Sep 9, 2014

Posted in Featured, Podcast | 14 Comments

Episode 29: Summon Dak Ultimak

This week on Spellburn, we finally succeed in summoning forth the Reverend Dak J. Ultimak, one of the driving forces behind the DCC RPG fanzine scene, including the ‘zine that started it all, Crawl! Join us tonight as we ask Dak about his work on his own various zines and publications, plus his mighty editorial pen that seems to turn up in published DCC adventures when you least expect it. We may even uncover Dak’s secret connection to the origins of the Spellburn podcast.

And don’t forget to check out this episode’s Dungeon Denizens winner by Roy Snyder – The Stalker of the Doomed!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Crawl fanzine


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  1. Daniel J. Bishop says:


  2. Stinky1EyedOgre says:


  3. Awesome podcast! Thank you so much for the kind words, I am honored!


    @Judge Jim – did I hear right, and you didn’t get my left offering wrapped in the crown royal at GenCon?? I will track it down!!

    • I absolutely got that (thanks to Jen mailing it to me post-con). I even posted about it on facebook. I was whinging on about not getting a Catastrophe Island t-shirt… and really only trying to be funny at that : )

    • One of the things I really hate about all level based games is this problem of Character death (generating an 8th level replacement so sucks as the Player did not get the Hero there from 0), and also I hate the redunency of low level monsters as the Campaign progresses. I’ve been adapting Fantasy Flight’s dungeon crawling board game into an RPG (with DCC elements). In Descent each Monsater is represented as an ACT I creature, but has a tougher ACT II version, and Heroes don’t have levels but 0-3 ‘power’ tiers. When the Party has average 2 power tiers, roll out the ACT II versions of the Monsters; if a Hero dies and is replaced with a fresher, and the average power tier of the Party drops below 2, return to the Act I Monsters. Why isn’t there an RPG where new PCs and experienced PCs are compatible: it solves so many issues!

      • This hasn’t been an issue in my campaigns. Back in the AD&D days we always found that a new low-level PC added to a high level party had it pretty sweet: lots of equipment given to them, hot-and-cold XPs, heals and resurrections on tap (provided they were smart enough to know where to stand in the middle/rear of the marching order. Given DCC’s design ethos (level-1 adventures to the other planes, baby), this would seem to be even less of an issue. I definitely agree that the most valued PCs are the ones who earned their levels.

    • Daniel J. Bishop says:

      Once more, an excellent podcast. It is nice to put a voice to Rev Dak.

      Like all of us, the gentleman who brainchilded DAMN has to earn a living, and that caused him to move away from my location (at least for a bit). As a result, I have no idea what the future of DAMN is. I, too, would love to have a print copy.

      All in all, the zine scene for DCC is fantastic. I read them all, and I have yet to feel disappointed in any of them.

  4. Another great episode! Scanning G+ and noticing a new Spellburn is available is the best part of the week. And holy crap, what a great guest. The resurgence of zines is one of the best things about the popularity of DCC RPG, and we have Dak to thank for that. Thanks for the shout-out, Dak (although it’s Matt, not Mike. 🙂 ). Working with Dak on Crawl! and Tim Callahan on Crawljammer has been a total blast.

  5. “Gathering of the Zine Overlords” would be a great title for a Spellburn episode.

    A really, really great title.