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The Revelation of Mulmo: Tentacled Edition
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/13/2020 07:22:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module is only available in print, and as such, my review is obviously based on that format. The module is a perfect bound softcover, and somewhat to my chagrin, it has a large enough spine, but doesn’t have its name on the spine. The module clocks in at 68 pages if you disregard cover, editorial, etc.

This review was moved up in my reviewing queue at the request of my patreon supporters.

Before we dive into the meat of the matter, it should be noted that, while originally penned as a companion tome for Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Extended Otherworldly Edition (AD&BB:EOE), this module can be run all on its own; the judge might have to improvise a few spell-references, but I got this prior to AD&BB:EOE due to some quirk of fate and ran it without said book – went perfectly fine.

The adventure showcases some interesting ways of handling patrons interacting with PCs, and as such, provides two fully-realized patron write-ups, including invoke patron check results, patron taint, spellburn and 3 spells per patron – one for each spell level from 1st to 3rd. Additionally, the module codifies the scrying spell, which is exactly what you’d expect, save that it’s seen through the lens of DCC’s magic aesthetics, and, optionally, stats for a NPC that can become relevant – well, or not. One of the patrons is the eponymous Mulmo: A tentacled mass of shadow, he is said to be the keeper of every secret ever, whispering from the blackened haze. As such, his spells are Mulmo’s Dread Susurration, which can distract targets, cause Personality damage, penalize action die, etc. but the unlucky exposed to the most potent iteration, if they are blessed with an iron will, can potentially gain some cosmic insight here. Tentacles of smoke and gore spawn immobile, ever stronger tentacles  with progressive grasping capabilities – think of these as ole’ Evard’s black tentacles, save that they are realized via creature stats. Finally, we have Walk the Akashic Record, which is essentially, as the name implies, a collective-unconscious delve that can manifest in a wide variety of ways. I really liked this patron back in AD&BB:EOE, and I certainly still do.

The second patron featured herein would be a new one, Gloriana, the faerie godmother – who is a genuinely benevolent patron – it’s just that she has SO MANY wards to look after, so accidents can happen, which is a rather fun explanation of patron taint. This theme also features in the spellburn section – “There now. I hope we learned something from this, dear.” I adore it. Gloriana presents DCC’s volatile weird magic in the guise of faerie tales, with dangerous whimsy, animated mayhem, being teleported to a ball, and more. This notwithstanding, Gloriana’s magic is potent indeed: The PCs will only laugh once about the bing, bang, boom spell that requires 3 actions to cast, has 3 spell checks, and three effects, spanning a total of 3.5 pages on its own. I love it! Gloriana’s Most Excellent Love Spell reminded me of a certain cult movie franchise, and it provides very potent buffs for the enamored, but also makes them somewhat dependent on each other. Compared with these two, the final one, faerie transformation, is a bit less exciting, but that notwithstanding, we have a fantastic patron in the best of ways – If anything, this one made me really yearn for Daniel J. Bishop writing more Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores. (Purple Duck Games released these FANTASTIC and compelling modules…and if you’re a judge with even remotely a taste for weird faerie tales, you need to get them ASAP. The first one is actually PWYW - you can find it here!) Heck, if I wasn’t dirt poor, I’d throw some money at master Bishop to write more…but I digress.

So that’s the new patron material. The module, formally, is intended for a group of 3- 8 characters somewhere in the level-range of 4-6. As always in any well-wrought DCC adventure, I recommend a healthy mix of characters for the module, as this definitely is an old-school adventure. The module offers a different twist as far as use is concerned – the judge can run this as a site-based adventure, sure. But the module also offers something rarer: The chance to return a deceased character from death! Instead of a PC, an NPC could obviously also be the target, but personally, I do suggest combining the two. Having a quest in the back as a justification feels more DCC-ish to me. One of the few formal complaints I can field against the adventure, would be that it does not provide sample characters for the player of the deceased character to use (and perhaps dispose of) during the adventure, but that as an aside.

Now, the cover implies as much, but in case you haven’t gotten that – this module does have a strong elf-theme that is more alien and weird than the D&D default…and no, PC elves don’t automatically know everything. Not required, but nice: If the judge has Critters, Creatures & Denizens, use of Crit Table F is suggested, and it is also suggested that some creatures within can be turned by Lawful clerics. If you do have AD&BB:EOE, you will certainly benefit from that as well: Among the random encounters, patron manifestations ranging from Enzazza to Mab can be encountered. So yeah, a well-stocked judge’s library is certainly helpful, but not required. Personally, I like it when there’s subtle cross-referencing going on, as long as it doesn’t impede the quality of the material, or its ability to stand on its own.

