I had an epic game of The Duck Crusade at VirtualGrogmeet, an online convention organised by the Grognard Files Podcast, yesterday afternoon. As bonkers, with moments of grimness, as I envisioned it being. It was wonderful to see the foul land of Grogland and its mad cultist inhabitants come to life in full evil glory
Here’s the Player’s Introduction
You are all members of the Order of Lizard Killers, who live at Fort Fury on the edge of the Groglands.
Two hundred years ago Groglands was your people’s sweet, moist homeland, and was called Green Marsh. Then the monstrous giant walking three-headed lizard known as Grogzilla came and laid it to waste with its vile breath of corruption!
The survivors settled at the Fort. A human outpost, that they very kindly allowed to settle in by the local human tribe.
You are the last of your Order. You’ve just received word that your mentors – the Duck Pack – have been killed while patrolling the Groglands. And worse than that while Grogzilla sleeps in a cave beneath the ruins of Fowlton, it has laid an egg, and its corrupt human priesthood has brought it to the surface! That they plan to hatch it and soon there will be a SON OF GROGZILLA!!!
This system uses OpenQuest, a D100 system inspired by the classics with modern mechanics for smoother play. No system or setting knowledge required, but Mature Themes of madness, unnaturalness, and horror will feature heavily.
Despite a very downbeat send-off speech by their Grandmaster (“you don’t stand a chance, you’ll probably die and your body will sink into the swamp”), the Ducks cut a bloody swathe through the cultists, and killed the Son of Grogzilla!
They triumphed and have become the new elite Heroes of Fort Fury, the fabled Duck Pack. Big thanks to Andrew Jones, David Haraldson, Lee Williams, and Roy Duffy who played Buffo the Baboon raised as Duck to a hilt (picture below).
This is the first time I’ve run the scenario, and due to it being effectively 2.5 hours once we got into playing properly, it was a slightly abridged version. On reflection that’s fine. There’s a lot of material in the current draft of the adventure. So much so that you can pick and choose which parts of it to use, and the resolution is pretty obvious from the word go so you can just drop it in when you need to wrap things up quite quickly without it being jarring. The players threw themselves into it with great gusto, with none of the caution that some players exhibit when they look at the skill ratings of 60% in their signature skill and the number of hit points (usually between 10 and 15) on their character sheets 🙂 This may because that I use a much more concise format for characters in convention games, where signature skills are in the 70-85% rating, non-important skills aren’t listed (and are taken at 20% if they turn up in play) and the character has double the amount of personal magic than a starting character does, with personal magic casting being POW X 5 instead of POW X 3.
The Duck Crusade is currently in draft form and is being worked up to be released as a A5 format booklet, with notes about how to run it from the Cultist’s point of view, and a mini-guide to the lands of Grogland. Current ETA late Apirl/early May.