By Thilo Graf
This pdf is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 17 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
This being a locale/adventure-sourcebook, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.
Still here? All right! This pdf can be considered a sidequest that can be inserted into your DCC-campaign as soon as the players have a significant quest on their hands – they are invited to the Cotilion of Somnos, the dreaming god and petition the god to fulfil their request.
Rather interestingly, the characters may encounter dream analogues of themselves, warped by dreamstuff and wearing masks – for example a cat-mask means that the respective character’s otherwise identical analogue is of the opposite gender and strangely alluring to the character, while harlequin masks mean that the respective character’s alignment is reversed. Now while that is unusual, more unusual is that splitting the party actually makes sense and that the module is supposed to be interspersed throughout multiple dreams, essentially constituting a dream-adventure in addition to regular explorations. Beyond this, time is also highly malleable, resulting is spells gaining instantaneous durations or having a spell last until the respective caster leaves the room, resulting in phenomena of fireballs hanging mid-air and similar appropriately weird modifications. Death in dreams may send you into a permanent coma and spellburn and patron favours extend from dreams to the real world.
The location of Somnos’ Cotilion is iconic to say the least, allowing the characters to dance with their nightmares, navigate an endless hallway, engage in intimate liaisons, experience weird memories that may or may not belong to you. The players may also find a fountain of strange statues devoted to cats (including a potentially deadly alien cat) and finally navigate the great ballrooms, dance with goat-footed musicians and dance the waltz of years that erodes away their personality. In order to reach Somnos, though, they will have to answer (or vanquish) the deadly dream ghouls that feats on the years and best their own pallid reflections.
Information to invoke Somnos as a patron is included in the pdf as well, as are three versions of the maps as high-res jpegs for VTT-use – with and without DM-map keys. Neat!
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked. Artworks are nothing to write home about, but reminiscent of old-school modules and rather neat when taking the low price into account. Wow! Daniel J. Bishop has not only created a hauntingly iconic sidetrek that oozes creativity, he has done so with flair and elegance, showing a working knowledge of the DCC-rules and providing a locale that is simple excellent and awesome. Even if you don’t use the DCC-rules, you will still find oh so deliciously many awesome ideas herein that a purchase is not only a good idea, but actually wholeheartedly recommended by me, especially at the very low and fair price of admission. My final verdict will be 5 stars +endzeitgeist seal of approval.
Through the Cotillion of Hours is available from: