Thread: DCC #53: Sellswords of Punjar
28th August 2008, 10:00 PM #1
DCC #53: Sellswords of Punjar
The basics: This is a 4E adventure for 1st level PCs, part of the Dungeon Crawl Classics line. The adventure included all stats, a double sided battle map (including ALL adventure areas, thank you very much KotS), 3 player handouts and an interior color cover map of the city of Punjar. The adventure was 33 pages long, with an additional 2 pages of appendix stuff (new magic and new monsters).
Overview: My players had a great time. This is an exemplary adventure, much better IMHO than any of the intro adventures Wizards has put out. Most of WotC’s stuff reads like a series of random encounters strung together for a delve event; by contrast, this was a true adventure, ala AD&D Slavers series.
The adventure didn’t make as much use of skill challenges as I would have liked, mostly defaulting to skill checks instead, and some of the skill check DCs seemed a little out of whack. I recommend changing them to suit your group.
The adventure consists of 2 main “levels.” The first is an urban slum, the home of the Beggar King and his evil henchfolk. In one of the cooler aspects of the module, the adventure comes with roof tiles, making it possible for the DM to keep the battle map out in the open for the entire first half of the adventure, removing the roofs tile by tile as the PCs explore the slums.
The second level is a sewer/dungeon crawl, with some Lovecraft for good effect. While "standard old school" in the vein of the old Slaver series adventures, the crawl portion is very exciting, with a number of traps, strange locations, and unexpected opponents.
Summary: The adventure is very well suited for a swashbuckling play style. PCs spent time running across rooftops, jumping through windows, and jumping across alleyways. There is a fair bit of combat, and plenty of traps, but not much in the way of old school puzzle solving. The module does a good job of emulating Gray Mouser / Ffafhrd style sword and sorcery. And just like in those adventures, all hell can break loose if the PCs don’t watch themselves.
Cons: As mentioned above, I would have liked to see better use of skill challenges, and some of the skill DCs seemed a little high.
Pros: An intriguing adventure that showcases the strengths of 4E. Cool battlemaps. Memorable villains and killer traps.
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- Join Date
- Jun 2004
How are the combats designed? The DCC's I now use the 1st ed. approach of presenting single rooms with their inhabitants and only rarely giving some interesting tactical choices.
Does SoP work in the same vain or ist it more 4e-like, stressing mobility and tactical decisions?
The trick, for my group, was reminding them that, yes, they actually COULD interact with the entire setting for the adventure. Jump out a window, land on a minion, swing from a rooftop, etc. Once they realized the options before them, all heck broke loose (in a good way).
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
I'm about halfway through reading it, and I like the style a lot. But most of the map areas seem too small to contain a party of 5 and multiple combatants. Has anybody else found this?
This was definitely the case in our game play. Although, once the PCs figured out that they could move around the entire complex, it freed stuff up a bit. If I run it again for another group, I'll probably redraw the maps myself, with double the size in certain areas.
- Join Date
- May 2008
Thank you for the review. I picked this up at the local game store and am going to run it saturday night! Will it matter where the PCs start? I know my group will recon the area (I'll have to make a skill challenge for that to determine what info they get vs alerting the enemy)
With a building like this they are likely to ignore the gate and go for a window or something. So reading the adventure sort of leads from brigands to dog brothers to the tiefling. Will it kill them if they enter the far courtyard and fight the tiefling first?
Also what did you do for the lower levels of the buildings? Much of the mapped area is on the second and third floor. If they break in on the first floor - closed shops maybe? Cos who would live here given what has been going on
Well, if they look like they are going to skip lots of cool encounters, I'd sick the bats on 'em. But really, if the PCs are smart enough to recon, they deserve the benefits. Trouble is, if they get into the courtyard and make some noise, they might get hammered from all sides/every side. Could get ugly.
I'd make the lower levels of the 2/3 story buildings filled, to the brim, with moldering disgusting trash.
Let us know how the game goes!