Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lessons In Dungeons & Divorce - Or How It All Falls Apart And Came Back Together With Portals of Irontooth (1981) From Judges Guild

Right so it's weird Wednesday and I've been thinking about past games of AD&D 1st edition that happened right in the middle of West Hartford because I suddenly find myself in a similar situation once again. As when back in the early 2000's and I was running a pretty extensive campaign using a bunch of Judge's Guild modules. There were was a whole lot of Arduin and Delos material as backdrop to this world.
But it was about to fall apart!

Now this game began at about three in the afternoon in our favorite Chinese restaurant. West Hartford,Ct. had a nice Chinese place where we would gather for a meal. Everything in our groups always revolved around food. And especially Chinese,pizza, or whatever food the players and myself agreed on.
The meal allows the players to unwind from school, work, or whatever and play catch up,life events, and besides  we were all friends as well as gamers. The meal allowed us to meet new players in a public setting, even play catch up with parents at times, get whatever was happening off our chest,etc.,etc.
It also allowed us get distractions off our plate before diving back into our campaign. This is a tradition that I've tried to keep over the years.

The four us arrived as usual and three of my players were already at the table. And they didn't look happy at all. They had news from W&P, the fire marshal stopped the store from having games in the basement. That canceled things right there. But it got much worse. Barbara and Tom were in their thirties, computer programmers and married. And they didn't look happy at all. For months there had been something weird in the background of their marriage now it came out, they were getting a divorce. As a group we were devastated. We weren't simply a group of players, again we were friends and this event divided the whole dynamic of the group straight down the middle. They parted as the best of friends but they wished to remain with the group. So we still bought our gaming material from W&P  but the dynamic changed.

So I had to roll with the punches, and I asked for suggestions of people's homes or places to play. Well fortunately one of our players William had a very clever and cunning plan. He was a bonded house sitter as a side job for wealthy clients, suddenly our AD&D games became a floating one across the state of Ct.
We found ourselves later that evening in a lovely home in the hills of Northwestern Ct much closer to our respective homes and so the evening began.
And so we began our journey with Portals of Iron Tooth a continuation of the Tosh series. This series has a series of alternative worlds and Earths. This series is perfect for traders across the multiverse.
"This is the second product in the "Portals" series. The first product in the series, Portals of Torsh, deals with a world in which mammals never evolved and the primary inhabitants are the reptilian Lizard Men. This product Details a section of a completely different world. One where the native animals have iron teeth and a strange resistance to the powers of magic.
Both of these products can be used as independent campaigns but have been especially designed to link up with an ongoing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tm campaign through a limited number of teleport doors or portals (as they will be called in this booklet). It is no secret that many, if not most, Judges use the published playing aids as special environments which can be entered only through portals. This series of products has been designed to be especially suited to that sort of adaptation..."
1981 ... 48 pages ... Rudy Kraft ... JG 560
There is a boat load more information right over HERE

Grab It Right

Portals of Irontooth

The Second of the portals series of adventures presents a series of gateways across a wide variety of fantasy and science fantasy worlds. There's some really interesting and cool concepts mixed into the background.
Personally I always loved the Gateway series of modules. I love the Portal series, they allow flexible play and bring an entirely new dynamic to AD&D 1st edition of play.
The kick in the head with that early 2000's game campaign? Well, at the end of the evening there was a huge blowup between Barbara and Tom, it divided friend against friend as folks took sides as they are prone to do. It was an ugly scene and the group broke into a much smaller core of players but why dregs up ancient history? Because it's repeated itself.
 As my friend Peter is getting a divorce from his wife of twenty years. I find myself once again without a larger group of players, as people take sides and the debris begins to fly.
But as always the core will remain and we'll roll with the punches in the Northwest Hills of Ct.
More later. Don't worry,I've got a clever and cunning plan ;-).
And now that my special little snowflake of a campaign  has melted in a blow torch, I'm I worried? Umm no because at the end of the day its only a game. I go back to writing. I'm dealing with the fact that one of my best friends is getting a divorce and his world as well as family is going down in flames which is actually real life.
Finding players is really simply the easy part; real life is much,much, more complicated. 

Note that the names of friends have of course been changed and so have circumstances as well to protect the privacy of everyone involved. Cheers folks 


  1. I saw two gamer couples break up last year that I thought were "doing fine". One friend now lives much farther away and another couple runs a local event that I think may be impacted by the split. Real life does make things complicated.

  2. Yeah Heath, unfortunately there's no save vs real life per say. Splits and divorce are never good but they happen all of the time. The impact seems to shatter and ripple across so many levels over and over again. I've seen two local Cons in New England in my time go down in flames because of two divorces. Never a pretty thing for both parties involved and those around them.

  3. Thanks for the comment Heath much appreciated pal!


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