Bronze and stone weapons are used prominently in the module, and easy to grasp rules for their relatively quick degradation are provided. Aesthetics-wise, the module provides read-aloud text as usual, stats where they’re needed, and also features quite a bunch nice, rhyming and riddles. The cartography is top-down with 10 x 10 feet squares, and functional – not a lot of details are provided, but it’s certainly sufficient to run this without a hitch. Since the location features quite a bit of verticality, we also get a side-view map, which I certainly appreciated, as it helps envisioning the relation between levels, etc. One adventure location comes with more detailed, isometric maps (5 foot-squares here) that feature more details. This is a personal thing, but I’d have preferred uniform square-sizes. Not a personal preference, though: Much to my annoyance and chagrin, no player-friendly maps are provided. I seriously hope that this finally becomes industry standard in DCC as well. I suck at drawing maps, hate it in all iterations, and simply can’t draw some of the more beautiful maps. But having a secret door spoiled, or fat numbers in my locations is a huge immersion breaker that I positively loathe. I wish more publishers would follow the example of e.g. Purple Duck Games in that regard, particularly since DCC-maps tend to be very beautiful, and would make awesome handouts.

All right, and this is as far as I can go without diving into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only judges around? Great! So, as noted before, a bargain between Mulmo and the PCs is probably the most satisfying way to run this adventure, and the sequence in which PCs are contacted is laid out rather well. One strength of the module is also one that deserves special mention: In the main adventure location, time flows differently, with a d7-table to determine its passing. This is in as far important, as, while wizard spell recovery etc. are guided by the time inside of the locale, for the purpose of clerical abilities, the time passing outside matters – which can make clerics more formidable, or weaker, and potentially change the campaign setting, if so desired. This is but one of the nest global effects here. The adventure locale, Erle’s Howe, is essentially a massive, hollow hill with a crown of trees on top. Nailing the sense of the dark faerie tale, the means of activating the entrance is actually already rather interesting. The Howe, somewhat disjointed from time, was one of the sites of conflict between the elves (which are anything but nice – case in point, e.g. Morhern the Exquisite, elven torturer…) and the trow. Unlike their friends with “d”, these are basically DCC-orcs that may or may not be corrupted elves.

Behind the glamoured entrances, the hollow hill contains a central 10-story tower (aforementioned place with isometric maps) and plentiful living spaces in the side of the walls. Interesting: Mulmo’s susurrations guide the PCs, for they need to acquire the body of a servant of Mulmo from within the tower – which is sealed. Thus, the party has ample reasons to explore the two levels of living spaces carved into the sidewalls of the hollow hills’ interior as they are questing for the rings. The patrons from AD&BB:EOE get ample chance to shine here, as the influence of several of them are obvious and possible to develop further. In a way, this is at once a strength and a slight weakness, as the module doesn’t really take time to let the PCs understand the respective patrons. They can e.g. find a complex machine crafted by a devotee of Ptah-Ungurath, but while fiddling with it can yield interesting results (or doom – this is DCC!), there isn’t really any indicator of the patron-involvement that the players can discern. The judge/player-information barrier here could be more permeable, as the lore implications of this complex spectrum of patron involvement can render the module more exciting, but that may be me. Secret oraculums and plentiful treasure, weasel-faced serpents. Elemental pools, the option to free a Prince of Eagles from confinement and mysterious machines, where 12 different level positions have different consequences can be found – or ignored. As often in DCC, risk and reward are carefully entwined, and parties knowing when to experiment, and when not to, are certainly better off. Elfs can btw. become Faerie Knights with the help of a magical armor, but, as often, this power does come at a cost. Absolutely hilarious: Alemourn, the drunken blade, a mighty sword that becomes more potent the more hammered the wielder becomes Inebriation is btw. handled with Agility, Personality and Stamina…

 Beyond this, the tower provides a change of pace, as the PCs have to bypass the un-dead and lunar creatures to retrieve the body of Morgil the Moon-Sage (Said NPC mentioned before as one character in the appendix); it is also probably a little homage to LotFP’s “Tower of the Stargazer”, as the telescope works inverse to that one; it can conjure a variety of lunar creatures, with their own table and stats provided. The massive and incredibly strong caterpillar-like Tiny Moon Calf particularly made me smile, and from insectoid selenites to lunar centaurs…and what about the actually sophisticated and intelligent wormfolk that might mistake the PCs for dumb animals and attempt to eat them? (they can’t disgorge those eaten – very embarrassing indeed…) Anyways, the body of the slain Moon-mage must be carried below, into the dungeon beneath the tower, where the theme of the adventure changes and the full level of malignant elven douchebaggery becomes apparent, if it hasn’t already. More undead await, and the PCs have a chance to rescue a trow princess driven insane – and particularly perceptive PCs may find a dark, magical sword bricked into a wall…of course, only if they can best the un-dead master of the goal…

Ultimately, this place, this prison, also houses the access to Mulmo’s hidden fane, where the waters of life may revive a target – but if the PC’s follow their shadowy benefactor’s guidance, they are in for a rude awakening, as the pool requires 1d100 years to recharge; if they, however, attempt to revive their own comrade first, they’ll be in for a pretty brutal treat, as Mulmo’s whispering shades do not take kindly to their master’s wishes being spurned…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are surprisingly good on a formal level, with only minor hiccups here and there, and the formal rules being precise as well. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard, with a couple of solid b/w original artworks, and b/w-cartography. The latter, as mentioned before, ranges from neat to functional, and no player-friendly maps are provided. All of this is particularly impressive considering the troubled history, publisher-change etc. that this book and its companion went through.

Daniel J. Bishop is one of the authors I look forward to reviewing, as he has a very firm grasp on DCC, and has yet to write anything I consider to be sans merits; he is never boring, and this holds true here as well. This massive module has a lot of things to tinker with, and sells its relatively conservative fantasy premise by diving deep into the faerie tale aesthetic. I like this adventure, and it certainly plays rather well. And yet, I couldn’t help but feel that the module has a few minor weaknesses hat keep it from true greatness. For one, I think that the adventure’s complex tapestry of patron influences could have been communicated slightly better to the players via direct and indirect clues – unless the judge devotes a bit of extra time to this aspect, the module can end up feeling unfocused and slightly confusing, as the PCs encounter disparate patron elements. On a prep-the-module-angle, it’d also have been rather cool for the judge to get an overview-table that lists the patrons, and perhaps hooks to lead into their services, or for them to have a more pronounced impact on the plot.

I know that this was not feasible, considering how the project went down, but I think this would have elevated the module from being a good offering, to an excellent one. Oh, and player-friendly maps. Anyway, this module still has a great bang-for-buck-ratio, a unique atmosphere, and is certainly worth its asking price. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Revelation of Mulmo: Tentacled Edition
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Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Hardcover Edition
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/30/2020 06:14:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive book clocks in at 177 pages of content, already disregarding editorial, introduction, etc. – that’s the pure, game-related material contained herein. It should be noted that the introduction, which I did not include in this tally, might be actually worth reading for some judges, as it reiterates that patrons need not only be for spellcasters, and provides some interesting ideas. These were not new to me, but they are very much worth bearing in mind.

This review was requested by my patreon supporters, to be undertaken at my convenience.

The review is based on the Dagon hardcover edition of this book, which brings me to an important aspect: In many ways, this book is a labor of love of the authors and the DCC-community. I was not part of the crowdfunding for the book, nor am I privy to any details, but the production was deeply troubled, and Shinobi 27 Games stepped in to make it properly available. The IP-related complexities stemming from this unique story are also why, at least regarding what I could dig up, there is no pdf for this book: You can purchase it in two softcover versions with different covers, or the hardcover this review is based upon. Anyhow: To all involved: Kudos for saving this project.

Patrons are awesome, and one of my favorite mechanical aspects of DCC. Heck, even when I’m not playing DCC, whether it’s in PFRPG or 5e, unless I am running something for the purpose of playtesting/reviewing, I use a modified version of DCCs patron-engine to make my game’s magic granted by otherworldly forces more volatile.

So yeah, conceptually, this book is something that not only the DCC-game, but also other games can at least draw some inspiration from – though, as always, conversion from DCC can be a bit tough on less experienced judges. That being said, if you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a diehard DCC-judge and thus don’t care about the hackability of the system, so let us take a look at the types of entities this book introduces us to, shall we?

This massive tome is the rarest of things: A crunch-centric DCC book. DCC’s draw, to many, after all is that Goodman Games committed to keeping rules-bloat to an absolute minimum, leaning on the community to provide rules for more niche uses of DCC, which they did with abandon, glee, and often, panache. One thing that became evident quickly, though, is that few concepts in DCC demand as much additional support as the patron-system. Indeed, it is an unfortunate and somewhat annoying tendency that many published adventures introduce patrons, but don’t deliver the whole array of information. This is not the case here: The full-blown patrons herein come with Invoke Patron, Spellburn, Patron Taint and custom spells (usually one for levels 1st to 3rd) – they are fully realized, and vastly expand your arsenal of entities. Considering the sheer amount of material, I will not go into the nit and grit of every patron, instead focusing on giving you an overview. Balance-wise, the patrons are interesting, in that slightly more powerful spells are balanced well with spellburn/patron taint, with flexibility properly valued as an important factor.

