Apparently, this was the first adventure written for the Dungeon Crawl Classics rules. Up to that point, Goodman Games had been producing adventures for use with Dungeons & Dragons. With this, author Harley Stroh helped set the stage for what was to come.
Intended as a starting scenario, this is a ‘funnel,’ meant to take a pile of Zero Level peasants and whittle them down to a few brave (read: lucky) survivors who will make the leap to Level 1 and to becoming bonafide adventurers. Well, there’s plenty in here to challenge and murderize PCs. I often think of Level 0 adventures as being one-shot types, the sort of thing you could run at a convention or at a game store on Free RPG Day. This one feels much more epic and I get the feeling it’s likely to take more than one session. On top of that, the edition I have contains a bonus section, The Summoning Pits, which seems extremely deadly. I could see not plugging The Summoning Pits into Sailors on the Starless Sea, but holding onto it and plugging it into a later scenario for a bit of weirdness.
In an interview published in the back of this edition, Stroh talks about his influences in writing this scenario, everything from the illustration of a beastman from an old Games Workshop book to the movie “The Beastmaster.” I think this adventure really captures the essence of DCC and the crazy, weird fun that it’s aiming for. I’m really looking forward to running some folks through it to see what crazy ideas they come up with to solve some of the problems.