Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A DCC RPG adventure inspired by Appendix N with an amazing new prop: a spinning wheel door puzzle that your players can solve - or not!
A DCC RPG adventure inspired by Appendix N with an amazing new prop: a spinning wheel door puzzle that your players can solve - or not!
729 backers pledged $38,238 to help bring this project to life.

About

Dungeon Crawl Classics: The Chained Coffin project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$38,238

729

Summary of this Kickstarter:

  • Level 5 DCC RPG adventure module to be manufactured with a puzzle on inside front cover that consists of 3 spinning wheels.
  • Spinning wheel edition to be produced with limited edition silver foil cover, at $30 price. "Regular" color cover edition is also available (featuring the wheel graphic without the moving parts) at a price of $10.
  • Written by Michael Curtis with inspiration from Appendix N author Manley Wade Wellman. Includes additional mini-adventure "The Rat King's River of Death" by Steven Bean.
  • You can support this by pledging for the adventure module itself, and also by pledging for other DCC RPG modules, which are on sale for 20% off as part of this Kickstarter.
  • The project includes many fun stretch goals that, if funded, will make this an even more extravagant module.

Update 6/1: Yet another stretch goal beaten!

  • First, the Chained Coffin will be a boxed set! All Kickstarter orders of silver foil or gold foil will include the box.
  • Second, we have now passed stretch goal #11! The gazetteer will now be expanded even more! And there will now be a THIRD adventure included in the boxed set, in addition to the Almanac, the 0-level bonus module, the Chained Coffin, and the add-on spinning wheel!
  • Third, we have posted an update with a variety of new add-on items! Support the project with a T-shirt, flask, belt buckle, or beer cozy!
  • Finally, please note that the spinning wheel prop will be printed as a separate cardboard handout for the foil editions.
Dungeon Crawl Classics is the longest-running line of adventure modules currently available for tabletop role playing games, with the 82nd sequential DCC module recently released to game stores worldwide. This Kickstarter funds a special feature in an upcoming DCC module: a player handout that includes 3 spinning wheels on the inside cover of Dungeon Crawl Classics: The Chained Coffin. The 3 spinning wheels form an elaborate puzzle that can be solved by clever (or lucky) players. The wheel puzzle contains a number of strange symbols which can be re-used by the judge in future adventures, and the adventure text includes several alternate uses for future modules. This edition of the module features a unique silver foil cover.
The wheel puzzle: can you solve it? This Kickstarter will allow all three wheels to be printed on card stock and turn independently!
The wheel puzzle: can you solve it? This Kickstarter will allow all three wheels to be printed on card stock and turn independently!

Why Kickstarter? Manufacturing this customized wheel puzzle requires hand-assembly within the printing plant. Publishing books in a standard format is a well-established process that uses standardized machinery, but customized puzzle manufacturing requires time-consuming, expensive hand assembly. This Kickstarter funds the incremental cost of manufacturing the adventure module with a three-dimensional wheel puzzle “that really spins,” packaged on the inside cover of the adventure module. 

Even without the successful funding of this Kickstarter, The Chained Coffin will still be published. Without the Kickstarter, the puzzle will be presented as a “cut out and assemble at home” graphic. If this Kickstarter funds, however, backers will receive a version of the module that contains the moving puzzle with physical wheels that actually spin, with a unique silver foil cover. At further levels, there is an opportunity to add more fun features, as described in the stretch goals below. 

The limited edition silver foil cover
The limited edition silver foil cover

What Lies Within The Chained Coffin?

The adventure is designed for level 5 characters. A whispered voice calls from a coffin bound in chains, urging the heroes into the depths of the Shudder Mountains, a place rife with superstition and forlorn secrets. In the shadowy, pine-grown valleys of the Deep Hollows lurk mysteries of a bygone age and a new evil emerging from the ruins of the past. The adventurers must plumb the mountains’ secluded reaches to root out this rising terror before its power comes to fruition. Standing in their path are cackling witches, subtle devils, lingering spirits, and a foul thing that moves in the night. Can the heroes appease that which lies within the Chained Coffin and thwart the dawn of a new and terrible age?

Shown here is a physical mockup of what we plan to manufacture. As you can see, each wheel spins independently. Can you solve the puzzle?
Shown here is a physical mockup of what we plan to manufacture. As you can see, each wheel spins independently. Can you solve the puzzle?

