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Thursday, November 24, 2016

DCC RPG - The Making of the Ghost Ring Review


There is this sale going on now at DrivethruRPG where all Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG adventures are 40% off. That means you can get a lot of their stuff for $4.00 each.

DCC RPG is a lot like 5e except that it is a little more old school and wacky. I ran a DCC RPG campaign a year or two ago at the game store. I had some group chemistry issues (to put it mildly), but I did get to run a lot of awesome adventures.

I bought a bunch of adventures and today I'm going to review The Making of the Ghost Ring. Basically, I want to go through it and see if there's anything worth stealing for my D&D campaign.

This is written by Michael Curtis. He wrote Intrigue at the Court of Chaos, one of my favorite adventures of all time. I'm really interested to see what we've got here.

First off, the cover is just incredibly awesome. Doug Kovacs has this huge string of DCC RPG covers and art that are just ridiculously great. The guy has been on fire for years!

This adventure involves the creation of a magic item and is meant to be an example of how the characters can make magic item in DCC RPG. I love the idea of an adventure about creating an item. I almost immediately had ideas about how I can work this into my Planescape campaign.

Meeting the Ghost

This adventure is about a ghost who needs to make this magic item within a month or else her soul is claimed by a devil named Maalbrilmorg the Hell Smith. This is due to a contract she signed with him when she was alive. It is up to our heroes to make this item and save her soul.

This review is basically going to be a running tally of all of the hilariously awesome stuff in this thing. There are at least 6 things in this module that made me laugh out loud.

The Stink Pools: This is where the wizard lives. It's a swamp. There is "a tree that forks in twain." Resting in the division is a round hut made of saplings and animal hides.

As if that isn't great enough, then we have flavor text that tells the players that this structure is "beckoning you like the arms of a winsome lover."

The Plot: This adventure is broken down into three objectives. Basically, we're going on three mini-quests:
  1. Rescue a certain master jeweler who has the ability to inscribe mystical sigils into the ring.
  2. Obtain a specific gemstone from an ancient pyramid.
  3. The ring must be tempered in the fluids of a terrible beast to seal its power within the band.
These steps must be done in order.

The Ghost Ring Stats: In case you're wondering, here's the completed item in 5e form:
  • +1 to INT and CHA.
  • Cast mending at will.
  • Cast charm person at will.
  • Absorb a single spell cast upon the wearer once per week.
  • Flaw: Charm person and absorption doesn't work on females.
The Journey Chime: The group can teleport courtesy of this magic item, which is "...a potent object of yore." Ring the bell and it teleports you to different places. 

The Woe-Touched Halfling

The jeweler is "woe-touched," which means that he has magical bad luck that comes out in times of stress. He is being held captive in the city of Oolvanvar. Michael Curtis somehow comes up with all these names that are fun to say out loud.

The heroes appear in Oolvanvar and end up "...stepping into a filthy alleyway and barely avoiding an effluent of human waste running down the grim path's center."

The jeweler is being held by a band of villains. Their lair includes:
  • Attack dogs with their vocal cords severed, transforming them into silent assassins.
  • "Dusty paintings depicting long-dead nobles and wanton tavern wenches hang from the walls."
  • Gnashrilda Foul-Mouth: "Her chainmail bears the scars of a hundred battles and her leather skirt is cut high to allow free movement in battle. Bearing her blood-red hair in dreadlocks, Gnashrilda spews a constant stream of obscenities in combat."
The Bronze-Handed Pharoah


To get the gem, the group must defeat "...the Bronze-Handed Pharoah of old." Yes, he really has bronze hands. His origin goes like this:
  • Both of his arms were severed by a giant foe.
  • Despite having no arms, the Pharoah defeated the foe by tearing out their throat with his teeth.
  • He had magical bronze skeletal limbs attached to the stumps.
  • He had a hole drilled in his skull and placed the gem in there.
The Gem: It is the '"size of a pea," it is embedded in the pharoah's head and it can focus mystical energy unlike any other gemstone.

Getting the Brain Juice

The group has to get cerebral ichor from a huge monster. To me, this creature seems like the DCC RPG version of the Tarrasque. It is known as the Odontotyrannus!

This monster has been forced into a magical slumber. The group will have to creep up and perform surgery on it. You can guess what happens then.

The Odontotyrannus: "Its face is a horrible mixture of human, bat, and iguana bearing a slavering maw."

When it first wakes up, the creature is groggy. It starts off with just one attack per round, but as the rounds roll on, it starts using more and more of its powers. Each round its attack bonuses go up as it shakes off the sleep crust.

Once that is all done, there is another encounter courtesy of Maalbilmorg. That fight is on cooled lava that is thin in spots and there are lava geyser going off.

Obviously I love this thing. As I read it, I was figuring out how to use it and I think I have it. I'll probably run this in 3-4 weeks reskinned. My players have a broken cubic gate that needs fixing and this is a great way to do it.

The sheer volume of good ideas alone is enough to make this worth buying. I also really admire the effort put into making each thing. He could have just thrown that hut in a random swamp, but instead it's a round hut in a split tree that resides in The Stink Pools. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

This adventure is awesome and right now it's on sale, so check it out if it sounds like it's up your alley.

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