Showing off some Pre-Production DCC Lankhmar Maps

I want to share what I got in the mail today. I previously wrote about the 2018 Purple Sorcerer Pledge drive. What a great, free, resource! You should check it out. Well, I am thankful to have been one of the folks who received a special prize for donating 🙂 All of prizes listed were really cool, but I happen to have received exactly the one I was most hoping to see! This is listed as “An amazing collection of hand-drawn pre-production maps created by the one and only Harley Stroh for an upcoming Lankhmar adventure!”

WARNING: SPOILERS!

Unfortunately, I hadn’t heard of DCC RPG at the time of the DCC Lankmar Kickstarter campaign. My guess is that these maps are for this box set, which the Kickstarter site says is to fulfill later this year? Maybe all this is ironic, but I happen to be finishing up the Fafrd and Grey Mouser series at this time (I’m on The Swords of Lankhmar); I’m really stoked to look at these. And, I can’t wait to see the final box set; I guess I’ll be trolling the eBays for anyone selling their print stretch goals 😉

I believe this is a street level map of an area in Lankhmar. It is sketched in pencil over two separate pages. I’ll give you one guess as to which street I’d be eying to purchase some prime property 😉

And then 3 detailed maps of “Grindstone” which is listed as 1-1.

You’ve got to love the comment in the corner “weakass attempt at a dirk”ROFL!

And then 2 pages for 1-2, “Dogfish”. I’m thinking this is a tavern? And, the name matches a theme I see now in the naming of other taverns of Lankhmar named after aquatic animals/fish?

And, 1-3, “The Hole”.. surely there’s nothing bad down there for the PCs?

3-1 is “The Aerie”. From my reading so far, I have no idea what this would be. My guess? This is where the military keeps highly trained and armored, man-eating, war wyverns that they ride into battle? Or, maybe this is like a local animal shelter and there is a social program to domesticate and save injured pigeons? I’m betting neither of these are correct 🙂

And, lastly, Sewer Tunnels!

Looking at these sewer tunnels, I notice what look like numbered spots, and then I look at the main map, and Yep, there are the same things there. Then I suspect the little dots look like manhole covers. I wonder if they match up?… Yep! So, a judge has a direct way to guide PCs who wish to go underground and do such things as run away from the guard, or sneak up on a villain, or… you get the idea!

Thank you Harley Stroh for donating these for the Purple Sorcerer campaign. Thank you Jon Marr for creating your free web resources. And, thanks to anyone else who donated this year!

Purple Sorcerer 2018 Free Tools Pledge Drive for DCC and MCC RPG

The Purple Sorcerer is having his annual pledge drive to support the AWESOME and FREE Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG online tools. Jump right over to the pledge page for more details. There are some good rewards for simply giving $10 or $35 and then apparently there is something special for those who give the most….

I can’t say enough about how helpful this site is if you play DCC RPG.

You can create random level zeroes all day long. Want a PDF with 200 of them? Sure, just click a button. Want random higher level characters? Sure. Random dragon, demon, magic sword generators, scrolls, unique monster ideas.. and more.

In addition, there is an entire Free mobile app.

And.. maybe this is new? I see now he has some MCC random character generators 🙂 cool

Basically, this one guy gives DCC and MCC RPG players all the online tools that modern players expect. For free. And it’s things like this which make it such an awesome game! In addition, I really appreciate that he supports active military. So, give him a few bucks will ya!?

Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania Kickstarter Announcement

Goodman Games, in license from Flying Buffalo, has put up on Kickstarter, the Grimtooth’s Trapsylvania campaign setting that is system neutral, but with stats for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. There are some other goodies with this Kickstarter, and looks like there will be a few, well thought out and appreciated stretch goals. Also, some add ons. I got the  Ultimate Traps Collection awhile back, and it is a very well put together (and hefty) tome! Also, GG announced recently a mysterious, 8th lost Grimtooth book… that’s available as an add-on book too!

How to Play Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG: Creating Level 0 Characters

Dungeon Crawl Classics #83: The Chained Coffin – Color Cover box set

How far does a Dungeon Master go?

SPOILERS

How far do you go, as a Dungeon Master, Game Master, or Judge, to steer PCs toward special treasure or effects? Stuff that you probably just as much want to see your friends find (and play with) as you’re hoping they will.

For example, in Sailors of the Starless Sea 2nd printing (for DCC RPG), the PCs investigate the hot pits in H-1, but keep wimping out, not to go down further. This is understandable as it is clearly dangerous, but now they miss any opportunity to acquire the Fiend-Blade or a Blessing of the Slow God. Despite me even encouraging them to return later (I mean, it’s a perfect place to thaw out a decades old frozen Chaos Lord…)

Then, a PC actually pulls the bronze ring in the pool in 1-2, survives, and falls into 1-3, but then never even says anything about “oh, let me look around here”. So, it’s not like the Band of Fire is just going to slip onto his finger (ala The One Ring, although now I think of it, I probably missed an opportunity to play it like that!) I give a little extra description to entice further exploration, but it’s like survival kicks in and the priority is simply to get out ASAP, and so the legendary ring remains in the much covered in hundreds of old skulls.

So, a DM, should be “Neutral”, yet I think we also ought to be cheerleaders for the PC’s.

But like a cheerleader, we cannot actively affect the outcome of the game. Yet, it drives me nuts in my OCD brain thinking of cool things that totally go unnoticed simply because a PC won’t at least say “I want to look X to see if there’s anything there amongst all of the A’s, B’s and C’s you just described as being there”. And, I’ve learned that there’s no fun at all just giving them an uncalled for “passive perception” type of roll to do it for them.

If the item, place, etc. is truly necessary for the game, then I see three options:

  1. Make multiple way for the PCs to come across it
  2. Should be rare, but sometimes you have to hit them over the head with it if the DM and PCs simply aren’t on the same wavelength (i.e. if you feel it’s “your fault” and not describing the situation accurately.)
  3. An option for stellar DMs, improvise around it. The PCs don’t find the widget that saves the kingdom at the last minute? Fine. The Kingdom falls. Tear up the last couple sheets of paper you have in your binder and the DM rolls right into describing the chaos that immediately ensues. Roll for initiative motherfuckers! Muahaha!

However, if the loot or what have you, is not necessary for the outcome of the story, then I believe the answer is to simply keep a poker face and don’t ever let on to the PC’s that they just passed up a Vorpal Sword or similar. If your doodad is extra special and you really want to see it in game, then your option is to just put it somewhere else. Maybe in your next game you create a special little add-on area (that they overlook again… uggh…). Or maybe a villain finds it! The über boss at the end of this adventure (or the next?) is now tougher, richer, and has his own castle because he came across the Deck of Many Things that the PCs passed up!

Any other thoughts?

Starting DCC #67 Sailors on the Starless Sea tonight

What the PCs will be seeing when they show up tonight:

Goodman Games Road Crew

I’m so glad that I found this, has been a blast to participate in!

Showing off DCC and MCC dice sets from Goodman Games – the perfect Christmas gift for your players