Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mathom Time

Well, it is nearly that time of year again, when I send out a "Birthday Mathom" pdf. Next Tuesday, as a matter of fact.

While I am not yet sure what is going to go into this Mathom, I will be sending it out to anyone who does the following:

(1) Posts in the Comments section with their Top Three DCC adventures to date - any author! - with at least three words for each to say why.

(2) Sends me their email address at ravencrowking at hotmail dot com so that I can send them their Mathom.

DEADLINE: Monday, 3 August 2015 at midnight EST.

As in years past, the Mathom is likely to be some combination of preview material and other stuff that I couldn't publish normally due to copyright reasons (such as stats for Appendix N creatures). But I don't know. I haven't assembled it yet.

On Another Note

The last couple of years have been challenging for me. Specifically, my creative output has suffered as my energies have been channeled elsewhere. I was hoping that 2015 would have seen output similar to 2013, but Life doesn't always play fair.

Most of the things that have vexed me in the last two years are simply domestic. Everyone has to deal with domestic issues, and hopefully with time and effort, they will be sorted. This is something you could help with, though, if you were so inclined.

Regardless of my own reduced output, there has been a LOT of GREAT material published for this game in 2015, both by Goodman Games and others. I would like to point out especially The Vertical Halls, Patrons Extraordinary: The Unpretty Preview, Crawling Under a Broken Moon #5, and Steel and Fury as some things you may have missed and probably should not have. Did I mention Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms, Wrath of the Frost Queen (now available in print), or the most excellent Black Powder, Black Magic

I am sure that I haven't even mentioned some of the best of 2015 so far. Blame Old(er) Man Memory, which is not nearly so good as Young(er) Man Memory. Also, I assume that you are all aware of boxed sets like Peril on the Purple Planet and The Chained Coffin. If not, why not?


The Mathom is done. It contains a bunch of stats for Barsoomian creatures, as well as the lunar creatures from The Revelation of Mulmo, and an extra monster or two (which are OGC). Hope you enjoy it!


  1. #1 Portal Under the Stars - It was my first exposure to DCCRPG (run by Joseph Goodman himself) and I don't think it gets enough love
    #2 The Jeweler That Dealt in Stardust - Great fun both being run through it by Harley at GaryCon and later running it myself at Free RPG Day
    #3 The Chained Coffin - I was born in North Carolina, I have to pick this one

  2. #1: DCC 69, The Emerald Enchanter. The tile golem is one of my favorite creatures. ever. I also think the climax of this adventure is masterful, and very fun to run.
    #2. DCC 84, Peril on the Purple Planet. I am not counting any of the expansions/supplements, but just Harley's adventure as a stand-alone. The amount of scope packed into these (relatively) few words is awesome. You get a sandbox, mini-adventures, and a mini-campaign.
    #3. DCC 83 The Chained Coffin. I think the alternative take on appendix N used here is fantastic. The adventure has excellent pacing, tension that builds, and some truly memorable NPCs.

    Runner up: The Vertical Halls, by Gabriel García-Soto. This adventure was a "sleeping giant" for me. There are great ideas, superb execution, attention to detail, and lots of potential hooks for continued adventure. I look forward to more from this author and the Spanish DCC scene!

  3. #1 Sailors On the Starless Sea - The first DCC adventure I ran so it holds a special place beyond the fact that it is just a killer adventure.

    #2 The Mall Maul - Crawling Under A Broken Moon #3 - I have ran this as a zero-level funnel as well as a 1st level adventure. Both experiences were quite different. The zero's were more likely to check out the different stores and fight when they needed. The first levelers were freaked out by the traps and tried to avoid any combat they could in pursuit of their goal. It was a blast both times.

    #3 - The Vertical Halls - I have yet to run this but just in reading it I love the whole feel to the place. I ordered it expecting a solid adventure and received so much more. I would suggest checking it out.

    1. Great picks! And I hope you will note that, the more people who get a Mathom, the more mini-reviews will be generated!

  4. #1 Doom of the savage kings. It's got it all! A dungeon, a grim town, a grimmer beast. And it can be run as a funnel!

    #2 The thing in the chimney. I don't remember if it was a full-fledged mathom, but it's your first adventure that I read, and I still love it. I'm a great supporter of re-inventing old fairy tales and stories, and you're just great doing it.

