Dungeon Crawl Classics #75: The Sea Queen Escapes
Publisher: Goodman Games
Page Count: 24
Release Date: 04/07/2013
Get it Here: DriveThruRPG.com
Every gamer, regardless of medium, shudders at the thought of a water level, and they do it with good reason. Wading through water that slows you down, trying to swim down and back up before you drown and fighting in water, all of these elements are present in this adventure.
Half a century ago the wizard Shadankin befriended the seas and oceans and all its inhabitants. He never sought to rule, merely to discover and increase his knowledge of life beneath the waves. But not all is what it seems under the calm of the sea. Dangerous entities constantly seeks entrance to this realm, and their reward is maybe too much to ignore, and so Shadankin had to take measures. Gathering allies from the mighty oceans, Shadankin created a prison, but the prison is breaking. A beautiful queen reaches out the heroes and cries for release. And so the story begins.
That being said, this adventure made for Level 3 characters is classically designed. The environments are creative and something new for those that usually do normal dungeon crawls. The artwork is what you are used to from Goodman Games, and as always reflects the retro-feel of DCC. The maps especially are beautiful and imaginative.
The author, Michael Curtis, is a competent writer, but spread throughout the text complicated words and long names appear. Regardless of how much fun it is to see trapezoids used outside the context of a classroom, it doesn’t really add anything to the narrative, or the exposition. Describing a surface as â€œisosceles trapezoidâ€ will only create confused looks on your player’s faces.
The Sea Queen Escapes relies heavily on the usual fantasy tropes, and the more â€˜specialized’ ones regarding oceanic adventures. A beautiful royalty reaches out for help, her only hope. The heroes must travel to shores unknown and discover the true purpose of their visions. Because of all this the underlying story is filled with clichés. This doesn’t have to be bad. There is a reason something becomes a cliché, it answers to universal thoughts and feelings. The story is highly adaptable, but can easily stand on its own well-defined webbed feet. There is of course a small twist at the end, but I’ll keep that for myself for now.
All in all, I liked it. I would however change things up a little before running it with my group, but that’s the beauty of all the OGL material being published. You can twist, turn and refurbish anything to suit your needs, and The Sea Queen Escapes will definitely see some action in one form or another in my group.
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