Monday, July 31, 2023

Review & Commentary On Cybersneaks Hacking In The Clement Sector By Authors Michael Johnson and John Watts For The Clement Sector, Cepheus Engine, and Old School 2d6 Science Fiction Rpg's

 "Hacking and computers have been part of the common experience now since at least the 1990s and there is no sign that the future will see less of either of them. Therefore, it seemed necessary for us to address how hacking is done in the Clement Sector setting. In doing so, the scope of the product soon expanded to include information about worldnets and their history, computer equipment, and careers related to hacking and online security. Hopefully, this product will help your enjoyment of the Clement Sector setting and allow your characters and campaigns to enter the shadowy world of the hacker, the realm of futuristic online security, and get a sense of how the average Clement Sector character relates to being online." 

Cybersneaks Hacking In The Clement Sector By Authors Michael Johnson and John Watts is a supplement for the Clement Sectore that we've  been waiting for. And this has to do with the Henderson family. The Hendersons are a generational family of cyberdeckers from our Hostile, Clement Sector, and even our Rider rpg games. The Hendersons start out as telegraph operators in our Rider game campaign & then later on appeared in the Earth and Clement sector rpg campaigns. 
Cybersneaks clocks in at about eighty one pages and it covers the gamit of the Worldnet in the Clement Sector. And this includes everything from the history of frontier hacktivism to full on Worldnet law enforcement. The design and writing is clear and very well done. 
We get the history of hacking within the Worldnet, and the effects of social engineering, airgapping and more.We get hacking kits, some great equipment, handcomps, and then end with mindcomps. Mindcomps as a technology are interesting & I admit that while this is a partial "gear & equipment' book its a well done 'gear & equipment' book. 
For example the mindcomp entry; "A mindcomp is simply a computer that directly interfaces with the brain. For more details regarding mindcomps refer to Clement Sector page 336 and Interface page 37. Mindcomps provide their wearer with advantages over other computers but also create more risks if they are used for hacking activities." And then later we get a great example of these mindcomps; "Head Gear 66 – The Head Gear 66 is an older model mindcomp which remains popular in Clement Sector. While both less useful and more obvious than later models, the Head Gear 66 is often seen being used by those who don’t mind flaunting societal norms on worlds where cyberware is frowned upon. The Head Gear 66 is manufactured in Clement Sector on Minerva (Franklin 0401) and Chriseda (Sequoyah 0204) by the Overdrive Corporation. Despite the two companies being bitter rivals, many users will pair the Head Gear 66 with Bolt Glass for what is described as the perfect retro experience." 

The idea that cybersneaks and hackers have thier own internal Clement sector techno dialogue going is brillant. 

And it's the cyberhacking rules that are really the heart & soul of Cybersneaks. 
We get clear and concise rules that make hacking and decking in the Clement sector flavorful and meaningful. This adds gravitas and weight to the cybersneak's role within the Clement sector. And it's the simple and yet highly effective rule set up with Cybersneak so damn well done. 
And then we go deeper down the rabbit hole with malware, mindcomp hacking, and more.
Cybersneaks does a great job of setting up the hacking and cybernetic decker as a viable and vital PC within a party of Clement and even Cepheus Engine adventurers. 
And out in the blackness of the frontier the cybersneak is a vaulable member of a crew within the Clement sector. 
And I do think that Cybersneaks is a fantastic addition to the Clement and Earth sector rpg's. Even at only eight one pages Cybersneaks is packed with good and solid viable gaming information for 2d6 Science Fiction and Cepheus Engine rpg's. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Ringer - Original Dungeons & Dragons Session Report - One 'Things Get Complicated'

 Today was one of those days where I got a last minute invite into another player's original Dungeons & Dragons game. So I had a third level fighter that was helping to stop his adventurering party's demise against a group of slayers. The way that my PC Roderick The Bloody Handed was introduced was simple. My PC was simply a hireling that became a part of the party. So my PC slid into the game. 

And there's really nothing electric and weird right? Wrong we were using Thieves' Guild: The Fantasy System (2nd Edition) as a part of the OD&D game campaign. We were in the middle of a raid by a group of slayers on the outskirts of Haven. And things got very complicated very fast. 
The slayers were actually part of the local miltia who were on the take. And it turns out the local lord who hired the party set us up to take the fall for thier crimes. And things got complicated when we were arrested and thrown into jail. Not for long when half of the party are criminals. 
After a series of rolls & role playing we bribed the guards and managed to escape. And then it was grab horses and head deeper into the countryside. 
The slavers at this point were selling some of the local villages lock, stock, and peasant to international pirates. And so we hid out in one of these 'abandoned' villages to hide to plot our next move. Being on the otherside of the screen I've really come to appreciate the resources that Game Lords Thieves Guild brings to the table. Such a great resource for both the player and the DM. 

