Wednesday, June 5, 2019

A Tale of Two Hells Geoffry O'Dale's Judge's Guild Inferno & Spell Books Games Journey through Malebolge Book One With An OSR & Old School Spin

Today I've been quietly doubling down on the OSR, since about '08 I've been mostly a silent observer of the OSR. I didn't start venturing into the movement until I started this blog. But over the last twenty four hours I've gotten two older gamers have paid a visit & left a very nice prezzie for me. Oh yeah the classic Judge's Guild Inferno By Geoffry O Dale. This my copy that hasn't been home in years. I let a friend of mine 'barrow' this classic for a couple of years & finally today it came back home.
Recently Josesph Mophr's Old School Blog posted a nice review of the classic. 

Even though this is an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module how could I approach it to DM it? I began to have a good think about it & came up with possibly using Grey Elf's Age of Conan free OD&D Conan hack for running this classic module. Why?! Well think about. The fact that you've got a ready made forbidden & corruption Sword & Sorcery set of rules fits the aesthetic perfectly.

But if I really want to get into some really interesting territory I'd port over Lamentations of The Flame Princess rules for the Weird Tales doubling down on the Hellish adventure aesthetic of Geoffrey O'Dale's Inferno. The Judge's Guild module only covers six circles of his vision of Hell. But  the Journey through Malebolge Book OnFrom  Spellbook Games completes & expands upon the Judge's Guild module. The Busybody blog has a very nice review of this book from 2014 & goes into some detail about the book. 

I don't want to get hung up on all of the details of Dante's Inferno & a cross comparison of these two modules by the same author. I did that back in 2016 with very detailed break downs of the Journey through Malebolge Book One . No here I'm starting to go into the actual running of this module with a more OSR or old school rules set to run the Judge's Guild adventure & then perhaps expand into the Spell book game's Journey Through Malebolge as a fully fledged campaign. Right now these are only thoughts & Hellish dreams. But things are starting to gell & I'm very glad to have this Judge's Guild classic back home.

Another option might even be to take

 the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia & use that
classic collection of Mentzer
Dungeons & Dragons to bring
home the old school campaign vibration to Hell.
It should not be forgotten this is a high level campaign &
only the most fool hardy players should attempt this.

This is an aggressive Dante's Hell & one which awaits your PC's.
There is plane jumping but this is nine circles of
alternative cosmology that waits for & punishes PC's in spades.
This dire high level  & very dangerous adventure romp that is
going to test the PC's & players to their limits. The cosmology
does fit in a round about way into the classic Dungeons & Dragons mode
but only just. This isn't the nice Ed Greenwood's nine planes of Hell.
Instead this is waiting just beyond the campfire Hell that will take
& damn PC's when & if it wants. 

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