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Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG) $12.00 $3.00
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Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
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Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/22/2013 11:31:03

You've heard the one about the sailor with a wife in every port?Well, this adventure starts with a wizard who has a wife in every dimension he's visited... and ends with an extra-dimensional tomb in which the party is trapped. You may prefer to use one-off characters for this one rather than risk the characters that you've nurtured to the dizzy heights of 6th-8th level on this one.

The tomb is the resting place of the eight wives who all predeceased the wizard (some, tis said, by his hand), and they do not rest easy. Powerful women, they reach out, infusing the legendary artefacts of the wizard and tampering with one is the way to enter the tomb - to escape it again the party needs to collect various artefacts belonging to all eight wives and complete a ritual.

Little is provided by way of hooks to get the characters involved in the adventure. There's an in media res battle with a giant, apparently the last defender of one of the wizard's artefacts, with the assumption that the party will defeat him, grab the artefact and... find themselves elsewhere. You may wish to play through the entire artefact hunt (especially if weaving this into your regular campaign) or have another idea entirely.

The actual Tomb itself is mapped out and described well. It is very much a 'puzzle dungeon' - if you or your players do not care for such things, find something else. Most of the puzzles are pretty deadly and clues to solve them are limited (I'm finding many hard to figure out even with the book in front of me...), you may wish to add clues or allow the players to roll for hints. Plentiful use is made of random tables and teleport spells, it can all get quite confusing... but played in the right spirit, this has the potential to be a blast, a fun adventure (provided you are not too attached to your character).

The illustrations are glorious, however, many looking like mediaeval wood-cuts. There's a lot to explore here, a lot to do... never a dull moment indeed... this dungeon may not be for everyone but for those who like this style of adventuring it will prove memorable.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/30/2013 06:49:10

Originally posted at:

Tomb of Curses is the first release from a new company called Dragon’s Horde Publisher. Like a lot of indie companies, Dragon’s Horde, like Purple Duck Games, Purple Sorcerer Games, Brave Halfling Publishing and Cognition Pressworks, have chosen to create products for Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics line. Tomb of Curses is the longest adventure published for Dungeon Crawl Classics so far, weighing in at forty-three pages, and it also carries the biggest price tag for a DCC adventure to boot. As you might have guessed from the name, Tomb of Curses was heavily influenced by Gary Gygax’s Tomb of Horrors for First Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. While obviously nowhere near the level of quality of Tomb of Horrors, Tomb of Curses does give DCC a very long adventure to be played out over several sessions, which is something the system simply hasn’t had to this point. Whether or not that was actually needed is up to your individual tastes and needs as a gamer, but for now, this is your longest adventure for the system.

I’m torn on Tomb of Curses, because while I think the story is easily the worst yet for a DCC published adventure (and there have been some doozies), the actual PLAYING of the adventure is quite fun and far more reminiscent of the early D&D experience than even some Goodman Games adventures. Now, while I enjoy very story heavy games like Call of Cthulhu and Vampire: The Masquerade, if you go out to pick up an adventure for a game that has DUNGEON CRAWL in the title and expect something grandiose in plot and characterization, then the fault is yours. DCC is roll playing over role playing and primarily hack and slash over talking heads. Sure, the story behind Tomb of Curses is a bit insipid, terribly convoluted, at times nonsensical and even contradictory, but it sets up an adventure with insidiously cruel puzzles and a guarantee that much of the party is going to die horribly, if not all of them. This is one of those rare adventures where a TPK (Total Party Kill) will not only be expected going into it, but a portion of the fun is seeing who dies and how.

So the actual story of Tomb of Curses is twofold. The first is the history of the Tomb itself. Once upon a time, there was a wizard who was an inter-dimensional polygamist. Yes, he had multiple wives, but they were from different species on different worlds in different realities. He was mostly a dick to them, killing one, betraying another and so on, so it’s not really a surprise when he is killed by them in a fiendish revenge plot. Except he didn’t die or something. It’s not quite clear. He “fell” but then cursed his wives into the inter-dimensional prison known as the Tomb of Curses, even the wife he really loved. Which doesn’t make any sense, but none of the story makes any sense. One wife was killed by the mage early on, and she somehow was part of the plot to kill him later on, even though she was still quite dead and neither undead nor raised. Yet another wife willingly entered the inescapable prison, yet is also listed as roaming around the multiverse looking for the husband. There’s also the groan worthy decision to have a wife from our world as well – which is NEVER a good idea whenever someone tries it. Basically, the entire back story is just word vomit that really needed an editor for logic and continuity’s sake.

It gets weirder when you realize the adventure actually begins at the climax of a completely different adventure. Players are started off with the “boss fight” of an adventure where PCs have been looking for the Everglass of Uth’Pentar, a mystical artifact. Well, the artifact is actually cursed, and it throws all the PCs into the very location this adventure is named after. There is only one way out of the prison, and that’s solving the overarching set of puzzles within it. The PCs, along with a little help from the wizard’s eight wives, do their best to survive and escape the Tomb of Curses. I do think the setup where the players are thrust into the climax of an adventure they have never actually played is an inspired one, but also something that can go disastrously wrong in the hands of an inexperienced DM or a more casual gaming crew. So the adventure’s start can be a bit wonky, but at the same time, I can’t think of too many tabletop gamers who are going to start off with DCC as their first ever RPG, so the chance of this becoming a train wreck from the opening is very slim indeed.

