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AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2012 16:52:51
This module is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, while SRD and editorial combine to take up about 1 page, leaving approximately 11 pages of content, so let's check out PDG's second Adventure locale-sidetrek adventure for DCC!

This being an adventure module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential player might wish to jump to the conclusion!

All right, still here? This pdf has the PCs venture into the halls that of a primitive tribe to reclaim a sacred skull and a magic club, making this module potentially a viable option for usage in a Sword & Sorcery-style setting. The exploration immediately kicks off with an exploration of the vanquished tribe's undead-infested tombs (including meticulously-detailed treasures) to the option to get blessed by the local mountain god and thus pass the deadly stone guardians - and potentially be goaded into a divine quest to vanquish the mountain god's foes or suffer a luck-draining curse.

In order to succeed, the PCs will have to venture into the depths of the mountain and destroy legions of small, humanoid crayfish-like jumping mites as well as brave the mud demons of Gelihedres and cultists serving the dark god to stop the mastermind of the cult from summoning an avatar of his dark god into the body of a dead young giant. The pdf also comes with 2 pages of DM-maps (with keys) and high-res jpegs both with and without keys for the two levels of the dungeon.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the pdf comes with some ok artworks as well as bookmarks. This easily inserted module is a nice savage little dungeon centered on the conflict between two gods/spirits that have lost a lot of power (judging from the fledgling avatar's stats). This module is nice, but it lacks the compelling weirdness of its predecessor - it's a good module and it offers some nice experiences for your PCs and genuinely creepy moments and makes good use of the system, but in the end, it just didn't grip me as much as the sojourn into the dancing horror's complex. Thus, my final verdict will clock in at 1 star less than that module, resulting in a verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
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[Icons] Heroic Moments: The Possession of Dr. Diamond
by Joseph B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2012 14:09:20
I greatly enjoyed the earlier Heroic Moments for 4C FASERIP and found them useful in my own ICONS games. I'm thrilled that Purple Duck Games will be publishing Heroic Moments for the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game now.

Everything you need for a quick pickup game of ICONS with minimal GM prep is included - setup, locations and villains. Very impressive artwork for Dr. Diamond by Brian Brinlee too.

I've featured this on my ICONS blog as well where I talk about all things ICONS: http://justaddheroes.blogspot.com/2012/08/new-icons-publishe-
r-purple-duck-games.html


Looking forward to seeing more!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[Icons] Heroic Moments: The Possession of Dr. Diamond
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AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/20/2012 07:08:07
This adventure, despite forming part of the 'funnel' by which a mob of first-level characters is winnowed down to a manageable party, is epic in scope, pitting law against chaos as mere mortals are caught up in a strife between two gods! It starts with a Background, which sets the scene and is intended mostly for the GM's eyes - some may be presented as more general scene-setting and history if so desired - and this is followed by notes for the GM on how to get the characters involved. These are both varied and detailed, giving you a good few options to get the characters to the dungeon itself... although you will need to create any surroundings or adventures on the way there for yourself, if you want to do anything than jump straight in.

The dungeon itself - spread over two levels and with a nice mix of natural and man-made features - is well-described and populated with all manner of interesting things to discover and interesting creatures to fight. There is a slight tendency to have but a single way to proceed, which may not be obvious and with little hint given as to how characters are supposed to figure out what they ought to do, although leeway is given in a note to the effect that any other innovate use of magic might work (i.e. if the GM reckons it might!).

A neat touch is that the characters will be deep into the dungeon before one of the deities involved, in a fit of petulance at being disturbed, bestows both a curse and a quest on the hapless adventurers, this providing the impetus for the second part of the exploration, that of the lower level. This makes for an interesting dynamic, much more than "Here's a dungeon, explore it!"

Overall, this is a nicely-done adventure, well-resourced and pretty much ready to run. I spotted all of one spelling mistake and a tendency to select randomly whether to refer to a Judge, a GM or a DM; but these are minor quibbles and do not spoil the enjoyment of a well-constructed dungeon crawl. Now, where can I find some players...?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL 2: Sepulcher of the Mountain God [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/15/2012 06:55:51
Designed to work equally well as a location stumbled upon when exploring or somewhere sought out on purpose, the book begins by giving the background to how the place came to be (an intriguing tale starting with chaos-worshipping cultists and continuing with a meddling mage...), provides a few hints that could be developed into plot hooks if you want to have the characters hear about it before they arrive, and then launches into a room-by-room description.

The whole flavour of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG game is well-maintained, with traps a-plenty and some interesting stuff to find (even if you have to figure out how to use it). It appears quite generous in magic items, albeit most are 'one-shot' devices, but that makes logical sense once you figure out what's been happening there... and there are some novel (quite scary) monsters, too.

