This Program Book, originally released as a means to connect to fans, was released as the first of its kind, for Gen Con 2013. It clocks in at 68 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 65 pages of content, though not all of this would be directly usable gaming material.
For example, the first page is the luck chart – a funny and pretty cool idea: You roll on the chart upon purchasing the book at the booth and get some cool benefits. Okay, you can get freebies if your lucky…but perhaps, you’ll also need to provide bile for Harley Stroh’s inkwell… 😉 There is also some friendly ribbing with the Troll Lord crew going on – enjoyable, sure, but of limited use beyond picturing how fun that may have been. Anyways, after that, we are introduced to the Goodman Games crew – we basically get short bios of the band, with favorite books, last games played, etc. noted – 11 pages, plus one autograph page.
After a brief advertisement, we get a recap of the fatalities the DCC iconics crew suffered and 3 pages of brief previews of upcoming material for DCC. We also get a page of upcoming material teasers for Age of Cthulhu, and 2 pages of teasers for upcoming system neutral content.
After this, we get Michael Curtis “The Undulating Corruption” and Harley Stroh’s “The Jeweler that dealt in Stardust”, the two modules originally released as Free RPG Day adventures in 2012 – please consult my review of that file for details on them. There is btw. also a 2-page DCC-poster here.
After two pages that announce the return of the world of Xcrawl, easily one of the most unique settings out there, we get a brief summary of the world’s assumptions and the rules for dwarves, elves and gnomes in the setting – it should be noted that PFRPG is assumed as the default rules-set employed for Maximum Xcrawl. For a more detailed breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the setting, please consult my review of the hardcover.
This module, just fyi, can also be found in another source: To be more precise, it is the module featured in the 2013 Free RPG Day adventure. Please consult my review of that book for a detailed break-down of the adventure. It should be noted that the 2013 Free RPG Day offering also contains an excellent DCC adventure AND pregens for both adventures. The pregens for this Xcrawl adventure are not part of the Program Book, just fyi.
After this adventure, we get a 1-page schedule/exclusives-list, 2 pages of photos, a one-page explanation on how to join the DCC road crew. We end with a one-page pinup poster of Shana Dahaka.
Editing and formatting are very good, no complaints there for the most part. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-page b/w-standard and the pdf comes with nested bookmarks. The cartography for the modules inside is nice.
Now all modules in this book are very good; they are fun and Michael Curtis, Harley Stroh and Brendan LaSalle all know what they’re doing. That being said, unless you are a diehard completionist and fan who’ll get something out of the digital posters etc., then this will not necessarily be for you.
Why? Well, the game-relevant content herein can be found in the Free RPG supplements for 2012 (which contains the 2 DCC adventures) and in the Free RPG supplement for 2013, which contains, beyond the rather cool Studio City Xcrawl, also Daniel J. Bishop’s excellent “The Imperishable Sorceress” adventure. Both pdfs clock in at $4.99 each, which means that for 10 bucks, you actually get one amazing module MORE, than if you purchase this booklet in pdf for $12. It’s just 2 bucks, but yeah.
Now, if you’re a collector and want the adventures herein in print and can’t find the aforementioned Free RPG Day offerings, then this may be worth checking out. Personally, as much as I enjoyed the Good man Games crew’s write-ups etc., I considered this to not really be worth owning, at least not in pdf. The content that’s here is excellent, but as it is right now, I’d only recommend this to the most die-hard of DCC-completionists. All others are served better by checking out the Free RPG Day adventures. So yeah, for most folk, particularly for gamers that own the Free RPG Day modules, this will be a 2-star offering. For collectors and completionists, this may be 3 stars, which also represents my final verdict. If you don’t have the adventures, I’d rate “The Undulating Corruption” as 4 stars, “The Jeweler that Dealt in Stardust” as 5 stars and the “2013 Studio City Xcrawl” at 4.5 stars, so yeah, I’d recommend getting the adventures, they are all worth owning…but get them via the Free RPG Day offerings instead.
You can get this book here on OBS!
You can get the Free RPG Day 2012 offering here on OBS!
You can get the Free RPG Day 2013 offering here on OBS!