buried remains of a lost ancient civilization), the adventure accomodates both story setups (and a few others), focusing instead on what happens after the player characters arrive at the fabled Sunken Ziggurat itself.

And what an adventure it is! The author obviously knows his Babylonian myth and history, but he has diligently turned history into fantasy, so that it all meshes perfectly with a baseline fantasy campaign's sensibilities. There are notes on how to handle the ancient fantasy-Babylonian language (called Unuul), even going so far as to suggest Unuul be treated as a forerunner of modern Common, so that modern-era player-characters might have a decent chance to read it.

Likewise, the author provides all the Babylonian-style names for the new creatures encountered herein, but only in parantheses. Each new creature has a more-familiar D&D style name for ease of gameplay.

Bardic Lore can be used to "remember" other key details about the lost civilization, if the requisite Knowledge skills are not with the players' party.

Simply put, this is a great dungeon crawl in the Goodman Games tradition. It's very fun, and -- as I intimated earlier -- it brings a kind of Indiana Jones feel to the proceedings, with the players immersed in ancient ruins, strange traps, and an exotic culture underlying it all.

Player-characters will find themselves dealing with a fascinating, yet unfamiliar, adventure site -- a place where they don't automatically recognize or understand the significance of everything they see.

And the creatures and monsters they battle won't all be familiar either. There are new challenges and new thrills to be had in combat as well. Like the best of the Dungeon Crawl Classics line, the Sunken Ziggurat is a fun, action-packed sword and sorcery romp. At a time when other companies -- including WotC itself -- insist that "adventure modules don't sell" Goodman Games continues to prove this assertion wrong.

Adventures like The Sunken Ziggurat show that Goodman Games understands the reality of the gaming table better than the competition. They know what a gaming group needs, why they need it, and how they need it presented. Action and fun rule, in adventures where the player characters and their choices are the focus of events, and player character actions have a genuine impact.

If you have a group of D&D players with some 5th to 7th level characters looking for some action, buy The Sunken Ziggurat. It's well-made, engaging, and a welcome change-of-pace from the usual medieval-style adventuring.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: Everything.

The artwork and player handouts do an excellent job of communicating the "exotic" setting to medieval-minded players.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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