    #3 Perils of the sunken city. It was the first DCC adventure (and funnel) I ran, so for me it's history. It's full of funny details, and it comes with paper minis, which I always use in my games.

  5. Jose, don't forget to send me an email so that I can add you to the list.

    I love me some Doom of the Savage Kings, and Perils of the Sunken City is great. I wish that the PCs had some way to know what the purple slimes were doing, and hope to hear more about them in some future Purple Sorcerer release!

    The Thing in the Chimney started as a holiday freebie; I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  6. 1. DCC #3: The Mysterious Tower. I had in my possession at the time, the DCC core rule book and this 3E adventure...so I made some changes, re-skinned it, and ran it as a funnel for my buddies. That game marks the 1st time I played DCC, and the 1st time I had gamed in 22 years!

    2. DCC #77: The Croaking Fane. Short, fast and dripping with old school goodness. It just felt like something our DM would of made up back in the day, gaming in our grade school years. Exploring a moldering temple for treasure, deep in a festering gloom-haunted marsh...sign me up every time!!

    3. HT1: The Perils of Cinder Claus. Light, fun and completely different than anything I had ever played. We played over Christmas holidays surrounded by family, friends and food (yes even a fruitcake...albeit not sentient) and we had a blast. Hell, I killed a PC with a flaring fireball out of a reindeers ass...well at least that's how I remember it!

    1. Good picks. I also re-skinned The Mysterious Tower and ran it using DCC. Changing monster descriptions can go a long way towards making an adventure seem strange!

      Michael Curtis doesn't get enough love, because who can seem to shine when set next to Harley Stroh? But The Croaking Fane is one of those adventures which, sadly, I have not yet had a chance to run (but fully intend to, as it is excellent!).

      As for the fruitcake....if you think it was not sentient, it fooled you. It is always the same fruitcake. There is only one......

  7. dcc #74 - blades against death - in d&d rise dead and healing spells feel like so much commercial transaction while blades transforms that into an epic quest.

    dcc #72 - filcher took falls to his death! nooooooooooooooo! that aside this one is like textbook example of a good dcc adventure: impressive non-combat encounters, fantastic location, brutal combat, new patron, patron spell and slew of magic items that are all kick-ass

    prince charming the reanimator - this one started my campaign that lasted for almost two years. thanks mr. bishop!

    1. For those who don't know, DCC #72 is Beyond the Black Gate, another awesome Harley Stroh adventure!

      Good picks....Blades Against Death has some really nice set pieces, in particular, that makes it feel very much like a Lankhmar story.

  8. I guess I didn't save my entries -

    1) Arwich Grinder - the premise is so obvious and revolting that everybody's on edge right from the start, and it gets worse as it goes on
    2) Prince Charming Reanimator - Horror Peanut Butter and Fantasy Chocolate. It's fun.
    3) Peril on The Purple Planet - it's been a great campaign and draws players like flies, and they use PCs from all the available sources, which I love. Made for some good moments of play within the past few weeks.

    1. Nice picks. Glad you enjoyed the ones I wrote, and it would be difficult not to enjoy any of Harley's work!

  9. 1. Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry by Mark Bishop (Purple Sorcerer) - It starts of with a simple 'vanilla fantasy' premise but gets weird (and fun!) very quickly. My goto module to introduce people to DCC.
    2. Doom Of The Savage Kings by Harley Stroh - Less weird fantasy but beautifully setup with some terrific roleplaying oppurtunities
    3. Prince Charming Reanimator - Back to the weird, I LOVE the twist on the fairy tales, great to draw in non roleplayers and another great module to run for experienced folk new to DCC.

    1. Good picks! My favourite part of the Pantry is the piranha salamanders. Such a cool image, and such a creepy way to start an exploration!

      I also love Doom of the Savage Kings.

      Glad you liked FT 0!

    2. BTW, don't forget to email me so that I know where to send the Barsoomians.

  10. 1) Doom of the Savage Kings by Harley Stroh. A perfect blend of village and dungeon, seamlessly flexible enought to support groups of all styles of play.
    2) Frozen in Time by Michael Curtis. A lovely, whimsical adventure that pushes all the right "barrier peak" buttons and ends in a frantic rush for survival.
    3) FT 2: The Portsmouth Mermaid by Daniel Bishop. Any adventure with fairy tale beauty on the surface, and cthulhu-ee madness underneath is a winner in my book. Also it's essentially a sourcebook with extensive bestiary, magic item list, a patron, and more!

