Thursday, September 3, 2020

Ribbit & Death - OSR Commentary on D2 'The Temple of The Frog' By Guy Ritchie & Dave Arneson

 "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."

Today was one of those days where I grabbed DA2 Temple of the Frog by Guy Richie & Dave Arneson right off the shelf today.  Its been a very much a roller coaster of a day from ups of the repair business taking off to the lows of having the wind knocked outta of my sails today because of Covid. More on that another time, but let's get back to The Froggies cult for a moment. If there's one NPC who appears behind the scenes again & again its "Stephen the Rock". 

'Stephen The Rock' looks exactly like a wild eyed version of Brainic Five from The Legion of Super Heroes comic book. Why?! Because Havard wayback in 2010 on his blog got the lowdown on the villain from one half of the team that created the villain in this case  Stephen Rocheford.  So Havard uses a piece of Legion of Super Heroes comic artwork & from then on he was an evil version of Brainic five in my campaigns. 

So my version of Stephen The Rock has been tweaked quite a bit especially after becoming a pawn for the god 
Tsathoggua. Why?! Because it amused the Great Old One & Stephen The Rock was another in a long line of pawns across the planes of existence. The Great Old One's favor allowed Stephen to gaze along the lines of pararell & alternative worlds for other versions of the FTS. Beagle that mirror his own vessel's demise. Stephen wanted that sweet,sweet, Beagle technology that has allowed him to build up his cult of Froggies across the planes. This is sort of in keeping with  "Patterns of Force" (1968), an episode of the original Star Trek (1966-1969). It also feeds the growing paranoia & mental delusions of Captain Bork Riesling

“Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.” ― Frank Herbert & with this Frank Herbert qoute we find that Stephen The Rock wasn't alone.
Commander Stephen Rocklin (DA2)  Commander and Chief of Security had a good portion of the U.S.S. Beagle's crew following his flute of corruption according to Havard's blog again! When Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor,starts to play from the Dismal Swamp its time to run! 
The temple & its attendantly dangerous genetically modified giant frogs played a huge part in a recent 2019 Lion & Dragon rpg mini campaign. Stephen 'The Rock' or Saint Stephen was at it again! 

 Antidullivan Miniatures's Labyrinthodont set. are excellent stand ins for the giant frogs of the Dismal Swamp. 
This time Saint Stephen was in league with Dark Albion's French demonic frog rulers except this time it was a part of the Lion & Dragon Rpg 

So how does DA2 'The Temple of The Frog' apply to Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg. Well there are two distinct possibilities. One is the fact that 'The Temple of the Frog' & its attendent city are domains unto themselves seeded with USS Beagle technology & personel;"Stephen together with Brand Kirk, Dygar Mendel, Lynn Raupp, Willis Strom and the cyborg Norn fled into the nearby swamps. There, Rocklin reorganized the Order of the Frog, a local cult where he now became known as Saint Stephen. Using Beagle technology, they created a race called Frog Men using DNA from the local swamp fauna."  This also applies to the ancient past of Greyhawk as well;"
Although the main focus of this website is the connection between Mystara and Blackmoor, I have decided to include other possibilities for Blackmoor aswell. Blackmoor was created by Dave Arneson, but was in the early days transplanted into Gygax’s Greyhawk milieu. The Duchy of Ten(h) and the Great Kingdom were all products of the Castle & Crusade Society, in turn a creation of Gary Gygax. In the early days, it was unclear where Greyhawk ended and Blackmoor began. However, in their later incarnations, the Greyhawk and Blackmoor settings grew apart. As David Ross wrote in his Blackmoor Gazetteer:

"As for the Blackmoor within Greyhawk, no-one has ever insisted that we reconcile the two. Greyhawk’s Blackmoor may be a source of creative material but should by no means be considered part of Blackmoor Canon."
World of Greyhawk Folio Edition 1st Printing TSR 1980 Gary ...

This means that the central figure of Greyhawk's Blackmoor has some very dangerous & unexpected meet points. 
 Greyhawk's Archbarony of Blackmoor has some very interesting things to say about this very unexpected Greyhawk & Blackmoor connetions. This also means that Greyhawk is open as a domain for ACK's. 
RPG: Five Systems You Can Use for High-Powered Play - Bell ...

 Its here where the party can exploit the far reaching implications of the Galactic Fediation with regards to how & why their appearance mirrors the degratation of such Federation officers. We see this with the increased power of the White Star Galaxy rpg within my own mini campaign. But was this comes with the power of the federation when they warn about the Blackmoor system. 

The bottom line is that the Froggies are a force & faction unto themselves. Their very nature  demands this! Power craves power for itself! 

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