The Spinning Wheel Puzzle

The adventure includes a number of supernatural locations. The entrance to one is blocked by a supernatural door. It is this door that comprises the spinning wheel puzzle that is the subject of this Kickstarter: 

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 rendered this door in a beautiful player handout (see image above). If this Kickstarter funds, the three wheels will be set on top of each other as physical dials that actually spin. 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 game mechanisms that utilize the spinning wheel (more puzzles, magic items, etc.). These are included with the adventure module and can be used in your group's future adventures.

The normal color cover for The Chained Coffin (without the physical spinning wheel).
The normal color cover for The Chained Coffin (without the physical spinning wheel).

The Bonus Adventure

Included in the printed module is a short bonus adventure, The Rat King’s River of Death, written by Steven Bean. Steven was a finalist in our 2012 Mystery Map Adventure Design Competition. The Rat King’s River of Death is a stand-alone adventure that continues the escapades of the Rat King, as originally introduced in DCC #1: Idylls of the Rat King more than a decade ago.

The Signature Stickers

To commemorate this Kickstarter, the first 100 copies of The Chained Coffin that are pledged will include a signature plate. Illustrated by Doug Kovacs and signed by author Michael Curtis, the signature plate will be in the form of a "skater sticker" for you to stick wherever you want. Presumably on the book -- and we recommend the "open space" on the back cover -- but what the heck, it's a sticker and you can do whatever you want with it!

Add On Other DCC Modules and Save 20%!

To support this Kickstarter, we are offering printed copies of the older Dungeon Crawl Classics modules at a special sale price of 20% off. That's $8 each versus the regular price of $10 each. You can also include the DCC RPG core rules for $40, and copies of the newer adventure modules at the regular price of $10 each. All products ordered through this Kickstarter receive a PDF copy as well.

To add on these items, simply include the additional dollars in your pledge. At the end of the Kickstarter we will send a survey where you can specify exactly which modules the funds were added for:

  • DCC #66.5: Doom of the Savage Kings (2nd printing) ($10)
  • DCC #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #68: People of the Pit (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #69: The Emerald Enchanter (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #70: Jewels of the Carnifex (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #71: The 13th Skull, color cover (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #71: The 13th Skull, silver foil cover (20% off: only $16)
  • DCC #72: Beyond the Black Gate (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #73: Emirikol Was Framed (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #74: Blades Against Death (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #75: The Sea Queen Escapes (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #76: Colossus, Arise! (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #77: The Croaking Fane (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #78: Fate's Fell Hand (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #79: Frozen in Time (20% off: only $8)
  • DCC #80: Intrigue at the Courts of Chaos ($10)
  • DCC #81: The One Who Watches From Below ($10)
  • DCC #82: Bride of the Black Manse ($10)
  • DCC RPG core rulebook ($40)
  • DCC RPG slipcover edition ($60)

Stretch Goals

Update 6/1: Yet another stretch goal beaten!

  • First, the Chained Coffin will be a boxed set! All Kickstarter orders of silver foil or gold foil will include the box.
  • Second, we have now passed stretch goal #11! The gazetteer will be expanded even more! And there will now be a THIRD adventure included in the boxed set, in addition to the Almanac, the 0-level bonus module, the Chained Coffin, and the add-on spinning wheel!
  • Third, we have posted an update with a variety of new add-on items! Support the project with a T-shirt, flask, belt buckle, or beer cozy!
  • Finally, please note that the spinning wheel prop will be printed as a separate cardboard handout for the foil editions.

The great thing about Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure modules is that there are lots of potentially cool add-ons! Here are the stretch goals for this project. If things go well, we will end up with an even cooler adventure module than we started out with!

$6,000: FUNDED! We’ll add additional sourcebook material for the adventure module, to be written by Michael Curtis, including a patron writeup for Ol’ Blackcloak (read the module to find out who he is!), a mini-gazetteer on the Shudder Mountains regions, and more!

$7,000: FUNDED! We’ll add several pages of additional random encounters that can be used in various places throughout the adventure!

$8,000: FUNDED! We’ll add two full pages of player handouts, to be illustrated by the immortal Doug Kovacs!

$9,000: FUNDED! We’ll add stats and descriptions for 7 alternate versions of the Bad Lick Beast. That’s the awful monster you see on the front cover. Meet its relatives, hybrids, related species, and other incarnations!

$10,000: FUNDED! We’ll add two more pages of player handouts!

$12,000: FUNDED! We'll add another short bonus adventure -- which will be a zero level funnel set in the Shudder Mountains! This will include new zero-level professions and will let you start a campaign that leads to the Chained Coffin. 

$14,000: FUNDED! The additional material will be bundled into a separate stand-alone Almanac Of The Shudder Mountains. This will also include a new Bestiary of the Shudder Mountains. 

