I've finally had time to read Vol. 1 of Dispatches from Raven Crowking. I think it is excellent! There is so much fantastic advice regarding game-running and adventure writing that I'm sure many people, both novices and veterans, can benefit. Daniel Bishop does a great job of using clear, concise language to make his points with just enough elaboration to flesh things out without invoking "yes, I get it already" skimming. My favorite 3 articles are "Choices, Context, and Consequences," "Prepare for the Epic Endgame," and "Devising Initial Adventures for Dungeon Crawl Classics." I often found myself nodding along in agreement, and saying things to myself like, "Oh yeah, good point," and "Crap, I need to that more often." Excellent reading all around!
The only (very minor) gripes I had was that I felt like "Shanthopal," "Learning Spells on the Fly," and "Ammonites" seemed out of place and somewhat incongruous to the adventure-running-and-writing advice that occupies so much of the text. Admittedly, "Learning Spells on the Fly" may be a necessary postscript to "Devising Initial Adventures" but the inclusion of the other two articles was a little jarring. As I said before, these are minor gripes. In a perfect world, with no resource or time constraints, I'd have loved to see Daniel go beyond the brief examples given, and "break down" in detail selected elements of his Purple Duck adventures to elucidate the concepts he discussed. I think this would have tied everything together nicely and made a more coherent collection, rather than including the aforementioned 2 or 3 articles. I understand that such things are often impractical, but "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and all that.
I hope that "Vol. 1" means that a second volume is in the works. I have great respect for Daniel's artistry with the DCC ruleset, and hope that a collection of house rules and/or rules expansions/interpretations will someday be present in a unified collection (e.g., the Peasant Deed, Learning Spells on the Fly, etc.). Thanks again Daniel Bishop and Purple Duck Games for the great read!
[5 of 5 Stars!]