The first patron featured is one of two ocean/sea-themed ones, namely Dagon – and he does pretty much what you’d expect him to: The patron taint can make you more fish or toad-like, among other things, and the spells allow you to properly call forth the children of the deep, transform into creatures of the sea, or wrack the targets with the powers of the sea and its denizens. If you’d prefer a less Mythos-related sea-themed patron, Umwansch fits that niche, being more in line with Neptune or water elemental kings of the sea.

My favorite water-themed patron here, though, would be the four maidens of Tylin, a quartet of local water goddesses of the Holikoke valley, and if you want to use their power beyond this region, you’ll need to engage in a ritual and secure rocks from their shrines: Being 4, they do grant an additional second-level spell for that limitation, and their spells, ranging from dumb lust to despairing cloud, monstrous rage and touch of innocence represent rather well different moods often associated with lakes. These maidens genuinely feel like that occult, folksy deity that the strange villagers might worship. Plus, the stone angle begs to be used as an adventure hook.

We also have some quasi-divinities in this book: For example, there would be serpent-skinned and jackal-headed Set-Utekh, whose spells allow you to consume spells with spell eating (Literally!), generate canopic jar-based force fields or invoke The Imprisoning Spell of Osiris, which is very powerful, but has this teensy-tinsy caveat that, you know, it can kinda free Set-Utekh’s creatures…and they are not under your control. Not hostile either, but yeah… Ptah-Ungurath, the Black Goat, the Father and Mother of Monsters, is the herald of chaos, and the opener of the way: As such, his spells, like Rend the Veil, grants absolute vision – but also makes the caster subject to the tender ministrations of creatures only they can see and affect. Wanted to share ole’ Al-Hazred’s fate? There you go! And yes, the other spells of this fellow are just as volatile and friendly. I mean, you can end up calling strange columns of flesh, or jersey-devil-like demons.

While we’re on the subject of the more sinister patrons: If you thought that this sounds cool, but would prefer a more straightforward form of self-destructive channeling of unearthly power, fret not: There is Entorpus, a deity of entropy and chaos, who comes with a chaos-themed debuff (disorder), the ability to call forth a living chaos-beast armor (which can, at 34+, detach and act independently!), and, obviously, the rather lethal heat death. This entity is directly opposed by Trisdeus, the Tri-God – who may btw. be worshiped by clerics, with all rules provided. This fellow, with his three faces and focus on order, is one of the more clever concepts herein: The theme of “3” allows for pretty easy scavenging of Christian mythology, courtesy of the overlap with the whole trinity-theme, and all without being a simple cardboard copy. Clever. And no, I am not pulling that analogue out of my behind – the spells of this fellow are aura of guilt, confession, penance.

While we’re on the subject of patrons based on real-world mythology, you might have noticed that there is a second version with a different cover – the patron depicted there is Hecate, the Goddess of Witches, who btw. greatly prefers female servants. Her spells sport a powerful charm, namely Hecate’s Seduction, the dangerous Death Curse, and easily one of the strongest spells in the book – Drink the Moon nets you essentially a buffer of Personality modifier + an escalating amount of Spellburn. As a mistress of witches, this magic-mastery theme makes sense – and the moon energy granted may not always be wise, as it results in being rather, well, creepy/age-fluctuations/etc..

The second lady from real-world mythology would be another famous one – none other than the Queen of Air and Darkness, Mistress of Freezing Shadows: The book presents Mab, Dark Queen of Fairie as a new patron – and I like her more than Hecate: The dark fey angle is evident in the invoke patron effects, and even her Dark Curse of Mab is surprisingly distinct: Each non-failure entry comes with a line from the Bard’s work – “Her Whip of Cricket’s bone”, for example. It’s a small touch, but I loved it. It also fits well with the other spells, which are appropriately dream-themed.

Of course, not everything is alluring ladies herein: If you’re more of an aficionado of cold and calculating creatures that likely see you as food, we have two candidates: Hhaaashh-Lusss, the lord duke of reptiles (who comes with saurian summoning, turning into serpents, and a spell to enter suspended animation), and Hizzzgrad, the daemonic lord of crawling things: This charming insectoid monstrosity allows you to consort with vermin, but it also lets you use creepy-crawlies to animate the dead (can I hear Kyuss-zombie?), which can infect others and even detonate at higher HD. Did I mention the mocking animation as essential salts, essentially returning the dead to a facsimile of life. Unique here: Only the highest result actually is a success (after all, death is pretty sacred in DCC) – like it. Like the unnatural angle, and the subdued exorcist-vibe.

