EZG reviews CE 5 – Silent Nightfall (DCC)
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.”
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.