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CE 4: The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbeggoten (DCC) PDF

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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In years long past, Gryffon Keep was a border fortification guarding a somewhat well-used roadway. In that day, the keep was placed in the trust of Sir Harold Amoral, one of the greatest warriors available to the then Lord Duke. Time has changed the land, and brought the keep low, and Sir Amoral has become little more than a figure of fable and children’s story. That the ruins in the forest were those of fabled Gryffon Keep have been forgotten by most, and the area is now known to locals as the Forest Ruin.

Although history has faded to legend, the ghost of Sir Amoral still haunts the ruined keep. During his lifetime, he sought to hoard his martial knowledge so that it might never be used against him by a mortal foe. Now, after death, he regrets this parsimony, and seeks above all to pass on his skills to those who are worthy.

The catch, of course, is that the ghost believes that only he can determine who is (or is not) worthy – and, of course, his methods for doing this are deadly.

The Campaign Elements series is designed to help judges create persistent campaign worlds, as well as deal with patron quests, divine requests, and the sudden need to “Quest For It”. Whether it is because you are short on players one evening, or the wizard needs to locate a new spell, the Campaign Elements series has you covered.

Each of these areas is short enough to be played through by most groups in only a single session. That doesn't mean that the value of the area is limited to a single session – each adventure includes notes on “squeezing it dry”…effectively getting the maximum re-use from your investment.

An adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics characters across multiple levels.

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The fourth installment of PDG’s excellent Campaign Elements-series fort the Dungeon Crawl Classics-rule-set is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

This being a review of an adventure-locale, this review contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right! Gryffon Keep was once famous…now, it is only a fabled ruin in the forest and Sir Amoral’s ghost still lingers – and with him, his 7 deadly skills, which can be learned, though they come with a price, a geas and a prohibition of teaching them – which is necessary, since they offer some rather cool unique tricks to pull off in combat – mechanically sound in the DCC-rule-set one and all, they are worthy of great fighters – and PCs will have to prove their mettle by slaying certain creatures to learn the skills:

A horned, tattooed female (with a glorious artwork), a two-headed wolf, a faceless gray horror (again, depicted with an original, awesome b/w-artwork), a draconic scorpion, a Tabattax marshall (7 foot tiger-like, winged humanoid, in case you didn’t know) and finally, a beholder-like creature straight from hell – one adversary per skill. The lavishly detailed keep and its sense of antiquity and inhabitants should provide further challenges and particular suicidal characters may wish to challenge even Sir Amoral’s spirit – an unwise decision, but we all know how players are sometimes…

As always, advice for getting even more out of the location is provided within these pages, providing more hooks beyond the learning of the skills and the exploration of the ruin.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting re top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG’s printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with some beautiful original b/w-artworks and the pdf comes bookmarked for your convenience. The cartography in b/w is also neat indeed.

Author Daniel J. Bishop puts a different focus on this particular installment -offering unique things to do for martial characters as incentives, the set-up is both challenging and cool and the duels per se work well with the DCC-rules without being boring for the bystanders. Also flavor-wise, we get something different in a clear step away from the weird style and ideas we’ve seen in earlier installments of the CE-series – and while a change of pace and style towards something a tad (if not much) more conventional is appreciated, personally, I’m all in for the weird. Also, unlike the last installment, we don’t get sample scenarios, which I tremendously enjoyed. That being said, this STILL is a great supplement and one that enterprising DMs can use to scavenge the skills towards respective representations in their rules-systems – these skills can be seen as EXTREMELY exclusive feats that cannot be gained by any other way – achievement benefits, if you will – and I really like that idea and its execution. Still, when compared to the superb third installment, this one feels weaker, if only by a margin, remaining an excellent purchase and clocking in at 5 stars, but missing my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


*****

I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten written by Daniel J. Bishop is published by Purple Duck Games for the DCC RPG game system. 13 pages, with two pages taking care of the cover and OGL, leaving us with 11 pages of material. Presented in a dual column format, with nothing jumping out and screaming any editing issues, which is always a good thing. Artwork is handled by Gary Dupois and Michael Scotta, with the majority of the pieces being available from Purple Duck Games as stock art pieces. Being a fan of the art style of both of these artists, I was pleased to find their work included in this adventure, and am willing to bet that the art will meet with most people's approval as well.

Cartography is presented with a very old school feel, but I would expect nothing less from a product designed for the DCC RPG. Anything other would feel odd, lol.

The meat and bones here, as this is an adventure review after all, is that a keep lost to history houses the ghost of its previos occupant, one Sir Amoral. Finding himself haunting his former keep, and willing to pass on the collection of knowledge he feels has been wasted by not finding those worthy in life to share with while he could, he now tests those he feels might be worthy of his boon. This of course is where the problem comes in, as his tests are not the easiest of things. 7 skills await those characters that can survive and succeed at each of their trials, proving to the ghost that they are worthy of each of these skills.

Given that there are only seven challenges, and each one of them being addressed directly to one of the seven skills of Sir Amoral I'm going to avoid discussing the specifics, other than to say there with be one and one combat with a handful of creatures. One of the nice things about an encounter location like this, the ruined keep, is that this can easily be incorporated for usage that far exceeds the purposes of this adventure. And yes, the author agrees, going so far as to recommend several methods of using the material in other ways and concepts.

A well designed addition to a GM here, with a handful of interesting creatures and an inspiring location. For the group running DCC RPG this makes for an excellent addition to the game collection. A well deserved 5 star rating, with a lot of re-use ability.


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