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A plea from Richard Pett - please help me recover my sanity by buying my first Call of Cthulhu adventure
Cyclopean Geometry wrote:
The Army of the Third Eye awaits, Sir Pett...
My apologies, but we always work with others in that fashion, heh heh.
Agent LeMan wrote:
I'm pretty sure it appeared in an issue of Dragon from the early eighties (although it MAY have been in one of the 1st edition AD&D manuals). It was a spectacular full page B&W and showed Orcus on a throne apparently deciding the fate of a female captive. I think it may have accompanied an article about Hell. Orcus looked just like he did in David C. Sutherland's original MM pic, and I think Sutherland may have drawn this one as well. Does anybody know where I can find this? Thanks!!
The picture you seek is in Dragon #42, page 5 to be exact. It accompanies an article entitled "Demons, devils, and Spirits." This was the first copy of Dragon I ever purchased!
Mike McArtor wrote:
This does bring up a point: The Guidelines (unless I missed it) don't say when the final author will be chosen. Proposals are due October 1st, proposal responses are due by October 15th, and outlines are due by November 1st ... but how long will reviewing the outlines take?
I realize reviewing submssions could take slightly more or less time depending on the number of good outlines, etc., but a good ballpark estimate would help put the January 1st deadline into better perspective (receiving notification in early November might be rather different from late November, for instance). Thanks!
It is with great shock and sadness I hear the news.
My first issue was #42, and I've been hooked ever since (only missing issues during the introduction of 3e and I've now bought most of those back issues).
I wish the Paizo staff all the best and look forward to Pathfinder, but it is truly the end of an era. Gaming will not quite be the same for me without the two magazines I grew to love.
Thanks Cosmo! (An e-mail has already headed your way.)
Given the stories that followed mine, I figured this fell into the category of the "dreaded printer error" -- thanks again for the fast response. Thanks to the other readers as well for verifying that I wasn't losing my mind when I couldn't find my poster.
I was hoping you could assist—I purchased Dungeon #146 today and there was no poster map enclosed. The polybag was sealed, but, on opening it, no map. (If it wasn't for the cover blurb, I wouldn't have known it was missing.)
Note that I'm not a subscriber (although I own many, many issues); I purchased my copy in a Barnes & Noble store. I have retained the receipt.
I'd appreciate it if I could get the poster somehow, I really don't wish to spend another $8 just to get the misssing poster. Thank you.
Great posts here.
For me the game is a form of wonderful escapism like no other. It allows me to put aside the little (and sometimes <i>not</i> so little) stresses of life and take a break, bee imaginative, and have some engaging fun with friends in which we can build a unique story we all own. I adore all sorts of games, from poker to a good RISK 2110 bout, but there's simply nothing like D&D.
As I used to say years ago, it gets its hooks in you and doesn't let go!
Jeff Dee, like Otus, is still working. He's done some Goodman Games module covers in the last year or two.
The other great Jeff, Easley, was happily sketching away at the Gen Con 2007 (a sight that made my day), so I'm assuming he's still "in the game" as well.
This one reminded me of those Gygax modules that used Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass as foundations...
Steve G. would know for sure, but it sure seems to have a Dungeonland quality about it.
i own the scaly god and vault of the dragon kings both are very good.
Darkhuntsman, I wrote Scaly God—thanks for the kind words!
Dave Howery wrote:
One reason so many people have such nostalgic views of 2E is that so many good ideas came around during it's tenure... Dungeon magazine published some of its best adventures during this time (IMO, anyway :)
Including a few awesome jungle adventures... ;)(Or were they during the 1e days? 'Graveyard was back in #15 if I recall right. Either way, here's to Fort Thunder!)
In a nutshell...
I feel 2nd Edition basically added in many popular house rules and cleaned up <i>some</i> of First Edition's problems. The system was flexible but flawed, and games with different DMs could be very, very different. It was 1st Edition with shiny coat of paint.
