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Fifth Edition Fantasy #4: War-Lock
by Benjamin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2017 14:01:36

All in all a solid product. The crowd I was DMing for were younger. They had some problems with the lead-up and found it hard to maintain their attention. I would highly recommend it for an adult audience, however. The concept behind the module is excellent.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #4: War-Lock
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2016 Halloween Module: The Sinister Sutures of the Sempstress
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2017 01:39:56

A friend asked me to run a one-shot for his birthday, and we happened to celebrate the weekend before Halloween. I did some digging and found this module. The birthday celebrant and the rest of our group are glad that I did! This adventure is appropriately creepy without going too far. There's a moderate amount of body horror, but it relies mostly on macabre imagry and building tension. The players particularly enjoyed the last scene, and not knowing what was the truth and what was a lie. I watched the players squirm, wondering which path to follow. We completed the adventure in about 4.5 hours, which is just right for a one-shot.

If you're looking for a DCC adventure to run on Halloween, I recommend The Sinister Sutures of the Sempstress!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2016 Halloween Module: The Sinister Sutures of the Sempstress
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2017 Halloween Module: Shadow Under Devil's Reef
by Karl S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2017 23:45:25

I was looking forward to finally running my first holiday-themed adventure, but I feel pretty let down by this one. The module starts with a fairly loose hook where the players had better want treasure for saving a princess. Much of the subsequent adventure bogs down in a shipwreck, which is filled not with the advertised Halloween (Cthulhu) theme but with faux-Indian six-armed demons and undead that bogs down under most rooms being packed with encounters that essentially punish the players for looting.

I've also found gammar/typographical errors in the module and I'm of the opinion that the folks at Goodman Games can do better than that.

Goodman games has numerous, far better modules that not only keep your players better entertained but also have a strong Halloween theme without the label.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2017 Halloween Module: Shadow Under Devil's Reef
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Fifth Edition Fantasy #2: The Fey Sisters' Fate
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2017 23:35:53

Hi, I ran this adventure as a first time DM to 4 seasoned players and they all really enjoyed the adventure as did I! Good fun with a few twists and turns along the way to keep everyone on their toes. A lot of very useful information and the readable narrative really helped me a lot. I added briarwood berries as a 1d4 heal and offered up the new background to a Paladin at the end of the advenure. Am looking at running Glitterdoom for their next adventure...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #2: The Fey Sisters' Fate
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Age of Cthulhu 4: Horrors from Yuggoth
by David D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/05/2017 13:32:35

Only 26 pages long. 5 of setup. 5 of 'arctic perils'. 10 of walrus men. and only 5 of actual mi-go. plus 10 pages of pregens and handouts.

the walrus men are ridiculous. totally camp. not scary at all. not what i was hoping for. the mi-go section was fine but at only 5 pages it was not worth the price of admission. everything else was competently executed.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Age of Cthulhu 4: Horrors from Yuggoth
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PC Pearls
by Bruce M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 15:30:11

This is an awesome book that can provide loads of inspirationand creativity for PC backgrounds. This is a must have for all kinds of players and Gamemasters alike. There is so much to this book that will help with developing character backgrounds. If you are one of those players whose character is just a bunch of numbers on a sheet and you don't do backgrounds then this product is not for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PC Pearls
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Dungeon Crawl Classics #86: The Hole In The Sky
by Jesse W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2017 22:51:35
Hole in the Sky, written by Brendan J. LaSalle, is among the more fan-adored and heavily reviewed adventures for Dungeon Crawl Classics. This fact invites the question as to why one would bother writing another review while so much information is already available with a single internet search. A fair question, to be sure. I, like many, scoured the web in search of tidbits to help the aspiring Judge in running this module. A number of excellent and invaluable points did aid my execution, leading to a satisfactory experience by both my players and myself. There are a few points during the story for which I wish I had been better prepared. To aid any future Judges, then, is my aim in writing this. What follows will include spoilers. If you have even a fleeting notion to participate in this adventure as a player, I implore you to read no further!

You have been warned.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Numerous reviews exist outlining the basic plot of Hole in the Sky, so my own overview will be brief. The PC’s have been living their mundane peasant lives plagued by the unshakable notion that they were destined for something greater. This notion begins to manifest itself as dreams confirming the same and directing them to join the mysterious Lady in Blue on a cliff overlooking the sea. Ultimately, this leads the characters to abandon their lives and do just that. The game begins with the characters arriving at the cliff and attending a banquet with the aforementioned blue woman. As an aside, I cannot think of a more elegant way to unite a party of peasants toward a quest of adventure than this device. Gone is the contrived and tenuous social contract, which often strains credibility, required to keep an adventuring party together. The simple threads binding the PC’s are in place and will be hold the party against any question before the quest’s end. Brilliant! The first place I encountered something outside of my expectation while Judging was with The Bridge. A simple affair, consisting of two meaningful events over a three day period, I was not prepared for the risk of how bland this can be without adequate consideration. It is vital, I think, to prepare to describe an interesting scene while gently building the tension that crossing an invisible bridge should invoke. If your players are anything like mine, failure to do so will leave them bored and ready to move on to the next thing. The next is in the management of time and resources once players have finally crossed through to the Prison Vale. Inside the titular hole, the PC’s will spot the prison structure in the distance and can cross the great distance in a mere four hours. There is a 1 in 6 chance of having a random encounter to be checked every two hours. The odds are that there simply won’t be any random encounters in the vale, which is a shame considering that a substantial amount of space is devoted to them and they represent the PC’s first opportunity to move beyond improvised weaponry. Should a 1 in 6 be rolled for an encounter, there is a 1 in 5 chance that a cache of random supplies are discovered and only a subsequent 1 in 6 chance that it is not hidden. In retrospect, I wish that I had provided such a cache if any reasonable area searching was done. Perhaps coupled with one of the other random encounter possibilities (CHAOS PIGS!). This adventure offers few opportunities for outfitting of any kind and the odds are not favorable that the encounter table will even be utilized. I will argue that Cur Maxima is the most interesting part of the module. Properly executed, her interactions with the PC’s will instill a healthy fear into them, moving the story along, and simultaneously making her a memorable, sympathetic villain. Contrasting the wonton violence of her actions with some polite and apologetic dialog is very effective at achieving both ends. When Drezzta is finally released from the cage, her first action is to destroy Cur Maxima. My greatest regret running Hole in the Sky was that I didn’t make this action more meaningful. Since the great pumpkin’s voice can be heard from anywhere within the prison, properly prepared I would have described Drezzta penetrating the walls of the structure in search of Cur Maxima and the dialog that followed. Polite, apologetic, and ultimately pleading before her screams are cut short. Despite my failure to create a moment of drama, the entire party was visibly affected by Cur Maxima’s death. So interesting is the character that a quick end didn’t seem to do her justice. Don’t make the same mistakes I have! My players and I had a fantastic time with this adventure, but I know a little preparation in those areas would have made a world of difference. I leave the rest to you!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics #86: The Hole In The Sky
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Maximum Xcrawl: Powered by Pathfinder
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/16/2017 07:33:27

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive hardcover clocks in at 155 pages, 151 if you take away editorial, ToC, etc. This review is based on the hardcover of the book, namely the Swimsuit Edition 2014, which comes with a nice wrap-around variant cover. This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print version of this book.

All righty, so first things first: What is Xcrawl? If you haven't seen this unique setting/playstyle, then let me enlighten you: On one hand, the proceedings take place in an allotopia, an alternate world akin to ours, though it also borrows from near-future/cyberpunk as well as fantasy. What do I mean by this? Well, the setting itself is one wherein dwarves, elves etc. all live with us on the planet, and one where magic is real. The focus, for the purpose of this book, lies on the United States, or rather, the North America Empire, the analogue within the realms of Xcrawl. The world itself is not one suffused with a plethora of high-tech, but the cyberpunk influences can be seen in the tropes: The gulf between poor and rich has widened even further and the chances to rise on the social ladder are diminishing constantly. The empire is rotten and corrupt to the core - and it is in this dreary, somewhat dystopian vision, that Xcrawl takes place.

If the world itself sounds drab in its construction, then that is by design: You see, much like in movies like "Running Man" and similar cult classics, the empire has taken at least the "Circenses" of "panem et circenses" rather seriously: Thanks to modern technology and magic, the media have discovered perhaps the ultimate adrenaline kick, the piece of color and excitement in a grey daily life, a bloodsport at once complex and simple: Dungeoncrawling, as a spectator sport! Xcrawl has become so popular, it is a singular force, a means to escape ones' limitations - whether if you're an elf rebelling against your house, a half.orc trying to make it out of poverty, a halfling who has broken with organized crime - the Xcrawl environment provides the means to transcend the social strata in an increasingly rigid environment.

Now, I have touched upon races - the classic core races are all covered, though it should be noted that the book reprints these and expands the races slightly: Each race gets bonus skills: These do not allow the character to transcend max ranks, but they represent skills from previous, non-X-crawl environments. These are ranks and as such, they are gained over the levels - this may sound weird at first, but it should be noted that, while rules cover lower levels as well, the suggested starting level for Xcrawls is 3rd. It should be noted that all of the races receive interesting angles and that compatibility to mainstream PFRPG is retained throughout the write-up for the races and the respective races receive some sensible and interesting background information.

