This is the second of a series of reviews and giveaways of my FreeRPGDay haul! So leave a comment below if you want a shot at getting this copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics Adventure Starter. Note that if you live outside the United States, I must request that you pay for shipping. More details here!
I must admit first that I have not yet had the time to dig into my download of the Dungeon Crawl Classics Beta Test Rules, even though they are pretty much necessary to use this booklet. It says so right there on page 1. Of course, that's just if you lack imagination and resources. Ninety-nine percent of the content of this book is system-neutral (or at the very least, system-vague), that it would be entirely too easy for even a fair to middling Dungeon Master to convert it to whatever system might be running at your table. Seriously. The stuff in here is gold, but just rip it off for your own system at home. Don't bother with the zocchi dice. That's just a bullshit marketing ploy to try to get you to buy a bunch of goofy dice you'll only ever use a few times. Is Goodman Games getting into the dice business? Actually, yes. Yes they are. Imagine that.
That being said, this is still a pretty excellent sixteen pages, which is why I am hesitant to let it go as part of this contest. That, and the art. The art is great. There are three full-page illustrations (out of sixteen pages!), plus two full-page dungeon maps that are works of art in their own right, and art on several of the other pages. However, I'm thinking I will make a copy for my DM binder and then send it off to our lucky winner, purely on account of the fact that Goodman Games gave away dead-tree copies of this booklet on FreeRPGDay, and is now selling PDFs of it for $5.
Now, I don't know anything about the guys behind Goodman Games. I haven't read their Beta Test rules for DCC. All I know it, a couple weeks ago the OSR Blogosphere blew up, out of nowhere, over this Dungeon Crawl Classics thing. I kind of have a feeling that it will fade away as quickly as it blew up. I certainly don't speak for anyone in the OSR but myself, but I can see this being a "niche of a niche" game, kind of like Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
The two dungeons are solid and interesting, although they feel pretty similar to a lot of what I've seen published in the One-Page-Dungeon format. They are short, but offer plenty of opportunity for interaction with the environment and creative problem-solving, as well as plenty of killing-stuff-and-taking-their-stuff. I'm looking forward to adapting these two dungeons to work in 4E, but that's a whole different post.
Want it? Leave me a comment!