Sunday, June 23, 2013
Mini Review: DCC #74 - Blades Against Death (Level 4 DCC RPG Adventure)
I'm trying hard to get through a huge backlog of reviews and I've noticed I have fallen behind on Goodman Game's latest DCC RPG releases. In part when it comes to the DCC RPG, I haven't had an opportunity to run a session since last fall. Summer is here, and I'm hoping to squeeze in some random DCC RPG as my schedule permits.
First, let me start out by saying that Blades Against Death oozes with atmosphere. It also reminds me that the DCC RPG needs a setting of sorts to place the official adventures in, as they feel disconnected otherwise. Sure, when I started gaming and DMing over 30 years ago, I never had a setting and the players went from adventure to adventure without worrying about the nebulous connections. I'm 30 years older - show me a setting please ;)
On to the adventure. If you're working from the PDF like I am, I don't care if your are reading from your computer screen or a tablet - print out the two maps. Seriously. This applies to most adventures no matter the system, but the maps really help you visualize the accompanying descriptions in Blades Against Death. Of the two maps, the second one is definitely suitable for framing. +Harley Stroh tell Joseph that some of us want to buy these maps as prints suitable for framing.
It takes some mental adjustment on my part to remember that level 4 in the DCC RPG is somewhere around level 8 in other OSR games based on relative power and rate of advancement. The fact that much of the first part of relies on stealth (or at least, the attempt of stealth before it all goes to shit) is something that I'd really enjoy playing through, both as a GM or as a player. Success in most DCC RPG adventures relies upon brains (and luck) as much as it does combat - this is no exception, especially the first half.
That is one of the nice things about this adventure - it feels like two interwoven adventures and you get your monies worth with this one.
Blades Against Death is most certainly a "two nighter" as the first part has it's own climax (assuming the PCs are successful) before they land in more trouble. Actually, the second part has even more atmosphere than the first part. The players have a chance to cheat Death himself, and that's no small task. I am sorely tempted to convert this adventure to OSRIC just to give my players an entertaining side trek from Rappan Athuk. Heck, I could probably do it on the fly if needed. Damn, I'm derailing myself here...
Eh, I'm derailed. The blurb will have to suffice for the rest:
Punjar: wide-eyed madmen stalk the streets pronouncing the end of days, mail-clad priests crush the skulls of heathens underfoot, and timorous virgins are offered up in sacrifice within sooty temples. But even the greatest of shining temples and the strangest of mystery cults don’t dare to challenge the terrifying finality of Death.
Until now. In Blades Against Death, the adventurers cross between the realms of the living and the dead, and wager their souls in a desperate bid to steal a soul from Death’s hoary grasp. To win over the God of Dooms, you must be the most daring, stalwart and cunning and – when all else fails – willing to test your blades against Death!
A mid-level adventure for the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game, Blades against Death offers characters a once in a lifetime escapade. Those that return from the Realms of the Dead will have earned the true title of adventurer, while those that fail will spend eternity in Death’s service.