As you might expect from a Tomb of Horrors homage, Tomb of Curses has a lot of instant death with no escape/saving throw/etc traps within its walls. Some players new to this system might cry foul at this, but it’s neither unheard of nor unexpected for DCC. The adventure is for six to ten characters between Levels 6-8, which is pretty high level for Dungeon Crawl Classics. These traps range from rapid aging to a hallway of no return. The Tomb is far more puzzle oriented than most DCC adventures, but hack and slash fans shouldn’t worry – there is a lot of combat in Tomb of Curses. There are also some attempts at humour, like a demon with a lowbrow sense of humour, spouting poop and fart jokes constantly, or one of the wives being a giant cosmic catfish, but they tend to fall flat on their face, unlike the more comedic approach we sometimes see from Purple Sorcerer DCC adventurers. I really enjoyed the various puzzles, although some DMs may have to help the players, as the answers aren’t necessarily obvious and, as mentioned, there are a ton of no escape instant death traps littered through the experience, so giving the players a bone when they are heading in the right direction isn’t a bad idea considering the adventure.

I do want to say a word or three about the art. For the most part, I love what’s here. The pictures within the adventure really breathe some life into the experience and, because players actually need to see the pieces ala handouts to get through some of the puzzles, the quality had to be top notch or they would do more harm than good. I can’t say enough good things about the art. The only two negative comments I have are in regards to the cover page (which is merely mediocre) and the map. Maps are a big part of the draw for DCC adventurers. In this case, there is nothing wrong with the art or the map itself. It’s just that the tomb is so big, and so the one page map feels very constrained and cropped down. It also feels a lot harder to follow, and the sheer size of the map combined with the artistic renditions on the page make it feel almost too busy to look at properly. Again, these are the only two issues with the art as the rest is truly fantastic.

So, let’s give Tomb of Curses a thumbs in the middle. I liked playing/running the adventure, but the storyline running through it is pretty terrible. Combat is well balanced and the puzzles are interesting, but at times the adventure does feel a bit too “DM vs PCs” which may turn people off from the experience. I can’t deny I’ve experienced far better adventurers for the DCC line, but I’ve also experienced a lot worse, and for a first adventure out of the gate, Dragon’s Horde Publishing gave us an interesting, albeit flawed, experience. People running Dungeon Crawl Classics for their friends might want to read through this first before buying, which means borrowing from a friend or reading the brief preview up at For the price and inherent flaws in the product, I can’t recommend Tomb of Curses, but I can’t give it a thumbs down or a negative review either. It’s a very mixed bag, and mileage may vary. If you’re looking for a longer adventure for DCC and you have players that don’t care how bad the plot is as long as they are rolling dice and killing monsters, Tomb of Curses might be worth the higher than average price tag.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
by Clayton i. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2013 07:08:22

If you see this for sale for $6.00 right now, it's a good time to snatch it up, because price was the only thing giving me second thoughts about getting this module, and now that I have read through it, I can say it is a quality adventure.

If you can manage to get your party up to a high enough level, this adventure will provide a good challenge for them. Even if you hacked it a bit to allow lower level PCs, or vise versa, there are plenty of traps, puzzles, and phenomena that keep things deadly and keep players on their toes.

I can't say for sure if it was the authors' intention, but this seems to be very much a love letter to both the infamous Tomb of Horrors as well as the gonzo mash-ups that make DCCRPG really shine. There is a plethora of interesting things here to poke at and be amused by. There are good item and patron opportunities for the PCs too.

Possible problems: I would say one of the initial puzzles may not be to everyone's liking, as it is a puzzle that uses English letters in a fantasy setting. I would also say that the final solution to the adventure seems to be impossible to beat without strong spell casters, but perhaps there are mitigating factors I missed in my read-through. The artwork is mostly solid, but there are a few places where Photoshop was used to what I felt was cheesy effect. But the writing is the important thing, and except for a few typos (mostly in the intro), it shines quite well. I'm giving the adventure 5 stars for the writing and vision.

I will find a way to run this for my group.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of Curses (DCC RPG)
Publisher: Dragons Hoard Publishing
by Anthony B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2013 18:46:29

From both a player's and GM's perspective the phrase, "Not for the faint of heart," comes to mind. The Tomb of Curses is a challenge to be beaten and it is holding most of the cards and has no inclination to even tell you the rules.

The basic premise for the adventure is imprisonment in the Tomb of Curses, and so events begin in the midst of doing something else. Judges who choose to build up to this incredible challenge from the start of their campaign will definitely have the makings of an epic gaming experience within their reach, but the writers provide a lead in should you choose to follow their very wise advice to start in media res with characters rolled up fresh for this soul and body crushing experience.

Those players who trust their characters to this adventure must be prepared to bring their best forward, and do whatever is necessary to accrue some good luck and better karma, as survival would seem to be the rare exception... and an accomplishment worthy of only the luckiest and most adept. Luck or skill alone will not suffice.

The writing is clear and entertaining throughout this well laid-out product, with clear referencing to important elements prominently placed for easy notice. Harried Judges will not find it hard to use the Tomb of Curses even when the tension has mounted to unbearable levels. The evocative art is appropriate to the product and the DCC line, and an added perk to a fun read. The PDF is not bookmarked, but does contain a useful index and in-text section references.

Additional bonuses are new monsters, items and several intriguing new patrons. As mentioned earlier, a truly epic campaign could be formed from the elements mentioned in passing within this adventure. Even if purchased and never run, the fuel for imagination and scenario creation contained within the 40+ pages of this product is packed with potential energy.

As I said in the beginning, this is adventure is not for the faint of heart, and in the spirit of DCC anyone choosing to engage in it must know that death is waiting at every misstep and sometimes just because everything dies eventually. This is not a scenario to just drop into an ongoing campaign for fun to see what happens - this is an event. It is a personal challenge to players to belly up to the table with the big boys to test their mettle.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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