Disclosure – I was provided a free copy of this product for review with the understanding that my review would be less about the system and more about what in this system is innovative or worth adding to your own DCC game should you choose not to use the system itself. All of that said? Nice…
The product itself is fairly sharp. Art styles vary a bit wildly for my particular taste, but overall, it is a nice looking PDF. When looking at its usefulness for adaptation to DCC? There is some GREAT stuff in here.
My first pass through the book was looking at tables, usually the easiest thing to lift for a home game.
I’ll admit, the Birth Augurs list was a bit underwhelming with only 14 and a rule that all PCs should have a unique augur in the party. With such a small list to roll against, this felt particular underdeveloped and a missed opportunity. Granted, the augurs on the list are certainly useful, but they didn’t stick out as anything special.
Chases are detailed over a series of three tables: dungeoneering, wilderness, and civilized. This right here? This is worth the $13 for the PDF for the elegance of chase design. The rules for chases are simple. Set the number of rounds for the chase, roll each round to determine the hazard, roll against it. Simple. The hazards and recommended methods around them are something I will DEFINITELY be using in the future. I’ve written chase scenes and these mechanics are simple yet wonderful. If you are tired of chases bogging down your sessions? BUY THIS BOOK. Pages 52-54 are eye-opening enough to be worth the expenditure.
Yup, a streamlined system for social conflict that works along the same lines as chases. I’m a HUGE fan! The difficulty of social conflicts is set by the levels of frustration and this would be a breeze to convert to DCC (or any other system of your choice).
So, my first quick pass was fruitful and definitely had me looking closely at the next easy bits of conversions. While there was really nothing new or original in the listings of standard equipment or weapons, the miscellaneous items show great promise. While some items will be familiar to long-time gamers, some read as delightfully original and are easily scaled for any gamer’s table.
The list of faiths is also ripe fodder for anyone looking to expand religions and cults in their game. While none is written about in any great detail (the book is fairly compact for all it contains), they are each evocative enough for any good Judge to run with. For example, the Cult of the Bound Smith, worships the Bound Smith, who they believe to be the creator of the universe. Bound in the depths of the Shadow Realms he uses ravens in a fairly Odin-like fashion. But how was he bound? What might free him? What would happen if he were freed? All of these things are left to the imagination.
DCC’s militant orders for the warrior class is, in my experience, woefully underused. OS&R comes with a number of warrior “disciplines” which are, at heart, sub-classes. Converting these over to become representative orders that allow for variations within the warrior class without requiring the creation of new classes. The materials for each discipline are certainly enough to inspire the creation of new militant orders or sub-classes. They are nicely handled and certainly not unbalancing (if balance is something you care about).
The only area where this book falls a bit flat for me is in the spell descriptions. Because of the compact nature of the book (132 page PDF), much in the book is given cursory descriptions. In most cases that’s fine, but for spells, I like more than just a couple of sentences on how they work. That’s a matter of personal taste, and your mileage may certainly vary on that front. However, coming from a DCC standpoint, I wanted more meat on the spells. Still, there are at least a few interesting concepts among the mix.
Race as Class
Finally, a section in the back breaks out “race as class” for OSR players and judges and these race/class combos are EASILY converted for DCC. One in specific, the Hrymn (OS&R’s halfling variant), provides potential for an interesting twist on what would convert to a DCC Luck mechanic, good luck given to allies is matched equally bad luck given to allies. Such a simple twist but one worthy of becoming a halfling sub-type for those overwhelmed by the Halfling as “luck battery” in DCC RAW.
Priced at $13 for the PDF, i think this is well worth purchasing to mine for ideas and mechanics for DCC, or any other system you are running.
Get it HERE.