1d20 Random Sword & Sorcery Traits of The Nephilim Background Table For Your Old School & OSR Game Campaigns

Genesis 6:1–4,"The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown." 
     There are those adventurers whose ancestry was cursed & corrupted by the blight of the ancient Fallen children of the Watchers who came down to Earth and begat with the daughters & sons of man. The monsters and children of these couplings were then the parents of the next generation. And some adventurers count these legacies among thier own blood. This blood still flows through adventurers veins and it's nature is Chaotic and dangerous. Here then is a 1d20 table to add the weird and dangerous Choatic traits to your games! 

1d20 Random Sword & Sorcery Traits of The Nephilim Background Table
  1. The PC's father was cursed with strange visions by his ancestry. Each 1d6 months he or she can make 1d6 prophecies connected to the party or random campaign events. These visions are couched in alagory and strange often terrifying symbolism. 
  2. There are weird rock like growths that weave thier way in your arms and hands adding +2 damage to all melee attacks. 
  3. Each new moon you bleed from your eyes and can curse a target like the magick ritual. 
  4. Part of your grandmother's soul was dead and you are affected by holy symbols as an undead. 
  5. Moon silver races through your veins and lycanthropes or undead can stand to be around you. 
  6. Your strange parentage gave you strange semi demonic eyes and you suffer -2 on your Charisma each time some meets your gaze. 
  7. Your mother has para elemental heritage in her blood and once a month you can command that element for 1d6 hours. 
  8. There is undeath in your veins and once a week you crave flesh. This craving must be satifised or you begin to take a point of damage. 
  9. When you grow angry you grow fangs and claws adding +2 to all melee attacks. These disappear when the PC calms down. 
  10. There is ghoul legacy within your blood line allowing you to smell magick and foul Chaos on the wind. 
  11. You have the gift of demonic music and can play any musical instrument as an unnatural talent. 
  12. Metal burns the demonic part of your soul causing -2 Charisma to any witnessing this. This is especially true of the noble metals. 
  13. Flames erupt from your mouth and eyes when you suffer a wraithful anger and fit! One hit point creatures flee from your continance as if you cast a fear spell. 
  14. You are divinely perfect and it bothers each person around you. Many animals will seek you out but people are often charmed when you pay too close attention to them. 
  15. Your parantage causes you to have one major and two minor mutations. 
  16. You are 'coffin blooded' & gain +3 strength from attending funerary rites & rituals. Death is drawn to this character. 
  17. Your spittle is laced with the acids of Hell and does 1d5 damage to anyone it hits. 
  18. You have the 'gaze of a giant' and it causes melancholy and depression in anyone you stare at three times a day. The target must save vs spells or they might be driven to suicide or murder. 
  19. You are 'double souled', you have demonic soul fragment that lives along side your own. You own soul pushes it aside. But every fort night your touch can and will kill plants and animals. 

Return To S7 Stains Upon The Green By Stephen Chenault For The Castles & Crusades Rpg - Castles & Crusades Rpg Campaign Update - Roman & Dwarven Connections

So this is going to picks straight up from here on our blog.  And this is going to tie directly into The Codex Classicum. 
The events depicted here are going to be taking place at the tale end of the Roman Empire.. The empire is contracting. The barbarian tribes are expanding and Chaos sees an opportunity. 

So looking over my old campaign notes for our Castles & Crusades Borderlands game adventures and  a lot of this campaign was centered around B2 Keep on The Borderlands by Gary Gygax. And one of the things that strikes me is how the humanoids in the Caves of Chaos are the makings of an army ready to strike! The forces of Chaos could well be a stand in or a disruption of the Germanic tribes who lead to the fall of Rome. And this ties into Dark Wizard Games &  my buddy Mark Taormino's Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #0 Village of the Borderlands.

The events within Caves of Chaos set up the next round of this according to my notes. 
How? Well with Europe in shambles and Rome about to fall the big push here comes from the forces of Chaos. And those forces are creating chaos across the ruins of the empire. The Drow send one of thier agents to help and the Germanic tribes are not immune to the machinations of Chaos. 

