Sunday, January 13, 2019

OSR Commentary - The Luz Dossier - A Paler Shade & Echo of Greyhawk - Campaign Notes

"In the Yatil Mountains south of Perrenland there is rumored to be a magical hoard of unsurpassed value, a treasure of such fame that scores f adventurers have perished in search of it. Find the perilous Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and you may gain the hidden wealth of the long-dead arch-mage -- if you live!"
There are certain modules that I've been obsessed with for years & S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gary Gygax is certainly one of them. There's just something about this module that draws me back into it again & again. All of this is from my B/X  Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign notes & is not based on canon.

There are certain AD&D adventures that haunt my dreams & S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gary Gygax is one of those. Perhaps it the fact that S4 fits like a puzzle piece into the bowels of  WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun (1e). Now according to the Drivethrurpg entry on WG4 this was done on purpose which makes perfect sense; 

 "In the early 80s, Gary Gygax tried to revive and expand Greyhawk, hoping to make it into the sort of better-defined campaign world that would become common in the 80s (but which was all but unknown in the 70s). He brought two people back to TSR to help him in this: Rob Kuntz and Eric Shook. Kuntz showed up in late 1981 and helped to polish and finish up S4: "The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth" (1982), while Eric Shook got his start doing the maps for "Temple."
This team would later put together three more major releases: EX1: "Dungeonland" (1983), EX2: "The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror" (1983), and WG5: "Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure" (1983).
The five publications (from "S4" to "WG5") fall within what's known as the "first wave" of Greyhawk publication, which extended from the setting's first adventures in 1978 through the last Gygax adventures reprints in 1987. However, what Gygax, Kuntz, and Shook started in 1982 really constituted a serious expansion of the setting. Before then, Greyhawk had been only lightly detailed through adventures like the infamous "GDQ" series and others, but starting with S4, TSR was now producing adventures that considerably expanded the setting's mythology and lore. So, let's call the period beginning with the publication of S4 the "one-and-a-halfth wave" of Greyhawk publication (or perhaps just a brief expansive interlude)."
 This makes perfect sense because it places some of the AD&D heavy weight designers of Gygax, Kuntz, & Eric Shook  right into the middle of  the  refinement of the Greyhawk campaign setting. But one question has always bothered me. 
Who the hell is maintaining these dungeon complexes?! The answer dovetails into how these modules used across the board. The article the  
"Original Lost Caverns of Tsojconth - found in Karameikos? by Paleologos" article from the Vaults of Pandius site places the adventure straight into the bowels of Mystara. But do these same ruins exist on Greyhawk as well as Mystara? I believe the answer is yes! They exist in Greyhawk & Mystara to murder adventurers as a sacrifice machine to their evil pantheons. 

 This gets into an interesting question that relates into a concept that is found in both the

Godbound: A Game of Divine Heroes Rpg From Sine Nomine Publishing  & Peter Adkins The Primal Order rpg is the concept of parasitic divinities. The idea here is that a pantheon of gods (demons) are feeding off of generations of cults & worshipers beliefs & lives. 

Whose the guy maintaining all of the frame work of this? That would be Luz from Greyhawk"Iuz is the half-fiend or cambion demigod son of Graz'zt, a demon lord of the Abyss, and the human witch Iggwilv. Originally described as very handsome, Iuz now appears either as an old man with poisonous spit, or a big, red, hulking demon like creature. His weapon of choice is the whip and greatsword.  He is referred to as "The Old One" or Iuz the Evil, and worshiped as the God of Deceit, Pain, Oppression and Evil.  He is considered the enemy of every sane and free person in the Flanaess and every religion, except his own and holds a particular hatred for ZagygVecna and St. Cuthbert. "

I don't care what edition your playing Luz is pure chaotic evil incarnate & he's a threat to any party of demi god adventurers. He makes most liches look like Mary Sunshine & I've been in two long running campaigns where he's been the main villain. A very hands on major villain who loves to destroy parties of higher level adventurers.

 Everything that happens in Grehawk has echoes across the planes & this includes what has happened in T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil. Adventurers start running into various threats from Greyhawk they better be prepared. There threats that can kill gods rather easily. I'm not talking about taking Deities & Demigods from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition & using it as a hit list. I talked about using Mayfair games Role Aids line 'Demons' in the other day's blog entry. I often used the fallen angels & demons from those as mercenary forces for Luz. 
 Both the Godbound: A Game of Divine Heroes Rpg From Sine Nomine Publishing  Peter Adkins The Primal Order rpg  are tool kits as well as rpg systems. In the case of the Primal Order the cap system works rather nicely for adding onto existing systems. Godbound: A Game of Divine Heroes Rpg From Sine Nomine Publishing does some exciting stuff but its got to be streamlined into an AD&D/BX campaign. But where's the backroom scheming for Jason Vey's Amazing Adventures!rpg 
Right now there are agents of Luz crawling through the back alleys of another Earth on their way to assassinating various heroes & divinities including some of the evil ones who would stop Luz from taking another Earth for his schemes. Oh I didn't mention Orcus which will be getting into next adventure. Hang onto your hats things are about to get weird!
Next time Castles & Crusades with a hint of the Planes


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.