I believe Third Edition has improved things overall by standardizing many things, as well as interconnecting them -- which is also a flaw (by ignoring a rule you don't like, say AoOs, you must make changes to other subsystems to keep things running smoothly). 3.5e provided ground rules that prevent some 2e-type abuses -- for instance: the combat movement rules prevent the all-too-common scenario of PCs (or a poor DM's villains) suddenly moving around like the Flash in the midst of combat.
A part of my love for 1st/2nd Edition is certainly nostalgia, as I believe Sebastian mentioned, but I've played 1e just 2 years ago and found it immense fun.
The demise of 2e came with it's bloat ... an addition of many poorly designed (or unnecessary) kits and the like. The same thing is beginning with 3.5e too I fear. I like new rules/books as much as the next guy, but we've got an awful lot of prestige classes and feats flying around. All that delicious crunch comes at a price.
All the Editions have their own charm to me, and I've had fun with them all.
Jonathan Drain wrote:
I prefer http://www.d20srd.org, since it's easy on the eye, well laid out and includes other open content such as Unearthed Arcana variants and the epic level rules.
I've found this page invaluable.Not only is most everything hyperlinked, but there are excellent search utilities (monter listing by CR, etc.) and built-in features -- just click on a monster's damage and it rolls that damage for you!
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
While I'm very sympathetic to this DM, this is craziness.This is when you take the players aside and explain the situation (best), cause all fire magic in the region to fail (there's a mystery for the PCs to explore), or simply retire the characters and begin anew at 1st level -- problem solved.
I'm dealing with a low-level (pun) munchkin/power-gamer now, and it's annoying. He's a good friend, long-time player, a decent role-player, but he's very good at "playing the numbers" and never seems to have any fighters with less than 17 Str, etc. (When the stats are rolled low, he somehow talks the DM into "tweaking" his character at bit" (switching Int, Wis, or Chr for one of the physical stats) or that PC soon gets retired in favor of another...) If there are other fighters in the party, he's not happy unless his guy hits the most, does the most damage, etc. As a part-time DM, it's frustrating. Sigh.
Fake Healer wrote:
I was thinking NY-NJ-PA, although since I was speaking of NJ I guess it doesn't really matter, now that I think about it.Sorry FH, I should have been more specific (I've even heard folks in England say "the U.S. tri-state area" -- referring to the East Coast NY-NJ-PA one -- so I didn't realize other areas of the country used that moniker, although it certainly makes sense).
I hear you Lilith.
I live in the tri-state area, NJ to be precise, and things here price-wise are horrible.
It is obvious to anyone who has worked in the publishing field for any time that some of the thoughts regarding the publishing process that have been floated out on this thread are being submitted by those who don't have a very good concept of what it takes to mass produce a text product ...
Well said Ace.
As James already pointed out, 3.5 rules are awfully complicated. I couldn't even imagine putting together so many different stat blocks. It takes me 30 minutes to create a specific boss monster with class levels and such... To do that ten times over seems like a pain, and to get them all right seems like a Herculean task.
This is one of the reasons I hate 3.0/3.5 (which is not to say I hate it overall or don't play it). The switch to a largely skill-based system from a class-based system has the effect of lengthening stat blocks. (I remember many years ago playing Mythus for a -- very -- short time and thinking, "I'm so glad D&D doesn't have stats like this." So much for that!)When the system has become unweildy enough that the professionals can't get their "own" system correct, it's time to re-examine or streamline some things.
As I've mentioned in past threads, I'd love to see an official, simplified method of "bossing-up" leveled creatures (a method sanctioned for publication in Dungeon and elsewhere, not simply home use). Leveling up a creature to boss levels -- properly, without cutting corners or neglecting skills -- is a royal pain. Not missing one of the many inconnected stat changes and getting the stat block perfect -- again, I'm talking for publication here -- is practically impossible. (No doubt there are some -- including Cooper -- to which this stat math comes natural, but I am not one.)
Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:
In the above the good Dr. Fever wonderfully sums up many of my reasons for choosing Greyhawk. It has a gritty, low-magic, bad-guys-are-getting-ahead feel that I prefer, coupled with great locales, history, and possibilities.
I'd place Forgotten Realms second. I like the evil organizations, the Dales, and Waterdeep, to mention a few, and the PCs always seem like tiny cogs in a huge machine, which I like ... but that is also part of the problem. FR strikes me as high-magic (not to be confused with high level) and the PCs always seemed to be dwarfed by Elminster and company. The "Halls of the High King" adventure (penned by Greenwood) is a perfect example: the adventure begins with the lairly low level PCs being approached with the mission by a 10th-level fighter and 21st(!)-level arch-mage! (Since the mission is basically delivering weapons to an island, one wonders why a mage of such might couldn't simply teleport the lot to the king's doorstep...)
As for Eberron, Dark Sun, and many others, I find them very creative but they don't fit into the mold of what I consider a standard D&D fantasy world (which is not the oxymoron it sounds). Even in a "fantasy" setting there are certain conventions I require, and a vaguely Midddle Ages feel and lack of higher technology are two. I don't mind breaking the rules for the rare one-shot adventure, but if I want robots and such I'll pull out an old copy of Traveller. Don't get me wrong however, if you like that sort of thing, more power to you.
Now, my sacking the ToEE was an actual campaign adventure, for which I paid a hefty price by losing my castle.
The stories you must have to tell... I hope you shall share some someday soon!
(Your mentioning this also brought a grin to my face because my players are fighting their way through the second level of ToEE at this time ... great times. :) )
Hi, Rob. As you’re frequenting the boards, I want to ask you something. I last read and ran Isle of the Ape some 22 years ago. IIRC, Robilar was the protagonist that gets the PCs to do the heroic quest for the forces of Good. A few years ago, I met Gary Gygax, and chatted with him (including about that module). One of the things he mentioned was that “Robilar was always evil” IIRC. If that’s the case, why would Robilar care about the Crook of Rao? (Sorry for hijacking the thread.)
Eric, not to answer on behalf of Rob, but just FYI: in "Isle of the Ape" it is Tenser that sends the heroes on their quest, not Robliar.
Hopefully Mr Mona and Mr Jacobs as well as our esteemed Lady, Lisa Stevens, have more in store for this venerable world, as I certainly do. :)
Thanks for the knowledgable input Rob. Nothing would please me more ... I eagerly look forward to your future Maure installments plus any Greyhawk-related or ODD material you're good enough to send our way.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
This isn't really a Greyhawk thing, as I am happy to admit (now) that there are plenty of cool names in GH, and plenty of duff ones elsewhere. But I think names do matter, because they set tone in a subtle, but important way. So while it might be fun to have anagrams of your friends' names in the setting, it is questionable in establishing a fantasy "feel" for the setting. Yes, of course you can change them, but I think your perception of the "coolness" of the setting as a whole is shaped by names to an extent, and this can be undermined. A gritty world of dark adventure would be completely undermined if it was called Aadvark, for example.
Point taken!I guess all the settings have enough serious-sounding names not to ruin my fun, but I'll admit that learning of all the Gygaxian wordplay (many examples of which I've only discovered in the last few years -- or Drawmij in the last few minutes) causes a mixture of both amusement and dismay.
James Jacobs wrote:
ANYway... the 3.5 version of "The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb" will be appearing in issue #138, which is the issue we're working on right now. In fact... I should probably be working on the stat blocks for said adventure now instead of reading the message boards... GOTTA GO!
Awesome news James, thanks. That adventure is a favorite of many.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Most people who love GH played it in the earlier incarnations in 1E and 2E. I didn't. I have tried reading the old "classic" modules like the Giants/Drow and, frankly, find them very unrewarding - it's mainly a format issue, but they strike as dull dungeon-hacks and the maps are riduculous (the Hill Giant Steading, for example, is just a dungeon built above ground). So the reason why they are classics is surely more to do with people's experience playing, which most people will have done quite a long time ago. I'm not disrespecting those experiences, but I didn't have them, so it is not a factor for me in assessing how great or not GH is. I also have the GH Gazeteer, for what it's worth (no offense Erik, but as you are doubtless aware it doesn't quite have the same status as a campaign setting sourcebook) and, well, it was OK but I didn't feel particularly inspired by it.
