Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reading Sailors on the Starless Sea

This weekend I will be running my first RPG in almost 8 months. I've selected Dungeon Crawl Classics to be the game to get me out of my dry spell and will be running Harley Stroh's Sailors on the Starless Sea, which I picked up at last GenCon along with the DCCRPG book.

(What follows are my thoughts on having read the adventure. I will be sure to post my thoughts on playing the adventure later.)

What really strikes me about Sailors, and the rest of the DCC modules I've glanced through, is how slim it is. Unlike old TSR modules like In Search of the Unknown, there isn't a room or area that doesn't have something interesting in it. The last time I ran an old TSR module, I ended up redesigning the entire map, cutting out all of the boring room and adding locations from other sources. I won't need to do this for Sailors. The design is almost minimalist in nature, trimming away everything but the parts essential for fun.

I've seen many people commenting that Sailors is too lethal and that it's a miracle that any PCs survive, let alone one per player. While I've yet to see the encounters in actual play, I suspect that the main cause of PC death in Sailors call comes down to players not thinking in the "old-school way." Being careful, taking in the details of the locations and sneaking around all go a long way in this adventure. Even when there are three dozen beastmen to contend with.

Sailors on the Starless Sea on RPGNow.

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