Dragon issue 75 was released in July of 1983 & it featured "From the Sorcerer's Scroll: New denizens of devildom" by Gary Gygax which had a listing of the following as a mini preview for the upcoming Monster Manual II :
And this issue of The Dragon magazine also featured "The Nine Hells, Part I" By Ed Greenwood which had detailed descriptions of the first 5 layers of the Nine Hells (and their inhabitants) . Both of these articles were hugely influencial on us Eighties kids. And in fact my uncle at the time our DM sent our party straight to Hell! There were two reasons for this one we were studying the Roman Slave Rebellions: First Servile War & Dante's Divine Comedy. But my uncle really punched those two articles up by drawing more from Dante. Each time we were killed we were put into a lower level in the nine Hells. You didn't just die you lost XP and levels. This got me thinking about ACK's & the Hells! Could an ACK's campaign survive in the Hells?! Then I started thinking about the ACK's Heroic Fantasy Handbook. The ACK's Heroic Fantasy Handbook is almost another side optional rulebook having heroic & Pulpy PC classes,alternative rules, and much more. But is it enough to survive the nine Hells?!We spend the first couple of months on Avernus avoiding Tiamat,her consorts, her children, and picking sport with the machinations of the unique devils. The unique devils picked us off one by one more then once; "The uppermost plane of the Nine Hells is ruled by Tiamat, the Chromatic Dragon, and serves as a home to all lesser unique devils. These are devils with individual names and characteristics, and powers of greater magnitude than those of a pit fiend (for all such unique devils of lesser power are soon destroyed by their enemies and the cruelty of their fellows), which are not otherwise placed in the hells as ruling archdevils or their direct servants."
Don't count out the unique devils because they handed more then a few PC's their behinds multiple times. We were screwing around on the first level & only made it too Dis after 5 month of game time. We spent a great deal of time as 'guests' of Mammon wading our necks up in the filth and horrors of Minauros famous swamps.
Eventually after completing missions & combat sorties for several arch devils & their respective misstresses our party escaped from the Hells. However we each brought a piece of Hell with our PC's. The experience changed our characters we were no longer welcomed in our usual haunts. The PC's were rumored to have been dead or worse 'damned'. We carried this stigma for years as PC's and were the 'bad guys' hunted by paladins and knights because of our association with the Hells. Now my interest is peaked again to see if the players wouldn't mind a bit of time in the Hells.
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