Aubrey's point is well-taken in that nostalgia holds a place, but, at least in my case, I also find it a good setting. I started with Greyhawk, tried FR for a time, and migrated back to the gritty, low-magic world of Oerth.Many early modules are "hack & slash" or dungeoncrawls simply because that was the style back then. Modules were written as skeletons for a DM to flesh out. Faulting old modules for being dungeoncrawls is like faulting rock bands for having big hair in the Eighties.
Some, like G3 Halls of the Fire Giant King, still hold up well if DMed properly -- this module had many of the elements that have become routine in adventures. (Why does the use of a wooden fort in G1 make the map ridiculous? The adventure wasn't billed as an "un-dungeon" -- the giants lived in a fort, so Gygax designed a fort.)
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
So I can't understand the fuss. That's it. Sorry if you feel insulted, but I can only assume you have a very thin skin. And I hate to say it, but it is largely generational - most people who came to D&D with 3E (nor strictly true for me, but effectively it is) don't have strong feelings about GH. It isn't a supported setting, so it doesn't really figure on the radar.
Implying that the majority of Greyhawk-lovers are "old fogies" probably isn't much better than saying Eberrron only appeals to "young videogame players" -- but I'll agree that exposure is a factor; many players introduced to D&D with 3e/d20 have never experienced or read GH material (because WotC doesn't support it), and thus may not know what they're missing. I'll give you credit Aubrey for reading the Gazeteer and modules before forming an opinion.
I don't feel insulted if other folks prefer other settings -- to each their own! -- my only insult comes from the setting not being supported or licensed by WotC. The mere presence of these lively Greyhawk threads (and arguments) demonstrate the strong feelings that many hold for a setting that by all rights should be officially supported to some degree.
That's when I recognized a larger problem with Greyhawk. It's actually a setting littered with mini-settings that sometimes have no bearing on one another; they're disparate. It just seems that Greyhawk lacks a feeling of cohesion with it's history, especially when it comes to incorporating past 1e and 2e adventure modules as part of that history.
I think part of Greyhawk's problems in this regard are because Greyhawk jumped from author to author, going long periods without a main "advocate-author" -- FR had/has Ed Greenwood, Eberron has Keith Baker, but after the departure of Gygax from TSR, Greyhawk was bandied about. Carl Sargent, Anne Brown, David Cook, Sean Reynolds, Roger Moore, and others strongly contributed to the setting at times, for which I'm grateful, but it seeemed to largely lose its soul in the late 1980s.Its default setting status at times led many modules to be nominally based there, whether they were good adventures, bad adventures, silly or serious. It's no wonder that without such a "gatekeeper" these variances occurred. For a time, TSR seemed to purposely place farcical modules in Greyhawk, in what seemed to be a thumbing nose gesture at Gygax.
What Greyhawk needs is a reliable team of authors with a love for the setting and the writing chops to bring lif e back to this wonderful setting. (I'd love to see what Mona and company could do if they had free reign...)
As far as the mini-setting aspect, I don't find GH much worse than FR -- both have many similar areas slapped together but FR benefited from extra development in the border regions. On the good side, Greyhawk has it all; deserts and areas suitable for ancient ruins? check, jungle areas? check, barbarian-filled northlands? check, countries controlled by evil or insane rulers? check, areas with possible high-technology? check (I'm thinking Barrier Peaks and old-Blackmoor here, thankfully Greyhawk authors had the wisdom to keep such things rare and thus optional for the DM) ... etc, etc. Greyhawk holds great potential for any DM or author with imagination.
