Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review and Commentary On Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms From Leviathan Publishing For The DCC rpg System And Your Old School Campaigns

I'm very familiar with Mark Hunt's work in rpg's over the years because of his long time work in the new school rpg circles. Anyhow Mark has been dealing out some incredible awesome work for the White Star rpg retroclone system & the DCC rpg  with Ships of Shade Space (this product is for White Star) and now the campaign setting Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms.  for White Star and DCC. Which comes in two sword and planet pulp  flavors for your old school table top fun.
What is Drongo? Well take one part Flash Gordon add in a good dash of Buster Crab and stir with a huge dollop of Flash Gordon's Mongo and add in the nasty aspects of the DCC rpg and you've got the makings of a science fantasy world that crosses over point for putting your DCC adventurers into harms way. This campaign setting trods down many of the same roads as Crawl Jammer and Crawling Under A Broken Moon.  But Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms goes further by offering new PC classes, races, plenty of setting material, and the product has its feet clearly in the sword and planet and science fantasy realm. The presentation here is top notch. I've seen the author's work and his artist's pieces here are very well done and indicative of the setting. The PC classes match up to some of the material that I've seen offered in Crawl jammer and Crawling Under A Broken Moon. There is an element here of the post apocalyptic lurking in the setting background of the product ala Flash Gordon. The PC classes were a bit science fiction generic in some sense but match the lost planet vibe of Drongo.

Grab It Right Over HERE

This is a world in peril and the campaign setting is ruled by a wizard on his way to godhood. Shades of Ming the Merciless in spades here. The author knows his stuff and the rules for ray guns and science fantasy material are top drawer. There's lots to steal from this product for a DCC rpg campaign such as Peril of the Purple Planet and there's certainly enough of a cross over point to have the PC's wandering through Drongo for more then a quick session. There's months of play here but there are issues in this campaign book. The firearms rules are repeated and their already available in the DCC rule book. The technology rules are fast and well done. Rules for generating modern humans in the Drongo campaign setting strike a certain lost planet cord for me. Another problem is the psionic rules, these are strictly alright available in the DCC rule books as well. But this doesn't take away from the product and the pulp ideals that this pdf sets up. 
The book contains a solid amount of world setting information  in its sixty four pages, a well built gazetteer that fills in many of the major game gaps. The world is well laid out and thought out, it pays homage without making fun of its origin points. Speaking of the world building, the cartography needs to be upgraded the maps should have had some of the blank spaces filled in. But its a minor complaint in a product that pays homage to its pulpy roots by setting out to make its own way in the market place that has many such settings by being different on its own terms. There's some great suggestions about aliens boss monsters, guidelines for plenty of DCC action echoing both Saturday morning cartoons like Dark Star while leaving the door open for plenty of future products. This is an over arching setting with plenty of room for the DM to carve out and customize his own areas of  the Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms for DYI gaming. Is Drongo worth the price of admission? Yes it is in my humble opinion. The setting plays around with its own planetary romance and space opera vibe with homages to certain types of Seventies science fiction and fantasy films, literature, and what not scattered through out.
Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms is a two fold product, one its a pulpy science fantasy or sword and planet campaign and adventure setting. Two this is a fully functioning cross over point for having regular DCC adventurers cross over, straight over into a niche market. This product taps straight into the same gonzo over the top old school market that the DCC rpg has fought to hard to grab. Clocking in at sixty four pages there's probably a ton of DM out there who will mine the heck out of this products for their own sword and planets campaigns. This product plays to its strengths and it knows how to have a good time? The book reeks of fun and gives a DM some sold tools to include plenty of Saturday morning cartoon planetary action. Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms carves out its own space in the world of Dungeon Crawl Classes with new monsters, tribes, humanoid and alien races. The arrangement, distribution, and ideas here set this product apart from others and make using and adapting it a snap. This setting could be used to adapt and be used as a cross over campaign setting to bring over your regular DCC adventurers and a gang of Crawljammer spacers along with a gang of mutant murder hobos into a crossover setting. 
The bottom line is that this a damn fine product and one that I can seen DCC rpg DM's using it and other DCC rpg dungeon masters looking at this book and mining it for ideas.. There is plenty of action happening within the covers of this book to justify the sword and planet action. My recommendation is to pick this one up and get together with friends for a Saturday or Thursday game of DCC tonight!

The bottom line is that Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms pays and cleaves its sword and sorcery source material homages without copying a great deal or borrowing from the worlds of Robert Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, or other authors. The author uses the tropes and conventions to weave and create his own world which stretches across his world. This is a solidly done sixty four pages of sword and planet adventure with plenty of room for DM's to bring a DYI sense to their version of Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms. Is it worth the price tag? Yes in spades and it really needs to be better known. If your a DCC DM this is one to pick up and flesh out used in conjunction with other DCC products Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms could become a campaign that could run for months and months. Personally I think its great value for the money.


  1. Intriguing!

    I'm glad to see more third party DCC stuff coming out too.

  2. There's lots of third party content coming out for the DCC rpg and one of the reasons why I've slowly been getting into the game. The fact is that Goodman games clears all of the third party product properties that come across their desks. This is another reason why the quality of pieces like Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms From Leviathan Publishing For The DCC rpg System is on such a level that it is. Sure there's room for improvement but there's lots of tools under the hood that will allow a DM to get right into the back end of a campaign right out of the gate. All you need is Drongo: Ruins of the Witch Kingdoms and the DCC rpg rule book and your good to go to get a campaign going right off the chain!


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