Friday, 25 May 2018

Fae Hard

Fae Hard is a 0-level funnel adventure written by James A. Pozenel, Jr., based on a concept by David W. Fisher. Illustration is by David W. Fisher. Cartography is by Del Teigeler. The publisher is Shinobi 27 Games.

Disclosure: I backed the successful kickstarter that this was a stretch goal for.

This adventure is inspired by, and an homage to, the 1988 film, Die Hard. Knowing something about the movie will make the adventure more enjoyable, but I am happy to say that, while the adventure uses themes and situations from Die Hard, it doesn't attempt to reproduce the movie itself. Instead, it gives you a funnel adventure taking place inside a faerie mound. As a stretch goal for Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition, the adventure not only (appropriately) deals with fay creatures, but deals with patrons. Two patrons are reproduced from the Elfland Edition volume.

“Terrorists have seized Nakato... No, that’s not right.
Unseelie faeries have seized Noc Marb...”

Long enslaved in a faerie mound for past dealings with the local fey, you wake to the slaughter of your jailers. Is this your chance to escape? Will you rescue your overlords? It's time to FAE HARD!

Get It Here!


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Incursion of the Ultradimension

MCC #3: Incursion of the Ultradimension is a 2nd level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure written by Michael Curtis. Art is by Doug Kovacs (cover and cartography), Tom Galambos, Friedrich Haas, Stefan Poag, Chad Sergesketter, and Mike Wilson. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Disclosure: I have a playtesting credit on this product.

This was the first Mutant Crawl Classics adventure that I actually ran or played, and it has survival horror written all over it. Overbold PCs will likely die early. Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

The last line of the final paragraph on page 20 unfortunately is completed after the header on page 21. This isn't a serious problem; just something to be aware of.

It rises — silent, ancient, and ominous — from the depths of the Monster Ocean.

A curious relic of the Ancient Ones, long forgotten beneath the waves. Then, without warning, alien creatures never before seen on Terra A.D. spill forth the ravage the land! This is the Retreat of Delirium, home to strange super-science and creatures not of this world.

What fiendish plans do they have in store for the rad-blasted world of Terra A.D.? Venture through the Retreat’s glowing door and discover what awaits beyond!

Hive of the Overmind

MCC #1: Hive of the Overmind is a 0 level Mutant Crawl Classics funnel adventure written by Julian Bernick. Art is by Stefan Poag (including cover and cartography), Chris Arneson, Tom Galambos, and Cliff Kurowski. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

Younglings on their Rite of Passage are shocked to regain consciousness with no memory of how they came to be in a gigantic insect hive far to the north of their homelands, laboring as drone-slaves of the savage ant-men. In a land where an “insect revolution” has taken place, the PCs must contend with insectoid mega fauna and a maze-like underground installation before facing the ominous Overmind: a building-sized insect queen cybernetically linked to an ancient chaotic AI.

The Ghoul Prince

The Ghoul Prince is a 2nd level adventure by Zzarchov Kowolski. Art is by Alex Mayo (including cover). Cartography is by Dyson Logos. The publisher is DIY RPG Productions.

Disclosure: I have been offered a print copy of this product for free in exchange for this listing. I paid for the pdf version, and I would have made this listing anyway.

This adventure begins with an interesting premise. Note that I am not talking about the premise of the adventure itself, but the premise of how the adventure is written. The author writes:

"So this adventure is starting with a weird question I’ve been playing around with: how easy can you make it to slot a published adventure into the wildly different campaign settings of actual tables, without destroying all the flavour and actual value of that adventure as a useful tool."

"The idea is that there is a central frame of an adventure with a lot of set dressing that is used to cement it into a setting. The frame of the adventure is unchanging, while the set dressing is specifically labelled with an accompanying index so the GM can reference
notes with what is on the page.

These are not just cosmetic changes, and they do impact the play of the game."

This is an interesting framing device, but it takes space to convey. Examples of using this adventure location as a barrow, a desert tomb, and an alpine mausoleum are provided. There is space to create your own frame using these as examples. To make better use of the adventure, consider using the alternative frames when devising other sites of your own. By using bits and pieces of a given frame across several adventures, you can get full value for those you do not include as part of your version of The Ghoul Prince proper.

The Ghoul Prince himself is a great adversary, and is given appropriate (but easy to use) mechanics to promote his role in the adventure. The judge will may have to create stats for some creatures, although the author took this into consideration and offers the judge easy ways to avoid it.  Still, I prefer full statblocks be included for all creatures, and there lack herein is the only serious failing I see with the adventure as written. On the other hand, this does make the adventure easier to adjust for other level parties.

Overall, monsters and setting elements are good and flavorful, but if the judge doesn't do her prep work, she may find herself flipping pages - a lot! - during actual play. The pdf is password-protected, but content copying is allowed, so it would be possible to cut & paste the details you need into a single document, and then print it before game time. I would recommend this. I would also take the time to copy statblocks you might need from the core rulebook so that you don't need to look them up at the table.

By introducing some holograms and medical-superscience, this would also work well as a Mutant Crawl Classics adventure. The framing set-up would allow it to work with Crawljammer, Umerica, Transylvanian Adventures, or any other setting you might wish. It would even work well in something like Nowhere City Nights or the Brimstone of Black Powder, Black Magic.