    1. Nice picks.

      Doom is cool, and is also the first "mini-sandbox" style DCC adventure....in a way, it paved the road for others, like Chained Coffin and Purple Planet!

      Frozen in Time is a great adventure, and currently my favourite from Michael Curtis. Not because I dislike his other work, but because it really, really shines. My older daughter was so taken by the art gallery that she had to stop and try to figure out what all the famous paintings were. It was great!

      Thanks for the kind words about FT 2. I am currently working on FT 3, and a supplementary bit for FT 2 called "Three Nights in Portsmouth".

  11. Surprised I haven't seen any Zadabad.

  12. 1. Frozen in Time. Not only is it an awesome adventure in and out itself, its also a great campaign starter and provides just enough elements for a creative judge to build upon. Easily playable in one session, fun and can everything in there can be stretched for miles and miles of content. Plus giant robot and time travelling stuff. What's not to like?

    2. Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror. Really easy to drop in an ongoing campaign and a great way to provide players with a, oh so wanted, magic weapon. Plus just enough similarities with Lovecraft's Azathoth for me to bite into. And really, a great one to creep players. Kudos on this fine adventure sir!

    3. Perils of the Sunken City. The start of my actual campaign, this adventure was perfect to introduce new players to DCC and RPGs in general. Lots of fun NPCs, lots of possibilities for campaign development. And so much fun to watch the players die in the arena.

    Keep on the good work. Your blog is actually the only one I look at daily.

    1. 1. Agreed. Frozen in Time is great!
      2. Thank you. Glad you liked it.
      3. Perils is a fun adventure. I really like all of the Jon Marr stuff. The Omnibus sits on my shelf, and each of the individual adventures is in my Judge's kit.

      Thanks for the thumbs up there at the end, too. Some days I wonder if anyone is reading.

  13. Barsoomian creatures, you say...? How can I NOT join in...?

    People Of The Pit: Joseph was running (as a funnel), I was playing, this was were I got hooked.
    Perils of Cinder Claws: I got to draw for the original Holiday adventure!
    The Portal Under The Stars: Compact little intro to the game.

    I need to run more published stuff. I need to hammer the need to run more DCC into my friends...

    1. Twenty entries from Apt to Zitidar, to be precise.

      I envy those of you who were introduced to the game with Joseph, Harley, Michael, or Doug running the game. People of the Pit is an excellent adventure, and The Portal Under the Stars has some great bits!

      Your illustrations for The Thing in the Chimney were excellent, and I am sorry that they weren't picked up when Purple Duck put out the expanded version.

    2. I was happy with those illos, but there was room for improvement. However, they were (IIRC) my first work for someone else's writing, so I have a soft spot for them.

    3. Your email just bounced back. If you want the mathom, I need a different email address....?

  14. 1. Doom of the Savage Kings
    I had one of the best role play sessions I can remember. It was the first time I went map and mini free. It opened imaginations in a big way.
    2. Sailors on the Starless Seas
    I ran this at a new RPG guild I had just joined for ten strangers. I was kicking off my world tour 2014. The plan was to play at the guild as much as possible leading up to...
    3. Frozen in Time
    My first ticketed event at Gencon. I was so nervous I almost puked. All the prep work at the LRPG payed off though and the game went very smooth. I gave away lots of swag and everyone left smiling.

    1. Three very solid picks. Kudos! And Kudos for running at GenCon! I've never done that....

  15. 1. Prince Charming Reanimator - Two words: Rose Dragon.
    2. Frozen In Time - Great way to mix fantasy and science fiction. Plus I love the prehistoric feel.
    3. Intrigue at the Court of Chaos - Low level planes-hopping. My players now have Chaos Lords *and* Scions of Law hunting them down. Can't get better than that.

  16. F&^% NOOOOO!!! I missed it, damn work schedule. I completely forgot and missed all the wonder! *sob* Still Happy Birthday Crowking. You are da bomb.


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