Feb 112014
 

CE 5  -Silent Nightfall

121800

This Campaign Element for the DCC-rules is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank, 1 page SRD, ~ 1/4 of a page editorial, leaving us with 21 3/4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

 

This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS: Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

 

Still here? All right, the first thing you’ll notice here would be a freaky nursery rhyme and a skipping rhyme, setting the scene appropriately – why? Well, once upon a time, there was an advanced society on this planet and said society had access to nuclear power. When magical energies confluxed and made a core snetient, heavy water was used to seal deep tubes in the earth – codename silent nightfall. Millenia, perhaps even aeons passed and a wizard and the whispering stone found the complex, degenerating into something thoroughly DIFFERENT. More time passed and the owl-like humanoids, the gallistrix, that have since settled in the complex have turned into aggressive predators, hunting in triads. All the while, the sentience still broods.

 

Now I’ve mentioned that said Wizard has changed – he is now the Shaft Crawler, a dread fungoid shoggoth-like slithering abomination, smothering any failing str or agility-checks and worse, infecting tehm with deadly rhizomes. To add insult to injury, it heals itself when consuming ongoing spell-effects, making this 111 (!!!) hp monstrosity a behemoth at this level., one the PCs better try to outrun or at least battle smart…otherwise they’ll perish.

 

The sentient nuclear core meanwhile has developed into something like a demi-patron; Problematic here is that the demon seeks to explode – annihilating everything within miles. We also get 4 complex spellburns for silent nightfall – these include whole-body sunburn and a shadow burnt into the closest wall and similar close to home effects that drive home an uncanny sense of familiarity. The whispering stone in the meanwhile haunts the complex with sentences like “doom”, “fall” and similar proclamations of impending death and, once found, makes for a dangerous (read: gaslighting) bonded object. Oh, and it’s over 2000 lbs heavy. Transporting this thing will not be easy and test your PC’s ingenuity.

 

Worse, the Grallistrix actually not only levitate and move in perfect silence, they also can make perfect use of the massive shafts thus, potentially resulting in the PCs falling to a very real death. Worse, the gallistrix elders and firstborn and deadly violet fungus zombies roam here as well – 3 levels, all horror, atmosphere and choices – add to that a d30 table of aberrations, 4 sample mutated creatures, teh radiant brotehrhood as a new organization and we get quite some bang for our bucks.

 

Will your PCs survive the deadly tactics of the Gallistrix? Will the crawler swallow them? Will they unleash all-destroying nuclear-fire or fall prey to the insane gibbering of the stone? Only you can answer that – by diving down into the dark shafts, past ancient languages warning about “Silent Nightfall.”

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG’s printer-friendly b/w-2-column standard and the original pieces of b/w-artwork are neat for the low price. The maps are serviceable and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

 

Daniel J. Bishop is fast becoming one of my favorite authors for adventures – any adventure, mind you. His writing skirts seemingly effortlessly the border between horror and dark fantasy, has a playful characteristic and is simply brimming with imagination – so much so that I find myself looking forward to each and every module he creates –  while his crunch may be good, it’s in te end his imagination, the sheer chutzpa of his ideas that make his writing time and time again, fun and surprising to read – ONE of the imaginative premises would have been enough for a lesser author. In Silent Nightfall, we essentially get no less than 3 themes, each of which would have been enough for a module, masterfully blended into a module/supplement that has me grinning from ear to ear and demanding more: Superb, awesome and available at a price-point that is almost ridiculous, this is well worth 5 stars +seal of approval and should be bought (much like PDG’s other DCC.supplements) by DMs/judges/GMs of other systems as well – you’ll scarcely find better idea-mines.

You can get this awesome module/setting supplement here on OBS and here on d20pfsrd.com’s shop!

Endzeitgeist out.

Comments

  6 Responses to “EZG reviews CE 5 – Silent Nightfall (DCC)”

  1. How compatible are Dungeon Crawl Classics with Pathfinder?

  2. While DCC’s base framework has some resemblance with d20-systems, it is its own system and in power-levels/statblock-length, to give some examples, more in line with old-school-revival systems. That being said, *personally* I have an easy time “converting” from DCC, in fact an easier time than with 3.X. Why? Because you essentially can be creative instead of re-calculating skills, replace feats etc.

    Perhaps the easiest analogue would be 2nd edition – see a creature there? All right, assign monster type etc., then make sure values are right and add special abilities. Want to reflect the spellcasting peculiarities? You could do that via e.g. Legendary Classes: Covenant Magic.

    What I’m trying to say is: Expect conversion-work, but more of the “art”-category than of the “craft”-category.

    Does that make sense to you? If not, drop em a line and I’ll try to elaborate.

  3. I have no problem with converting monsters and NPCs, I was more interested if it holds to d20, CR system, skill & checks sistem and stuff like that. I tried to find somekind of SRD for DCC, but no luck. I’d be grateful if you could elaborate on these points I mentioned.

  4. That one’s difficult – while DCC has a few rules that remind one of the d20-systems, it utilizes some unique dice, mechanics etc. and has, in game, always felt more old-school to me – closer to 2nd edition than to 3.X/PFRPG. That being said, its ruleset is much better than 2nd edition’s regarding teh streamlining of non-combat rolls.

    To give you an example, That’s how a low-level mook-statblock looks in DCC:

    Init +4; Atk bite +1 melee (1d5);
    AC 14; HD 2d6; hp 7 each; MV 40’ or climb 30’; Act
    1d20; SV Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +6.

    You’ll notice Ini, AC, HD, BAB, damage, movement etc. and saves – but undoubtedly, DCC is not a standard d20-system in the way that the countless variants like Conan, Modern d20, etc. are. I found grasping the DCC-rules exceedingly easy with a background of 3.X, but yes, CR etc. are gone. The rules also favor weakness-exploitation of foes. Take the deadly god’s statue from Purple Duck Games’ Falcate Idol:

    220 Hp and saves Fort +20, Ref +3, Will +20. You’ll notice potential Achilles heels in a lot of creatures here…

    One interesting concept would be the dice-chain – e.g. a farmer who has not been trained with the bow would see his/her attack-dice reduced from d20 to d14. Essentially, the system as a whole is rules-light and rather heavy on the tables, with individual misfires for specific spells, interesting patrons etc.

    So yeah…DCC is distinct, but a capable DM with some statblock-experience can convert the monsters *relatively* easy, especially if you like weakness-exploitation/smart fighting, DCC has some nice rules to scavenge for the adversaries.

    I *hope* that helps. If it doesn’t, just drop me a line and thanks again for posting/asking. ^^

  5. Thanks, that helps! I found that Princ Charming Reanimator is pay-what-you-want so checking that out, and maybe will pickup the DCC rules.

  6. Excellent choice! Prince Charming rocks and shows the author’s talent/style, though the other supplements tend to be a *bit” more Sword & Sorcery-style-centric.

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