The adventure also includes a full patron write-up for the Bone Lady: "a powerful demon that takes the form of an old crone. She haunts the wilderness around the tomb (in a regional sense) and appears only at night. When encountered or summoned, she will be next to a magically appearing crater filled with bones that she stirs and tends with a long pole. Anyone who peers into the pit to see its contents must make a DC 12 Will Save or be driven to dig out their own skeleton and add it to the pit, becoming frantically obsessed with doing so." 

This patron does not grant unique spells, but offers ones which already appear in the core rules.

Get It Here!


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Data Orb of Metakind

MCC #8: The Data Orb of Metakind was written by Jim Wampler, with additional writing by Tim Kask. Art is by Stefan Poag (cover), Tom Galambos, Friedrich Haas, Barrie James, Cliff Kurowski, Jesse Mohn, and Chad Sergesketter. The publisher is Goodman Games.

The Glowburn podcast has devoted two episodes to Pure Strain Humans in Mutant Crawl Classics. You can find them here and here. Questions get raised because part of the design of Mutant Crawl Classics is that artifacts will create part of the balance of the emergent game. This product is, in a way, an example of how to do so.

In a way, Quest For It may be even more important to Mutant Crawl Classics Pure Strain Human PCs than it is to Dungeon Crawl Classics PCs - but then, there are far more game-altering artifacts in the average Mutant Crawl Classics campaign to quest for. Strange items that might kill you, or might elevate you above the common lot of your kind, are as important to adventure design as are strange mutated creatures that probably want to kill you. Again, this product is a strong example of the kind of game-altering artifact the PCs might attempt to recover.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

For the first time, an entire 24-page supplement devoted to a single artifact of the Ancient Ones!

The most holy of ancient relics, The Data Orb of Metakind has been passed down between tribal shamans and mystic mutants from generation to generation for thousands of years. If you can successfully bond with the golden orb’s AI, tetrabytes of arcane technological data can be yours, if you but survive its use.

For while knowledge is power, it comes at a price.

Crawling Under A Broken Moon Compilation

The Crawling Under a Broken Moon Compilation was written by Reid San Filippo with guest authors Anna Costa, Benjamin Baugh, Bob Brinkman, Chris Tamm, Daniel J. Bishop, David Baity, David VC, Diogo Nogueira, Eric Fabiaschi, Jon Carnes, Kevin Searle, Nate Marcel, Quinn Coffman, R. Dale Bailey Jr, Ryan Moore, Sean Ellis, Talon Waite, and Tim Bruns. Original cover art is by Aaron “Nunkeymutts”, Brad Morris, Claytonian JP, James Yoder, Lee Anthony Deadpoolrus DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Matt Hildebrand, Reid San Filippo, Sarah Richardson, Stu Rase, and Todd McGowan. Original interior art is by Aaron “Nunkeymutts”, Anna Costa, Brad Morris, Claytonian, CY, David Coppoletti, David Wayne Lutz, Diogo Nogueira, Frank Turfler Jr., Fred Dailey, H-Box, Hovig ghostontheshell DeviantArt CC BY-SA3, James Yoder, Lee Anthony Deadpoolrus DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Mark Bulahao DeviantArt (CC BY ND3), Matt Hildebrand, Matt Jordan, Matthew Zatkoff, Maxime “ChaosFeeder” Beaulac, DeviantArt (CC BY-ND 3.0), Mitchell Hudson, Naam (naamaak.blogspot.com), Nate Marcel, Ray Otus, Reid San Filippo, Richard Tingley, Rick Kammer, Sarah Richardson, and Todd McGowan. The publisher is Shield of Faith Studios.

Disclosure: I am a Guest Author.

Inside you will find a new Foreword by Jim Wampler.

Following this there is a Table of Contents by Issue, followed by the immensely useful Alphabetical Monster Listings, Alphabetical PC Class Listings, and Alphabetical Locations Listings.

For more information on each issue, see individual listings:

Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
Issue #4
Issue #5
Issue #6
Issue #7
Issue #8
Issue #9
Issue #10
Issue #11
Issue #12
Issue #13
Issue #14
Issue #15
Issue #16
Issue #17
Issue #18

The first four issues can also be found in Crawling Under a Broken Moon Zine Collection Volume 1, Issues 1-4.

Get It Here!




Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood

MCC #5: Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood is a 4th level Mutant Crawl Classics adventure by Harley Stroh. Art is by Doug Kovacs (including cover and cartography), Cliff Kurowski, Eric Lofgren, Jesse Mohn, and Stefan Poag. The publisher is Goodman Games.

Because this is recent (at the time of this writing, available only to backers of the highly successful Mutant Crawl Classics kickstarter), further information will have to await a wider release.

When your tribe’s prize possession — a functioning medibot — finally breaks down, your Seeker team is given a holy quest. Take the dead bot on a long and perilous journey to the the monks of The Holy Medicinal Order in hopes that their shamans can repair it. But the monks are not as the legends portray, and there is definitely something dark and dangerous going on in the holy monastery.