Which can be well-contrasted with Lavarial, Angel of the Temple –a patron for those goody-two-shoes or fanatics, depending on how you look at essentially a crusader/borderland-guardian, whose spells allow for buffs, healing and smiting – but only the non-chaotic will benefit from her blessings…and those swearing allegiance to chaos? They will face her wrath. Yan Oshoth is another guardian, but one of a more limited manner – this patron is a revered ancestor, who only cares about their family, their bloodline – and as such may well require demeaning tasks. On the other hand, making blood bonds, being guided by ancestral voices or drawing upon the strength of the family may be worth shoveling pig-feces for your country-bumpkin nephew, even if you’re an archmage. Or not.

Speaking of “or not”: Apart from Dagon, who was too obvious for me, there is one patron I personally did not like: King Halgaz Bekur is an un-dead ice-king from the… snore Sorry. The spells, crushing fear and the wraith king’s army do what you’d expect, though the latter does come with 5 unique creatures, which is nice. The one thing I enjoyed about this fellow was the Veil of Unlife spell, which becomes progressively more flexible, with transformation of targets to self-buff and healing or un-dead blocking included, among other things. More interesting, at least to me, would be another trope I’ve seen before: Enzazza, the Queen of the Hive, is a patron who prefers females, and is essentially the Wasp-queen. Unlike Pathfinder’s Calistria, she is not about vengeance – instead, she is cold, calculating, and utterly inhuman. Her spells include swarm-forms, conjuring insects, but also healing, golden honey – as seductive as this monster garbed in pleasant attire.

There is also one patron to lord over all others – a patron that requires that the character had multiple prior patrons, and low-level characters are penalized badly…this would be Pesh Joomang, the Gate and the Keeper. …yep, there is a massive patron herein that is essentially a homage to Joseph Goodman, including his henchmen: Harstrow the Harrower and Kur’tis the Colossus. Yep, the weaponry of these avatars of Mr. Stroh and Curtis have fitting abilities, though Kur’tis is missing his Act entry in the stats. This super-patron has 5 highly volatile spells, can have random spellburn from other patrons, and is essentially a huge bow before DCC, including spell that lets you call forth artwork from the DCC core-book’s first 58 pages, conjure walls of words taken from the core tenets of the DCC-aesthetic, etc.. It’s a cute patron, I guess, but it’s a bit too self-referentially meta for my tastes.

Indeed, it is time to come to my favorite patrons in this book, which, in no particular order, begin with Logos, the Perfect Form – a metallic thing of perfect, Platonic solids, creates surreal scions, machines – and the patron guides an invasion. Ultimately, Logos loathes organic life, and seeks to annihilate it for its imperfections, though that need not be readily apparent, a fact also mirrored by the patron spells, which begin with directional magnetism and energy play, and then proceed to the potentially planet-destroying solar vampirism, which powers magic by stealing the sun’s life…That is amazing. Pure awesome.

Then, there would be the most unlikely anthropomorphic animal/fey patrons I could imagine: On one hand, we have Mulferret, the bloodthirsty Queen of Weasels, who has a battle-spell called Weaselball. Weaselball. I cast Weaselball. I killed my enemies by casting Weaselball. Come on. You know you want to do that! If you ever saw a weasel tear into prey, you might even wince for a second. Awesome, favorite battle-spell in the book. The second fellow would be Radu, prince of Rabbits. This patron is remarkable, in that he manages to evoke the whole rabbit-theme (Alertness,, luck, transportation via extradimensional warren) very well without being cute. And then there would be easily the coolest concept for a patron in the entire book: The Arm of Vendel Re’Yune. No, this is not a typo. This is no mistake. If you can find the arm of the immortal sorcerer who dared to challenge the gods, and now exists in a state of perpetual death agony, you can tap into its dimension-bending, pain-powered abilities. This is so perfectly old-school: The ancient sorcerer’s mummified arm, jutting from a wall, granting power for those that dare – but at a terrible price. Love it. The spells, a debuff touch, stealing the target’s breath, or pushing targets into solid objects? They mirror the predicament of the entity perfectly. There also would be Mulmo. Mulmo is very cool, for very unique reasons – but this patron has their own adventure, so I’m discussing him in my forthcoming review of that adventure.

