Those of you following this blog may find it strange that I am reviewing a DCC RPG adventure, when I am currently running S&W as my ruleset of choice. Nothing strange at all, as I convert modules from different systems to S&W on the fly - including DCC RPG adventures.
I find it telling that when my group wanted a change from DCC after the summer, it wasn't because of the adventures - whether a Goodman Games release or third party, they were excited by the adventures one and all - just not the system behind them (too quirky and random, especially for the spell casters, or so I was told).
So, with that in mind, let it be known that when I read Silent Nightfall by +Daniel Bishop , it was with one eye on the DCC RPG and the other on converting it to Swords & Wizardry. Final verdict, it will run very well with whichever rule system you choose. Silent Nightfall is a 2nd level DCC RPG adventure, so it probably works best with an OSR styled party of 3rd to 4th level - or a really skilled 2nd level party ;)
There is a little bit of "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" within the adventure. Not a lot, and some players may not even notice it - well, okay, the dense players may not notice it, but it works.
As with many DCC RPG adventures, blindly swinging at everything and charging headlong will lead to some major problems. With my group, I foresee major problems - but that's what OSR gaming is all about. Heh!
Daniel gives us a nice D30 table for aberrations that can be yoked for just about any game. Excellent stuff.
He also introduces the concept of "Minor Patrons". I like the thoughts behind this, and may introduce this to my S&W Campaign down the line.
I figure depending on your group, you are looking at a session to a session and a half to complete Silent Nightfall and other stuff in the back the GM can easily reuse in later sessions.
Pretty nice package. I just want to know where Daniel gets his endless ideas from...
From the blurb:
There are often periods of greater or lesser magical influence in the world. Millennia ago, during a period of reduced magical activity, there was a nuclear power station at this location. When magical influences began to spread once more, the nuclear core became unstable, and began to develop a form of malevolent sentience. The ancients placed the core in a shaft three miles deep, the last 500 feet of which were filled with heavy water. This shaft, and its attendant control center, were given the codename “Silent Nightfall”.
In the ages since, much of the complex has collapsed or ceased to function, but the main shaft still remains, going three miles deep into the ground. The rooms that remain have undergone great changes, having been used for many different purposes and by many different creatures over the centuries. As a result, the original purpose of the shaft, rooms, and corridors has become obscured.
One of those who used the area was the wizard Mortmallion the Pale, who stole the Whispering Stone from Elfland. He hid himself and the stone in the Silent Nightfall complex, but the weird energies coming up from below changed him. Mortmallion can still be found, deep below, as the shaft crawler. Over time, the Whispering Stone became confused with the area where it is now found, and some texts refer to it as “Silent Nightfall” without making it clear why the stone has this name.
Currently, they are used as the nesting ground of owl-like humanoids that call themselves the grallistrix. Incubating their eggs in the Silent Nightfall complex has changed them, and they have become dangerous nocturnal predators in the region. The grallistrix hunt in triads, and locate prey by an extraordinary sense of hearing. As a result, communities nearby observe unexpected quiet at night – there are no late night gatherings. Inns and taverns close their doors with the fall of night.
Finally, the nuclear core itself has gained sentience and a malevolent, demonic intelligence. Imprisoned at the bottom of the shaft, it knows no other name than Silent Nightfall. So long as the demon remains bound, it is no great threat to the PCs or their world. In fact, they may be able to deal with it in order to gain magical aid.
In this way, the term “Silent Nightfall” has come to mean the following within the context of this location – the remains of the nuclear complex, the practice of avoiding loud noises after dark, the Whispering Stone, and the great demon imprisoned at the bottom of the shaft. This gives the judge many ways to lead the PCs into this material. It also allows the judge to make finding information difficult, as the many uses of “Silent Nightfall” spill into each other.