The Best Adventures Are Yet To Come
By Harley Stroh
Over one hundred adventures ago, Goodman Games made a name for itself by publishing adventures that we – the authors and artists – wanted to play. Classic adventures with weird magic, unknown foes, and the constant specter of death lurking around every turn.
Early on you could feel the DNA borrowed from early AD&D and D&D adventures, down to the blue line maps and old school artists. And as writers, this was intentional. We were trying to create the adventures that, as kids, we could never find on the TSR rack.
Right around DCC 50 we had burned through the easy tropes. We had published a giant adventure. And a volcano adventure. An adventure with a series of caves and a home base. A haunted tower, and finally a mega-dungeon.
These were great adventures (and some of my very favorite DCCs) but the time had come to think harder, go deeper. This, along with some timely conversations between Doug and Joseph, turned our focus of inspiration away from the old TSR modules we loved to the literary and pulp works that had inspired them. We were going back to the source.
And now, with another fifty DCCs, we’ve delved into the Center of the Earth, crossed blades with Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, followed in John Carter’s footsteps, and even wrestled with the Devil at the crossroads at midnight.
Along the way we met the band and rallied the bloodthirsty Road Crew, a horde of fearless judges that swarmed the earth, running raucous games in-person and online. You welcomed us into your home campaigns, at convention tables, and on Twitch. You rolled dice in the back of a wizard van, bought zines in the shadow of the Ziggurat, and rang the Doom Gong with pride.
Standing at the cusp of the next one hundred DCCs, one might be daunted. Where do we go next for inspiration? The old lessons are more relevant than ever: It’s time to think harder, go deeper. To disdain the easy tropes and low hanging fruit. To not settle for cheap ideas or boring adventures.
The original ethos and vision are still our polestars. Pair great artwork with smart writing. Deliver exciting adventures with weird magic, unknown foes, and the very real threat of death. Draw from the same well that inspired the great designers, but also from the myths and stories that inspired them.
Reviewing the adventures from the past year – many from brilliant new authors – and looking forward to 2023 – with the release of Dying Earth, DCC 100, and a host of as-yet-unannounced adventures – it is clear that the best adventures are yet to come. We hope you’ll join us at home, online, and at conventions. Join the band, roll some dice, and return home bearing gold, glory, and stories of desperate survival born from the best adventures being published today.
You won’t want to miss it: the next hundred DCCs are going to be amazing.