Both Transylvanian Adventures
and Transylvanian Grimoire
sound like a lot of fun. I like the idea of creating a setting for DCC where you use the main rulebook then fill in with classes, adventure threads and spell ideas to make the setting different from others out there.
I was a little confused by "where modern horror began," however, becasue I can't tell for sure if this is a fantasy Transylvania or a Victorian Transylvania (e.g. like the Dracula book) or a modern Transylvania. Either Victorian or modern is different enough from fantasy to hopefully grab a lot of attention from folks who want a change of pace. Fantasy could be cool, also, but not quite as different.
No Elves. No Dwarves. No Sparkly Vampires.
This would look great on a t-shirt!
Ah. Well, Gothic fiction is kinda, sorta where our idea of the modern horror story comes from -- at least according to my research. And some note Bram Stoker's Dracula as the "first modern horror" novel. So, whatever that means. There are certainly elements of Lovecraftian and Japanese Horror to TA as well.
It's easy to say it's DCC's "Ravenloft" but that's not entirely accurate. TA "corrects" some of the missteps I think 2e took in converting the classic Castle Ravenloft module into a bona-fide setting. There's 95% less pathos and 180% more ***-kicking. There's less Wuthering Heights and more, um, Van Helsing? In that respect, TA is probably closer to "Castlevania" than it is to Ravenloft.
The setting is NOT fantasy. It has fantastic elements -- such as monsters and creatures. But it is NOT what most people think of as "fantasy". There are no demi-human races. PCs are only ever human. Or some sort of human hybrid. One class allows for that. Magic is a lot more John Dee than Harry Potter. There are Wizards (kinda sorta) but they fall more in line what you'd read in a Tim Powers or Neil Gaiman novel than a Robert Jordan novel.
The setting is nominally "Victorian", as in time period. But time period is very vague. If you've ever seen a Hammer Horror movie (like Horror of Dracula or Curse of Frankenstein), you'll get what I mean. The details of the "historical" setting are superfluous. It's all atmosphere, fog and creepy stuff focused within the rough geographical confines of Transylvania. As a campaign, it could go anywhere from Brotherhood of the Wolf to Vampire Hunter D. With some re-skinning on the VHD bit, like making muskets and flintlocks into laser rifles and blasters. Maybe that would be a good appendix for TG?
For those who aren't inclined towards Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, I think the real value will be the classes, rule addenda and the new spell list. All three of those could dramatically shift a DCC game towards something very different. Let's say the entire bit about Transylvania is ignored. What is left is a low magic, heroic (yet gritty) framework with rules and classes that support games where humans are the protagonists and demi-humans (be they elves, serpent people or whatever) are this strange "other". So, very Robert E. Howard in that respect.
Bits and pieces of the books can also be lifted and grafted on to any DCC game. At least that's the intent. So the new spell list can just expand the DCC spell list, especially if characterized as "Black Magic" or some sort of Necromantic or Demonologic form of spellcasting. Or the new classes become new options. Most of the classes fall into a "hybrid" mode anyway. So, for example, those wanting a "Paladin" class or a "Fighter-Thief" class should be able to easily recognize which TA class they're gunning for. There are actually a couple in TA that could fit that mold. Also the spellcasting in TG *should* support casters who do nothing but cast Rituals or concoct Potions or play around with constructs (be they steamworks, clockworks or something weirder). So, yeah, I guess you could put together a sort of Artificer or Alchemist with this spell list. Although the spellcaster(s) in TA just assume you'll pull your spell list together however you want. So while you may have some whizzbang spells here and there, you might be more of a potions guy who knows a couple of rituals.
And the rituals? They should be real fun.
All in all, this could be a "Gothic Horror" setting for DCC.
Or it could be your own personal "Unearthed Arcana" for DCC.
Or Arduin Grimoire.
That's why I think it's cool. Hope that answers more questions than it raises.