The Dungeon Alphabet (2018)

I guess the rest of the week isn’t technically Dungeon Crawl Classics, but man, they are classics nevertheless. I speak of the series of alphabet toolkits. First comes The Dungeon Alphabet (originally 2009, this edition 2018), by Michael Curtis.

The idea here is to create a kind of collection of idea inspirations for dungeon designs. This is accomplished through an alphabetical series of prompts. Thus, A is for Altars, but also Adventurers; B is for books; E is for entrances and so on. Each entry begins with a musing on the subject. Sometimes this scrapes at unusual or unexpected truths, sometimes it connects it to other entries (Magic of course is often connected to Altars and Statues), sometimes it just waxes enthusiastic and sets the mood. The brief essay is then followed by the object of DCC’s obsession: random tables. A dozen Underwater dungeons! Twenty dungeon Level themes! A score of unexpected Level connectors! Fourteen random Quests to fulfill! Table after glorious table, jam packed with evocative ideas to get your brain storming.

And then there is the art. Jeff Easley, Jim Holloway, Doug Kovacs, William McAusland, Bradley McDevitt, Jesse Mohn, Peter Mullen, Russ Nicholson, Erol Otus, Stefan Poag, Jim Roslof, Chad Sergesketter, Chuck Whelon, Mike Wilson. Where the DCC rulebook is like this bellowing celebration of “Old School” art, here you get all these guys going nuts on specific concepts. They were tasked with cramming as much as they could into their illustrations, which often wrap around the text and tables. If the tables should fail you and the art doesn’t give you ideas for your next dungeon delves, I dunno, you might be dead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *