Waking up is the most difficult thing to remember. Your first memories are of shivering blackness, uncontrollable convulsing in the void until your thoughts became coherent enough to realize … this is physical. The shivering continued in waves as your eyes slowly opened and acclimated to a different kind of flickering darkness. You were naked, huddled, alone, lying on a field of red fungi, the noise of a rhythmic machine humming in the distance. Around you, hulking steel beams and plates converged in a cavernous, triangular tunnel, dimly lit by a slowly pulsating light. The expanse of the tunnel was enormous. The corners of the triangular skeleton met in darkness. You would soon learn, however, that this massive structure is little more than an insignificant hallway within a superstructure that is much larger and far more enigmatic than your re-awakening mind could begin to fathom.
“You’re no hero,” asserts the first page of character creation in Dungeon Crawl Classics by Goodman Games, “you’re an adventurer.” DCC promises a return to the classic flavor of first edition Dungeons & Dragons — brutal challenges, frequent death, and hordes of treasure. Politics and world settings and the machinations of NPCs take a backseat to fast and deadly combat and dungeon exploration. You may not be a hero in Dungeon Crawl Classics, but if you can survive you will find enough monsters and adventure to play the system for a very long time.
If you survive. …
Somewhere in the tangled nest of the Sarkash Forest lies a staircase that leads down into a crypt known as The Accursed Den — a dank and rotten underground structure in which no free man would willingly choose to descend. You and your companions, however, are not free.
As the heavy bronze doors open outward, a gust of cold air escapes the tomb with an icy howl. The delicate sound of swishing sand and faint, ghostly whispers can be heard inside the entryway’s dark hall. Within the chilling blackness ahead lie clues to the mystery of disappearing nearby townsfolk and of this vast structure that, inexplicably, has somehow “grown” from the very earth itself.