The book has more to offer than these patrons: First of all, it introduces an easy way to classify patrons in 4 tiers: The core patrons and the ones herein would be major patrons, while less potent entities may have a more limited reach or spell arsenal. It’s a simple one-glance operation to determine a patron’s power-level, and widening a patron’s influence is a great angle to Quest for It. Fans of Purple Duck Games might be already familiar with the concept of what follows, but not the specific examples: The pdf closes with 3 new demi-patrons, which come with invoke patron, spellburn and patron taint entries limited by their power-level…but all are interesting enough to integrate: We have, for example, A’KAS, a telepathic AI that currently is being mistaken for a god, while acting as a steward for a containment vessel. There is Tareus, a somewhat puerile godling from a young star…and there would be Myrddin. Myrddin is awesome. This entity is essentially a totem of squalor and filth, worshiped outside Ugama by the ostracized and exiled caste of the Zombi. The brief write-up brought the whole situation so perfectly to my mind, I want to know more!

Conclusion: Editing is the weakest aspect of this book: While certainly not bad, particularly considering the genesis of this tome, the book does sport a whole array of typo-level glitches, of “and”s missing, minor homophone errors, and to my chagrin, these do, in a few instances, influence rules-integrity, with e.g. a “+” missing and the like. As a whole, I’d consider this to be still good, but only by a margin. Formatting is better – while there are a few instances of minor snafus, these are relatively few and far in-between. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard (or one-column for the massive tables of spellburn, the spells, etc.), and the book sports quite a bunch of b/w-artworks, which range from nice to “okay.” The hardcover is solid PoD, as you by now expect. I can’t comment on the 11-patron snippet-pdf, since I do not own it, nor can I comment on the merits or lack thereof of the softcover versions. The hardcover has the name properly on the spine, which is a plus for me – I really dislike it when a hardcover (or any book of sufficient size) doesn’t have the name on the spine.

Daniel J. Bishop, Paul Wolfe and David Fisher deliver what is 100% a labor of love, and always reads like it. In spite of being a crunch-book, this tome surprisingly never became dull to read, and in fact, I maintain that many designers could draw some serious inspiration from the patrons herein. Now, the troubled history of the book can be felt in the glitches that are herein, yes, but frankly, I expected to encounter much more, considering the crunch-density. The team that saved this project really deserves my accolades, for ultimately, in spite of its imperfections, this tome represents not only an inspiring book; its concepts have managed to worm their way into more than just my DCC-game, and it actually inspired me.

If you’re playing DCC and don’t mind a typo here and there, then you have to consider this to be nothing short of required: This, alongside Purple Duck Games’ PHENOMENAL Steel and Fury, is one book I’d definitely consider to be an essential for DCC-games. As such, my final verdict will account for the glitches, by clocking in at 4.5 stars…and while I genuinely should round down, I just can’t bring myself to doing so. The book may have a few duds, but almost every patron had something I considered mechanically and flavor-wise interesting and inspiring. Thus, this book gets my seal of approval, and is designated hereby as an EZG-Essential for any DCC-game. You owe it to yourself to expand your patron-cadre!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Hardcover Edition
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the detailed review. I'll really need to revisit the editing of the book based on this. All the best!
Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition
by Lee N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2018 08:17:40

The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG has always prided itself on only needing one rulebook to run the game, with no further expansions planned or required. That said, in my opinion, two books that make the perfect partner to the core rules and should sit olaongside every Judge's copy of DCC RPG are the 2016 predecessor to this title, "Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Expanded Otherworldly Editon/Dagon Hardcover" and this follow up, the Volume 2: Elfland Edition.

Patrons make a fantastic and mysterious addition to any DCC game and none more so when they're elf themed. I am predominantly a DCC Judge so on the rare occassion that I get to take part as a PC, I alwys try and snag myself an elf to play. I love how gloriously chaotic they are, notorious for trying to expand their magical power through dark pacts with supernatural beings, their motives alien to other races and casting their spells with a negative modifier whilst fully clad in metal armour because...whatever!

In this tome, you'll find 14 new fey themed patrons, fully detailed and ready to dangle a hook in front of your layers to make that dark bargain! There's other great content on a fey theme including a magic item generator, mercurial magic specific to the Elf character class, new spells and a really cool patron revelation sheet. This allows players to discover what the patron can offer through play, rather than having it all provided upfront. Patrons should be mysterious and they all have their own agendas way beyond mere mortals comprehensions. Their supernatural sponsor may imbue them with help and additional power but don't be fooled that the day won't come when the bill comes in!

I have this book in both PDF and print and heartily recommend it, it's a fantastic piece of work and a solid addition to the patrons provided in the DCC RPG book.

