Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review of Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine issue #15 (DCC) From Shield of Faith Studios For The Dungeon Crawl Classics rpg System

So its been a long while since I've cracked open Dungeon Crawl Classics & Crawling Under A Broken Moon's twisted post apocalyptic weirdness. But Drivethrurpg & Rpgnow are having a massive sale where you can get issues for a dollar a pop & you can get issue #15 at a really good price. So why issue #15? Well because it contains the latter half of the half of the Dinotastic Park semi-hex crawl. Which is sort of a send up of the Jurrasic Park movies and Seventies rubber suited dinosaur films twisted through the DCC lens of Crawling Under A Broken Moon. Don't let the cover fool you this is a very tight and well done issue.

First of all you get a complete run down of a mercenary outfit called  the Red Claw Raiders mercenary
company based out of a small settlement a few miles northwest of the dome, called the
Free Trader’s Rest.
The Red Claws basically have the run of the dome in the later half of the ruins of the park; well sort of. Its more like they have interests with every other faction in the park & a semi controling interest. They'd like to acquire more influence, relics, leverage, etc. In other words for a party of adventurers they're perfect NPC exploit material for a party of adventurers. We also get more insight into the other dimensional locations, gateways and more that were eluded to in CUB issue #14.

"The party could travel from any other dimension or alternate game setting via a portal or gate that leads out into the dimensional rift in hex 162. Due to the chaotic nature of the rift, it will be impossible to return the way they came. A convenient ceiling collapse in the rift area will work as a good motivator for the adventurers
to move forward."

There are tons more background material, new factions, monsters, patrons, and more all closely linked with the Dinotastic park adventure campaign location. That's part of the deal here with this hex crawl everything ties right back into it.
You got the" The Robo-Faithful - Based out of their temple located in 152, these robotic folk worship the entity known as the Ultimospark. They want nothing more than to exist in peace and do the will of their god. While they see living beings as inferior they have no desire to force them to convert into superior roboforms
unless they truly wish to ascend to a greater existence. This gift of the Ultimospark they offer freely."  Then there is one of my favorites a mutated variation of the Grey aliens known as; The Bumpkinoids - The mutagenic compounds that caused the original human survivors to devolve into the Once-men have had similar, more rapid, effects upon all of the alien life forms that have entered into the park. Some came to
investigate the strange cosmic emanations and others crashed here due to the manations interfering with their flight controls."

"The Redclaw Raiders - These wasteland invaders have learned how to scavenge with enough success to make more profit than loss of life. They really only care about expanding their operation without angering any of the other factions enough to take up open hostility. Since they are profit driven, they are almost always willing to make a deal, even with enemies"
"The Once-men - On this side of the park, the Once-men are much more numerous and much better organized. They have actively been using guerilla style tactics to keep the Scale Empire’s foothold to a minimum. Led by their psionically talented leaders, known as Wise Eyes, they have fortified some of the western resort areas to give their people safety from both the Saurians and Dinosaurs."  There are tons of hex adventure locations and exploitable places for PC's to easily get in over their heads plus more details on the mutated dinosaurs and setting information.

Plus there are two different PC classes including the Robo Priest - "You are a messenger of the Ultimospark, an energy that bestows holy intelligence on the most pure of forms — machines. Flesh-bags may look in awe at your shiny metal form, but you are a mere conduit for the awesome power of the Ultimospark."
As well as the Cro-Mentalist - A neolithic psionicist of extraordinary lethality but balanced power perfect for adventuring PC who wants a balanced edge in their games.
One thing about this issue of Crawling Under A Broken Moon it takes full advantage of Mind Games from Shield of Faith Studios as a sort of modular add on. This isn't a bad thing at all because its also on sale from Drivethrurpg as a part of their Halloween sale. 

What's really cool is the fact that you get a complete campaign setting in two small fanzine sized publications perfect for dropping into your own version of 'Merica. The setting works and its a nice quality piece of post apocalyptic slight of hand. I really enjoyed the encounters which give a really nice little world to adventure in. Because this a fanzine there's a good amount of quality here & I continue to be impressed with Shield of Faith Studios. So set your sights on Dinotastic Park & bring the kids down they'd love to have your adventurers for lunch or dinner!
Five out of five for the effort, professionalism, and well thought out ideas in this one.
Could this setting be used with other old school post apocalyptic retroclone systems? That's a question I've been pondering for quite a while and the answer I think is yes. With a bit of slight of hand and some other resources this material could easily be adapted into Mutant Future. There are enough pieces of that puzzle already on the OSR market that can make that happen. The funky dice stats are the worst thing but with some time and energy it could happen.


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