Now, while absolutely nothing prevents you from using the content herein with all the PFRPG-classes out there, the main crunch-meat of the book would be no less than 6 base classes that allow you to basically play the game with just this book. If you're curious, yes, these are kinda in line with the traditional roles. Training between levels can be used as an alternate rule and as a thematic leitmotif, Greco-Roman pantheon and aesthetics can be found. So let us take a look at the classes, shall we? Due to the density of the classes and the sheer ground to cover, I will remain relatively brief.

All right, the first class would be the athlete, who gains 3/4 BAB-progression, good Fort- and Ref-saves, fast movement progression from +5 ft. to +40 ft., proficiency with simple weapons, light armor and shields (except tower shields) and don't treat sport-equipment as improvised weaponry. They are grappling specialists and gain Improved Grapple from the get-go, with SERIOUS damage-scaling for grappling - from 1d8 to 9d8 base damage. Somewhat strange: Small athletes only get d4s, which is a pretty serious downgrade - why go two dice-steps here, when Small characters already are handicapped regarding grappling. The athletes also receive the training ability - basically, they get a floating bonus to a physical attribute score - this scales to up to +8 and may be freely divided among the physical attributes, representing the training regimes of the athlete and allowing for some preparation to specific events - whether it's becoming more agile, improving damage output - you get the idea. Second level and every even level thereafter yield so-called special abilities. Quite a few of these tie into the aforementioned training and have requirements, being only available for the athlete while the sufficient training bonus is invested. The respective abilities do sport prerequisites in some cases, and, while they generally are precisely formatted, there are instances of italicizations that have not been perfectly implemented...but that as a cosmetic aside.

Several of the abilities obviously tie in with grappling here, while e.g. pole vaulting and the like can be found, there also are leaping attacks and the like. The rules-language, for the most part, is rather precise, but at the same time, we can find some issues in the finer details of rules aesthetics, like a selection of untyped bonuses that are typed in comparable abilities. Similarly, an attack that should be tied to CMD being tied to Fort-saves. At higher levels, the class does gain the option to temporarily ignore a series of conditions and even gains scaling immunities.

The other classes include the blaster, who gains d6 HD, 1/2 BAB-progression, good Will-saves, 4 + Int skills per level and proficiency with simple weapons and another light melee weapon, which gains "an attack bonus" that scales with the level - it's small issues with the rules-language like this that can be seen The blaster also is an arcane spellcaster, who gains spellslots according to a unique table, which goes up to 8th level. The governing attribute is Charisma, though the spellcasting is prepared and based on a spellbook. The unique part of the class would be that it has the option to convert spells into blasts of raw eldritch might, dealing 2d6 untyped damage per spell level. As a minor hiccup, while the ability does note the ability is supernatural, the header lacks the (Su) that should be here. They also get an ability to make analyzing their spells harder to understand and thus counter. The class once against sports a selection of techniques to modify the respective blasts etc. - with advanced (11th) and supreme techniques (20th) being unlocked at later levels. The untyped damage is pretty nasty, and so is the significant spell arsenal - the class is the one in the arsenal that hasn't aged well - the kineticist or the ethermancer represent better, more balanced options for the blaster trope.

The third class would be the brawler, the fighter-equivalent, who gets Improved Unarmed Combat at 1st level, full BAB-progression, d10 HD, 2 + Int skills per level, a bonus feat at 1st level and every even level thereafter as well as proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, all armors and shields (except tower shields) and no firearm proficiency. They gaina combat pool equal to 2 points +1 for every 2 levels thereafter, which can each round be assigned to attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, AC, and Will-saves "Willpower saves" here) - this is a simple, but fun ability. Speaking of minor hiccups - the Knowledge (Xcrawl)-skill in the class skills here lacks the (Int) that's supposed to be after it - again, cosmetic, but there are quite a few glitches like this.

The jammer is proficient with simple weapons, as well as light and medium armor, shields and a weapon of their choice as well as 3/4 BAB-progression, 6 + Int skills per level and good Ref- and Will-save progression. The jammer is, among all the classes here, by far my favorite class: Think of these guys as artists/rock/pop-stars with a variety of combat music and the option to follow these up with somewhat sneak attack-y bonus damage assaults against the affected individuals. Add to that a ki pool governed by Charisma for better defense and we get an interesting, fun class - I honestly wished we got a lot more options for this guy!!

