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The Making of the Ghost Ring Review DCCRPG

May 20, 2015

GhostRing-600I picked this up at GaryCon, but just gave it a thorough read-thru yesterday. The Making of the Ghost Ring is a 4th level adventure from Michael Curtis. The basic premise is to provide an example for the type of quests GMs can create around the creation of a magic item. While rules and tables for creating magic swords and staves (staffs?) are detailed in the core book, rings are not. Sidenote: The adventure it makes reference to the first DCCRPG Annual (ha!) for more information about creating magical rings. For those of you who have been DCC fans as long as I have, the Annual has become a bit of an in-joke, as the first “Annual” has been talked about since about 2012. Hopefully it will come in the form of something like Unearthed Arcana did for D&D, a bunch of cool, optional additions you can use to spice up your game. And now, back to the review…

The structure of this adventure works as you might expect. In order to complete the ring, certain tasks must be performed before a deadline, but true to Michael Curtis and DCCRPG adventures in general, the tasks you encounter will most definitely be memorable. I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers in here for folks who may play the adventure. This one weighs in at 20 pages with maps, and would likely take 2 solid gaming sessions to complete. I would *not* recommend this for a convention, as there is too much to do to fit most con slots.

One minor gripe that stuck out for me is the name of the place you seek out the ghost. She lives deep in a fetid swamp called… the Stink Pools. Really? C’mon Michael Curtis, are you going for laughs with that name? And this from the author of Gnatdamp in Gygax Magazine #1, an entire swampy town filled with great names! The other names in this are outstanding! The Ghost: Lifthrasir, the halfling: Nikademos Phedge, even the town is Oolvanvar. All great names. I know! It’s a little thing, and could be renamed something awesome, but just seems lame on the page.

The art throughout is excellent, and features an all female Band as the back inside cover. The wrap-around outside cover is one of Doug’s best. Mark Allen does the cartography which is good, but would benefit from hand-lettering the way Doug has done on previous adventures. The maps have awesome illustrations outside of the rooms to give you a flavor of the different areas, but the text in a plain font just isn’t as cool.

The overall adventure should provide some great fun, as the encounters are varied, and include a nice mix of strategy, traps and combat. 4th level seems to be a really nice sweet-spot for DCC in which the PCs are powerful, but not yet ridiculous. This adventure could also be a nice side-quest for an existing campaign, and Mr. Curtis leaves us plenty of adventure seeds at the end to continue the story or tie it in to a larger story arc. Overall, I would recommend picking this one up. It has some classic adventure elements with those memorable DCC twists that will keep your players talking about this one for many gaming sessions to come!

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