Released at the same time as this volume, was the fey themed, 0-level funnel "Fae Hard" from the same publisher, also well worth checking out to go wild with your elf themed Dungeon Crawl Classics fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition
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Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2018 18:10:42

This is a great book if you have a DCC Elf character looking for a Patron. Its a must have for your DCC RPG. Full of Patrons, Demi-Patrons, spells, and rules for Elf mercurial magic , along with rules for magic items. Even a version of that infamous evil Dark Elf Spider Godess is there.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Trolls of Mistwood
by Bruce L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2018 15:46:39

This adventure is very well written: it consists of investigative work for the players, red herrings to mislead them, and multiple enemies to both deceive, and confuse them, at a most critical point in the adventure! There is a cast of numerous, interesting, and potentially misleading characters to encounter, and interact with. The plot is not overly complex, but the fact that they are facing two enemy factions, using them as a tool to defeat their opponents, makes for some interesting challenges for the players.

Without giving too much away, things are not what they seem. The players may imagine they have solved the numerous mysteries, but more likely, they have not. This is a story with depth, complexity, and challenges which are not particulary common. It involves far more than trute force, or horrendously powerful magic, to overcome the machinations of the powerful adversaries in this adventure.

If you are planning to run this adventure, a quick read-through will give you the whole, twisted, story. After that, strap yourself in for a wild ride, because you will not know how the players will choose to navigate this maze of decisions, until they voice their choices at the table... Then watch the chips fall as they may. It get a little crazy. Enjoy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Trolls of Mistwood
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind review, Bruce.
Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Edition
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2016 13:19:40

Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Extended Otherworldly Edition

I own the original PDF format of the book and this print only edition blows the PDF version away on every level.

Comparison: the PDF format has 13 patrons the EOE print version has 24. What's better than gaining 11 more patrons is that the new patrons seem so much more usable than the original 13. Lovecraft gets a starring role in the new edition with Dagon as a fully imagined Patron. Moorcock is not left out either. Purchasers get Umwansh, Father of the Waves and Mulferret, Queen of Weasels. Plus a great addition from Irish mythology.

But wait there's more! Paul Wolfe's ruminations on lesser patrons (called Demi-Patrons) is given full attention in this edition of AD&BB. A local god or force can be given lesser levels of power and grow with the characters (and make them into depraved sycophants).

Dave fisher has added more art and having a printed copy has never felt so damn good. Looks great and about as thick as the average GURPS splat book from back in the day.

If you have Angels, Daemons & Beings Between, you are going to want the Extended Otherworldly Edition. I doubt I'll ever Ctrl+O the PDF ever again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Edition
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Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Hardcover Edition
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/20/2016 13:16:07

AWESOME!!

This book is great. It is an essential book for anyone who plays DCC Rpg. Essential! Let's face it, one of your players ( or you) will want to play a Wizard, and a Wizard will want a Patron. The reality is the core book only has a few. Another reality is that creating your own Patrons is a lot of work. A lot. This book has 24 new fully developed Patrons. 24!

It even has a new idea : Demi-Patrons. Less powerful Patrons, but they may be less demanding. Their goals might be more in line with the character, and their power can grow along with the characters. Neat.

180+ pages of sheer awesome.

This is the best source book I've seen for DCC rpg in a long long time.

Go buy it. Now!

NOW!!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Hardcover Edition
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Angels, Daemons & Beings Between: Dagon Hardcover Edition
by Lee N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2016 04:48:24

Magic is a dangerous and unpredictable art in the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and one of the ways in which an elf or wizard (although other character classes may become bonded) can seek to increase their spellcasting power is by forging a pact with a supernatural patron. This isn't a straightforward power up for a player character, however. It's an ongoing negotiation and wrestle for the upper hand with a being who's motives are unfathomable to the common adventurer. Aid and spells may be provided but always at a cost. What price are you prepared to pay in your quest for power?

Patrons are a rich and rewarding dynamic in the DCC RPG experience and creative talent Daniel Bishop, Paul Wolfe and David Fisher have crafted an invaluable tome in Angels, Daemons and Beings Between: Otherworldly Edition. This is a creator owned, expanded edition published through Shinobi 27 Games and is absolutely the version of this book that you should be supporting and picking up. It's a real labour of love that provides Judges with a variety of fully developed patrons to seed throughout their campaigns and leave baited hooks for adventurers to be tempted by to try and further their power. Fully complete patron write-ups are provided in a clean, easy to read, well produced, hardcover format. A really useful addition is a guide to using patrons in DCC RPG as well as a creation tool for designing your own patrons and demi-patrons. The quality of the printed product provided through RPGNow was fantastic, professional looking and arrived well packaged and securely.

