Dungeon Crawl Classics #33: Belly of the Great Beast (OGL) PDF

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An adventure for character levels 21–24

The Great Beast floats eternally through space, content to watch the universe grow and evolve before his vast golden eyes. Only the most learned of sages has any knowledge of its existence, and none can agree on its origin or purpose. But now invaders have taken over the Great Beast and forced it to the service of chaos! They have actually constructed a compound within the living flesh of the immortal creature, allowing them to safely travel through space in an invulnerable craft. They are stealing the collective knowledge of any civilization they encounter. Our world is next—unless the heroes can stop them!

    Features:
  • An epic-level adventure that sends the heroes to space and back
  • A hilarious mixture of fun and fantasy, including such obstacles as a space-faring outhouse and giant alien cockroach-men
  • Unique opponents that only epic-level play can provide

Writer: Brendan LaSalle
Cover Artist: Leo Edwards
Back Cover Artist: Doug Kovacs
Interior Artists: Doug Kovacs, Stefan Poag, Mike Wilson
Cartographer: Jeremy Simmons
64 pages

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An RPG Resource Review

*****

This is a very high level adventure (21-24 level!) which takes the party into space to stop a dastardly plan to steal the collective knowledge of the world from a passing Great Beast that floats through the universe just watching what's going on. It's got hitchhikers, though, and these are the ones causing the trouble.

It all begins when the party encounters the Cult of the Forgotten Word, who are the villains in question. They are seeking to steal a particular tome... and the party has the chance not only to save that book, but to put an end to their schemes altogether, if they dare! The DM's background explains a lot more of what is going on, as well as providing a monster list, scaling information and several excellent ways to get the party involved in the first place. These primarily involve getting them to a place called Withers somewhere in your campaign world, as the sight of the cultists floating down from space to terrorise the local academics should be enough to engage their interest!

There's a section explaining how space travel works for the purposes of this adventure - it's all pretty descriptive and hand-waved. The cultists use Cosmic Eggs - translucent globes that just travel between the Great Beast and a nearby planet, without much need to worry how they do it. Going to the Great Beast is easy, they just do it. Coming back provides plenty of opportunities to land the party other than where they intended... even up to sending them to the wrong planet entirely if you're that cruel!

The adventure begins when the party arrives in Withers and find the town's Westphalen School under attack. Enjoy the chaos as they explore, rescuing frightened academics and students... and even encountering one student who's a "Demonology hacker" and has summoned up a devil he cannot control in an attempt to defend his school!

And this is all before the party use a Cosmic Egg or other device to get themselves to the Great Beast. Therein even more epic excitement awaits. As you'd imagine, a dungeon carved out of the living flesh of a giant immortal spacefaring creature is not your ordinary delve; but there are monsters to fight and traps to evade a-plenty, and a lot else to do besides and strange beings to meet.

There's no clear resolution to the adventure. Perhaps the party will seek to release the Great Beast from the cult's control. They'll still need to find their way home, of course. Or they might decide to kick out the cultists and keep it for themselves... Whatever they decide, this is Adventure on an epic scale, perhaps a fitting climax to an entire campaign. Or it might be a one-off, as there are some pre-generated characters provided, if you want to try a really high-level game.


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