The Rat King’s River of Death in DCC #83: The Chained Coffin

Available from Goodman Games!splash1_sliced_16

Even if you missed out on The Chained Coffin Kickstarter you can still own the adventure-that-became-a-boxed-set!

DCC83-CoverMockupMy first commercially published game product – The Rat King’s River of Death – is the bonus adventure in DCC #83:

Rat King Only CoverIn this 1st level adventure, your party is passing through the farming town of Flaxton when they are approached by the local priestess with a tale of woe:

“A fortnight ago, a foul feculence began flowing downriver from the country estate of the local liege-lord, Count Zodra. Our village sought audience with the Count who explained that he is conducting agricultural experiments. He assured us that when his new techniques are perfected, our crop yields will multiply and everyone will become rich. But since then, the feculent flow has only grown worse and it now threatens to destroy this year’s entire crop. I returned to the estate to confront the Count, but was stalked by a huge, shadowy, hulking figure and driven off – I’m a simple country friar, not a battle-cleric! I implore you, please help us!”

Can your PCs learn what’s behind the putrid pollution and put a stop to it before the free farmers of Flaxton are made destitute?


This adventure is written for 6-8 1st level DCC characters. It works well as a “side trek” that takes place en route to a bigger dungeon and can easily be completed in a single evening of gaming. With a few very simple modifications it also works well as a short zero-level funnel. Players at Kublacon 2014 enjoyed the “mob storming Frankenstein’s Castle” flavor of having zero-level, pitchfork-wielding peasants take matters into their own hands on the grounds of Count Zodra’s estate.

Rat King concept art by Danny Huynh.


The main event in DCC #83 -The Chained Coffin – is Michael Curtis’ tribute to the Appendix N author Manly Wade Wellman:

Wellman’s Silver John stories were set in the dark, woodsy places of backwoods mountain country, where spirits and haunts were a real part of everyday life. Michael Curtis created a DCC version of Wellman’s setting, one that reminds me more than a little of H.P. Lovecraft’s Miskatonic River Valley  as presented in stories like “The Dunwich Horror.”

The entrance to one of this adventure’s supernatural locations is blocked by a door on which is mounted a special spinning wheel that comprises a crucial puzzle in the adventure:

Beyond the ancient bridge is a 40’ wide, 30’ deep ledge that lies perpendicular to a sheer rock face. Set into the  rocky cliff at the far side of the ledge stands a great stone archway sealed by an imposing door. Blue bolts of lightning ripple silently across the door’s face, hinting at magical wards or seals. In the center of the door are three circular dials set one inside the next. Each dial bears several different symbols, no two of which repeat.

Artist Doug Kovacs has turned this door into a fully-functioning player handout (see image below). What’s the solution? You’ll have to buy the module to find out! To add additional replay value, author Michael Curtis has also designed five additional ways to  utilize the spinning wheel in your group’s future adventures.


Through a successful Kickstarter, Goodman Games expanded this product into an entire boxed set campaign setting in which Judges and players can explore the shadowy Shudder Mountains and delve the secrets of the Deep Hollows. Backers of the Kickstarter can pick up their copies of the boxed set at GenCon 2014 and any surplus sets will be on sale at the Goodman Games GenCon booth. The Chained Coffin will be available for purchase on the Goodman Games website following the convention.e1b273eb05770d2b5aaa4c3e3bc61caf_large

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