3/20/2015

Frugal GM Review: Crawl! (DCC RPG Zine)

Frugal GM Review: Crawl! (DCC RPG Zine)
This week I'm at the last of the of the Zines I've recently picked up off of DriveThruRPG. This one is Crawl!, a Zine dedicated to the DCC RPG and I purchased Issue V: Monsters!

This 27 page PDF version of the Zine came in at 2.48 MB and is in B&W with the exception of the cover. The PDF is secured, but not unreasonably so. You basically cannot change the document, which makes sense.

On the 1st glance-through I like to do before I "dive in" I noticed three things off the bat....not saying these are good or bad, just things I picked up on immediately. The 1st is the ugly green cover color. I don't care for it, but that doesn't matter. What I think matters is that if this was a special PDF version of the Zine, they could have just made the cover white so it wouldn't waste ink/toner and I could always just print to colored cardstock. The 2nd think I noticed was that every article had a different title font. I just don't like the effect, as it is visually chaotic, but that is largely cosmetic. The 3rd thing is there is a lot of art. Most every article has some art, but most of it is rather large pieces. Three whole pages are full art pieces. At first I thought they were placed to get the articles starting on the "right" page, but they aren't.

Like any Zine, the articles are where it's at. Now I don't play DCC and probably won't be anytime soon, but I don't see the system-specific "taint" of the articles a problem if you don't Patronize that game*. There were a couple of "see the core rulebook" references, at least in one article, but the overwhelming majority of the content would be easily adaptable to other systems. There were "only" seven articles in this issue, but I didn't feel that the content was lacking.

Four articles really jumped out at me.....for those keeping score that's over 1/2 of the Zine, which is pretty good for a system I don't run. The 1st was the 1st article, "Monsters with Class" that I thought did a good job making core classes available for monsters. It's pretty down-and-dirty, but really made sense to me and is something that would transition (I think) well to other systems. Sure, I really don't want a bunch of Bugbear thieves running around in my campaign, but if I needed one this article would help me not get all bent out of shape figuring it out. The 2nd article of Orc as a monstrous class was pretty good too. I'd like to see a series of these articles for other humanoid monsters as well. Could make for a fun "reverse dungeon" campaign. Need to pull a unique monster out of your but in a hurry? The 3rd article, "Quick Monster Stats" has you covered. I think this article is a bit of a hidden gem because you could run an entire campaign with these more "generic" monsters and never have your group that has memorized the Monster Manual quite know what is going on. The last article I really liked was "just" some random tables......I'm a sucker for good tables and "Quickie Wandering Monster Tables" looks like it fills a hole in the DCC rules.

Frugal GM 5 Star Review: Crawl! (DCC RPG Zine)
With a $3.50 cover price ($21 for a 6 issue subscription), Crawl! seems like a pretty good buy, and a comple no-brainer if you play Dungeon Crawl Classics.



*This is supposed to be funny if you know much about DCC