This is the first DCC module I bought, because the cover art is so great! The eyeball theme is well used and really defines the adventure, with the curse, the giant eyestalks, and the pit full of eyes at the finale. Two characters were afflicted by the curse of the emerald eye before the party realized they shouldn’t be touching that, and the curse gimmick made it possible for the lowly 1st level to become as strong as an owlbear. I love a good gimmick, and this one really mixed things up. At the end, the random eyeball rays were pretty good too, as our wizard’s exit strategy was foiled by a polymorph ray turning him into a cat and losing his father’s sword in the process. The warrior survived a death ray with a memorable lucky roll, and only two coffers of treasure were extracted from the caverns. I dig how stingy DCC modules are with treasure—You’re more likely to die than walk out rich! I allowed each player to have a second character of 0 level to act as porter, trap tester, and extra weapon, and I think that encourages players to take more risks. They’re less timid knowing they’ve still got another character to play. I still had to reduce the number of foes so our party of only four 1st level characters could have a chance of survival. I removed the Brood Pit entirely as well as reducing the Undertemple to three rooms only. In the final room, I decided to have the Primordial Titan not appear unless its name was spoken. This made room 2-11 a kind of trap where our wizard learned a word (Shigazilnizthrub) that would trigger a likely TPK in the final room, and he nearly fell for it thinking its utterance would aid him—Luckily the cleric convinced him to hold his tongue. Instead of throwing the Primordial Titan at them, the pit was full of an infinite number of Wall-of-Eyes which emerged one per round until everyone realized they were never going to stop and it was time to run. Overall, this adventure was a good time with some novel threats and interesting events. The only thing missing was a random rumor chart. Since every adventure needs one, I wrote my own. Attached below you can view my campaign-specific introduction, random rumor chart, and the specific alterations I made for a smaller party to play in a single session:
It was a near TPK. Mike and Rob both came out with one original 0-Level guy still alive, but Larry and Brian were killed off. I had a stack of new pre-rolled, and every-time someone died they got a replacement, so every player had 3 characters at all times. Nonetheless, I still had to skip the leviathan lurking in the underground lake and hurry the party up the ziggurat and past the 22 beast-men. Was the module supposed to be that hard? It was a total bloodbath, which is absolutely perfect for our inaugural game. As I see it, a total bloodbath is needed to prove that all characters are mortal. This adds some stake to the game, because the players know they really could die at any time (unlike the heroes of The Hobbit 2). I like the 0-Level system a lot, because now we are set up to create 1st-Level characters who already have a backstory. And I like the Luck system, which gives even wimpy 0-Level guys a chance to do something bad-ass. As for this particular adventure, Sailors On The Starless Sea, I didn’t like the intro or rumor chart, so I made my own which you can find attached here as a pdf:
This is the link to the DCC character sheets from Goodman Games, but at level 0 a simple piece of paper will do.