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 Hide roll: limbs and demons...

Alexandre Correia
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RPG Designer
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Day 2095. September 26, 2022. Lagos...

Previously in Four Against Darkness: ...what lies in the darkness...
Torvul and the three archers descended the steps into the large misty chamber, with the sound of flesh scraping the stone floor becoming clearer and clearer with every step. With the lantern held in one hand and sword in another, Torvul stopped when the stairs were over. Something was moving on the floor. Gotven feared another onslaught of infectious worms or, worse still, more demoralizing sightings of demented experiments with body parts.

But as their eyes grew accustomed to the dark, they sighed in relief at what was about to attack them. Dozens of animated limbs swirled and twisted in their direction, like toddlers crawling towards their parent's warmth. Only that this party of adventurers wouldn't welcome the hands, arms, and severed legs with hugs and kisses.

From gallery of ZombieBoard

Don't be afraid of the dark.

I'm so used to fearing the worst in Digressions of the Devouring Dead (DDD) that every roll at the Gruesome Table is like waiting for a lump of coal from Santa. But despite the sick show that Torvul and the rest found at the bottom of the chamber, they all passed a fear check and were able to sever, even more, the feeble menace.

I'm not ready to search the rooms and corridors, however. Not yet, and probably not ever in this expansion. If body parts and diseased worms are regular events in this dungeon, what lies behind secret doors and holes is probably too deadly for level 1 characters. I try not to get attached to 1st level characters in Four Against Darkness. But I always fail.

Another great quality of DDD, especially for the solo delving dad with limited time and energy at night, is the room generator table. One single roll gives me two, three, often more rooms and corridors. With levers to yet unseen drawbridges, deadly traps, and a 3D facet to the dungeon that the base game layouts simply cannot match. I used to love it when I was playing just with the base game, and I survived long enough to explore every inch of empty grid squares before exiting. The final dungeon had the structure of a great adventure, filled with secret doors and dangerous monsters.

One single roll on a DDD room tables scratches not just the 4AD itch but also the hunger for a fulfilling dungeon. I can't wait to have the entire sheet mapped out in full glory.

From gallery of ZombieBoard

One room at the time.

They exited the chamber through a spiral staircase decorated with impaled sacrifices, leading to a well-lit room. There was only one door leading out from it, and on the far side, an altar served as the wailing fetish of four demonic women. Torvul's heart, filled with hatred for the unholy, was turned to the max volume at the sight of demons. He charged at full speed, like a medieval tank coasting downhill without brakes, and nearly as fast as the arrows from his companions that flew above his armored-clad head!e

The demons screeched in pain at the same rate that the adventurers increased their confidence in this place. There is a big gelatinous cube guarding a magic sword somewhere in this dungeon. And after tonight's session, I feel that this group has what it takes to find it.
Books used: Four Against Darkness; Digressions of the Devouring Dead (for the rooms and tables)

One year ago: ...opening lazy sunday moves...
One year later: N/A

Photos & Images: ZombieBoard,, Josh Burnett
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