Sunday, April 12, 2020

Review & Commentary On Using 'C1.5 Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine' For Building A Pulp Sword & Sorcery Lost World Campaign Centered Around C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" By Harold Johnson, & Jeff R. Leason

"The player characters explore a stepped pyramid deep in the heart of a tropical jungle—the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. The characters must penetrate this Mayan-style temple, which is full of tricks and traps!"

Tonight I've been looking into C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" (1980). Just in case you don't know "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" (1980), by Harold Johnson and Jeff R. Leason, is the first adventure in the competition (C-) series. I grabbed a copy of C1.5 Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine which is an side sequel  module put together by Bill Barsh. C1.5 picks up where C1 sort of leaves off;" Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine details the lost and allbut destroyed city that is partially described in TSR’s classic module, C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. The city is ancient and in ruin; only a scant few buildings are intact. The majority of the city has crumbled and been overtaken by the surrounding jungle. Streets are now barely-passable rifts among low hills formed by the fallen buildings hidden by ages of jungle growth.   However, some structures remain and miraculously seem unaffected by the jungle. Few jungle animals or birds enter the environs of the city and those that do are extremely cautions and nervous. "

C1.5 'Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine' picks up with the inner workings of the ruined city at only eight pages. But it makes a solid use of these but the cartography is very basic & does the job. The city has a few encounters & some deadly monsters added into its Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition adventure structure. But this module is meant to fill in a bit of the gaps of  C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" & it does a bit of encounter colour & style but what it really needs as a 'pay what you want' title is a solid dungeon master to take it too the next level. 

'C1.5 Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine' needs the DM to take it too the next level & go completely ' Raiders of the Lost Ark'. The hidden depths of a lost world, the quest for ancient artifacts, & to bring in the focus of an expedition into a deadly  'lost world' Pulp style campaign.

The PC's are the focus & the targets & that's where 'C1.5 Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine'  shines especially if the DM is smart enough to take C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" & bring it home as a part of a greater campaign. I'd take C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" & C1.5 'Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine' couple it with the recent release of Goodman Games's  Original Adventures Reincarnated #2: The Isle of Dread. 

Its easy enough to reverse convert Goodman Games's  Original Adventures Reincarnated #2: The Isle of Dread back into classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition rules. Is C1.5 Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine terrible? No but it needs, no begs to have C1 "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" coupled with it. On its own it does not work as an adventure module but then it was never meant to.
Used or coupled with other OSR or old school adventure modules 
 C1.5 Ghost City of the Hidden Shrine shines as a side or companion module. This coupling makes all of the above OSR & old school adventure business perfect as a Pulp Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign especially if the DM then adds in S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gary Gygax.

The DM can bring the 'lost world' Pulp hammer into their gaming & have a viable campaign option for months or even years of play. In fact this whole campaign arch could be used as a perfect excuse to add in these adventures as a part of an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea  rpg  
'Lost World'  Hyperborean themed game. The  Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess by Joseph D. Salvador is perfect for this 'lost world' theme. The   Isle of the Serpent in far-off Lemuria remnant is a neighboring island to the Isle of Dread. 

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