C1: Swords of the Undercity was the first module release based in Leiber’s world of Lankhmar. I never read the adventures of Mouser and Fafhrd [people know I am pretty much all Conan, all the time], but I can understand why a more sophisticated, blue-nose crowd might like them. I also never loved city adventures too much either; call me a simpleton, but I will take a hack’n’slash dungeon crawl over skulking around narrow streets any day. All that said, C1 has some stuff going for it: Read the rest of this entry »
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C5: The Bane of Llywelyn is another one of the later C series that I never played. I probably confused it with one of the Lloyd Alexander books like The Castle of Lyr and his character Princess Eilonwy. I don’t know how all those letters and names got jumbled up and turned into a replacement for a module, but I was also 14.
- Like all good AD&D quest modules, Bane starts the adventure off with a prophecy that above-mentioned 14 year old me and his boon compatriots would have loved. For that matter, so might have Robert Jordan since the term “wheel of time” is contained in the prophecy.
- Although this adventure is designed for fourth to seventh level characters [roughly the same as the Slave Lord series], the first encounter might lead to a PC or two being taken straight to Acheron by a group of imps. Nothing like a trip to the Infernal Battlefields to give Brythy Yellowslip a little attitude adjustment.
- There is very Perverse Osmosis list of kings’ crypts to explore. Names like Fenton the Foolish and Tornum the Terrible could easily, and probably will be, PO songs at some point. Also, there is a vampire in one of the crypts [please remember the adventuring party might be 4th-level].
- There aren’t many opportunities while stumbling around Oearth to run into a Galeb Duhr, but apparently, I just needed to play the correct adventure. There is one in C5 who takes “great umbrage” with anyone invading its territory. Commence with the bouldering.
- Hey, you know what this adventure needs, in addition to the vampire and the one way ticket to Acheron? A djinni.
- But this module isn’t all undead and creatures from the elemental planes. Nope, it also has a merry ole leprechaun that is willing to give the party some prismatic bands. Thanks, and we will not be taking your pot of gold.
- Also making an appearance in C5: three barbed devils. At least, we can hope it stays at three. They do have a slight chance to gate in a few of their chums who might gate in a few of their chums, etc.
- Let it be said here: I would not have survived this module.
As everyone who has ever spent a Halloween here at Perverse Osmosis knows, this collective entity loves itself some Zeke. We dedicated a whole October to them a few years back, and they are on moderate listening rotation for your humble narrator. That said, our friends from Seattle hadn’t released much since Til the Living End, which, for many of us, is not we had come to worship. I know that bands gets bored of playing the same stuff, and that it is important to grow as a musician, but still. I am out for one thing: 78 RPM mayhem. The band went into semi-retirement and key parts left, leaving me to wonder if we had seen the last of Zeke.
C3: The Lost Island of Castanamir is recommended for levels 1-4. Granted, I am player who is looking for a little melee over computating, but I have figured out a few locked-door mysteries in my adventures. That said, this module would have not been particularly enjoyable since it is all kinds of patience-trying puzzles, shifting rooms, teleportation, etc. I would have died early on and been forced to watch the other, smarter members of the party figure out how to deal with the gingwatzim.
Other “fun” things in Lost Island:
- There is a Greyhawk version of a roomba [the cleaning golem], if a roomba had a disintegration ray and was largely indestructible.
- Castanamir has a giant TV set that can project the fears or fantasies of whomever uses it.
- The two lizard men in 8C are not the usual lizard men. They are incredibly intelligent but speak no identifiable language. They are also from a culture where magic is suppressed and technology reigns. I suspect they are crossovers from this prime material plane’s Draconians.
- The simulacrum of Bradvig, a 10th-level magic user whose intelligence Castanamir wanted to use for filing his spells and magical ingredients.
- Another magic-user, this one a sixth-level Lawful Evil character. I will remind all readers that this module is for levels 1-4.
- This recap totally leaves out the various types of gingwatzim, who have multiple forms and are probably confusing to play from a DM’s perspective.
Onto B12: Queen’s Harvest, which is another intro-level module that came out well past when I was an intro-level adventurer. That said, a beginning DM could do much worse than using this module to start off the tales of Gimlor, Drylin Maidenkisser, and the rest.
- There are lots and lots of orcs and goblins running around the keep. Big surprise, none of them are well-led, and all of them can easily be tricked, bribed, or otherwise disposed of. Also, killing them works.
- Orcs don’t like taking orders from hobgoblins. No kidding–who does?
- There are a lot of good names in B12: Dyarr-Dakk, Klossarek, Ratgrobb, and Skrakkbak could be the name of a humanoid law firm.
- Ogre and the Owlbear- not only a potentially lethal encounter to start off the dungeon crawl but also the newest comedy duo filling the pubs in Highport.
- After defeating the evil cleric, fighters, and assorted other rabble, the party, or what is left of them, is well rewarded. Platinum pieces show up, and we all know how good those are. Plus there will be some good arguing, haggling, etc. over who gets the sword +2 or the short sword +2.
Are you adequately prepared to laugh?