Friday, 8 December 2017

Both Foul and Deep

CE 9: Both Foul and Deep was written by Daniel J. Bishop, with art by Brett Neufeld (including the cover) and Mark Hyzer, and cartography by Tim Hartin of Paratime Design. The publisher is Purple Duck Games.

Disclosure: I am the author.

This is the ninth volume in the Campaign Elements series, which began as an attempt (by me) to ensure that I had the materials necessary to run a great Dungeon Crawl Classics game when the unexpected occurred, when players wanted to Quest For It, or when I needed to run filler because some players could not make it to a game. I have a tendency to think that these things are absolutely necessary for the Dungeon Crawl Classics judge.

In addition, when I first conceived of this project, I had recently written Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror and Through the Cotillion of Hours for Purple Duck Games. Filling someone else's map spurs have to answer "What does this map suggest?" and "How do I use this space?" I commissioned Tim Hartin of Paratime Design to devise 15 maps with a small number of encounter areas for this purpose. When I described my plans to Mark Gedak at Purple Duck, he instantly offered to pay for the maps and publish the results.

At the time of this writing, we are now 6 volumes away from completion for this series. When it is done, judges will have a hell of a lot of material to help take their campaigns in whatever direction the players desire.

Writing and art for Both Foul and Deep is being funded through a Go Fund Me campaign, with an eye towards releasing the pdf version as a Pay What You Want product. At the time of this writing, it is only available through this campaign.

So what's inside it?

Both Foul and Deep focuses on sewer systems, those places where Player Characters seem likely to go sooner or later in milieu with an urban setting. The main part of the Campaign Element discusses diseases (you get six) and the hazards of fire in the sewers (including potential collapses) before jumping into the scenario that "fills in" Tim Hartin's map. There is also a section on random encounters, which uses a different die depending upon average party level, if you want "balanced" encounters.

As with all Campaign Elements, there is a "Squeezing it Dry" section to help you reuse the material. One of the design goals of the series is to give you more bang for your buck.

Three Appendixes are included.

Appendix 1: People of the Sewers describes folks you might run into in the fetid areas beneath the city, what they are doing there, how they are likely to react to adventurers, and what statistics the harried judge can use to represent them. Fourteen entries are included, some of which have multiple statblocks.

Appendix 2: Monsters of the Nether Dark describes 30 different creatures that might be encountered in the sewers, from those a judge might easily include in a zero-level funnel adventure to monsters that can challenge even high-level adventurers.

Admitedly, some of these monsters are quite disgusting: the fecal ooze, for instance, is "a huge, pulsating mass of fecal matter and raw sewage" that can spew "a narrow stream of nearly-liquid feces with great force". Some, like the giant black widow spider or the chaos ooze, can easily be used in other settings. Other, like the globlins, are even potential allies. There are even some, like the guttersnake, that have turned out to be all too real!

I have even managed to include a dragon that is appropriate for the cesspools and rivers below your campaign's most ancient city!

Appendix 3: Squallas, Mistress of the Night Soil Rivers, is an abbreviated write-up of a new patron, containing the invoke patron spell check results for the Lady of the Sewers.

As is generally the case with these releases, "All text is considered Open Game Content, except that already identified as Product Identity under the DCC RPG open license declaration." This means that, yes, you can include a cesscaeda swarm in your own adventures, have a place where characters can become infected by brownlung, and include Squallas, and then publish the thing yourself. It's not just allowed. It's encouraged.

Get It Here!

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