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Critters, Creatures, & Denizens
by Tim B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2017 13:39:50

A neuronphaser.com review.

Critters, Creatures & Denizens (CCD, which happens to be a nice acronym alongside Dungeon Crawl Classics' DCC) is like the AD&D Monster Manual getting released before the AD&D Player's Handbook: it's a monster book with slightly more "advanced" rules, but it works perfectly with the existing game. To allay fears, it doesn't "change" any rules or break the game, it simply adds a little extra granularity to monster stats in the form of providing Ability Scores for all monsters, and for developing finer details for movement (running, flying, hovering). The existing stuff -- i.e. non-advanced versions of the rules -- is all there, too, so you're only getting additional information, not losing out on anything.

With that note out of the way, CCD basically replaces and expands upon most of the monster info in the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG core rulebook. It also includes incredibly in-depth rules discussions of monsters, monster creation, and monster conversion, so the few holes in the replacements form the DCC core book (gargoyles, dragons, demons, some undead) are easy to convert to this expanded rule info if you so choose, and pulling monsters out of nearly any OSR game -- Swords & Wizardry, Castles & Crusades, and other games that have lots of really good monster books -- is a breeze. There are hundreds of monsters in here, and while a considerable number are animals, nearly every entry includes info on giant or smaller versions of animals, supernatural mutations, and other weird stuff, so that even an entry on Chickens isn't just about a chicken: there are riding chickens and war chickens! Chocobos, ride!!!

There's even a patron demon lord (Krelvax) and a mechanical faerie lord (The Gear Lord) that act as supernatural patrons or deities for a cleric, and the full rules info for such are included.

The monster entries themselves are formatted in a manner reminiscent most of the AD&D 2E Monster Manual, which is nice because it formats multiple monster entries on a single table whenever possible. For example, the Goblin entry includes 4 or 5 different goblin stats (grunt, chief, cook, etc.) and then includes a couple pages of description, combat, and ecology text that gives you great insight into how to run such creatures as more than just mini-bags of hit points trying to chew a Player Character's leg off.

I mentioned mutations. There's a whole section in the beginning about mutations, so you can pull together any existing creature (or develop a new one using the wonderful rules in this book), and then mutate it like crazy to get something horrifying and new. Or, you can mutate your player characters with minor and major mutations of great variety. Because they deserve it, that's why! And we're not talking about mutations like "becomes Spider-Man," oh no. We're talking about horrific, detrimental things that they may find benefit from, but by and large are going to send them on a death-spiral of horror, change, and being outcast from polite society (if such a thing exists in DCC!).

This book is solid through and through. Even if you don't use the expanded movement rules, don't worry about the granularity of some special abilities, and ignore mutations, you're still getting hundreds of monsters, giant versions of animals, and a few sweet patrons or familiars besides. Plus conversion rules that allow you to reappropriate any monster for the DCC game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Critters, Creatures, & Denizens
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Critters, Creatures, & Denizens
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2017 20:15:09

I purchased the physical book of this, and while I haven't used the monsters in a game (I'm sure they're fine), I have a HUGE gripe with this book. The quality is garbage! This is because of 2 issues; 1) Resolution; the image resolution is horrible- text is fine, but all the artwork is blurry and dull. It's all black and white, which is fine with the style of DCC- but because its so dull its more grey and white. This is even the case on the cover! 2) Artwork: the preview shown on this website is very misleading because the art isn't shown on any of the preview pages. It is very poor. To be clear, I loved the art in the DCC core book, that had great art, this is not that. This looks like a child trying to emulate that art.

It's unfortunate because there isn't any offical monster manual, and this is really the only one that I've found for the system.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Liber Arcanum
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2015 12:26:02

Liber Arcanum is an excellent resource for wizards in DCC. You can read the table of contents in the full sized preview so you can see how many pages are devoted to what. I just want to point out two things:

The rules for spells above 5th level require multiple casters and for the highest, both clerics and wizards are needed to pull them off.

Magic Hat allows your wizard to emulate Presto from the Dungeons & Dragons animated series. It is glorious, if more than a bit hazardous even for DCC.

If you want good material to expand your DCC games or as inspiration for other fantasy and science fantasy games, look no further.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Liber Arcanum
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Liber Arcanum
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/01/2015 16:11:12

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Liber Arcanum

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Liber Arcanum
System- Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Producer- Cognition Pressworks Price- PDF ~$10 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/139777/Liber-Arcanum TL; DR- More wizard options than you can shake a wand at. 90%

Basics- Behold the Book of Secrets! Liber Arcanum contains new wizard and elf player options for DCCRPG. This book contains the expected new spells but also has patrons, new subclasses of wizard, magic items, and more.

Mechanics or Crunch- Here is where the book shines. I love DCCRPG, and play it every other week. But, Goodman Games doesn't make many player options. This book is an excellent addition to any player wizard. It's got an impressive amount of spells as well as new patrons that come fully fleshed out. Every spell get's several pages describing it in detail as well as giving all kinds of interesting flavor. It's an easy drop into any DCCPRG game. 5/5

Theme or Fluff- Theme is another home run for this product. I'd expect, in book of spells and patrons, spells and patrons, but the book goes a little further by adding little story bits as well as art to draw you in. The arts not perfect, but it does a great job of telling a story. Furthermore, the book even has a cosmology. That is way more than I expected from a simple spell splat book. 5/5

Execution- Of the areas I review RPG products on, this is the one area where this product struggles. Some white space would really help this product. The first chapter adds lots of content, but it's pretty text dense. A few tables and some more art would have really helped break that up. On the subject of art, this product's are is ok. It's not bad, but it's not as good as the core DCCRPG book. That can take away a bit from the text, but overall, I'm just happy to see some art here. A little more space, some organization changes, and some art touchups would help this product make it over the top. 3.5/5

Summary- It's always good to read some more DCCRPG. Strange fantasy is always a crowd pleaser, as is this book. It's a massive 300 pages with lots of content ranging from the expected spells to the unexpected planer diagrams. That's pretty impressive from a third party publisher. However, it's not without its faults. The art is a bit off in places and the font size and spacing could use a bit of work. However, that doesn't detract from the awesome content in this one. A well done tome that should be found in any wizard's library. 90%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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