Imagine if you will that  Mark Taormino's Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #0 Village of the Borderlands takes place in Germany & events of B2 trigger off the fungi and orgres of Village of the Borderlands. And this could lead from Stains upon the Green's abandoned Dwarven city straight into Dark Wizard's #4 Vault of the Dwarven King. Chaos wants to seize control of the terror weapon of the Dwarves the Lava Elemental. 

And here is where Tar Kiln comes into play because the Dwarves abandoned it for a reason. Sure they've been in steep decline since the last Ice Age as per By This Axe.I 
  wasable to  grab Adventurer,Conqueror, King's By This Axe for all of the Dwarven details. And given the Dwarves aversion to necromancy some of the reason for the Dwarves to abandoned Tar Kiln is evident.. Would some renagade tribe of Germanic barbarians try to sieze the place? 

1d20 Mysterious Sword & Sorcery Background Trait Table For Your Old School Games

 Lo did the heavens shake & mysterious hellish forces were unleashed beyond the Boreas winds. The very gods themselves perished in battles beyond the ken of human knowledge. They're blood was left on the battle field & incredibly it seeped upon the earth imbuing men with dangerous & mysterious destinies. Here is a 1d20 table to add a bit of the mythological and mysterious to your PC's.

1d20 Mysterious Sword &
Sorcery Background Trait Table
  1.  You're father was cursed by an Ice Giant & now certain magical metals break in your possession after 1d10 months. You can not be killed by this metal but you can be very badly wounded & made to wish you were dead. It will take 1d6 months longer to heal from injuries caused by this mysterious and mystical metal. 
  2. You have the gift of magic after a demon looked in from the black winds of Hell upon your mother bathing in the mystic stream near her home village. Every new moon you can speak with the spirits of the dead. Relatives & close family friends may seek you out for favors & jobs they couldn't complete in life. 
  3. Your half brother is of the clan of mystics and seers; you are not blessed with his sight but only his reputation. Many seek you out for your gifts even though you don't have them. Mundane and legendary events are attributed to you even though you don't have them or do you? 
  4. You are the great grandson or daughter of a legendary hero and your not aware of the staggering reputation that you must live up to. 
  5. There is a piece of a mysterious manuscript tattooed onto your soul. 
  6. Ancient dark gods urinated near the water supply of your village; you have 1d6 strange mutations waiting to bloom as soon as you go into battle against demonic or Lovecraftian forces. 
  7. Ancient fairies have designs on your destiny and life. May you live in interesting times. 
  8. You are related to an evil and despotic ruler of a far off land who knows you as his little cousin. You are forever in his shadow. 
  9. Your reputation belongs to another who does great and heroic deed but you are constantly reaping his rewards without having ever met this person. 
  10. You have six fingers on your life hand & a mysterious ring of silver grafted onto the flesh. None knows what this means. 
  11. The mystic sight has changed your eyes to the colour violet and at other times these eyes appear in colours know man was meant to see. 
  12. Ancient gods dwell in your blood line and your destiny is to do great deeds or die like a dog in an ancient sacrifice. 
  13. There is no great destiny for you, your grand parent was deranged & insane he or she wanted so badly for you to have a great quest or legend behind your blood. There is not, you are ordinary but have grown up hearing great tales of relatives that don't exist or do they?? 
  14. You have a mysterious sigil on your back. Orcs automatically don't like the way you smell but won't tell you why? 
  15.  Your grand father or grand mother was very virile and there are blood kin and relatives all across the land. You can count on help with a 20% chance of some blooded NPC just over the horizon. There is a 60% chance of a warrior or minor wizard with a blood feud with your family or clan. 
  16. Magic flows in your veins but your a clod and steel loves to cut you when it gets the chance -1 on Charisma for the number of scars that cover you. That being said many of the opposite sex love scars so you might find a partner or lover with a weird fascination of them. 
  17. You have a tongue of Loki & your words are weird, twisted, & can get you in trouble 20% of the time. But you also have the lore of the mythological & local legends seem to come to you almost through the ether. 
  18. You have several weird scars and marks on your hands, the riddle of steel responses to you. Gain +1 on all sword strikes. Magic twists in your hands as well watch well which spells you use or the magic will twist away from you. 
  19. You have a evil mirror like twin out in the world that constantly causes trouble and as part of your destiny you must stop them. They are cunning, devious, and very dangerous. 
  20. Marked by the gods you are a true child of the gods & heroes; great things are expected of you. Clerics and seers know the aura that cloaks you as you go into the world. 

