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    The Revelation of Mulmo DCC RPG
    Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 03/20/2014 21:58:13

    Tons of fun stuff in here. A new batch of patrons, a fay and highly dangerous and interesting location, lots of new monsters, some heavy duty artifacts, a new playable race (sort of a theme in Mr. Bishop's works, lately). A wide range of subtle references to fantasy lore (even some Disney!).

    My favorite part is its treatment of elves as dangerous and untrustworthy alien entities, and to a one, every elf encountered in this locale ought to be eyed askance. Most level 4 DCC characters are going to be pretty sturdy types but this one seems like it would put even a stout group of heroes through its paces...

    Nicely written and illustrated, nicely laid out. All around worth a purchase, on sale or no. Enough good original material to merit a week of reading and plenty of play



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Revelation of Mulmo DCC RPG
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    Crawl! fanzine no. 9
    Publisher: STRAYCOUCHES PRESS
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/24/2014 14:04:29

    I try not to gush whenever I read or review something by Daniel Bishop, and the Crawl! series in general is pretty great. Daniel's practically running the show on a small corner of the DCC universe and it seems he doesn't slow down, or if he does slow down then he must have a backlog of stuff waiting to be published... (note: I think this is actually the case). Disclosure: I love H.P. Lovecraft - like many of the people who might read this blog, Ol' Granpa landed on me in my formative years, after I got some references in the Deities and Demigods and found him in my High School library in maybe the 10th grade. So it goes for many of us, yeah? This story is so common, and creative people know HPL so well that the popular culture is inundated with Cthulhu references and He Who Sleeps in R'l'yeh A-Waiting is cutesy-fied and belittled and now Mythos elements are creeping up on Primetime TV! I don't do TV so I can't watch it, but it's for the best since I don't need my Sanity blasted any further. If I were paranoid, I would say... but anyways I digress.

    This funnel adventure draws upon one of my favorite hair-raising Lovecraft stories that doesn't itself contain Mythos elements, and then pops that story into the context of a Weird Fantasy world. I won't tell you which one, but if you gobbled down lustily all of Lovecraft's works in your youth like I did, I imagine your ears will perk up like mine did in about 5 seconds and your hairs will be on end in short order. In fact, it appears that Bishop anticipates this and maybe it happened even in playtesting since there is reference to a way to handle stubborn players who won't get with the flow of the fiction... An attempt to curb a lifetime of player knowledge, probably, in a subsection of the population whose fandom would never allow them to eat something from those generous woodsy folks who never come into town except to buy salt and nitrates.

    I think that this'd be a great way to get a funnel group started in a low-magic Weird Fantasy campaign, or even as an interlude in a normal campaign, maybe to set events up for a party of ass-kickers to find what's left of the first group... The TPK would be satisfying but not a foregone conclusion, although it does appear (on paper) to be pretty dangerous. I've not played it yet but I found that, like the story it's based on, the more I read, the more I knew for certain what was coming next until the inevitable conclusion hits with a horrendous wet smack, or a dribble of unidentifiable fluid from the rafters above... This anxious expectation is IMHO the whole hook of this adventure; the wide-eyed grinning certainty and terror that you know for sure what is happening already and that finding the truth is the only inevitable outcome, and maybe if the gods are with you, your hero can put a stop to it...

    The art is great and moody, and suitably horrific - even the maps! I wouldn't probably want my kid to get her hands on it until she's about 13 or 14, but YMMV. Not for the faint of heart, for sure.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Crawl! fanzine no. 9
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    Adventures on Dungeon Planet
    Publisher: Chthonstone Games
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/08/2013 22:57:07

    Fun - takes the other half of those tropes from our fantastic and sci-fi heritage and injects them quickly and easily into a great and flexible rule set

    I like DW, I like robots and rocketmen. I like Martian Princesses and Rayguns

    There's some rules for space combat and such that I have not had come in handy but would be fun to try.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Adventures on Dungeon Planet
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    Carcosa
    Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/08/2013 22:52:07

    Beautifully crafted, horrible sinister in purpose, and if you look, there - just across the lake Hali - you can see the doom'd city come for you.

