DCC #85: The Making of the Ghost Ring

by Michael Curtis
Goodman Games
Level 4

To save a soul and forge a ring! A ghostly enchantress calls for aid, her salvation hanging in the balance. Brave heroes are needed to complete the creation of a magical ring, a process that will take them from gritty city streets to sun-scorched deserts to the ruins of an ancient fortress atop a windswept peak. Are the adventurers up to the task or shall a sinister demon claim the souls of not only the enchantress but the heroes as well? Only luck, courage, and wits will triumph against adversity and allow the adventurers to claim the Ghost Ring for themselves!

This is a linear combat-oriented adventure that lives up to the “convention style” reputation that DCC has. Ghosty McGhosterson appears and asks you to go do three things for her. These three tasks will complete the construction of a magic ring and save her soul from the devil. In return you get the ring. While I’m put off by the fetch-quest nature of the adventure I must say that the twist here, you get the ring because the ghost has another prize in mind, is certainly nice to see. Ghosty teleports you to three places: a warehouse to rescue a kidnapped halfling, a short egyptian tomb to plunder, and a the lair of the tarrasque. FInally, you get ambushed on the way back by demons. Dishes Done.

Linear fetch quest is a linear fetch quest. I’m not sure there’s anything more to say about that. I will say that there is a little fit of free range thinking in the tomb, which is by far the best part. A polymorph “trap” can be exploited to explore further. I like that kind of thing, a sort of “DM neutral” environment for the characters to explore in and in which clever thinking is rewarded. There’s also some nice monsters in the form of Gas Spores (in the shape of mummies) and some disembodied limbs ala Tower of the Stargazer. The first and last sections with the urban warehouse and the tarrasque have nothing even approaching this level of … inventiveness?

The treasure found tends to be BIG, and because the party is travelling by teleport is is likely not lootable. I’m generally not into gimping the party, but a little “action item: go back to that warehouse” is not out of the question either. Of course, coin is generally meaningless in DCC but a few choice trophies would have been nice to see.

There does seem to be an excessive amount of read-aloud, and it’s generally of the uninspiring kind that adds little to the adventure. More importantly I found the environments a bit flat. Mighty Deeds work best in a dynamic environment in which there are things for the party (or DM) to riff off of. No chandelier means nothing to swing on. The combat encounters tend to take place in flat and uninteresting environments without a lot for Mighty Deeds to work with. There is an exception in a junk filled room, but others are just … flat? barren? Certainly devoid of interesting of interesting things. DCC can invoke an epic and awesome vibe. You can do this by making flying demons attack you in the caldera of a volcano or you can do this by providing an environment for the party to exploit. It’s hard to not provide a giant soup cauldron “on purpose”, but certainly having a fight in a “giants kitchen” provides cauldron, and other, opportunities for interesting Might Deeds while “fight in the middle of a barren plain” provides far fewer opportunities.

I like the tomb. There’s probably enough here to have a decent one-shot game. There’s not quite enough here for a more interesting game. And DCC adventures are still better than most being published.

This is available on DriveThru.


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3 Responses to DCC #85: The Making of the Ghost Ring

  1. lord of wolf-reyet star says:

    for me this is the worst published dcc module.

  2. lord of wolf-reyet star says:

    i was probably too harsh 😀

    i love M. Curtis adventures except THIS one so there’s that.

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