All ideas and opinions copyrighted & trademarked to the owner of this blog
  & Dark Corner Productions Inc.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

A 70's Sci fi Inspired Beta Max Black Stars Without Number Revised & Red Room's Decaying Orbit Campaign Notes - Saints, Gods, and Relics & Clerical Matters

 When it comes to clerics, it's easy to quickly dismiss the classic PC class. If the original Heavy Metal magazine had shown me anything it was the fact that clerics are warrior priests first and foremost. The role of the cleric is given a complete overhaul within Saints, Gods, and Relics from Night Owl Workshop


The role of cleric here is on point with the militant warrior priest of the Original Dungeons and Dragons rules. Here were given an OSR twist and this supplement  takes this PC class in a direction where and when that can be used with Stars Without Numbers and other Science Fantasy  games. Why?! Because Saints, Gods, and Relics revamps the cleric as follows:"

 if a character remains a believer in good standing, their faith means that the following changes apply when a cleric of the same god casts spells upon them: • Cure spells cast on them heal an extra +1 HP per die. However, cure spells cast by any other cleric heal at -1 per die. Reversed effects are unchanged. • The benefits of Bless and Prayer spells are doubled. • They have no saving throw to resist Quest spells cast by a cleric of the same god, but +3 to save against Quest spells cast by any other cleric. • Raise Dead, Restoration and Resurrection cast by a cleric of other than their patron god do not help you at all. • Reversed effects (Curse, Cause Light Wounds, Slay Living, etc.) are unaffected. • Also, if a character has the same patron god as an NPC cleric, the latter will typically offer a 50% discount on any normal charges imposed for cures, raising dead, commune, or similar divine favors, but may also occasionally be sent by their god to get you to do them favors in the interest of their faith. Players may wish to offer a similar discount. If a character reaches 9th or higher level whilst having a patron god, he or she may be assumed to have attracted the personal interest of that deity, who will be likely to try and use them in schemes to support the god’s interests..." 

  Let's say for a moment that Stars Without Number takes place in the same universe as Wretched New Flesh Post Cards From Aviladad. Mankind is just starting to crawl out from under the effects of the Scream. And it is open to all kinds of religions and cults taking it back to the masses. The role of the cleric becomes clearer. Now we're probably thinking that the role of clerics has been talked about to death before. What if the cleric's order is also the provider of culture for many of these interstellar colonies. The cleric is trained to be warrior, counsel, and giver of both religion as well as culture. This of course is in addition to fighting against the blackness of the vile darkness thier rolls become that much clearer. Again this goes right back to the warrior cleric of original Dungeons and Dragons. 
And these styles of cleric's roles would not be out of character for Warriors of the Red Planet. 
The cleric becomes the plug and play warrior missionary on the post apocalpytic  red  planet. Why? Because the colonist on Mars need all of the help they can rebuilding. And the whole planet is ripe for exploitation by the forces of darkness. 
And that alieness of the Outer Darkness is something we see play out again and again the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Clark Ashton Smith, H.G. Wells and many others. 
The roles of warrior priest should never be underestimated and the resolve of such characters is something that will and should come into play during old school or OSR campaigns. 
Clerics are also the arm of darkness as well as those as light. And this means that clerics of the gods of darkness  can cause all kinds of havoc. 
The forces of light must always be on guard and 
Saints, Gods, and Relics can be augmented with the spells of Trails and Tails Games Faith is My Weapon. 

Tonight my mind was on the cultclassic film Krull. The idea that the 'backward' world of Krull might in point of fact have been a failed interstellar colony in the ancient past. And that it might have been destined to rejoin the interstellar scene once the hero and heroine's son grew to manhood. Makes me think about the idea of the cleric trail blazer leading worlds back from the darkness of technological de- evolution into the light of interstellar FTL flight. 

A 70's Sci fi Inspired Beta Max Black Stars Without Number Revised & Red Room's Decaying Orbit Campaign Notes - Matters of Magick & Loathsome Horrors

 We're just getting back from grocery shopping and at the grocery store I ran into one of my players of our regular games. And she and her husband wanted to know how the Stars Without Number/Decaying Orbit game campaign  was going. 

