Big Sword: Graves & Groves, a review

Big Sword: Graves & Groves

By W. Gage Berry, Phillip du Plessis, and Jeremy Shuman


Price $10.00 USD

Some games cultivate a very particular aesthetic and Dungeon Crawl Classics is one of them. Products such as the zine Big Sword: Graves & Groves by Toxins & Tonics fit the style of DCC perfectly. In a very compact form, Graves & Groves seeks to fill gaps in DCC players might be interested in. 

With a bit of colour, but mostly black and white, this succinct zine is full of content. And when I say full, I mean literally! They wrote this thing to the margins and maximized every available increment of space for text and art. There’s maybe a centimetre of dead space around the text throughout. An effort was made to stuff this thing as much as they could. 

In a mere 50 pages, there are new options for:

  • Creating characters
  • Downtime
  • Different types of useful plants
  • A one-shot adventure
  • A Bestiary
  • And more!

That’s a lot of information for one little resource. My concern for this supplement comes from a couple of character options, specifically, the playable undead choices. It’s a question I found myself asking while reading this, and the authors didn’t touch on it. Anyone sitting behind the screen might have to be on their toes to make sure things get out of hand. I could just imagine a session where a character starts killing NPCs because they can and a player responds with, “No it’s not homicide, my PC was only having lunch.” There’s the potential to take murderhoboing to bold new heights. Maybe that was the point? I don’t know, but it could have been addressed.

This is a nice resource for DCC fans. It’s pretty specific to that one game, but it’s a great way to expand options, without being cumbersome. There are risks of power creep because of parties and encounters becoming unbalanced due to the admittedly cool character options. It’s probably a risk worth taking. Graves & Groves is a nice option for DCC fans looking to expand the game a bit.






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