The messenger gets d8 HD, 2 + Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression as well as good Fort- and Will-saves, proficiency with the deity's favored weapon, simple weapons, all armors and shields (except tower shields) and 2 domains and prepared spellcasting based on Wisdom. Messengers are directly descendant from the divine and their blood can act as a holy symbol. Basically, this represents a variant cleric who does not gain channel energy and instead gets an array of abilities at 1st, 9th and 13th level. This would btw. be as good a place as any to note that formatting of attributes is inconsistent - I noticed quite a lot of lower case attributes like "wisdom" and the book is inconsistent in whether it uses the full-length attributes or the three-letter abbreviations. The class write up also features a table of domains etc. for the Olympian pantheon, some of which have abilities that made me seriously question how they got past playtesting. The ability "On my signal", in the Strategy domain, for example, allows for the no-action (not even an immediate action!!) activation at the start of a combat round: Wisdom bonus + 1/2 class level allies can act on the highest initiative count among the allies (not sure if the "ally" has to be part of the chosen group). I assume that the action is instead of the action usually available at this round. Still, this allows for the old rocket-tag game; bonuses to initiative are very potent and this collective boost, usable 3 + Wisdom modifier times per day, can provide devastating initial assaults.

The final class herein would be the specialist, who gains d8 HD, 8 + Int skills per level, 1/2 sneak attack progression, 3/4 BAB-progression, good Ref-saves, proficiency with simple weapons and 3 martial weapons as well as light armor. They have special abilities, which are akin to talents, separated in two tiers, with the second tier unlocked at 10th level. Okay rogue-variant.

The book also features new skills, obviously: Drive, Grandstanding and Tactics - two are self-explanatory, but grandstanding takes the whole spectator-sport aspect into account - the crowd is important, after all! Where there are so many new classes, there obviously also will be a ton of new feats tying into the new options - expansions for the combat pool etc. - you get the idea. They also gain fame feats over the levels, which tie into the cool narrative framework - and yes, being Face or Heel can be found here! These feats are rather interesting and often feature fun concepts!

NPC-classes and a massive array of equipment, from skinmesh, electroshock weapons and the like all can be found - including real estate and the like, so yeah, the equipment section is really neat. However, as much as I'm not a big fan of the majority of the class section, I do love the Mojo pool: You can NEVER ask for mojo pools - only have them assigned to you by your teammates and an Xcrawl begins with 1d6 + the highest Charisma modifier in the pool; if only one character remains standing, he gets 3 mojo: minimum mojo is 0, maximum is 12: Natural 20s in combat net bonuses, rooms won and exceptional actions all yield mojo, but botches, party infighting and disqualifications decrease the pool. Rolls involving mojo that score natural 1s or 20s can yield escalated benefits or penalties. This small system is brilliant: It promotes teamplay, racks up the tension and makes the game cooler - big, big plus. Fame is btw. tracked from 1 to 20, representing the status of the character - temporary and permanent fame, modifiers and instant recognition all are covered in a well-crafted, intriguing chapter that also allows you to use fame to purchase e.g. access to crawls, manipulate media, etc. - there are a variety of ways to use these points to further the campaign and progress of the team.

The GMing of Xcrawl is depicted in an in-depth chapter as well: First of all, you make DJs - Dungeon jockeys, the guys and gals in charge of the dungeons, stars themselves and larger than life entities - and no, these should not be GM-stand-ins - and obviously, there are various types of campaigns: You can just focus on the Xcrawls themselves, but you can similarly run full Xcrawl campaigns, including the frame narratives, rises to fame, advertisement deals etc. - and from military to the different leagues, there is a grand variety of themes you can draw on. The goals of the Xcrawl and its highlight-reel-like structure, advertisements breaks, DJ-commentary - you can enter some serious 4th wall type of fun. Similarly, the constructed, artificial nature of the Xcrawls mean that you can go full-blown grotesque and absurd - the dungeon doesn't have to make any sense and neither do the monsters - it's unmitigated rule of cool dungeon-design, justified and supported by the very framework. This may sound weird, but particularly for one-shots, convention games or as a change of pace, these Xcrawls make for ridiculously fun, amazing scenarios - there is a reason I've been loving Xcrawl for so long.

The details of how the Xcrawl works, from non-combative badges (noncoms) to nogo doors, refs and PCs surrendering, breakrooms and the like are all included in the discussion of the Xcrawl games; advice on designing Xcrawls, the official imperial rules of the setting, structures of the time leading up to the crawl and a codified reward system make sense. Similarly, magic items and tools can be regulated for the crawl - depending on the Xcrawl, you have the options to custom-rig what works and what doesn't. Stone-Age theme? No problem. Equipment-sponsorship deals, contracts and salaries, rules for personal appearances - the book is incredibly detailed in a variety of way and sports some really fine details.