Anyone whose been paying  attention to this blog knows that when your 'the forever DM' there are only so many hours in the day. 
And the last time we talked we were bringing back the post apocalytic Mars campaign.
What I didn't realize was the fact that Night Owl Workshop has created Beasties Loathsome Horrors,”.
And I wasn't even aware that this monster book even  was out! 
And Beasties Loathsome Horrors,” fits  the Stars Without Number/Decaying Orbit vibe so damn well! 
Horrors, weird creatures, etc could easily be found in the Beyond or on a post apocalyptic Mars.What does it mean though?! 
For those who have Warriors of the Red Planet this book gives new teeth to the wizards of the Black Gate some brand new teeth. 

And for the Stars Without Number rpg crowd it means that we have a huge number of horrors that can be added into the mix for  The Codex of the Black Sun: Sorcery for Stars Without Number's wizards and magic wielders even more options or problems. For a post apocalpytic Mars game this really does turn the tied a bit. The NPC races and wizards now have even more horrors to add to the PC's fortunes or is it misfortunes?! 
There are certain nation states  of Mars who supposedly practiced the blackest of magicks. And this lines up right with some of what Clark Ashton Smith wrote in his Mars cycle. It also lines up with some of what the PC's have been doing in Aviladad. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Transportable Goods - The Frontiers of Darkness - Zozer Games Godstar & Independence Games Clement Sector rpg- Session Report One


It's one thirty in the morning and I've just gotten back from running a bit of Godstar/Clement sector adventure. And this is going to pick up right from here. The PC's in tonight's game were part of a trader shake down crew venturing into the industrialisation zone  on the planet Aurelia. The player's PC's were part of the crew of the USS Jon Henry Mainstay class Freighter. They were hooking up tonight with a huge bulk carrier from the Million Star Empire. 

They are hauling timber, food stuffs, and more too  the planet Aurelia. They are also escorting a cyberdeck from the Hub navy for an exchange with one of the major houses. There's nothing glamourous about this run. And everything seems to be going by the numbers. But actually the entire crew are actually Hub Navy agents and personnel shaking down a rogue sand dog pirate. 
This scum has been acting as a 'spotter' for pirates to target  cargo vessels on both sides of the wormhole. 
Our group just made the jump into the Million stars empire in tonight's game. The players experienced major culture shock when they came face to face with thier first genetically modified human and uplifted animal of the Million Stars Empire. Not that such things are not common in the Clement sector. The Million Star Empire's genetic modifications hit differently because they bare in mind the extremely alien nature of the planet. And then there's the age of the colonies of Aurelia. There's a sense of age when it comes to the Million Star Empire even though it now an up and coming power aligned with the Clement Sector! 
The Hub Federation Navy book was instrument in rolling up tonight's PC's. Such a great book for this crew of agents and navial personel. 

Review & Commentary On 100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C) By Adrian Kennelly For Castles & Crusades rpg

 "Characters are not necessarily the only people to ever visit a dungeon and they may not be the first. Others could have passed through before them, though they may not have ever returned. This supplement has 100 different signs that others have been through an area first, from possibly looted treasure to signs of battle, that can be used to decorate a dungeon." 

"This PDF supports Adobe layers and the page backgrounds and images can be disabled to make printing easier.

Here are some sample results:

  • Books have been pulled from shelves and torn apart, as if someone was looking for something hidden in one (a CL 8 Intelligence check will find a book that appears to have something hidden in its spine).
  • Bricks have been removed from the walls in what look like (CL 2 Intelligence check) random places. Nothing special is behind any of the holes.
  • Chainmail armour lies in a discarded pile. If examined, the armour proves to have been melted in spots, possibly by a very strong acid. Damage to the fastenings suggest the owner removed it in a hurry (a CL 1 Intelligence check confirms the chainmail is beyond repair).
  • Chalk markings are on a number of walls, near to doors and junctions. The markings presumably mean something, but it cannot be discerned what.
  • Chalk tally marks have been drawn on one wall. The marks are in groups of five, and the total is 47."
100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C) By Adrian Kennelly For Castles & Crusades rpg  came across my desk today from one of my players. "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)" gives about nine pages of  prior explorers into your Castles & Crusades dungeons. And it allows the DM to pollute his or her dungeons as they need. 
 "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)" has tons of tools of prior occupation and exploration of your favorite OSR adventures and modules. The layout & fonts are easily readable & well written. For a dungeon master there's plenty of adventure dressings  & dungeon fodder within  "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)".  All of these tools within  "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)"  line up with prior other Troll Lord Castles & Crusades titles especially  Engineering Dungeons. 
The tools and entries here are perfectly suited for dungeon and adventure construction. And this also comes into play with the 4th printing of The Castle Keepers Guide. 

