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Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine issue #3 (DCC)
Publisher: Shield of Faith Studios
by Venger S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2014 12:23:09

I was given a complimentary review PDF of this product.

Crawling Under a Broken Moon fanzine issue #3 is my first encounter with CUaBM, but not my first encounter with Dungeon Crawl Classics fanzines or gonzo, post-apocalyptic science-fantasy. Overall impression: it's awesome!

Issue #3 is pretty much all adventure. As in, the entire thing is a zero-level funnel adventure for DCC. It's got a sweet little hook that's as familiar as it is compelling: a settlement is being harassed by raiders who can kick the crap out of them. You start out as one of the settlers! Although, later in the background section, it mentions that the settlement in question tried to raid someplace else and because of that failed raid, they must now pay a tribute, like reparations or something. That paints a different picture. Less sympathetic but a little more interesting. Really, a GM could go either way.

So, the entire reason for going into this creepy, forbidden mall is salvage. Find enough stuff to load up the tribute truck and your village won't be destroyed or looted beyond all recognition. The module includes rules for determining how much stuff will take up room in the tribute truck. Pretty neat, although it may become a hassle to track after awhile if gamers are math-adverse (like me).

What I want to know is... how many of these farmers-turned-adventurers are looking for weapons or magic/tech items in order to thrash the enemy raiders? If I was playing, that would be my #1 priority. No one puts baby in a corner. Did I just say that? Hells yeah, I did!

I like the three factions within the mall. The map and occasional "bad art" are also cool.

Besides a few typos, one criticism I have is an over-reliance on modern D&D skill checks and standardized rules yielding a mechanical bonus or penalty. For example, in Ward's Forest of Bugs and Shrooms there's a haze of spores in the area which has an effect on PCs hanging out there for more than a few minutes. Great stuff. But then it goes on to say, "Any PCs staying in the area for more than a few minutes must make a Fort save DC 10 each 30 minutes or suffer a 1 die penalty to their action dice due to mild hallucinations for the next 1d3 hours." I would have rather had a description of physical or mental side effects or an illustration of what those hallucinations might include. Stuff like that. Not a huge deal but it's the little things that count.

I love all the various locations - sunglasses hut, food court, ice dream (?) parlour, etc. Some neat descriptions evoke a vague sense of both Escape from New York and Dawn of the Dead (the original, of course). Not so much Thundarr the Barbarian but that doesn't really bother me.

There are some notes at the end on where to go from here (short but very sweet), followed by new monsters. I got to give an extra special shout-out to these bizarre creatures. They're 1 part silly, 1 part strange, and 1 part awesome. I can totally see myself using them in other OSR type adventures, either standard D&D (retro-clones) or something like Mutant Future / Gamma World.

I'm glad CUaBM is out there and that I've been exposed to it like a radioactive fungus - bring on the mutations!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine issue #3 (DCC)
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