Friday, February 12, 2016

Commentary On Using EX2 'The Land Beyond The Magic Mirror' By Gary Gygax For AD&D 1st Edition As A Cross Over Mini Campaign For Your Old School Games

Welcome back readers, recently I wrote about using Gamma World's Famine In Fargo as a funnel for Crawling Under A Broken Moon's wasteland Dungeon Crawl Classics rpg campaign. But this afternoon after dealing with bitter cold temperatures and a very busy work schedule I decided to put down some thoughts on DYI cross over adventures. In this case crossing over your AD&D parties with Gamma World or your retroclone adventurers. There are several reasons why 'The Land Beyond The Magic Mirror' is a perfect vehicle for this sort of crossover adventure. First of all there is the fact that the Ex series is supposed to be retrofitted into an existing dungeon or adventure level or location. So this is an easy fit into an existing adventure location given the gonzo nature of Gamma World or many post apocalyptic wasteland locations this makes it an easy fit.

The blurb of the adventure is classic '83 era AD&D and basically applies the idea that the PC's have already played with and dealt with the monsters and NPC's of EX1 Dungeonland.
"Your adventures have taken you to strange places before, but in the eyes of your experienced party, few of these places are as unusual as the bizarre Land Beyond the Magic Mirror. Here the delightful and the light-hearted often hide great challenges and dangers; here you will journey through a landscape unique among fantasy role-playing scenarios."
The idea here that this version of an alternative setting Wonderland is in fact a demi plane of sorts is old hat and the various NPC's are quite deadly in their own right. A thought is that given the rite of passage style of Famine in Fargo its a pretty easy switch to have one of the locations turn into a gateway into the Dungeonland setting something that I recently did with Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. But the Dungeonland setting could be used for far more then simply another exercise in deadly crawling and 'hack & slash'. Today a friend suggest that these modules were the perfect crossover point for introducing post apocalyptic adventurers and fantasy adventurers with little issue.
This points up the fact that Lewis Carrol's materials are perfect setting fodder to deal with just this sort of an issue, hell Marvel and DC comics  used both Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass for all kinds of super hero and villain hi jinks. This has me wondering if these demi plane modules couldn't serve as jump or mid points for campaigns where various adventure and post apocalyptic  factions might meet. Gary Gygax's did a damn fine job with these adventures and they're still reasonable easy to get. Because of the very nature of these modules they're easily used for placement within a ruin or other post apocalyptic location. According to Wiki this was indeed one of the intentions of the designer and writers;"

Dungeonland and The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror were designed to be placed as an extension of an existing 9th–12th level dungeon"

But it's more then just simply another module for fodder with retroclone  games such as Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord out on the market. A Red and Pleasant Land could easily be used as a frame work for tying all of this material together. The Slow War presented within a Red and Pleasant Land might be simply one more facet of an ever growing cancer of dimensional weirdness that has infected any number of realities. The very natures of the factions, guests, and vampires makes it a very,very, dangerous option to present within a campaign.

Used as a trio of adventure and campaign settings folding within one another this makes adventuring a whole new set of challenges to any number of parties within a post apocalyptic rpg. The fact is that I think a DM should use this material piece meal with a part of adventurers. I can see using this sort of a campaign as a bridge point or as whole new expansion for a Crawling Under A Broken Moon.

Another option that I've already mentioned is taking the three adventure source books and using them with the Goblinoid Games Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord systems. An optional that I'll be exploring in future blog entries.

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