And this is something we see over & over again within the  "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)". The attention to detail, the commitment to adventure design, and the fact that explorers and adventurers have come before the party. And they might still be within the dungeon. And in point of fact  "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)" could be used to set up a rival party within an adventure or module. The signs and points of interest are there for the party to stumble across. 
 "100 Signs of Prior Dungeon Explorers (C&C)" perfect? No but as a quick supplement for dungeon construct and adventure exploration this product hits the quick high notes. 

Wretched Country Second Edition rpg & Down The Dusty Trails of OSR Blood & Glory!

 When it come to the dusty trails of outlaws & raiders on horseback the Red Room might not seem one of the logical choices for your cowboy rpg's but it definitely is! Wretched Country Second Edition is one of my prime choices for classic  Western horror. 

This is following on the heels of our review on this blog of Wretched Country second edition here. Now we're gonna talk about something comepletely different here. And that's the fact that while Wretched Country comes complete with a campaign town baked into the setting. I wanted Hellstone to be the big city and so I turned back to my buddy Dave Woodrum at Fishwife games. And so we turned to his Old West towns and settings  Culpepper Junction and Turquoise Valley respectively. 
And the reason for this is the fact that we've used these two Old Western locations for  Wretched Époque second edition adventures in the past. 
And these two locations have everything that we need to get a campaign right off the ground quickly. 
 Culpepper Junction especially because for our campaigns it's ties to vampires and werewolves. 

For our campaigns a must are the classic Fifties Western precode comic book such as Blazing Sixguns number 1 (IW Publishing, 1958). Blazing Six Guns was a series that had a little bit of everything. Weird murdering NPC's, stoic American Indians, and all of the old standbys for a Wester comic book According to the wiki entry on the gerne; "Western comics gained increasing popularity during the 1950s, surviving well into the so-called Silver Age. Artwork by Everett Raymond Kinstler."

While the rest of the OSR has been focusing on nonsense controversies and the like. We've been concentrating on increasing the campaign options for a cinematic Old West game. This ties into the fact we've got a game this weekend. The PC's are going to be saved from a hang man's noose & given the chance to 'redeem' themselves. Before we go on one of the essential books in my opinion is Wretched Folklore which greatly expands the DM options for spirits, creatures and horror for Wretched Country Second edition. 

The Gates of Quasqueton - Into The Borderlands - The Forces of Chaos - B1 Insearch Of the Unknown & Worlds Without Number/Adventurer, Conqueror, King rpg - Session Report Two

 The party in this morning's game faced down two companies of Orcs & the forces of Chaos assisting a necromancer. The party has thier own partners in the form of  the Zidhe Elves. And they got cornered right outside the Dwarven vaults of Azen Radokh! The necromancer in this morning's game wanted to parley. The party were having none of it! 

They kept the necromancer's half Orc major demo talking enough to allow the Elven party to gain access to the vault. And one of the party used a ring of teleportation to teleport back to the keep of  Quasqueton. This is so the ranger PC can warn the rest of the party. 
The Formorians who are actually incharge of the Orcs are not happy at all about where things are going. The party spotted the  
Culach Hero and lord of the Fomorians Lord Culach across the field of battle. The party are not happy campers because of the fact that he's both a giant and a 7th level wizard as well! 

And this means that he's taken a personal interest within the party and claims the vaults of the Dwarves as his personal property. So he's got our characters in his sights! 
And will the party get B2 Keep on the Borderland's fortress to help them in time?! Or will the Orcs get a far more dangerous helping of humanoids to join them?! 

Meanwhile  the Zidhe Elves know of a wonder weapon near the capital of the Borderlands. But will they get too it in time?! The player's PC's have thier backs against the wall and they weren't expecting one of the campaign's heavy hitters to show up on the field of battle today. 

Now I'm working off of DM Steve's notes & working with a good deal of a learning curve here. And by using a twist on Stars Without Numbers and Worlds Without Number here mixed with a good deal of ACK's things have been moving along well. Hopefully next game we'll see the PC's in the Dwarven vaults! 

