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Friday, September 6, 2013

Mini Review - The Haunting of Larvik Island (DCC RPG Adventure)



I've been running a DCC RPG campaign since the start of the summer. My herd of cats will be finishing up (I hope) Doom of the Savage Kings tomorrow night and I need to decide on some options for the party to head to next.. Larvik Island is a strong possibility.

Last fall I ran Attack of the Frawgs, the first DCC RPG release from Thick Skull (aka +Stephen Newton ) and my players had a blast with it. Just as importantly, I did too. The Haunting of Larvik Island looks to kick that experience up a notch.

Here's the players' intro:
For centuries the legendary exploits of the mighty warlord Larvik have inspired storytellers and adventurers. Despite his glory, Larvik’s fortunes were lost in the war between his sons following his death. What remains of his legacy is a dangerous island bearing his name and the legend of its treasure accessible only once every 35 years. 
That time is at hand! Will your party be stout enough to explore the island, defeat both natural beasts and lost souls, and decipher the mysterious markers Larvik left behind? Will you uncover the lost caverns before time runs out and the secret is hidden for another generation, or will you merely become another footnote in the history of the many who have fallen never to return chasing the legend of Larvik Island?
Yep, Larvik has an excellent DCC feel to it and can handle 1st to 2nd level characters, which is good, as it's quite possible that some of the PC's may hit level 2 before the end of the adventure.

New magic items, new diseases (did we have old ones?) and some interesting background pieces add value to the adventure.

My guess is about 2 evenings of play from Larvik for the average gaming group and probably 3 nights for mine - as I said earlier, it's like trying to herd cats with them sometimes...

There is a nice selection of wilderness and cavern locations and maps. The player handouts are spot on (and will work well in a VTT like Roll20 and the like). The maps will suffice for online gaming, but I do appreciate when publishers like +Purple Duck Games add unkeyed maps for online play, and wish other PDF publishers would follow suit (hint hint ;)

If I have a critique, its the addition of the slight watermarking on the pages to make them appear like aged paper on the corner. While it doesn't interfere with reading AT ALL, it will use more ink than is needed to print this out - and I print out all adventures before I run them (I dont print out the handouts, as Roll20 handles that awesomely).

All in all an excellent addition to the DCC RPG collection of adventures. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we'll have some session reports to add to the mix - assuming my group heads off in this direction - damn cats!

4 comments:

  1. Hey there,

    Thanks for the mini-review! To address some of your points.

    - In my home group playtest we managed 4 sessions out of the module. Now, I might be biased as I was pausing to take notes, and they have a tendency to overthink at times :)

    - That's a good idea about the maps. I actually give away free "battlemaps" but after seeing how Jeffrey Tadlock ran his RollD20, I think I'll include some VTT friendly maps in that same encounter pack as well. I will update those in a week or so.

    - The watermark: it was interesting as I was looking at that after your last post on this subject (Numenera I believe) and I was going, "Hmmm, I'm wondering if he'll think this is too much..." I thought it was subtle but still gave it some nice production value. I will see if InDesign will allow me to make you a special "clean" version (In theory it should be easy, but when I was changing page templates it kept crashing.... still, I'll give it a whirl.

    Looking forward to hearing how your game progresses. :)

    -Stephen-

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  2. Larvik has my personal vote of confidence. I am very happy with this adventure.

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  3. Thanks Daniel! That means a lot coming from you. :)

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  4. BTW, I took Mr. Tenkar's suggestion and updated the separate downloadable making the adventure more VTT/Roll20 friendly. You can read the details here:

    http://www.thickskulladventures.com/2013/09/the-larvik-island-encounter-maps-have-been-updated/

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