The adventure is well-resourced, with a blank players' map as well as the regular one, both provided in the book and as separate JPG images that you can download. The actual descriptions are clear, with relevant monster stats and notes on how they will behave in combat just where you need them.

This is very much a 'dungeon crawl' and a very good one in the classic form... (oops, typed that, then read it back!). It provides challenge in combat, resource management and figuring out what's happening, but characters who like talking will have to talk to each other! An enjoyable session should result.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2012 06:37:00
This adventure for the DCC-ruleset is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover and the total of editorial and SRD make up about 1/2 a page, resulting in a total content of 9 1/2 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential player may wish to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! First of all, the module comes with DM-maps and player-friendly maps you can cut up and hand out to your players - kudos for that! The module consists essentially of a mini-dungeon that can be inserted into a dungeon of your own devise, coming with an eastern and western entrance. The pdf is truly in line with DCC's core concepts of unpredictable magic and potential drawbacks - the treasure awarded is mostly single use or fragile. Fragile? Yes, for one treasure is actually a balloon containing a breath of life! Now that's a cool idea! Once, these halls were the halls of a dread cult and the weird boneless leech-rats are but one of the things to come in these halls. Also rather nice and seldom seen - excavating parts of the complex is also part of the module and turns out to be rather dangerous!

The namegiving dancing horror, though, would be one cool critter, coming with the abilities to extract skeletons from its victims, displace voices and worst of all - it leaves its victims alive when doing so! And then there's the hoardling, an undead abomination resembling a snake/centipede-being somewhat resembling an Ophidius. Have I mentioned the tin soldiers and the intelligent blade the PCs can find?
The pdf comes also with high-res jpegs of the dungeon-map.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column standard and the artworks and full-color cartography are nice for the very low asking price. The pdf also comes with extensive bookmarks, which is nice to see indeed.

This module provides us with a nice sidetrek-dungeon to insert in you DCC-campaign and indeed, with some minor work and experience with 2nd or 1st edition modules, could be converted into other rulesets rather easily - why? Because the central selling point of this module, at least for me, lies in the eerie, unpredictable and wondrous atmosphere it evokes via so beautifully-disturbing things as the creatures and e.g. magical barnacle-growths. This module feels rather fresh in its ideas and even though it is a free-form dungeon, provides us with options to easily insert it and add a nice little boss-fight. What could one want more, especially at the very fair asking price? Not much, and since I lack any true gripes, I'll thus settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform due to the low price.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Stock Art: Forlarren Sorceress
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 13:06:40
Purple Duck comes through again. I was working on a new project and thinking I would love to have A Forlarren in it but I don't have any art. This comes along and not only is it good, it is also casting a spell! How perfect is that? Well, for me it is perfect.
3 bucks gets you a full color image, a greyscale and line art along with an easy to read license.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Forlarren Sorceress
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Stock Art: Magical Cat
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 12:54:39
Magic cat, evil cat. Doesn't matter this little beastie is mine now and I can't wait to use it.
I like the artwork from Purple Duck and this one is one of my faves.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Magical Cat
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Stock Art: Evil Tree
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 12:53:46
Ever since I was little I have found old trees to be scary things. Plus it didn't help watching a bunch of movies about evil trees that come to life to kill people. So when I make my own games they always have some sort of evil tree monster in them. This art could not have been more appropriate for me even if I had hired them to do it myself. It's a nice creepy tree and I can't wait to use it somewhere.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Evil Tree
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2012 06:40:06
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/07/26/tabletop-review-bone-ho-
ard-of-the-dancing-horror-dungeon-crawl-classics/

Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is the first release from newcomer Purple Duck games. It uses the Dungeon Crawl Classics ruleset which makes me happy as I’m a big fan of the system. The truth is, though, that I picked up the adventure sheerly because of its title, because it is awesome. Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is for 2nd level characters, but unfortunately, it doesn’t state how many PCs it is made for. That’s a small, minor issue though, as reading through the adventure will let a Judge/GM/Keeper/Storyteller know if there’s enough here to challenge his or her players.

Like most Dungeon Crawl Classic adventures, Bone Hoard is a straight up hack and slash affair. This means you’ll be going from room to room killing things dead without too much of a plot or storyline. I was really happy to see that the Judge is given a good amount of background and back story so that he can understand why this particular dungeon is there, the raison d’etre of the two possible main antagonists and the history of the locale. I love having that sort of information, which sadly several DCC adventures (including some by Goodman Games, creators of the DCC system) tend to leave out. Judges can feel free to flesh out the story of Bone Hoard as much or as little as they want, depending on how much impetus the PCs need to go skulking around in a long-forgotten death trap.

There aren’t a lot of monsters in Bone Hoard. It mainly consists of some creepy rat-like creatures, some odd spider thingies, and some six inch high automatons. Instead the adventure relies more on mood and the Judge’s ability to set the tone of this abandoned locale. I like that this adventure was combat-lite compared to a lot of other DCC adventures as it made the climactic battle against the Dancing Horror all the more dramatic and impressive. I have to admit, the Dancing Horror is perhaps the creepiest antagonist I’ve yet encountered in a DCC adventure and it almost feels like it was ripped out of the Call of Cthulhu system. I loved its attacks and the horrible things it could do to the PCs. You probably won’t get a TPK (Total Party Kill) situation from it, but this battle will be one the PCs remember for a long time afterward. Even better, there is one more potential surprise here for players: an intelligent magic sword.

All in all, Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror is not only a nice short adventure that can be played in a single session by you and your friends, it’s a very well done affair that has me looking forward to whatever Purple Duck Games next release is. At only $2.75, this adventure won’t break your wallet and it’s one of the more balanced adventures for the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. If you are a fan of the system, definitely consider picking this up for your game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Brian B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2012 15:27:53
Not bad, a reasonable dungeon. Nothing special, but it works for low level characters. I'd recommend it for new GM's/Players

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Marvin B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2012 13:45:57
The DCC RPG is a fun game, and this is a particularly fun module. My group really enjoyed battling the creepy monsters and had a great time overall.

It's a short module and can be played in 1-2 sessions. The layout is well done and the text is clear and easy to read, which is important for me as my eyesight starts to fade.

Definitely a good purchase, especially at this price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/12/2012 03:25:52
Spoilers ahead

I read Bone Hoard after reading Goodman Game's People of the Pit and Free RPG Day 2012 adventures, and just can't say that I was as thrilled by this adventure. It's not a bad one. It's your typical "mage dies and adventurers investigate his long-lost dungeon". But, aside from a terrifically terrible "it'll suck out the bones from your body and taunt your friends with what's left" monster, there's not *that* much you haven't seen in, say, your typical D&D adventure. I think had the author had designed the scenario more heavily around the theme of "bone and flesh", it would have more impact. But, as it stands, I'm waiting for Goodman Game's next release.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Fehr's Ethnology: Xesa [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2012 16:31:30
This installment of the Fehr's Ethnology-series is 12 pages long with about 3 pages being used for editorial, SRD and advertisement, leaving thus about 9 pages of content, so let's check this out!

As has become the tradition of the series, this installment kicks off with IC-prose before getting into the racial traits: Xesa get 4 to Int, -2 to Wis and Str, are plant-like humanoids (can be affected as plants and humanoids, bur are immune to paralysis, polymorph and poison), are medium-sized, slow, get low-light vision, get 50% damage from cold effects, don't generate any scent, can duplicate eagle's splendor and sanctuary 1/day via pheromones and use continually speak with plants.

Spawned from men that got addicted to the pheromones of a carnivorous magic plant, the Xesa have evolved into a strange hybrid people: They have a dividing line at which they break asunder to become new entities and then there are the undivided - a ruling-class sans the means to reproduce. In spite of this peculiarity, age, height and weight tables and explaining notes make it rather simple to grasp the way the race works.

The rqace also comes with 4 well-balanced race traits and 6 alternate racial traits that enable you to become a cultist of sun or kmoon (including spell-like abilities), focus more on arcane glyphs rather than plants or even belong to the ruling caste of undivided. The pdf also provides 4 racial feats, enabling Xesa to draw HP from sunlight (but sickening you for a short time), use plants to enhance your bardic performance and two feats that help one survive (skill-bonuses) and gain bonuses to knowledge.

A discussion of all classes (CORE, APG, UM, UC PDG's Rook) and the Xesa's take on them (mini-hooks) are provided before we get the supplemental material for Xesa Druids in a reprint of theplant bond ability of the Treesinger as well 4 plant "animal"-companions: Carnivorous flowers, crawling vines, puffballs (Floating fungi, baby!) and sapling treants.

The pdf also provides favored class alternatives for alchemist, druid, fighter, magus, ranger, witch and wizard. Also included in the deal is Po-Ta, a Xesa witch and 3 new spells: One to make animals mad, one that makes gear more vulnerable and a spell that may let one seem undead with regards to detect spells - cool to finally see a low-level counter-measure for the annoying detect undead spell.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column standard and the one piece of artwork, a full page showing off a Xesa is mind-boggling in its disturbing beauty and something I definitely wouldn't have expected to see at that low of a price-point. The pdf comes with full nested bookmarks. When I saw the Xesa attribute modifiers and immunities I groaned. Seriously. I thought: Oh now, a race geared towards power-gaming in a specific direction, certainly much more powerful that other races. Well, turns out that the Xesa are actually neatly balanced - slow speed, vulnerability to either cold or fire and the ability to be hit by both plant and humanoid spells offset the bonuses they receive in a precarious balance. Add to that the fact that the none of the supplemental material felt unbalancing to me and we get a race that is geared towards the thinking classes and comes with a very strong feeling of alien creepiness. Due to the balancing being solid and me enjoying the race and its uncommon premise and execution, I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars.
Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Xesa [PFRPG]
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AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
by erik f. t. t. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2012 09:15:29
I've been dying to talk about AL-1, Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror (by Daniel Bishop) for nearly two weeks now. How can that be when it was just released this morning? Purple Duck Games was nice enough to send me a preview copy of Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror to peek at and it was damn good. I just wasn't able to talk about it. Grrrr!

