The People of the Pit

I bought People of the Pit but then set it aside for a long time: I had two other adventures with a tentacle monster, so this one seemed unnecessary. But in playing the other two adventures, the tentacle scenes ended up getting cut. Since there aren’t enough 1st level modules, I dusted this one off and gave it a try. This is a solid adventure module with a great Lovecraft-inspired tentacle-theme. Whereas modules #67 and #81 used a tentacle monster for the finale, People Of The Pit made use of tentacles all the ways: Cool combat spell, form of transportation, inspiration for a maze, and other weird crap. Like the eyeball adventure (#81), this one plays its theme well for an unforgettable environ to explore and unforgettable foes to slay. It had more treasure to be found than most of the other 1st level modules, much to the relief of the impoverished characters (Armor is so expensive in DCC!) In our five hour game, the party only got to the temple on the second level, about halfway through the map, making this module a real all-you-can-eat suitable for all-night play. Too bad we’re all old now and start to nod off as soon as the sun goes down. My theory is that clerics are the most powerful DCC class because of the rules for Bleeding Out. Our party suffered two deaths in the fifth hour, both saved by the two clerics in the party, but once they lost one of their clerics irrevocably it was time to turn tail and escape with the gems. It would have taken a party of all clerics to get to the bottom of the fourth level, but I was disappointed with the finale—You just kill the lead cultist and the cavern collapses. I’m glad Goodman Games has ‘banned’ any more tentacle-themed releases, but could The Dark Master please consider banning the ‘collapsing finale’ that ends so many modules? Every time the dungeon collapses in the last scene, I think of Tango & Cash, not Gygax & Arneson.

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