View Full Version : X-Crawl

2008-12-19, 03:43 AM
Has anyone heard of this setting before? I've heard that it's a kind of fantasy-modern setting where the players are essentially insanely powerful gladiators. Is it any good? If so, which books are recommended?

2008-12-19, 02:26 PM
Last school year my college gaming group's long-running RPG campaign was in XCrawl, and we all really enjoyed it. (I had a thread about it HERE (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71481), but it never got many replies.) Basically, to me, XCrawl takes D&D and makes it what I think it should be - just the right amount of hack-and-slash, but with a good deal of silliness thrown in for good measure.

Also, I may start a thread on it soon anyway, but Goodman Games (who i guess are a distributor of XCrawl) i having a big 3.x sale (http://goodmangames.rpgnow.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=36) until the end of the year, and you can get almost all of the XCrawl stuff for CHEAP (like $2 for ALL PDFs).

That said, you should definitely get the Campaign Setting, and the SellOut! book has some stuff, too. Other than that, just get the adventures to run, and after a while you should be able to come up with your own stuff that makes sense. (I think the group I played with has done it so long now that they've done their own 4E conversion and kept the game going in a new system.)

My favorite XCrawl Story:
For our end-of-the-year blow-out, we did a high-level (well, 12th level) one-shot adventure where we played through a short crawl and then, at the awards ceremony, were supposed to assassinate Emperor Ronald. Apparently my DM/roommate didn't realize the potential for optimization at that level, and a friend of mine (playing a Human Fighter/Barbarian chain-tripper-guy) and I (a Gnome Batman Wizard/Loremaster) took out the Emperor so quickly (two rounds) that he had to retcon the whole thing and say it was a decoy. And the Emperor was a CR 20 Bard Lich. He did give us another shot, and by the end of the session the Barbarian/Fighter was the new Emperor and I was his "adviosr" (i.e., the real power behind the throne of the NAE).

2008-12-19, 04:02 PM
Ah, X-Crawl...another one of those awesome looking settings I've never gotten to play...

X-Crawl is a 3.x D&D setting where dungeon-crawling has become a sport in the modern world. The modern world isn't exactly like ours, because orcs, dwarves, elves, magic, gods, and everything else in D&D are real, but unlike most fantasy settings, which have a stupidly slow rate of technological advancement, the world of X-Crawl actually grew up after a while.

A good friend of mine has all the books (he got them at a going-out-of business sale somewhere for like a buck apiece). We always thought it looked like great fun, but the rest of our group takes their D&D a little too seriously for X-Crawl. I mean, it's a setting where the sport of crawling was essentially invented by Larpers, a talking magic sword is a Hollywood-style celebrity, and the "treasure" in dungeons are furniture sets and vacations provided by advertising sponsors. It can be a little hard to swallow for some gamers.

2008-12-19, 04:27 PM
I mean, it's a setting where the sport of crawling was essentially invented by Larpers, a talking magic sword is a Hollywood-style celebrity, and the "treasure" in dungeons are furniture sets and vacations provided by advertising sponsors. It can be a little hard to swallow for some gamers.

I wouldn't want to play this every time, but for just a handful of adventures ... wow. Looks hilariously clever.

2008-12-19, 05:02 PM
For all that it sounds like the setting was meant to be comical in tone, I see a great deal of potential for some very deep stories to be told in the setting.

-Player characters trying to bring down whatever entity runs the organization from within the game, striking a blow 'gainst the valueless capitalist society that they were born to. Using the game's own dungeons and monsters to train themselves and gather powerful magic items for an assault upon the company headquarters, where they face off against the powerful wizard CEO and former X-Crawl champion atop the company's flagship skyscraper

- In a bid to usher in an age of world peace and prosperity, civilization has abandoned mass warfare, settling international conflict by pitting teams of adventurers against one another in custom built dungeons. Player characters must face the choice of damning the world to wars in which millions will die or perpetuating a custom that has created a corpulent, decadent society, cowed by a dictatorial government, unwilling to fight for it’s beliefs and fast forgetting what those beliefs were to begin with.

- Player characters using the game to bring their own heroism into the living room of the everyman, hoping to inspire society to fight the ills that it is beset by itself, ushering in a new age of independence and responsibility, ending mankind’s reliance on heroes. Expect to see player character television adverts endorsing political and social movements, action figurines featuring twelve “life like!” patronising lectures from Alhandra the human Paladin (pull the stick out of her backside to trigger these,) fully animated, magnetised fingers for Lidda the Rogue, while the hyper deluxe Krusk doll gift set, released to celebrate his recent multicasting into frenzied berserker comes complete with the mutilated plush corpses of his team mates.

So the last one might be a wee bit sillier, but it still has meaningful themes.

2008-12-21, 01:45 AM
Thanks for the feedback! I decided to pounce on and get a bunch of the PDFs from RPG Now. They're cheap and I've got access to free printing via my university, so I can save a lot of money by getting them as PDFs and sticking them into a binder. The way I think of it, the shipping cost of trying to hunt down even half of those books secondhand would easily equal the cost of these PDFs and that's not even the cost of the books! $2 each is a pretty good bargain. It's nice that Goodman is doing that before the big switch to 4E, which I guess because of the terms of that license forces them to discontinue their 3.5 stuff. It's too bad they didn't/couldn't just release the stuff into open domain; that'd be even more awesome. Oh well. Getting the entire product line for less than what I'd probably pay for two of the actual books is still a win for me.