Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Dungeon Crawl Classics Rpg Connection Between DA2 Temple of the Frog By Dave Arneson, David J. Ritchie & The World of Mystara

"Green Death...
That's what old hands call the Great Dismal Swamp. For centuries, this tangled maze of sluggish watercourses, stagnant ponds, and festering marshes has defended Blackmoor's southwestern frontier. Large armies and smaller parties have disappeared altogether inside its vast, dripping, claustrophobic corridors.

Among those who have dropped from sigh in this arboral hell is young Rissa Aleford, one of Blackmoor's most important leaders. Carried off to the sinister City of the Fron, she is now being held by the eccentric Monks of the Swamp. By making the baroness captive, the deranged monks have serioulsy weakened Blackmoor at a time when enemies already threaten it from all sides.

Yet, even as the Froggies gloat, the king of Blackmoor dispatches a small band of bold adventures to the rescue. Deep into the Great Dismal Swamp they must go - far from sunlight and sanity - there to seek and save the swamp, there to find the Temple of the Frog."
Let's get this module's history right out of the way; 'DA2: "Temple of the Frog" (1987), by Dave Arneson and David J. Ritchie, is the second of the four Blackmoor adventure. It was published in January 1987.' 

So I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Dungeon Crawl Classics rpg. Blackmoor especially some of  Traianus Decius Aureus 's D20  creature  conversions over at the Blackmoor Archives. I started thinking about how these could be used with Dungeon Craw Classics to create a Blackmoor funnel. What would happen if the player's PC's were survivors from the events of raid to capture  the Baroness Rissa? Some may turn to the power of the occult, whist others grab a sword & become fighters, still others steal from others for their very existence & yet the violence of the froggies bonds them together. 

The PC's must get back the princess from Stephen of the Rock who is arguable one of the most diabolical D&D villains ever & Havard has a cracking write up & history.  Stephen has access to some very dangerous technology & the PC's go from farmer to adventurer as they must avenge their homestead from the violence of the 'swamp monks'. Those that survive are going to have their professions chosen by circumstances. Given how DCC's patrons are set up its not off the mark that perhaps Stephen The Rock might have access to Tsathoggua. The Great Old One  may have taken a notice of the devotion of Stephen The Rock to his favored children in the form of the mutated frogs. Now Tsathoggua is a fickle & dangerous god thing at best but Stephen is no fool & makes use of the higher dimensional existence of the demonic monster.  What makes DA2 such a dangerous module isn't simply the level of it but the infiltration of society of the locals. 

What makes DA2 Temple of the Frog also invidiously lethal is the inclusion of the Beagle's technologies.  One of the things that I've done over the years when having player's PC's recover various high technological relics from the downed crew is having these relics  'tainted' with the strange radiations of the cosmic accident that downed the craft. To me there's always been something insidious about the various relics & sci fi elements of DA2. Once someone has been using the various weapons & relics I've always made it a point that they always seem to want more. I always give a minor corruption score to most of the relics in Blackmoor. But what I would really do is run DA2 Temple of The Frog on Mystara using Dungeon Crawl Classics. 

The Great Dismal Swamp itself is very much a pitch perfect DCC setting with mutated frogs, cultists, & a wide variety of adventure elements waiting to swallow up the PC's.  Because there's already a D&D 3.5 set of conversions using DA2 Temple of the Frog with Dungeon Crawl Classics should be a snap. Froggies are the most dangerous & yet highly underrated cult of villains ever to come out of original Dungeons & Dragons. Even if the PC's put an end to the temple in true D&D fashion is it going to end the cult of the Froggies? I highly doubt it. When we start diving into 'The Great History of Skothar' by Francesco Defferrari from Threshold Magazine issue 20 we start getting a better outline of the world DA2. A sort of ancient society with the remains of greatness all around it. Here's why its so easy for Saint Stephen The Rock to capture so many people's attention. The remains & relics of the down craft literally are all around the temple & its environs.  The dangers of the world setting of DA2's version of Blackmoor puzzled into Mystara gives more then a few hints of the world around the module. Its a world in literal peril as the relics & technologies of another world dance around the party.
DA2 Temple of the Frog sends the PC's back into Mystara's ancient past so it only stands to reason that this module could actually be an alternative timeline of Mystara. There are so many unanswered questions with DA2 that it wouldn't be a small feat to alter many of the details of the module to suit the DM's campaign.

Frog and Mouse by Getsuju Japan,
 late 18th-early 19th century 90.3 x 167.8cm Ink
 on paper Kaikodo, New York Source

No comments:

Post a Comment

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