    Tightly integrated Sci-Fi/Fantasy Swords 'n' Planets thing, chock full and brimming with horrible Ancient Things and the mulit-hued men and women and other things that serve them. Take up blaster, power armor, psionics, and the most horrible of horrible rituals in your bid for domination, or whatever it is a proto-simian in your position would want

    One of the nicest-made PDFs I've come across and smart use of layers to make a pretty thing very practical to print

    Worth it, although to my mind some might object to the blatant Dire Motives and evil things to do in the rituals, but hey, this isn't Oz and once the kiddies are asleep you can crack this and slaughter your neighbors (in the fantasy narrative, please) to your Black Heart's content



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Carcosa
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    Demonic Powers
    Publisher: M.A.R Barker's World of Tekumel
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/08/2013 22:46:51

    A list of compelling and sometimes horrible adjectives, suitable for stage-dressing any document or frabulancerie you might make, kill, or illumniate

    Hey, it's loosely connected to the Most Horrible Gaming Book Ever Made, so you could do worse than to get your awfulness revved up this way.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Demonic Powers
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    CE 5 - Silent Nightfall
    Publisher: Purple Duck Games
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 11/18/2013 21:05:52

    Well, I mean, how METAL do you want your DCC games to get? Do you want to crank the dial up to 11?

    This one has a lot of cool ideas, cushioned in a suitably creepy and dangerous environ that most sensible players will turn their characters from and run. It's chock full of great sci-fantasy ideas, several very powerful hooks, a nuclear meltdown demon, blooderflies, and lots of twisted rusty metal. A secret organization of technology-worshiping madmen? Check.

    It ROX. I breathlessly anticipate killing some elves with this REDACTED.

    Also, it has the best on-paper declaration that all "patron"-like entities need not have the full gamut of 3 spells and the corruption and spellburn chart". Kind of a minor patron manifesto. I advocate for collecting as many minor patrons as you can and this campaign element has 2 maybe 3 "minor" patron-types. All they ask is to bring them the occasional soul, "get me back to the King of Elfland" , and pull a Lever or press a Button. That's not too much in exchange for the power to warp the very fabric of reality, is it?

    Anyway, if you dig scared villagers, silent-stalking owl people mutants, giant tunnels into the earth at which there is a sentient disaster waiting to occur, you could do worse than to grab this post haste.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    CE 5 - Silent Nightfall
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    Transylvanian Adventures
    Publisher: Land Of Phantoms
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 10/30/2013 23:58:36

    Chock full of great stuff and I am no doubt going to incorporate many things into my campaign soon

    That said, I feel like maybe (although I confess I snapped it up ASAP) the thing needs a little more polish. Some layout issues in the tables for character generation and others, a wide variety of tiny typos (mostly missed spaces for some reason). I'm not sure if the character sheet near the end is a final version - it seems like it maybe suffered from some artifacts of the scanning/compression/enlargement/reduction thing - it's grainy and pixelated (this is page 286). I don't remember the sheets in the entry module looking this way and I think they might be hard to use on paper. Still, they are very very cool and better than the original DCC sheets IMHO (also seem like a positive influence from DW/AW)

    The artwork is great - kinda Edward Gorey in places - and the ideas and tone are awesome and just the kind of thing I am looking for. There is an influence from Dungeon World, I think, and that's for the best. I have waited very long for this (my ears perked up at the first rumor) and it's good but sell no wine before its time - I'm not sure if I can change my rating with an update, but it's only a number of small things in the layout of the thing that nag. Overall, (and I confess maybe I can wait until the whole has sunk in), I'm impressed with the integration of new ideas, particularly Ruin and the PC classes and all the great random charts that I have come to associate with DCC

    Please don't let my comments give you the impression I don't like it. Obviously, since it came out mere hours ago I haven't incorporated all this good stuff into a game, yet and maybe I'm a little hasty or something in my remarks but I hope they are taken in the spirit they are given. Good work overall - a little buffing will make the shiny thing fairly gleam in the dark



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Transylvanian Adventures
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    Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
    Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 09/02/2013 00:07:05

    A buddy of mine on G+ recommended Vornheim, solely for the clever rules about buying up objects and pricing things on the fly. Well, suffice it to say that there is a wealth of interesting and useful tidbits scattered liberally throughout this work. The setting is wonky and novel, with very little Tolkien and plenty of Hunter S. Thompson. I don't frequent Zak's pages, but I do get occasional updates on his particularly useful house rules, and almost all of them I incorporate into my game (MY DIRTY LITTLE HEART OF LIES SAYS THAT I MADE THESE THINGS UP AND I COULD HAVE THOUGHT THESE NICIES UP MYSEL) Ahem. The fact of the matter is, Zak doesn't think like you do, and you could never have thought these interesting things up. Snakes as spellbooks? Pssh. That's as cool and as novel as the backside of a pillow, with a Poppy Z. Brite book underneath, with interesting and suspicious stains on the special pages.