The book also contains a massive index and a proper character sheet for Xcrawl characters.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, the book doesn't hold up to this quality, though: Rules-formatting is inconsistent in a variety of ways - while their integrity is generally there, I still consider this part to be very much the weakest aspect of the book - a strict rules-developer giving this a pass would have potentially made this shine. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard and the book sports really cool b/w-artworks, all originals. The insides of the covers yield a glorious full-color piece.

The hardcover is amazing - well-constructed, great sleeves, thick paper - one of the production value-wise really impressive tomes and worth the price.

Brendan J. LaSalle, with additional design by Duane Waldrop and Jeff Erwin, has penned one of my all-time favorite non-fantasy settings. The unmitigated wildness of Xcrawl is inspiring and extremely fun; it lets you create wholly different dungeons, tell distinct stories that usually are not represented in other settings. The massive background information, the glorious ideas and the Xcrawl-related tricks are really nice and flavorful and make this a fun book - a glorious book, even; I could make an argument for this being really top of the line in that regard.

At the same time, not all of the classes and player-options hold up well and sport some unfortunate hiccups - to the point, where, if I rated this as a crunch-book alone, it would not fare well. At the same time, systems like the glorious mojo pool or the cool fame engine represent fun subsystems that are extremely hackable. The majority of the classes were honestly not to my liking and crunch-wise, I'd consider this to be a mixed bag. However, the setting and the idea, the concept, make this at the same time a book I'd love to praise to the high heavens. Xcrawl is pretty amazing if you get it, if you take it in the spirit it is intended; if you're looking mostly for crunchy bits, then this probably won't hold up as well, as that aspect is simply not as refined.

I am really torn here - between wanting to complain hard and praising this book, it's hard to find an official verdict. Ultimately, I'd love to rate this 3 stars for the issues in rules-language and formatting...and I'd love to rate this 5 stars + seal of approval for being simply one glorious setting, with great supplemental material. In the end, my official verdict will clock in at 4 stars - if you're looking for the setting, if the idea intrigues you and if you cherish ideas more than precision in the details, then get this ASAP - Xcrawl is unique, fun and thoroughly inspiring.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Maximum Xcrawl: Powered by Pathfinder
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Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
by Kevin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2017 19:24:21

"GLORY & GOLD WON BY SORCERY & SWORD"

Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game (DCC) by Goodman Games is a truly remarkable RPG. If you see it on the shelf your first thought may be, "holy crap, that book is huge, that game has got to be bloated (or insert other term for a "big" game)". If you get past that initial shock though, DCC RPG will surprise you. It's actually quite rules-light. DCC favors an old-school feel of rulings rather than rules. What makes the book huge is how the spell system works.

See, casting spells in DCC is a big deal. The second paragraph in the magic chapter sums up the feel perfectly. "Summoning magical energies is arduous, expensive, and dangerous. No wizard does it lightly. As a result, there are no mundane magics, no spells used simply to light a corridor, for example. Use a torch, fool; it is much safer!" Each spell has an expansive table because you make a spell check and the result determines that instance's effects. Basically, while you know magic missile produces missiles of....magic, whether you get one mote of arcane energy or turn into a machine gun of magical onslaught depends on your casting check (roll) on that turn. Now, this is quite an oversimplification of the casting system but what I am trying to stress is the book totals more than 476 pages. 174 pages of that are spells!

Okay, so the book is big. Well, if you want to learn the general mechanics, character options, equipment, and combat rules then those are all contained within 91 pages. Imagine that, less than 100 pages and you have more than a general understanding of the game. Cool? Cool!

Enough about the "size" of the book. Let's get into some of the other awesome bits about DCC RPG.

Wanna play a completely gonzo game starting out as peasants who tromp into a dungeon and are destroyed by droves? Awesome, that's just what the DCC 0-Level funnel was designed for. Basically you roll up a (nearly) randomly Player Character and head into the dungeon. Actually you roll up a bunch of 0-levels (probably between 3-4 depending on the number of players and the needs of the adventure) and descend into the abyss.

What do these PCs look like? Well, they have some ability scores (including a Luck stat, isn't that awesome? Basically how Lucky you are and you can "burn" luck to help you when you are in need of some extra awesomeness!), some hit points, a measly amount of coin (they are peasants usually), a randomly determined piece of equipment, an occupation (and hey, the occupation may choose your race like Elf, Halfling, or Dwarf. More on this later). Your occupation also gives you one weapon and training in that weapon plus some trade goods!

