Sunday, October 30, 2022

OSR Session Report & Commentary On Dragon Magazine issue#42 Adventure " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" By James M. Ward Run With DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS - Survive This!! Bloat Games

"You are all young campers on a week-long camping trip through the woods and wilderness. In the middle of a nighttime hike, you become separated from the rest of your group. None of you is worried, however; you have all taken excellent compass directions and are sure you can eventually find your way back to the campsite. So, with this great chance to do a little exploring on your own, you set out into the woods as a group. Each of you carries the following items: a large backpack with sleeping bag attached underneath, a canteen of water, a jackknife, a large, rough-cut walking stick, heavy hiking boots, a compass, cooking gear, food for three meals, two changes of clothes, and a flashlight."

So it's been an up & down kinda day today & I got a chance to play in DM Steve's Halloween game. This year it was a doozy. He trotted out Dragon magazine issue#42's " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" By James M. Ward played with Dark Places & Demigorgons rpg by Bloat Games. And this is a such a satisfying little romp of an adventure. And it's a deadly little affair within the mansion. There's a ton of encounters & rooms in this Dragon magazine issue#42 adventure. We were campers who were on a hiking trip using pre made PC's. " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" is a "Kids on Bikes" way before it was a thing. James M. Ward was once again ahead of the curve on this adventure & it's evident within the guidelines that were laid down; "While this adventure takes place in an AD&D setting, players should not be allowed to take along things which an AD&D player would normally use. For instance, graph paper would not be allowed for mapping, unless a camper had selected a mapping achievement badge. The achievement badges are just a fun thing, to allow the players to take a few more items that might help them, and they should not be abused. It is possible to have a gunnery achievement badge, but no camper will automatically possess a gun (though the badge may well be useful if the rifles are found in the trophy room). The first-aid badge allows a camper to carry a first-aid kit with ten “doses” of treatment. One dose will heal half of the damage done to an individual as the result of a single encounter, or will totally negate the effects of poison bites on one individual. Athletic achievement badges would allow campers to sustain less damage from falls and enable these campers to jump further and be a bit stronger than the other characters. Benefits for other badges can be determined as the referee sees fit. The group should be expected to travel together and to re-form in a large group as soon as possible when any of them become separated from the main body. Under “ON CLOSER INSPECTION” in a room description may be several facts, all of which would not necessarily be read to the players. “ON CLOSER INSPECTION” will not be read until all characters planning to enter the room have done so, and only after the players say that they are indeed looking around closely to gain information" 

Personally my PC Peter Crispy died on the second level & we went into the mansion looking for our camp counselor. Things were pretty damn intense for a fun little romp of an adventure. Ward certainly had his encounters mapped out & even though this is an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition adventure " The Mad Mansion of Professor Ludlow" uses the tropes quite seriously. This adventure was played as a Goonies or Stephen Speiberg adventure style but the encounters played for keeps! We were able to trade up our sling shots, pocket knives, etc. for short swords, blades, and bows & arrows in the first floor of the mansion. And boy did we need those weapons as we were attacked by giant rats, bats, and even a wandering monster! We ran! That's right we ran our asses off! And made it to the second floor! And that's where a white pudding devoured my PC! I picked up a hireling kid who was another camper along for the ride. The upon closer inspection gambit in play was really cool! It allowed us as players to pick up far more detail. But this is a lethal & very dangerous adventure! We had a great time in retrospect & the rest of the players did complete most of the adventure with the objectives completed. 

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