Thursday, June 20, 2019

Doubling Down On T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil By Gary Gygax In Mystara & Greyhawk

Last night's blog entry got a lot of flack because I had  T1 The Village of Hommlet takes place in Mystara & not Greyhawk. There seems to be some confusion on the exact power scale  of the T1 Temple of Elemental Evil. This isn't some light weight adventure but one of the most infamous megadungeons that came from the pen of Gary Gygax & Frank Mentzer. This module will quite literally take your PC from level one all of the way to level eight. That is if they survive the experience. But why would I put the T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil in Mystara & not Greyhawk? Well because the Temple of Elemental Evil is already in Mystara &  Greyhawk at the same time. According to Havard's Shared Greyhawk/Mystara Elements post on the Piazza; 

"I have found that the following elements exist in both Greyhawk and Mystara:

Brindobris (Brindorhin?)
Garel Glittergold
Vaprak (aka Jammudaru)
Ilneval (aka Karaash)
Maglubiyet (aka Wogar)

Egg of Coot

Keep on the Borderlands
Isle of Dread
Duchy of Ten/Duchy of Ten

The modules B1-4 were published before the Known World was conceived, though Gaz1 provides suggested locations for them in Mystara. I suppose these could be considered both Greyhawk and Mystara sources?"

There's a certain level of setting  connectivity to many of the campaign settings. This isn't a bad thing it makes campaign have adventure elements that overlap providing the DM with a very interesting way moving game adventure element  from one world setting to another. It also means that there are certain magical or planar effects that could move an adventuring party from one world to another. But let's talk about the grim & evil  nature of Greyhawk's T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. According to the wiki entry;" The temple referenced in the module's title is an unholy structure located in the central Flanaess not far from the city-state of Verbobonc. In 566 CY, forces of evil from Dyvers or the Wild Coast constructed a small chapel outside the nearby village of Nulb. The chapel was quickly built into a stone temple from which bandits and evil humanoids began to operate with increasing frequency.

In 569 CY, a combined force was sent to destroy the Temple and put an end to the marauding. This allied army clashed with a horde of evil men and humanoids, including orcsogres and gnolls, at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. Men-at-arms from Furyondy and Veluna united with dwarves from the Lortmilsgnomes from the Kron Hills, and an army of elven archers to face the threat of the Horde of Elemental Evil, consisting largely of savage humanoids such as orcsogres, and gnolls. The arrival of the elves from the shadows of the Gnarley Forest turned the tide of battle, trapping the savage humanoids against a bend in the Velverdyva where they were routed and slaughtered."
That humanoid force of   orcsogres, and gnolls sounds suspiciously like the sort of thing that that would would be encountered later in the Caves of Chaos in B2 Keep on the Borderland by Gary Gygax.  I don't think that PC's can simply plane hop from one setting to another without a spell jammer or gateway. These are not available to lower tier adventurers. 

I've used this idea of shared adventure elements for a number of adventurer crossovers over the years. Frank Mentzer did a fantastic job organizing,writing, &  editing to some extent  Gary Gygax's two hundred to three hundred pages  notes into T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. Now according to the Drivethrurpg entry on T1-4; ""The Village of Hommlet" was entirely the creation of Gary Gygax. He also gave Frank Mentzer what has been described as "200-300 pages of notes" on the Temple; from that source, Mentzer created the finished adventure. While Mentzer was working on Temple, he was one of the major designers at TSR. He was right in the middle of producing the BECMI edition of Basic D&D (1983-1986), and he'd already been picked to lead the work on AD&D Second Edition. As it happens, Mentzer never got to work on 2e; instead, he joined Gygax in forming New Infinities Productions in October 1986."

If we take Frank Menzter's BECMI Immortals Box Set idea about the followers of Entropy as campaign cannon then perhaps the Demogorgon that I wrote about yesterday really is a shade or alternative planar aspect of  the demoness Zuggtmoy (a major instigator in the Horde of Elemental Evil) becomes a lot more dangerous.

Are there multiple plane Prime versions of popular D&D & AD&D villains that aren't aware of each others existence? Could there be cooperation between these beings? That's a frightening question right there. I've used this style of interaction being dependent upon rare celestial & planar phenomena. Other ideas I've gotten have come from this thread on the Piazza Frank Mentzer on Immortals.
The dangers represented by the Evil Elemental horde to both Mystara & Greyhawk can't be underscored. This enemy crosses borders of reality, culture, & aims to conqueror or destroy both worlds if it can. T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil isn't an adventure to be taken lightly by any means. The corruption goes down into the roots of both campaign settings & DM's should be aware of the horrors that go hand in hand when the Temple's forces come to play. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

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