The DCC core rulebook provides you with a limited number of patrons, not all of which are completed entries but AD&BB:Otherworldy Edition gifts you with a wealth of fully developed patrons to start using right away. Credit is due to David Fisher for working so hard to secure the licence to release this print edition and it is a solid investment that will see use time and again at your gaming table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Feast of the Preserver
by Bob B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2016 19:44:30

Feast of the Preserver from Shinobi 27 Games is often billed as a “survival horror adventure”, but that isn’t wholly accurate. It is more a mini-campaign than an adventure, weighing in as a 44 page PDF, there is a lot going on here…and all of it delightfully dark. There are probably 12-16 hours of game play here if players really dig deep and investigate all the opportunities afforded them.

Written for a party of 3-4th level PCs, this is not an adventure for a novice Judge. There are a number of twists and turns written into the storyline and, if run like a traditional dungeon crawl, the air of doom and menace would become lost. This adventure thrives on the helplessness of villagers, struck by an unknown plague, a raid for ransom by bandits, and the mysterious titular religious feast. Keeping solid notes and establishing a timeline to keep things running smoothly is recommended.

Once in though? Oh, what an adventure! Survival horror indeed! The players will need to be at their absolute sharpest to escape the hazards they face. It isn’t that the adventure’s threats are overwhelmingly powerful…but they are quite clever. This is an adventure that calls for brains as much as brawn and those seeking to “murder hobo” their way through it will most likely perish. Fools rush in…to a chipper shredder.

The quality of the material itself is also top notch: the interior art is dark and evocative, the writing reminiscent of the classic Hammer films, and the new material presented can easily be pulled and dropped into an ongoing campaign (who doesn’t want a new “dark” patron). This is an adventure that can be dropped into any ongoing campaign of appropriate level or one that can be hinted at and built towards from campaign start. The tools are provided to make players more than a little leery of what dwells in the darkness.

$9.50 gets you a hard copy and the PDF and it is very much worth it.

Bob Brinkman - Sanctum Secorum Podcast



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Feast of the Preserver
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The Trolls of Mistwood
by Daniel B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2014 05:34:27

Caveat: I am pretty deeply enmeshed with the DCC community now, and I have relationships of some sort or another with most of the good folks publishing DCC materials.

In the case of The Trolls of Mistwood, by David Fisher (Shinobi 27 Games), I am listed as an editor. I was lucky enough to have seen this adventure at several stages of its development, and had some very modest input into the direction of the final version. So, you can take all of my comments with a grain of salt if you like.

The Trolls of Mistwood is a higher-level adventure (4-6), and is intended as the first of several adventures centring around the same region. It makes use of patron information from Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between, and provides most of the information needed to run the scenario. You may want to have a copy of the Invoke Patron table for Hecate, Goddess of Witches handy, and that is not included. You can find it here if you don’t have the AD&BB tome.

Without giving too much away, the adventure revolves around trolls. Author David Fisher cleaves pretty close to the standard fantasy types for monsters, but this actually makes the adventure work better, as those places where expectations are confounded become more unexpected. There are some cool magic items, including a very detailed magic sword.

The inclusion of Mistwood, a settlement that is fully described for Dungeon Crawl Classics, is a very definite bonus – DCC could use a similar product targeted at low-level play, ala Keep on the Borderlands or The Village of Hommlet. Of course, the clever judge who started early could use Mistwood as a campaign location from the funnel onward, bringing the successful PCs back home to deal with the village’s problems when they have gained a few levels and toughened up some. Doom of the Savage Kings (by Harley Stroh; Goodman Games) comes closest to date, and has supplied many a campaign with a potential starting point.

I like the art of David Fisher, and it should be no surprise that, when the author is the artist, there are some nice pieces of art in the final product. There are some of David’s “clip art” pieces, and his images including trolls are among his best. I would have preferred that the NPC pictures were less “pose-y”, but you can’t have everything, and for many a judge the images are usable as a visual aid. The cartography is excellent. It is not surprising that two of the maps have been made available separately as colour art pieces.

Overall, I am pleased with how The Trolls of Mistwood turned out. Flavour-wise, the adventure seems to very much influenced by Poul Anderson – which is a good thing, as Poul Anderson gave us the modern rpg troll. Gary Gygax’s trolls are very much those seen in Three Hearts and Three Lions, with a long-nosed nod to the trolls in L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt’s The Roaring Trumpet. I think there is a bit of Fritz Leiber and Jack Vance in there as well, although that may just be me looking for influences that may or may not exist.

http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2014/02/everyone-else-trolls-of-mistwood.html



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Trolls of Mistwood
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