As far as names, sorry, but letting a few odd names put you off a campaign setting seems silly to me. (I recall an ancient review article of the now-revered Fiend Folio in Dragon making fun of all the odd monster names in that book and others ... ixitxachitl indeed!) As mentioned above, both the real world and most all campaign settings are filled with oddball names. And personally, I think Furyondy (emphasis on "Fury") is a pretty cool name.
Once again I agree with the all-wise Lilith.This SO drives me to drink too.
I play with two dear friends, but both are prone to last-minute cancelling -- actually worse than last minute, sometimes everyone is around the table and they call a half hour after they should be there to say they cannot show (after telling me twice during the week they can). It's taking being inconsiderate to a new level, frankly.
Arrrrrrgh!! We hates it forever!
Kalin Agrivar wrote:
...the fact that there is no real GH products being made for the core rules (the dogma of GH) it shows that the "crunchers" and "sellers" know that GH isn't really a seller...and that is too bad :(
It is too bad, but don't assume they "know" anything for sure. I love companies such as WotC (despite my gripes) and have backed that up with much $$ over the years, but let's face it, game companies in general are legendary for their poor business decisions in no small part because most are filled with gamers and not businessmen (which isn't such a bad thing).
I recall a certain game company that practically ran themselves into the ground over a tragic over-estimatation of the popularity of Dragon Dice (or so word has it), among other things...
Many thoughtful posts here.
David Blizzard wrote:
Greyhawk is far close to "sewage drainage systems of Greyhawk" than Eberron is (many would argue the Forgotten Realms has hit that point, with Ed Greenwood's article on roofing in the Realms).
Greyhawk has certainly been in print the longest (but, as you say, FR is gaining) but the setting is far from overdone. Huge areas, such as the Sea of Dust, not to mention the rest of the continent and world(!), remain untapped. (If you go farther and exclude the post-Greyhawk Wars Carl Sargent material, which some GH purists do, some countries in Greyhawk have been defined in little more than a few paragraphs of official material.) The fact that many people claim to enjoy its "greyness" and ability to be adjusted to fit home campaigns is evidence of this as well. Ultimately the fans of Greyhawk are best to judge whether the setting is overdone (and this goes of course for FR and Eberron).
Shawn Merwin wrote:
I know a few people who might grumble about decisions for areas of the setting they worked on extensively and have grown to love. On the other hand, those few are less than 1% -- the rest would celebrate and jump at the chance to purchase a new "official" Greyhawk product, whether published by WotC, Paizo, or any other company. LG players would be the most enthusiastic, supportive, and numerous audience.
Agreed. The folks that have developed areas for their campaigns can ignore future published books (or sections therein). As I recall, sections of the Forgotten Realms -- including the entire nation of Sembia! -- were originally intended to be left forever undefined so DMs had some sway, and yet eventually these areas were defined in whole or part. I don't recall the FR fans taking much umbrage at this.
I understand the fragmentation theory (and it's valid if a company peppers the public with the number of settings released in the 2nd Edition days), but Eberron and Greyhawk and so different (and seem to target such different audiences) that the idea of one being competition for the other seems laughable to me.
Carl Sargent was in a serious car accident and suffered major injuries. He's basically unable to work because of the long-term effects of those injuries.
Thanks for the info Sean, I had wondered what happened to Mr. Sargent after he had such a prolific authoring run in the early to mid-1990s. For a time he was very much the voice of the "new" Greyhawk. I'm sorry indeed to hear the news.
I care not a whit about the Buyers Guide, or ad count in general, so long as the ad-to-content ratio remains consistent. If I know that every extra 3 ad pages = 1 content page, or what-have-you, that's fine (and I'd opt for more ads then). I don't mind paying for extra content via ads.
That aside, I'm sorry to say I too found #344 to be rather ho-hum and very crunch-light. (The Wizards Three -- and I love Greenwood's articles typically -- is an example; it seemed padded -- I couldn't wait for the description of the wizards being gluttons to end so I could finally get to something interesting.)