Its been a long while since I cracked open an issue of Dragon magazine & issue one hundred has as it centerfold adventure one called The City Beyond the Gate for AD&D. I never ran it for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons but instead I ended up running it for the Stormbringer rpg back in 97 or so. The adventure takes a party of Greyhawk adventurers into the heart of modernish day London to recover the Mace of Saint Cuthbert. Its a really well done adventure & it worked out very well for a mixed party of Stormbringer/Hawkmoon rpg adventurers. But looking over my extensive notes for June of '97's Stormbringer conversion game somethings struck me. This was the issue with the first Gary Gygax's Gord The Rogue story in it. The City Beyond The Gate when we ran it was set after the destruction of Oerth. When the PC's were well aware of the events of Dance of Demons by Gary Gygax. At this point one of the main branches of Greyhawk's Oerth had broken off & been destroyed the wiki entry goes deep into it; "Dance of Demons is the finale, in which Gord and Gellor enter the Abyss on a mission from the world's most powerful forces of Balance, to retrieve the remaining Theorparts. The goal is nothing less than to free Tharizdun, the long-imprisoned god of ultimate evil and entropy, and to finally destroy him. The novel ends with the complete destruction of Oerth, and the unveiling of a new and better world."
The PC's met up with Gord later on as an NPC in Miami when they ran into a particularly heinous cult of the archfiend Baphomet on modern Earth. Gord had appeared in an anthology story of the Eternal Champion called Evening Odds . The PC's needed information that Gord had to save their own Oerth from Baphoment's cult & a rather nasty relic left by the Lords of Chaos. ""Evening Odds" appears as story 14 in Pawn of Chaos: Tales of the Eternal Champion, an anthology of fiction inspired by Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion mythos. The story takes place some time after the events of Dance of Demons. Gord has apparently been deposed from his position as the new Catlord and is traveling the alternate realities as a Champion of Balance. In the course of the story he upsets a plot by the archfiend Baphomet on modern Earth." 'The City Beyond the Gate' took place after this on this same Earth when the PC's journey to recover the Mace of Saint Cuthbert.
It was a solid game of Stormbringer & everyone had an excellent time. But it was the fact that I was using a time war as the background of the campaign that I had forgotten about. This allowed me as a dungeon master to use a wide variety of illogical adventure elements & interchange them without consequences. Sure there were a lot of gonzo elements but it allowed me not to be hamstrung by either the Greyhawk or Eternal Champion mythos elements. This is a situation that I increasingly find myself in today with certain OSR dungeon masters & players who hew savagely to the Dungeons & Dragons fluff that has built up over the years. I can honestly say that I miss the halcyon days of free wheeling a campaign together. I wonder if I can simply reverse this situation & run 'The City Beyond The Gate' as an OSR Con style one shot game adventure. By keeping the time war elements & pulling in some of the Greyhawk stuff this could work as a campaign buffer adventure in my current campaign line up. Another idea that I have is to take 'The City Beyond The Gate' adventure & run this as a possible Dungeon Crawl Classic filler adventure. The PC's are thrust into the marrow of the adventure & must recover the mace to complete the quest.
Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game – 4th Printing (Peter Mullen cover)
'The City Beyond The Gate' is a high level adventure that pairs Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure elements into a modern Eighties style adventure setting. This mix is a heady one for PC's to navigate & I can see using this as a part of a greater arching campaign mix.