$18,000: FUNDED! The Almanac will be expanded to include Magic of the Shudder Mountains. 

$20,000: FUNDED! The Almanac will be upgraded to 24 pages of normal letter-sized pages, and will be expanded to include even more gazetteer material. 

$25,000: FUNDED! We'll add in another mini-adventure in the Shudder Mountains, that fills the gap between your level 0 characters and the level 5 Chained Coffin module. This will be included in all silver and gold foil boxed sets.

$30,000: FUNDED! The Almanac will be expanded with another 8 pages of gazetteer material further expanding the Shudder Mountain region.

$35,000: We'll print an 11"x17" poster map of the Shudder Mountains region.

The Physical Product

This Kickstarter funds the manufacturing cost of an adventure module including a series of three spinning wheels on the inside cover. The adventure is already written and playtested. Estimated length of the printed adventure is 28-32 pages.

The adventure module will be produced with two covers: a full-color cover, and a silver foil cover featuring an alternate illustration. Both covers are by Doug Kovacs, and are already complete. The cartography is by also by Doug, and is also complete.

The adventure module will be illustrated with B/W art, similar to other modules in the Dungeon Crawl Classics line of adventure modules.

Negotiating with Ol' Blackcloak: a fun encounter in the adventure.
Negotiating with Ol' Blackcloak: a fun encounter in the adventure.

Appendix N Inspiration

Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure modules utilize the rules of the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game (DCC RPG). DCC RPG is inspired by Appendix N, the bibliography of fantasy and science fiction literature which inspired D&D co-creator Gary Gygax. One of the most distinctive contributors to Appendix N is Manly Wade Wellman – a contributor who is often overlooked.

The Chained Coffin is inspired by the mountain-fantasy stories of Manly Wade Wellman. His 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. As author Michael Curtis described his work on this adventure:

One of the great joys of writing DCC RPG adventures comes from the game’s commitment to remaining true to the classic pulp-era fantasy and science-fiction stories that inspired fantasy roleplaying, the so-called “Appendix N” tales. And while “sword & sorcery” yarns comprise the lion’s share of Appendix N, they are not the only types of stories found within it. The Chained Coffin derives its inspiration from American folklore, as perceived through the atmospheric works of Manly Wade Wellman. You’ll find no kobolds and orcs in The Chained Coffin, but plenty of restless ghosts, shunned witches and conjure-men, and devils willing to make a deal at midnight, all set against a backdrop of superstition-filled mountains and secluded hollows where the still air smells of pine trees. Heady stuff, indeed, and a far cry from your traditional fantasy RPG fare.

The Chained Coffin stands as my favorite DCC RPG adventure to date. The opportunity to create and then dwell for a time within a region more at home in the eons-old Appalachian Mountains than the fantastical landscapes of Tolkien, Howard, Moorcock, and Leiber was a designer’s dream. Hopefully, my personal enjoyment will be shared by you, the judge and player. So gather ‘round the fire, friends, pass the jug this way, and bend an ear to the music of the mountains. There are both horrors and wonders waiting in the Deep Hollows and, if you listen close at midnight, you might just hear a tune or two played on a lonesome fiddle strung with silver strings…

About The Author

Michael Curtis has been playing role-playing games for over thirty years, and has been a freelance writer and game designer since 2008. He has written or contributed to nearly forty roleplaying games, supplements, and articles. Best known for Goodman Games’ The Dungeon Alphabet (for which he was awarded the 2011 Three Castles Award for Game Design) and Stonehell Dungeon, he’s also worked on the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, Goblinoid Games’ Realms of Crawling Chaos and MAJUS, and Chapter 13 Press’ Tales from the Fallen Empire. The author of ten DCC RPG adventures including Emirikol Was Framed!, The Sea Queen Escapes!, The Croaking Fane, Frozen in Time, and Intrigue at the Court of Chaos, Michael’s work has also appeared in the pages of Gygax Magazine and he is a regular contributor to Fight On! magazine. Michael’s upcoming projects for Goodman Games include The Chained Coffin, The Four Phantasmagorias adventure series, and The Adventurer’s Almanac. He lives in Suffolk County, NY, with the requisite number of cats for a writer and far too many books.

About Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game

DCC RPG is an old-school tabletop role playing game that uses modern rules. Its inspiration is Appendix N, and its rules set is derived from the D20 system (which powered the third edition of D&D). DCC RPG is a single complete rulebook with no additional products to buy. It is supported by an extensive line of adventure modules, and a robust community of third party publishers. DCC RPG has been widely praised for its innovative approach to “old-school.” You can find more information at www.goodman-games.com/dccrpg.html

FAQ

Shipping & handling: Shipping and handling charges will be invoiced at the end of the Kickstarter. This allows us to give you the best price for your order. For USA orders, orders will be shipped via media mail at an expected cost of approximately $5-6, depending on final weight of product. International orders will be invoiced at actual postage cost plus $5 for handling. International postage requires hand-written customs forms, and waiting in line at a post office. International postage also has long transit times, and depending on the destination can be very expensive. If you are unsure how expensive international shipping can be, please ask us for an estimate. 

Risks and challenges

Goodman Games has published more than 80 adventure modules in the DCC line before this one. The only risk we anticipate is delays in the printing process. Assembling this spinning wheel is a very manual process and may take some time at the printer.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 7 or more About $7

    PDF edition: A PDF copy of Dungeon Crawl Classics: The Chained Coffin. Why would you want a PDF copy? Then you don't get the awesome spinning map! We don't understand. But what the heck, we added this tier because we figured some people might want digital only.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Color cover edition: A physical copy of the color cover edition of the Chained Coffin adventure module, WITHOUT the special spinning wheel door puzzle on the inside cover. This pledge also includes a PDF edition. The wheel graphic is included, and you can "assemble at home" to make your own spinning wheel, but why not upgrade to the limited edition spinning wheel version? Add $10 if you would like to include a 11"x17" poster of the cover art, and additional funds for other modules (see main text). We will send a survey at end where you can specify what added funds are for. Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Poster: An 11"x17" double-sided poster of the cover art! This features Doug Kovacs full-color cover art on the front, without any logos or other elements. On the reverse is the B/W version of the alternate foil cover. Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Chained Coffin silver foil cover, limited signature sticker edition: A physical copy of the Chained Coffin adventure module with limited edition silver foil variant cover, with special spinning wheel door puzzle on the inside cover! This copy will also come with the signature plate sticker, illustrated by Doug Kovacs and signed by author Michael Curtis. This pledge also includes a PDF edition. Add $10 if you would like to include a 11"x17" poster of the cover art, $10 if you would also like to include the color cover edition of the Chained Coffin module, and additional funds for other modules (see main text). We will send a survey at end where you can specify what added funds are for. Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Chained Coffin silver foil cover: A physical copy of the Chained Coffin adventure module with limited edition silver foil variant cover, with special spinning wheel door puzzle on the inside cover! This pledge also includes a PDF edition. Add $10 if you would like to include a 11"x17" poster of the cover art, $10 if you would also like to include the color cover edition of the Chained Coffin module, and additional funds for other modules (see main text). We will send a survey at end where you can specify what added funds are for. Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    481 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Retailer tier. This pledge includes 6 copies of the printed module with the spinner wheel: 3 copies with the color cover, and 3 copies with the silver foil cover, plus 3 posters for free. All copies are provided at a 50% discount, but we will require verification of retailer status for this tier. Please note that this module will be available through distribution as well, although the distribution version may not have the spinning wheel. Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Gold foil cover edition, with signature sticker. A physical copy of the Chained Coffin adventure module with limited edition GOLD foil variant cover, with special spinning wheel door puzzle as stand-alone prop item! This copy will also come with the signature plate sticker, illustrated by Doug Kovacs and signed by author Michael Curtis. This pledge also includes a PDF edition. Add $10 if you would like to include a 11"x17" poster of the cover art, $10 if you would like an extra copy of the spinning wheel prop, $10 if you would also like to include the color cover edition of the Chained Coffin module, $30 if you would also like the silver foil cover, and additional funds for other modules (see main text). We will send a survey at end where you can specify what added funds are for. Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 119 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Printer proofs edition: The original printer proofs for Dungeon Crawl Classics: The Chained Coffin. Two sets of proofs are produced, one for the printer and one for Goodman Games. Each set of proofs has both cover and interior text proofs included. The cover proofs are roughly 12"x18" full-color renditions of the cover (complete with the "CMYK color boxes" on the edge, and other neat leftovers of the printing process). The interior text proofs are B/W pages in a simple folio from the printer. With this pledge you get one set of the original printer proofs (cover+text), suitable for framing (and great for autographs). Note that the proofs are working documents, so they will be folded and may have notes scribbled on them. This pledge level also includes the 11"x17" poster of the cover art, and two physical copies of the Chained Coffin adventure module: one copy of the regular cover printing, and one copy of the limited edition silver foil variant cover with spinning wheel (including signature sticker). This pledge also includes a PDF edition. Add additional funds for other modules (see main text). Shipping is not included and will be invoiced after the Kickstarter ends.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)