Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Monday 6 April 2020

Jonstown Jottings #14: Night of the Quacking Dead

Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, the  Jonstown Compendium is a curated platform for user-made content, but for material set in Greg Stafford's mythic universe of Glorantha. It enables creators to sell their own original content for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds). This can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, details of NPCs and monsters, and so on, but none of this content should be considered to be ‘canon’, but rather fall under ‘Your Glorantha Will Vary’. This means that there is still scope for the authors to create interesting and useful content that others can bring to their Glorantha-set campaigns.


What is it?
Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead is a short supplement which presents undead Ducks and their consequences for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is a nine page, full colour, 4.86 MB PDF.

Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead is well presented and decently written.

Where is it set?
In and around the Upland Marsh in Sartar.

Who do you play?
Adventurers of all types would work with Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead, but Humakti character would be an appropriate choice. A good Duck would leap—just not very high—to strike back at the nefarious plans of the Necromancer of the Upland  Marsh.

What do you need?
Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead requires both RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and RuneQuest – Glorantha Bestiary. Both the  supplement, Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, and the magazine, Wyrms Footnotes #15, may be of use for their further background to the Upland Marsh.

What do you get?
Behind its cartoonish cover, Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead gives an introduction to the Upland Marsh, a scenario seed and associated NPC, and three undead creatures, all of an anatine un-nature.

The introduction examines the relationship that the Ducks—or durulz—have with the Upland Marsh and the unspoken truce they have with the Delecti the Necromancer. It also provides rules the environmental effects of fighting in the marsh which will be important should the Game Master develop the scenario seed in Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead. This has the newly declared Sword of Humakt, Orlaventus Great-Bill, putting the call out for adventurers to join him on an excursion into the marsh. He wants to locate and destroy those members of his family who were killed by the undead whilst the Ducks were taking refuge in the marsh as a result of the Lunar Duck Hunts and who have themselves raised from the dead. For the adventurers he makes promises about finding legendary treasure. Unfortunately, this hook for the player characters is undeveloped, leaving the Game Master to come up with ideas herself. At the very least, one or two suggestions would have been helpful.

The main focus of Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead though, is on presenting undead Ducks. This includes both the Duck Zombie, which unlike most undead, has the advantage of being already adapted to the terrain, and the Duck Skeleton. Lastly, the Duck Goliath is literally a ‘Frankenduck’s Monster’ of a creature, stitched together from the body parts of various, typically ill-suited creatures, but always with the head of a Duck. Facing a Duck Goliath would be a suitable encounter for the given scenario seed—or make for a bizarre encounter anywhere in or near the Upland Marsh.

Again Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead falls into the category of ‘Your Glorantha May Vary’ and is a very specific—geographically specificaddition. Ultimately, Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead is of limited use, but if a Game Master wanted to use it, it is a pity that the scenario seed was not quite as developed to help the Game Master a little more.

Is it worth your time?
Yes. If you are running a campaign or adventure set in Sartar and are planning for your adventurers to venture anywhere in or near the Upland Marsh, then Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead is worth your time and interest. The Duck puns are just a bonus.
No. If your campaign or adventure is not set in Sartar and will not going anywhere near the Upland Marsh, or Ducks do not play a role in your campaign, then then Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead is unlikely to be of interest to you. The Duck puns may also be off-putting. 
Maybe. A devout Humakti warrior would travel far to strike at the unwholesome undead of the Upland Marsh and who knows what such a warrior would encounter when he got there, let alone what he might have been sent to retrieve? Yes, Monster of the Month #3: Night of the Quacking Dead is very specific in terms of its geography, but a Game Master could develop reasons for the player characters to travel as far as the Upland Marsh. The Duck puns are just silly and you should be fine with that.

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