Classes in DCC RPG are a little different than modern D&D like games. Humans get a choice of Cleric ("the militant servant of a god"), Thief, Warrior, or Wizard. Each of these classes has their own flavor and way of interacting in the adventuring world. Demi-Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling immediately enter into their own racial class. The Dwarf is very similar to the Warrior but with its own flair. The Halfling is kinda like a combination of Thief and a little Warrior with some Halfling specific abilities as well. The Elf is a magic user that can also be pretty decent with a weapon as well. Sorta like a combo of Warrior and Wizard but...only in certain ways.

Changing gears now, Goodman Games set out with the goal of producing a one-book RPG so everything you need as a Judge (the DCC RPG term for Game Master) is including in this single volume as well. Things like Quests, Judges Rules, Magic Items, and Monsters are all inside the book. Also, as a Judge Goodman Games through in a couple of adventures to help you get the feel of the game. The 4th printing of DCC includes a 0-Level funnel and an adventure for characters of levels 1-3.

I could go on and on about the DCC RPG book but really, you should pick it up and give it a read!

How about in play? What's it like?

I've ran two 0-Level funnels. One in which the characters stayed 0-Level and another where the characters leveled up part way through and became 1st level characters because I wanted to get a taste for what 1st level characters are like. Both times I ran DCC I used the Sailors on the Starless Sea adventure by Harley Stroh (buy here or here). I'll review this adventure sometime in the future but it's awesome!

The game is wacky and zany! DCC RPG uses a dice chain rather than a large amount of modifiers. On the dice chain are dice that folks may not be used to (Zocchi dice like d14, d16, d24, etc.) but DCC RPG includes conversions for people who don't want to buy more dice (who doesn't want that) or you can use the awesomely available Crawler's Companion App (available in tons of places by Purple Sorcerer). Anyway, between the randomness of dice, the off-the-wall mentality of DCC RPG and Goodman Games' reliance and stressing of Appendix N, DCC RPG is a fantastic experience that is sure to rock your game table.

I'm trying to not gush on and on about DCC RPG but seriously, it's a good time. You should check it out!

Okay, I can't stop myself. Wanna know more about DCC RPG? You should join up with the DCC Community on Google Plus (G+) or the Goodman Games Forum.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
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Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2017 21:02:06

I have all of the 5e fantasy modules and this is the third I've run. Like the others it takes just a bit longer than one session (if you're playing only three or four hours). I fit this story into Faerun (put it in the Giant's Run mountains, changed the evil dwarf god to Abatthor) as a way to start a Faerun campaign. I nerfed the hit points a bit for some of the villains to make this useable with first level characters.

I like the idea of exhaustian levels in addition to normal damage.

All around good adventure.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fifth Edition Fantasy #1: Glitterdoom
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Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
by Doug B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2017 12:50:08

A beautiful RPG that schluffs off the excess baggage that weighs down some other fantasy RPG's. It presents a fun, dynamic system that makes play exciting with wonderful results designed to inject that feel you had when you first dove into RPG's. Very simple to use, yet complex enough to spark the imagination. The system is free of the things that bog down an overly crunchy system and boils it down, leaving the joy of role-playing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
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Xcrawl: Louisiana Crawl (DCC RPG Edition)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/13/2017 04:36:48

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Xcrawl-module clocks in at 20 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 16 pages of content. It should be noted that both editorial and SRD are actually not the respective penultimate pages - relevant if you're like me and tend to print out modules.

All right, before we dive into the nit and grit of this module for 3rd level characters, it should be noted that 100% of the sales go towards helping the flooded areas of Louisiana. While the shocking images of Katrina still are vivid in our memory, you may not necessarily know that the nameless, less catchy and media-marketable storms dropped thrice this amount...so yeah, it's a module for a good cause.

One more thing, since I wager not all of my readers will be familiar with Xcrawl. First of all, you may know that I like playing DCC; while I don't receive a lot of copies for review purposes for the system, I enjoy it immensely. Xcrawl would be a radically different type of setting/premise published by Goodman Games in cooperation with Pandahead Productions...and is one I really like - basically, the PCs are thrillseekers and super-athletes that participate in a Running man-style, hyper-lethal live-on-pay-per-view game show. The GM (here called DJ - dungeon judge) may actually use the moderator and the unique set-up for hilarious effect. The delightfully different set-up of dungeon-crawling as a very lethal competitive sport lets you generate a completely different atmosphere. That being said, you do not need the Xcrawl rule-book to play this module; DCC rules suffice.

There are some peculiarities the module explains, the first of which would be Mojo Pool. Mojo represents the unconscious power of teamwork and may never sink below 0 or rise (usually) above 12. These points are added on a 1: 1-basis to action dice for combat or spellcasting, skill checks or ability score checks. They usually cannot be added to saves, critical or fumble checks or corruption/deity disapproval checks and a PC needs to be at least 1st level; 0-level noobs don't get mojo. Sounds common, right? Well, here's the catch - you can't spend them for yourself. You can only give mojo points to allied creatures or fellow PCs...and you may NOT ask for them - if you do, you are blocked from receiving mojo for the remainder of the scenario. This, as a whole, enhances teamwork and makes the group come together better in the long run, as fellow players learn to trust one another and the capabilities of the PCs.

Mojo is rolled at the beginning of an Xcrawl event by rolling 1d12; each player makes a luck roll as well - on a success, you add +1 mojo, on a failure, you deduce 1 mojo. Halflings double the bonus on successful checks. 12 is still the cap for the pool. If a mojo point is added to a roll and the roll's a crit, the mojo points are added, but not actually expended from the pool - this is referred to as Destiny. Conversely, on a mojo-enhanced roll that results in a fumble, the group loses one additional mojo point - this is known as Choke, analogue to the disaster every Battle Rapper dreads.

Xcrawl, as an entertaining sport, also has rules for grandstanding - working the crowd, if you will. A grandstanding check is 1d20 + Cha bonus + character level, with crowds determining the DC and a default being DC 21. A character may grandstand up to twice per combat encounter as a move action; on a success, the character can gain 1 fame. Additionally, in the round immediately after a combat, the character may similarly grandstand, for the same benefit. That being said, feel free to insert my old and tired "per encounter is no reliable time-frame"-rant - not the biggest fan there.

But what does the fame-score denote? It is, basically, the percentile chance the character has to be recognized in a crowd. The higher the fame score, the more the character can ask for standard appearance fees in media, events, etc. - this money is out of crawl money and can thus not be used to cheese the artificially-created monetary balance of Xcrawls. A table of standard appearance fees and fame buy table is included...and if you don't want to, you can pretty much ignore the whole section. Ahem, so that would be the rule-peculiarities!

Flavor-wise, it should be noted that several items are banned in Xcrawls; Safe rooms are called break rooms. Charmed adversaries are treated as defeated and yes, you may be disqualified if you, for example go through a NoGo door or attack a being with a NonCom (non-combatant) badge.

Anyways, ladies and gentlemen, please strap yourselves in and get ready! These basics out of the way, you want to know about the show, right? You want to see the struggle the athletes are about to face! Well, as always, from here on out reign the SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion or risk a fate worse than that featured in our show!

...

..

.

All right, still here? Sure you're the properly authorized DJ? Great!

The crowd DC for this module is a cuddly DC 13 and unless otherwise noted, hallways are 12', doors requiring a DC 16 Strength check to break. It should also be noted that the PCs, if they mirror the out-game charity with in-game charity, will be rewarded. During the module, the PCs will have the chance to take charity shots of chartreuse - after the first drink, Fortitude saves are in order and a total of 4 stages of drunkenness, including rules-relevant effects. If you and your buddies are responsible adults, the module can double as a neat drinking game...ahem. Not that I'd endorse that or anything. insert usual rapid-fire speech disclaimer about responsibility etc. But I digress.

We begin with an extensive array of read-aloud text that sets the unique stage perfectly, even for groups unfamiliar with Xcrawl, including an introduction of the DJ - indeed, DJs usually not comfortable with improvising a lot of text will enjoy the well-written, extensive flavor text. The first room already establishes well the extreme game-show nature of the set-up: You have a winding corridor...of the bayou! Everything wants to eat the PCs and they only have 24 rounds to navigate air boats through its winding stretch; if they're too slow, they'll forfeit the treasure of the room! Oh, and beyond the buzzing swarms of mosquitoes, dire gars, animated Spanish Moss (that stringy, cool ropy moss you know from pretty much all the pictures), the PCs will also have a chance to down charity shots poured from a lizardman bartender and have I mentioned the water moccasin swarm? Yeah, a pretty furious beginning!

After that, we're participating in a battle of the bands - the PC's band (featuring Lizardman Henry, Johnny Sketch, et al.) jams it out against undead musicians rising from the bayou - and the competing bands actually influence the proceedings: The loser reduces the die on the dice chain. The opposition to the PCs would be a cadre of deadly were-nutria - the goal: Take out the enemy band, for each musician gone represents a decreased bonus for the checks to see who prevails. In the aftermath of this room, the DJ will open a water-chute the PCs have to take...and end 15-ft deep in gumbo; the lid of the titanic pot they ended up in is 15 ft. above them, as gigantic giant chefs loom (though tehse are illusions) - the PCs will have to balance on gigantic vegetables and fight the giant crawfish to the death...falling into the rapidly heating gumbo is detrimental to one's health, just fyi.