Retro Review WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun For AD&D 1st Edition & Your Old School Campaigns


 WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun is one of my all time favorite modules hands down, there is so much occult bleakness and darkness set within the bounds of Greyhawk. Perhaps the over all sense of menace and dread hanging over the temple itself.  WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun is flat out creepy and dangerous even more so then the Tomb of Horrors. I dug out my copy of  WG4 as soon as I had picked up the Hyperborea rpg.  This adventure is basically a prequel to the legendary S4, Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. This adventure is a grinder in some respects and does a quite nice job of featuring monsters from the Fiend Folio.

 It was designed for characters levels five to ten and there are clear reasons why this logic was used.

Once again according to D&D classics site; "Though "Tharizdun" was labeled as WG4, there were no previous "WG" adventures (and never would be). In the Glossography for the World of Greyhawk boxed set (1983), TSR indicated that T1: "The Village of Hommlet" (1979) was meant to be WG1 and that S4: "The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth" was meant to be WG3. Meanwhile, in Dragon #71 (March 1983), Gygax revealed that the adventure formerly known as T2: "The Temple of Elemental Evil" was to be WG2 - but he now said it was to be published in two parts.
As it happens, Temple of Elemental Evil would be delayed a few years more and eventually published as the T1-4 supermodule (1985).
In the forward to Dungeons of Dread (2013), Lawrence Schick further underlined the continuity between the modules intended to be WG1-3, writing, "there's evidence that Gary considered Tsojcanth part of a longer Greyhawk campaign, placing the adventure between T1-T4: The Temple of Elemental Evil and WG4: 'The Forgotten Temple oF Tharizdun'." When seen in that light, the four modules do form a nice adventuring continuity: T1 is "introductory to novice level"; T1-4 carries that up as high as level 8 (and possiblly higher); S4 runs levels 6-8; and WG4 goes from levels 8-10.
In his "Greyhawk Grognard" blog, Joseph Bloch suggests that Iuz might have been the lynchpin holding the arc together, since he's involved with the Temple of Elemental Evil and is also the son of Iggwilv from "Caverns."

The over all look and feel of WG4 is completely Weird Tales. From the cover art and interiors all the way to the essence of the adventure. There's a uniformity of Lovecraftian horror about The Forgotten Temple. According to D&D Classics there are several key reasons for this;"Temple of Tharizdun" was reportedly produced very quickly by Gygax himself, rather than the company's design department. Much of the work was done by Gygax's new Greyhawk cadre. Thus Eric Shook drew the maps, while Shook's mother, Karen Nelson, drew the evocative artwork. Gygax later said that he choose Nelson's artwork to highlight the "melodrama and pathos" of the adventure. An adventure being done by someone other than the design department was very unusual by 1982, as was having a single artist illustrate an adventure - that is, rather than the usual teamwork illustration done by TSR's art department"

Gary Gygax borrowed the god Tharizdun from Kuntz's Kalibruhn campaign and you can get more of the back history on that here This is one of the modules that I've DMed and played since the Seventies and it was a gift from a family friend whose now long gone. Because of this module's connections with the Southern Yatil Mountains its been a fairly easy fit to customize the entire module to other campaign settings one of the reasons for this was;" It is a combined wilderness and dungeon adventure set in the Southern Yatil Mountains, focused on a temple dedicated to the evil and insane Greyhawk god Tharizdun" Because of this  WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun can easily be used within the confines of AS&SH with a bit of work, this module could be used as a part of the centerpieces of the Spiral Mountains. Gods exist in multiple planar locations enabling a DM to port them into a wide variety of old school campaign setting set pieces. In fact I've connected Ksarul, Ancient Lord of Secrets, Doomed Prince of the Blue Room, Master of Magic and Grammarie from Empire Of The Petal Throne to Tharizdun

The battles with the humanoids and the epic uptick in the over all Lovecraftian feel of this adventure piece enables it to be used with other a gaming campaigns including Stormbringer style games with the Deities and Demigods style rules. I've also used this module with both Lamentations of the Flame Princess and as design fodder for the Dark Albion system. It is one of Gygax's most  demonic, sinister, and dangerous Gothic adventure, followed closely only by T1-4.

Over all this is still one of my favorite adventures to customize and play around with because its such a corner stone of a sword and sorcery campaign. There are so many ways that it can be used and go with WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun