I've been sitting on a couple of releases from the end of 2016 / beginning of 2017 that I've intended to review but just haven't had the time to do more that a quick flip through - until this past week. Being sick and spending lots of time in bed is beneficial to those that like reading PDFs on their tablets. That me. I prefer reading on my tablet to the computer screen.
Anyhow, I dove into Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure for the DCC RPG by +Mike Evans . I really didn't know what to expect. It bills itself as a Swords and Sorcery campaign setting but that is basically DCC RPG in a nutshell. What really could make that seem fresh?
Apparently, the "what" is a "who" and the "who" is Mike Evans.
Before I start. Minor quibble. The table of contents is not hyperlinked. At nearly 350 pages, a hyperlinked TOC would be helpful. Not a biggie
First, we get nine new classes / races for the DCC RPG (races are classes on DCC). They range from good but awkward to run (Mutant comes to mind) to "holy shit I want to play this right now" (Murder Machine) to "I want to convert this to Swords & Wizardry Light" (Avarian) and places in between (Alchemist, Blood Witch, Druid, Shadowdancer, Ekrask and Half Demon round out the list)
Alright, more about the Murder Machine. You know the Warforged for D&D? Now, imagine them done as psychotic killing machines derived from sentient creatures.
Got it? Well, most of them are totally converted and loyal to the Black Queen, but some go awry and have their original consciousness and personality (although severely damaged by the conversion process I expect) Yep, free will. Lollipops and wheellocks.
Oh, and Swiss-Army Hands: Swiss-Army Hand: A murder machine is built to
kill, and as such is outfitted with a hand that can rotate and become one of three weapons. At level one a player chooses three weapons from the following list: hand crossbow*, dagger, flail, hand axe, mace, short sword or wheellock pistol*
Listen, worth the price of admission for this racial class alone. I will do a S&W conversion at some point - as a monster entry, not a PC class. But man, I want to peek into Mike's head some more.
Lets bounce ahead to the optional rules. One in particular stands out to me - Weapon Damage by Class. I remember an article similar to this is a Dragon Magazine in the late 60's or lower 70's (by issue number) Of course, we were all into min-maxing back in my High School days, so we didn't think much of it but now as an adult and someone who has dabbled in system design? I like it.
Light, medium and heavy weapons, with fighter types getting the most of the damage potential and the squishy arcane casters getting the least. I would bump the thief up a notch with heavy weapons myself, but other than that I really like the list.
Oh, favorite table thus far?
On that note...
I'll be back in a few days to delve into the Territories of Hubris. Random tables that scream sandbox. And more :)
From the blurb:
Hubris is a weird fantasy setting that uses the awesome Dungeon Crawl Classics rules!
In this book you will find 10 territories filled with tables and charts to generate interesting locations and encounters, new occupations, 4 new classes, 5 new playable races, 3 new spells, 4 new patrons, including 3 patrons spells for each, 11 new and terrible gods, 14 tables and charts for a GM to use to aid them in their game or create interesting/fun situations, two new adventures to kick off a campaign, and 51 new enemies (including enemies that are unique thanks to random generation). Hubris is hackable! Each territory can be used as the GM wills! Need a desert, swamp, or frozen tundra for your game? Use what's in Hubris!
Legend states that Hubris was created from the fetid corpse of a long-dead god. Hubris is a land of terrible creatures, grand inequality, strange and cruel gods, dangerous magic, opulent nobility, destitute commoners, people that have become corrupted and turned to savage beasts, constant wars, and worse.
The kingdoms are not kind or benevolent: In the Blighted Sands the Klind are slavers and openly practice sorcery, offering sacrifices to their depraved serpentine god, Set. Across the continent the Fairweather kingdom is governed by a corrupt and inbred royal family with the nobility following suit. Esenbar is ruled by a staunch xenophobic theocracy that tolerates little outside of their strict doctrine. The barbaric Ingvar of the Frozen Wastes wage vicious battles against the savage frost giants of The Crag, and care little about the goings on of the world; their life is cut from battle with an axe or sword. The Black Queen rules the citizens of the Floating Island of Terror from her throne of bones and dreams terrible machinations for Hubris. Shadowfall, built in the remains of the burrow of a gigantic worm, is ran by vampires and their thralls, and they welcome all who are devious, vicious and cunning.
There are no easily recognizable heroes in the world. You wander the wilderness or delve into ancient ruins: out of desperation, some crazed need for adventure, or for some bizarre belief that the world can actually be made a better place. Though civilization offers you security and comfort, you shirk those in the hopes of gaining riches and power. But when you die, no one will sing songs of your deeds. You will die a horribly bloody death at the hands of some twisted abomination or by the knife of an assassin sent by some fat, scheming noble.
Your epic tale will be forgotten in days as the dangerous world continues on without you and the apathetic masses stay complacent to dogmatic control of their government.
This is not a fairy tale or an epic ballad. This is a savage world. This is Hubris.