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Origin of "The Mask of Death" Module
The Mask of Death (DCC 20.5) is a Dungeons and Dragons module published by Goodman Games in 2005. (Definitely not to be confused with the 1996 thriller with Lorenzo Llamas and Billy Dee Williams).
This module was first seen featured in a movie called "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising". The movie was about a typical group of D&D players who were struggling to make it through their DM's campaign, while the DM struggled to finish writing his campaign as a module.
In an effort to make give the part a better chance, the group brought in another player who was new to D&D, and also the ex-girlfriend of the group's Rules-Lawyering power gamer.
The movie was somewhat low budget and campy, but I think that was rather the whole idea.
The module that the DM wrote in the file was "The Mask of Death".
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I can confidently tell those of you who are always eager to find and download new free D&D content online and free PDFs, but are always worried that you'll accidentally cross some copyright lines, there is absolutely no danger of doing that while looking for this module. I looked high and low on the internet for a place to download just a preview of this module. (Not that I would have of course, I just wanted to know if it was out there...)
I reached out to Goodman games, and was told that not even they have any left printed. The only recommendation they had was to watch Ebay, though the last time they saw it there, it went for more than $100!
TrollandToad.com has it listed for sale on their site for $69.99 in "near mint" condition. However, they're sold out. If you take a look down next to the words "Sold Out" you can set up an alert so that you get an email when and if they get a copy in stock. ...and if you're faster than I am, you just might get it! ;)
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The DM is very focused on the story and the role play. He has spun an intricate story with a solid plot hook, and is excited to share it with his players. The players on the other hand, go out of their way to find loop holes and ways to exploit the fact that they've played this campaign several times already.
Sight gags and sexual innuendo are pretty much a constant with things like soda called "Mountain Doom", and players taking ranks in "Seduction".
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Being that the module itself is so scarce, I'm disappointed to say I cannot give you the review that I'd hoped to.
Judging by the movie though, the adventure itself promises to be filled with undead enemies and many opportunities for role play. The plot seems solid, and even presents an unexpected twist at the end.
The module appears to have everything it needs to keep a group entertained. There are ample opportunities for role play as well as rewards for success that don't fail to satisfy even the hungriest of power gamers.
The module itself is 24 pages long and includes handouts for the players that include still shots from the movie.
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Help Me Out Here!
I realize that had to be one of the lamest module reviews in the history of module reviews. Even I'm disappointed by it! If you have the module or have played it, please slip in your two cents in the comments, I'd love to hear a first person point of view of the game play and the materials!
As far as the movie, It's definitely going to be added to my wish list, as well as my list of things to buy as gifts to my gamer group friends. Definitely check out the movie, and always keep your eyes peeled for the module!