Sunday, November 27, 2016
DCC RPG - Grimtooth's Museum of Death Review
I am going to review another DCC RPG product today: Grimtooth's Museum of Death. This one is interesting, as it is a "crossover" of sorts. Grimtooth is a character/mascot from a series of "Traps" products that came out decades ago. Those books were extremely handy.
I got one of the Grimtooth books way back in the '90's and I tried using some of the traps on my players. All of the traps in the Grimtooth books are extraordinarily vicious. The players used to groan when I pulled that book out during play.
The tone of this book is different. The whole thing is purposely goofy and sarcastic. The heroes will be taking an elevator through the 101 levels of Grimtooth's dungeon. The adventure takes you thorough an odd collection of floors: Floor 4, then 24, then 13, etc.
Here's an example of the tone. Grimtooth is giving the opening flavor text. He says: "Before you die, please shout out a number between 1 and 10 rating how agonizing your death is, 10 being the highest."
Diagrams: The thing I like most about this book is that there are drawings of the traps. A lot of times, I have trouble visualizing complex traps. A lot of them use words like "promontory" and I can never keep those kinds of words straight.
One weird thing about this module is that vast swaths of some of the dungeon levels are not detailed. In the beginning, the book says: "The maps contain several mystery rooms keyed with question marks. The rooms are supplied for judges to insert their own traps..."
Several mystery rooms? Level 4 has a total of 14 rooms. 10 of them are question marks.
This adventure is very brief. The heroes must go into a dungeon level, meet an NPC related to Grimtooth in some way, and get a key to another level. This chain of events ends up sending the group all the way down to Grimtooth's throne room.
During the exploration of floor 4, the group runs into Grimtina, Grimtooth's sister. She is: "...invulnerable to all attacks, possesses inhuman strength and splits anyone who touches her from skull to groin with her chainsaw."
The group goes through a few more levels, braving traps and getting keys. There's a few traps that I thought were really fun.
There's one that seems like certain doom. It involves a rolling cylinder and barrels of acid. If that trap goes off, there is literally nowhere for the heroes to dodge to. They are going to get steamrolled and scorched by acid.
There is also an antigravity room that I got a kick out of. I love it when a dungeon room has a floor like a chess board.
The group gets down to Grimooth's throne room and I really like the way it looks. A throne surrounded by massive piles of gold is a very classic trope and a really cool place to have an encounter.
Grmtooth ends up screwing the group over and the group might end up fighting his pet dragon Grimfang,
One of my favorite traps kicks in when the group is ready to leave. The elevator literally rockets up through the roof. I really get a kick out of that. I think the players would freak out.
Then we get stats for Grimtooth as a patron. In DCC RPG, patrons are powerful god-like entities that you can worship and gain special spells from. You can also call on him for aid. His aid consists of things like dropping a giant bowling ball on your enemies or sending Grimtina to maul your foes with a chainsaw.
If you displease him, he does all sorts of stuff. My favorite is where he leaves a trap for the character somewhere in the world. The hero knows there's one out there, but they don't know where. It goes off at the most inopportune time.
Piles of Traps: Another thing I really like is that there are appendices in the back full of traps to use. There's a page of door traps and a page of floor traps. All of them have diagrams and drawings. They squeezed a ton of content onto each page.
The traps are brutal and/or amusing. I particularly like this one: You are walking up some stairs. Your foot falls through a stair and spikes stab into your foot. It will take five minutes to work your leg free, or you can just rip it out and take damage. As you are deciding what to do, a cobra falls from the ceiling onto you. Just thinking about that makes me laugh. A cobra! How random.
The dungeon is really odd. It's unfinished. I don't expect 100 levels of dungeon, but it's weird that we adventure through 4 different levels, most of which are left undesigned. It is almost like this book is more about the stuff in the back than the adventure.
Aside from that, it's a very fun book. What's great about it is that it is a fantastic resource. You could buy this and you've got enough traps to last for a very long time. In my opinion, those two pages of door traps and floor traps are insanely useful and on their own made this worth buying.