Sunday, 3 April 2011

Perfect 10

My adventurer's foray into Deathtrap Dungeon ended in the shortest number of sections that I can remember reading, at least when not taking the certain death option for a laugh. Ten. 10. Including section 1.

My adventurer was baked to death in the tunnels of Deathtrap Dungeon. It is difficult to remember whether the liquid in the bamboo container is a trap or not 20-odd years on.

This tunnel is getting a little hot. I'll press on - I've got a LUCK of 11. Oh, what, surviving a hot tunnel is a test of SKILL? But I rolled a 1 at CharGen!

I didn't learn very much from this read of Deathtrap Dungeon, but every time I think about Fang and the Trial of the Champions I am reminded of the way in which I can solve the 'Ierendi problem'. You can keep much of that Gazeteer's zaniness - a key part of Classic D&D - if you add a dash of the Deathtrap Dungeon/Port Blacksand flavour to spice it up a little.


  1. Livingstone!

    Blacksand is one of the great fantasy cities in my opinion, and any campaign would be improved by its inclusion.

  2. sorry, but what was the "ierendi problem"? I wasn't a fan of that Gazetteer, but I was curious what you didn't like specifically.

  3. It's just a little too 'fun'. I like the zaniness in D&D, in the Known World; a flying Gnome city, for example, is cool, as are the giant robots in Eathshaker!, etc. But the sensation I always get when I read the Ierendi Gazetteer is that it is zany in a very bland way. I'll try to explain myself better in a later blog posting - basically, in a D&D world in which 'adventurer' is a genuine way of life for a minority, I'm all up for the institutions of the world reflecting that - even to the point of having a holiday island devoted adventurers, incorporating ritualised dungeon crawling for entertainment and prizes. So I love the idea of Ierendi, but I want it to have a little more teeth (a lot more teeth).

  4. Ah, I think I see what you mean.

    On my part, I always felt there was this potential to have a darker side to Ierendi without going the "everything you know is a lie" route.

    But you're right -- it hints at things but always stopped short of saying bad stuff.

    In my version of Mystara I'm half-tempted to take it out, replace it with Freeport, then stick in elements of Ierendi as the "reformed" front of Freeport.

  5. wouldn't do 'everything you know is a lie', but I'd make it all a little more... dangerous. Without checking the Gazetteer, I'm pretty certain on one of the adventure islands a 'holiday adventurer' is expected to fight trolls. These are chosen because they regenerate, and are trained to lie down after so much damage. I mean... I'm quite happy for Ierendi to serve as package adventure big game hunting, prize dungeoneering, but I'd like a bit more blood with my far-out fantasy.

    I'm not familiar with Freeport, but for my Mystara, if my players ever get/go there, Ierendi will keep much of its original shape, just with added 'spice'.