First things first - it's a 2nd level adventure, and at the moment the only second level adventure released for the DCC RPG. Which means I probably won't have a chance to run it until September or later, but that is fine.

The map is laid out like a classic fantasy RPG dungeon map, and it looks great. I should mention at this point that there is a copy of the Referee's map at the end of the adventure, but this time without the rom numbers. The unnumbered map is also included as a hi-res stand alone JPG. Yep, Purple Duck Games understands what is useful to enhance a game session being run online via one of the various VTTs or even Google+ Hangouts. It's little things like this that mean a lot.

Did I mention that the PDF is bookmarked? Unlike larger PDFs, this wasn't needed, but again is a nice touch and certainly useful for navigation.

I am going to make one small suggestion for the future - maybe a second copy of the GM's map can be added in the next release (this suggestion applies to pretty much all adventure publishers). It would make reading the PDF that much easier if I could have a copy of the map and a copy of the PDF side by side on my monitor as I read through the adventure. If you think about it, this is why the early TSR adventures were printed on the inside of the removable adventure cover - so the map and the text could be read side by side. Just a thought.

Back to the adventure. There are a handful of magic items. Nearly all are single use, and maybe not even that many uses. Still, a party that perseveres to the end should be amply rewarded. Well, maybe not amply, but rewarded on some level ;)

As for the adversaries, they range from strength in numbers to damn dangerous on their own, which is one of the reasons I like the DCC RPG so much - everything can be a threat.

I'd love to delve deeper into the adventure itself - it is a wizard's workshop and you can guess that much of the fun is related to that fact, but I'd hate to give away a spoiler. I suspect it will be a decent challenge to a 2nd level DCC RPG party and I look forward to running it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL1: Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror [DCC]
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Fehr's Ethnology: Dragonblood [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2012 02:18:58
This installment of Perry Fehr's Ethnology-series is 10 pages long, with a total of about 3 pages of editorial/SRD/advertisement, leaving 7 pages of content, so let's check out the Dragonblooded, so what are they?

Dragonblooded are noble beings descendant from the dragons and they get 2 to Con and Cha, but -2 to Wis, 1 to bluff and diplomacy, 2 to caster-level checks to overcome SR and 2 to spellcraft when casting magic weapons, 2 to sunder and strength-checks to break objects, 1 natural armor and 1/2 level to saves against poisons. The pdf also includes information on how to tell regular humans, elves, half-elves etc. from dragonblooded and an extensive ecology-section, including age, height and weight tables.

The race also includes 4 race traits as well as 7 alternate racial traits to create small dragonblooded from halfling and gnome stock, orc-blooded dragonblooded and even ones that have access to some minor spell-like abilities due to their stock - none of the options felt unbalanced to me. The pdf also contains 6 new racial feats that enable dragonblooded characters to defend allies, get elemental resistances, a bonus to saves against charm, paralysis and compulsion and one that is interesting: Magic Sense lets the dragonblooded detect magic at will and use perception instead of Knowledge (arcana) and spellcraft to discern magic item properties and auras. Another feat makes you immune against magical sleep and cut down the rest you need to 4 hours per night. My favorite feat, though, would be Wallbreaker: By sundering against the DC of the wall, a dragonblooded can move half his movement and leave handholds smashed into the wall. Can you see it in your mind's eye? Awesome!

The Dragonblooded's approach to all classes is covered and we get favored class options for barbarians, bards, cavaliers, fighters, oracles, rooks, sorcerors and summoners.

The pdf closes with a sample player-character, Rhyatha Scything Blade, a dragonblooded samurai. That statblock lacks the "1" in the class-levels, which also constitutes the only editing glitch I found.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I only noticed one glitch. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column standard and the one piece of full-color artwork is evocative and awesome. The pdf comes with full bookmarks. Apart from the Enukae, this is by far my favorite installment of the series so far - iconic, cool, balanced the Dragonblooded not only takes an iconic concept in fantasy, it also delivers an excellent take on the concept and provides solid, balanced rules. The Wallbreaker-feat is iconic in the extreme and due to the low price, and the lack of crucial glitches/thing to complain about, I'm going to settle for a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Dragonblood [PFRPG]
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