Perverse Osmosis Modules Archives - Perverse Osmosis

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It’s More of a Hamlet

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

T1: The Village of Hommlet was always confusing to me as a first-level AD&Der. It is obviously a set-up to the Temple of Elemental Evil–the inside cover reads “first of two modules”–but T2 never came around. The later super dungeon The Temple of Elemental Evil had a version of T2 in it, but no stand alone module ever existed. And that, my fellow half-orcs and half-elves, is a shame.

But we are not here to complain about what isn’t in existence, but to celebrate what is. Outside of Keep on the Borderlands, probably no village has sent more parties off than Hommlet. Outside of being a practicing cultist, equipping fighters and selling trinkets to halflings is the major industry. There is always grog to get and rumors to hear. If the party is out for a little rough and tumble, there is plenty of that to be had as well. For an adventure for 1-3rd level characters, there are quite a few dangerous encounters: ghouls, bugbears, green slime, and even an ogre. Worst of all is Lareth the Beautiful, who is the Luke Skywalker of chaotic evil [he is referred to as the new hope]. A fifth-level cleric with 18 strength and 18 wisdom, he also has a staff of striking and plate mail and is ready to cast cause blindness. A party could be a mixture of first and second-level fighters and clerics and run into this guy. It would not go well.

Also, these are rad shields.

Lloth Save the Queen

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits is, fittingly, one of the last modules I remember getting slaughtered in. Our party had hacked-and-slashed their way from A1 to here. I don’t remember dying at any point; granted, there were a couple moments when my barbarian fell to -3 or -4 hit points, but the campaign was back in the Gygax-living days when players needed to get to minus -10 to be dead, dead.

But in Queen, there was a whole lot of -10s being passed around. It does figure that the goddess of a major race would be quite powerful, but whatever, we just murdered a wagonful of fire giants and at least two villages of mind flayers. Bring on 105 more men-fish, what do we care? If we could trip out with the myconids and still drink the blood of a slave lord, then what can a bunch of stopers, spiders, and driders do to us?

It turns out they can do a lot. There are many, many high-powered drow in this adventure, and there aren’t many places to hide from them. Also, demons. And Yochlol, how does a fearful frost barbarian even say that name? And Lloth: that sometimes sexy demon can cast a wide variety of not-so-sexy spells. Also rough about Lloth: she can heal herself fully not once, not twice, but thrice a day, giving her effectively around 190 h.p. Also, psionics. Poor, misunderstood psionics.

In all her glory.

Vault of the Drow

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

D3: Vault of the Drow is a great way to cap off the G to D series. Many, many, many monsters to encounter, fight, pummel, flee from, parlay with, fake surrender to, cast spells at, and generally engage. If the party wants to run a large-term guerrilla campaign, using the local deep gnomes as guides, they can do it. If the party wants to use subterfuge and dissent to destabilize the drow house structure, they can do it. If the party wants to get seduced by a succubus and her vampire lover, they can. If the party wants to get turned into an avatar of the spider queen, they can.

But the doom I like most in Vault is what awaits Remnor, Sa’th, Wynder the Wise, and and whoever else tries to take over The Black Tower. It is one of the few times that the DM is told to kill the party: “All escape will be blocked so just tell them a heroic struggle results in death for many drow and their allies, but all the party eventually falls. Finis.” Even if the party rolled 20 20s in a row, it would still not be enough to stop the hundreds of drow, bugbears, troglodytes, mezzodaemons, and lesser demons that will join the battle. I guess that explains the bold print Gygax used for Finis.

Look out, it isn’t an alabaster statue at all.

Ogglin the Gogglers

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Perverse Osmosis has made fun of gogglers a few times, but D2: Shrine of the Kuo-Toa is an tough adventure, even with the mirth that a joke at the rotund ichthyoid’s expense can cause. Bindrel the Bard might be laughing it up as he glides down the steps of the ziggurat, but I don’t think he will be laughing much longer when he gets gated to Blibdoolpoolp’s court in the Elemental Plane of Water. If he has an extra 30,000 g.p, in pearls, then sure, he might be able to bard his way out of the situation. Otherwise, he should be hoping that Blibdoolpoolp is feeling merciful and drowns him quickly. Also, who knew that the kuo-toa were so literate? They have a library of more than 1,700 volumes on a range of goggler and non-goggler topics. I don’t think an adventurer could find 1,700 books in all of the Pomarj, and that place is lousy with humonoids. I guess it shows the average fish/frog-man is smarter than an orc or flind.

Another thing about gogglers: one is easy to kill, a couple are fun, but when they start coming at the party in waves of ten or fifteen, especially with a monitor or a couple whips involved, things can get messy quickly. Sure, a skillful party will use light to blind a bunch, fireball a few, chop up a handful, but when that is only the first three waves, then that trip to see Blibdoolpoolp doesn’t seem so bad.

Hail Blibdoolpoolp.

A Decent Descent

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

D1: Descent into the Depths of the Earth is exactly what it says. The party descents into the depths, finds a gaggle full of drow, drow caravans, wererats, ghouls, troglodytes, mind flayers, and, most frightening of all, a lich.

To be fair, Asberdies, our lich friend, doesn’t necessarily want to battle the party. He mostly wants to sleep on his ledge and think about his 400 years of research. He is perfectly happy watching the party go by on their way to fight gogglers or the 32 ghouls that are elsewhere in the cave system. But if the party is nosey or detecting magic, they are in for it. Asberdies has ninth-level hijinks kicking around [power word kill, time stop], monster summoning IV, and both a Bigby and an Otto spell. He also has cast 600 magic mouths around the cave to make it really difficult to detect anything but magic, which seems a bit odd considering that he doesn’t want the party to stick around and search the area. Regardless of his motives, this certainly is a time when curiosity does not serve the party well.

But if they beat old Asberdies and find his portable hole, they are in for a treat and a trick. The super cool crown, orb, and scepter that look to be worth upwards of 100,000 g.p.: ha, ha, they are cursed and will turn Samantha Stickyfingers into a wight if she isn’t careful. The treat: a potion of longevity, a magic-user scroll, and a staff of striking, all fun treats for a goodie bag.