    The "house generation" rules are great guidelines and a good skill to foment in your braincase, the random NPC and hook charts are delightful, and the art is nice, too. Hey, you could spend that 9 bucks on tasteful porn, but spend it on this instead and get your brain thinking in a different and more fun direction! Or whatever! I don't judge.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
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    Transylvanian Adventures: The Winter Home
    Publisher: Land Of Phantoms
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 08/20/2013 23:24:03

    Nicely done! The whole reverberates with Hammer vibes, as promised in the description. Lurid, dangerous, and ethically charged (personally, I'd give the bandit up quick as a wink to stay on the WHOOPS SPOILER).

    This is just the kind of work I have come to expect and admire from this group of people, well written, with good flow and path choices that make for a double-whammy. Strange that a main Big Bad is literally within feet of the front door of the thing, but hey, we're hunting dark forces here.

    A tantalizing work, and I look forward to the full shebang when it comes. The character sheets are a wonder, and a model of what good ones ought to look like. I think this is just the kind of module my group would play of a wintry eve, and one I would be happy to run for them.

    The only criticism I have is that the primary body font (identified as Didot) hurts my eyes - I don't know if this is a rendering issue on my end or what, but it makes the reading of the thing a torrid affair. At 300% zoom it still sort of looks spindly, and although it's a classy font I read it all in one sitting(with a mild headache) and wish I could change it somehow. It does give the whole thing a nice "gaslight" feel, but if I could offer a suggestion to the publishers it would be to go with something with some more weight in the crossbars, and that doesn't get all jaggly at the intended size (maybe this could get fixed with some settings in the render of the .PDF, I don't know). Otherwise, a really nice module and I think the Fear saves merit yoinks-ing into my Barrowmaze campaign, as well as use of the silvered weapons for harming undead (I rarely use this myself since it would end it TPKs in the Barrowmaze, but YMMV of course).

    Altogether, beautiful work and the art and cartography is nice, too. I think it's excellent that people take the basic framework of DCC and put these kinds of fresh spins on a thing that is chock full of freshness, already. If you're looking for the new classes, then you may want to wait for the full work, and if you object to semi-historical settings based in Europe, then I think this might be easily switched over to your standard Horror/Fantasy portion of your world.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Transylvanian Adventures: The Winter Home
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    Creator Reply:
    Just wanted to note that the font in the Transylvanian Adventures core book was changed from Didot to Adobe Garamond Pro. I'll get around to updating the font for Winter Home once the work from Transylvanian Adventures slows down. Thanks for the feedback. I wanted you to know it had a positive and (hopefully) noticeable impact.
    Pulp Weird Encounters #1: The Tomb of Squonk and the Silent Army
    Publisher: Mystic Bull Games
    by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/01/2013 10:50:05

    In "The Tomb of the Squonk", the foolhardy adventurers would probably suffer a TPK either at the hands of the Squonk himself or in their efforts to assist him. I think it would be a good evening's one-off game and maybe even a mixed funnel/regular party adventure, in that it seems very likely to me that players not conversant in the old ways would suffer many many casualties. It has a couple of good tie-ins to multiplanar adventures and even a useful long-standing enemy/patron concept.

    The Silent Army poses some excellent ethical dilemmas at the outset, and is fairly straightforward after that. The antagonist would probably make short work of a low-level party but the difficulty could be moderated by adjusting stats down or up, and its power for assimilation could be used for much consternation among players who are attached to characters.

    I would love to play these as a DM, gleefully cackling and whisking players into the hearts of a sun or implanting nanobot coated spikes into brains. For my part, I would even enjoy having a couple of characters die this way. That said, I happen to play with folks who do get attached to characters, who would probably sulk about a few rooms with little loot very deadly traps. I might add I don't think players like this ought to play DCC owing to its bent for lethality.

    They're both short, linear, and suitably weird and pulpy in that they involve extra-dimensional or extraplanetary adversaries, and likely a lot of fun to play of an evening. I am going to introduce the Patricians into my own campaign, probably, just to mix things up and make for some weird unexpected Appendix N stuff. Actually, these kinds of strange and varied adventurers are exactly what DCC is good for and they make a good match.

    Might be a hard sell for players coming from, say, D&D 3.5 or pathfinder or something but they'll learn a new way, eventually.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Pulp Weird Encounters #1: The Tomb of Squonk and the Silent Army
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