After a brief hallway and break-room interlude (again, featuring chances to take shots - there are a ton of these!), the PCs will be introduced to a hilariously lethal piece of satire - the red tape golem, that can generate explosions of red tape to keep characters stuck, has an obscene reach and yep, trying to attack it may get your weapon stuck. A formidable foe indeed! After that, it's not over - it's NEVER over with bureaucracy - so the exit door here's trapped: Razor sharp paper. One more form...argh....

After this, the PCs get to meet a celebrity: Pierre, the awakened turtle: Ancient and the only awakened animal to be accepted into university. He'll pose riddles to the players - solve three and you're good to go. Problem: he only speaks French. Okay, that would be no problem whatsoever at my table. However, if it is a problem at yours, be happy, for perceptive PCs can find a shroom to help them overcome the language barrier....but beware what you eat...Anyways, the PCs can attempt one answer per combat round, for they're beset by variant Louisiana troglodytes while being quizzed by Pierre. As a minor nitpick - the sample riddles are in English. While I didn't have an issue getting French riddles, having those as well would be nice for groups that want to flex their language-skill-muscles.

And after this one...it's time to face the very incarnation of destruction Louisiana constantly faces - the big boss battle pits the PCs against nothing short of the storm - there is a reason a benign genius loci is here for them - they will need all the help they can get, for the fury elemental is not only unique and lethal - it can actually generate so-called storm assassins, made from rain, wind and lightning for a furious (Get it, fury elemental? Sorry, will punch myself for that later...) finale!

The module ends with the aftermath and a list of reliable charities that devote themselves to helping the affected areas and people.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the module sports several neat original b/w-pieces of art - kudos!! The cartography is nice as well, though no player-friendly, key-less map was included. Considering the nature of the scenario, such a map would have made no sense anyways and is not required, though. The pdf-version comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Written by Brendan LaSalle and George "Loki" Williams, this charity module was a blast to run. Beyond the cool idea of a charity product that you purchase depicting a charity Xcrawl, it is a fast-paced, versatile scenario: There is not a single boring or even just "good" encounter herein - each and every room, each challenge has something unique going for it, making great use of the special tricks the DCC-rule-set supports. Beyond that, it is a module that oozes charm and heart's blood - from the novel and far-out encounters to the well-written prose, this module is an amazing experience.

Even beyond the confines of DCC and Xcrawl, this can make for an amazing scavenging ground if you need encounter ideas for planar material, a weird wizard's past-time or similar gauntlets; pretty much each encounter could be scavenged as a form of highlight, capstone or unique set-piece. And it's a charity product as well - one of the best I have seen, mind you, and one that would receive the self-same verdict if it was a regular offering - namely 5 stars + seal of approval. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary and want to do a good deed in the process, then this is absolutely perfect. Get it!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Xcrawl: Louisiana Crawl (DCC RPG Edition)
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The Dungeon Alphabet
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2016 09:56:17

Easily one of the best books I've ever read for:

  • putting a dungeon together
  • getting creative flames lit
  • entertaining
  • roll tables for things you'll actually use

It is an easy read, and can get you to snap out of your normal creations and into something new. Your players will thank you for it!

Great value and worth every penny! This is an essential part of your DM toolkit; get it.

Bring your dungeons to life with all these awesome options.

Oh, and the artwork is incredibly good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dungeon Alphabet
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Dungeon Crawl Classics 2016 Holiday Module: Twilight of the Solstice
by Jonathan A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2016 16:28:27

Much love for this module. Like especially that they have the opt-out text directions for pre-existing groups. I aint't run it yet but I may be looking to tweak a few of the dangling threads since I game with pretty crafty cusses. I may even take a chance to run this at my workplace with some noobs who will fall for evry pitfall. My intuition is that the novelty of breaking up gametime as real time for the 1 hour lunches strikes me as a good reward system for thinking or acting quick and paying off the reveals to entertain me.

The setting without spoilers seems right in line with the season. There are clever nods to holiday traditions and treats peppered in the text. The scenarios lend themselves to Robert Beevan style misadventure.

Just barely got into DCC. Been gaming since my grade school days. I tend to keep a loose grip on adventure details and re-purpose the encounters and features I like for use elsewhere and discard what I don't like in a canned adventure. Looking forward to running this with a laid-back or new group mostly. But I think this is a good fit for me and others who have very little interest sizing up encumberance tables and tracking our blood-sugar levels.

Destined to be a classic; I suspect regularly it'll be reprinted regularly until they top the the scratch off character sheet novelty with some new implementation of the mosaic strip-tease charcter sheets sold seperately.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics 2016 Holiday Module: Twilight of the Solstice
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Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
by Benjamin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2016 13:27:22

My favorite system. Easy to teach and has alot of fun random charts. Also community support is great



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
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