Sunday, February 7, 2016

Using The Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Adventure EX1 Dungeonland By Gary Gygax With The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Rpg

Tonight incoming snow forced my regular Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea game to get pushed from Tuesday back to today and I had to come up with something on the fly. So I had some notes being written for running an old school adventure in the Valley of Mists in Hyperborea. The players wanted to reach A Red and Pleasant Land but Voivodja doesn't conform to normal space time and instead the eight players in tonight's game wandered into the dangerous EX1 Dungeonland.

The PC's were a mix of two wizards backing up a mix mercenary company expedition trying to locate an artifact for a rich client. Dungeonland clocks in at thirty two pages of deadly little fun. The code Ex means extension and its meant to be inserted into an existing campaign and that's exactly what I did. According to the introduction;"When you insert this module into your campaign, do so
without alerting the players. That is, they will not see a white rabbit and a rabbit hole anywhere, nor will they discover a looking glass to pass through. I have tried these methods, and they put players on guard immediately. Conceal this module within the body of your game material. At a convenient point—
for you, not for the party—have them fall into a pit or have a passageway suddenly become a perpendicular shaft. Then have them descend, ever so slowly, into the “front door” of Dungeonland. If you’d rather have them enter from the other side, then some subterranean place might have a smoky wall through which the  players will barely be able to see. Naturally,they will detect a room beyond, and when you entice them  further, they’ll discover it is a mirror image of the place they just left, and to which they can no longer return.'
The players managed to get through the endless shaft and the hallway but they were not expecting the fact that this particular demi plane had been created by a sorcerer sometime in Hyperborea's ancient past. It exists as a relic a part of some highly evolved amusement park. The wizard  had gotten turned into a rabbit by the foul magicks.

The PC's made it as far as the Woods of Trees and Giant Fungi, there were several missteps and one death as one of the PC's stumbled into the Huge Blue Mushroom and took twenty points of damage. The PC's also ran across several of the vampire NPC's from a Red and Pleasant Land that I peppered throughout the demi plane. This was to prefece an upcoming game and highlight the incredible weirdness of the other dimensional qualities  of EX1.

After several near misses and an almost hair raising encounter with a giant hound the PC's managed to secure enough minor loot to make the excursion into this other dimensional location worth it. They were able to get an NPC to show them the way out but vowed to return to plunder more of the weird otherworldly place. They also ran into a visitor from one of the party's from a Red and Pleasant Land with whom they got into a riddling contest and barely won that little excursion.


A quick note or two on running EX1, while this is a decidedly complex Alice in Wonderland adventure certain aspects of it can be used to create some very weird scenes for a dreamlike atmosphere. It also plays very off beat for a sword and sorcery game such as AS&SH couple this with Lamentations of the Flame Princess's A Red and Pleasant Land; you've got the makings of a memorable evening's entertainment.

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