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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:02 am 
 

Badmike wrote:Also another interesting 2nd ed campaign was the Night Below adventure. Not so much the first (above ground) book, but once the underdark is reached, especially the Kuo Toan city (which should be an absolute epic battle), some pretty good adventuring here and the really great thing, no Drow! At all! The Kuo Toans, Aboleth and Derro make pretty good foes with unusual and hard to counter powers, and the massively deadly finale should be epic.




I haven't delved deeply into this yet, but have also heard good things about it from GH folks.



Something I just thought of, maybe there were so many lame 2nd ed modules because all the really great potential module writers were doing their thing in Dungeon magazine instead of writing modules? There were some adventures published in this zine, way, way better than anything ever out in module form.




Also a good point:  Dungeon drained the possible pool of submissions a lot faster than Dragon did, which released modules about once a year or so starting in the 30s or so.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:24 am 
 

I agree that Dragonlance did serious and maybe permanent damage to the kind of D&D I liked to play being supported. However, my understanding is that it was a big seller. I wonder if lots of people bought it and then stopped playing? Or was there still a big fanbase that went along with the change in playstyle? Where are those people today, if so?



Turning on art snob mode for a moment:



The quality of line and realism is better with most of the 2e visual artists, with the partial exception of Trampier. However, like Boris Vallejo, most of the 2e artists don't really do anything intelligent with their picturing; they don't have style. (Vallejo has very little personal style.)



Otus is essentially a cartoonist, but he has a unique individual style. In  that sense, he's a greater visual artist than many with better line and powers of representation that followed him. Off hand, in fact, I'm inclined to say that Otus is the only real visual artist that's ever been associated with D&D. (Don't confuse this with a statement about favorites: that Sutherland cover to the Holmes boxed set is my favorite piece of D&D art ever, and it invites you into the game perfectly, but it doesn't display the kind of artistic intelligence I'm talking about.)



Looking about more broadly the only really great fantasy artist I can think of is Frank Frazetta, and it's important to remember that his work is essentially porn. But it's thoughtful porn, the record of a human intelligence engaged with its visual subject, and for that reason it rises above the rest of the genre.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:08 am 
 

grodog wrote:
bbarsh wrote:So, what am I missing. Which module in 2nd ed. is good?




Despite some of the initial rail-roading in it, I'm very fond of the Greyhawk 98 module "Return of the Eight" by Roger E. Moore. I also liked the Star Cairns, though Doomgrinder and the Crypt of Lyzendrad the Mad (sp?) were OK at best. I got the Falcon triology last year sometime, and it's relatively poor as well. Vecna Lives is a relatively poor adventure, but makes for some interesting reading to expand on Vecna's background.




I liked Vecna Lives! for that reason as well but as said above it isnt much of an adventure.  I also liked Return of the Eight and City of Skulls.



Did anyone besides me like Dead Gods and Return to the Tomb of Horrors?  Both were epic in scope and had two of the coolest bad guys ever to rear their ugly heads in Orcus and Acererak.  I never played through For Duty and Diety but read it and liked the whole idea of it.  It also had Graz'zt as the main meanie IIRC, who is one of my favorite Abyssal lords.  :twisted:

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:20 am 
 

One of my favorites was always Dark Clouds Gather. And of course Bone Hill. Both excellent adventures.

I am still a huge fan of JG. The descriptions are fairly raw, and leave the details up to the GM. The reason why I prefer this is because it doesn't put any preconceived notions in the GM's head.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:23 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I am still a huge fan of JG. The descriptions are fairly raw, and leave the details up to the GM. The reason why I prefer this is because it doesn't put any preconceived notions in the GM's head.




frank, exactly the reason i like JG so much. you can pretty much guarantee, due to it being written and presented this way, there is never the same game, due to each DM looking at something in their own way.



mind you, it can also make a game really shit too, if the DM isnt that good either.



i have some friends coming over the end of january, for a game. i was going to run R1 or R2, but am thinking Tegel Manor now actually.



mind you, for some reason, C1 comes to mind too....



depends on the time scale i have nearer the time.



  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:29 am 
 

Blackmoor wrote:And the marching band of the good old days starts again :roll:



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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:45 am 
 

My two cents...my opinion is almost any module in any edition can kick butt or suck ass, depending on how the DM does his job. I am very attached to 1st ed, hence my presence on this forum, but I have played some 2nd ed that was as much fun, due to an outstanding DM. Conversely, I have played some terrible 1st ed that made me want to throw a knife at my dog, I was so furious at how bad it was I basically pissed myself to sleep....Overall I do not find 2nd ed readable, let alone playable, but I love the Monstrous Arcana supplements (not the mods- they suck big flabby elephant d*ck...). As far as Dragonlance goes...it was really quite a self contradictory experience- a role playing game that took away the players' imaginative options...kind of like playing tea party with your kid sister's dolls, but with less combat.....blecch.....and what was with all the frigging hair feathers???

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:47 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
Blackmoor wrote:And the marching band of the good old days starts again :roll:



J


Aaargh! Heritic. Burn the witch. Burn the witch! :D




Long live feats, skills and prestige classes HA HAHAHAH HAAHHHH :wink:



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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:49 am 
 

KingOfPain wrote:
grodog wrote:
bbarsh wrote:So, what am I missing. Which module in 2nd ed. is good?




Despite some of the initial rail-roading in it, I'm very fond of the Greyhawk 98 module "Return of the Eight" by Roger E. Moore. I also liked the Star Cairns, though Doomgrinder and the Crypt of Lyzendrad the Mad (sp?) were OK at best. I got the Falcon triology last year sometime, and it's relatively poor as well. Vecna Lives is a relatively poor adventure, but makes for some interesting reading to expand on Vecna's background.




I liked Vecna Lives! for that reason as well but as said above it isnt much of an adventure. I also liked Return of the Eight and City of Skulls.



Did anyone besides me like Dead Gods and Return to the Tomb of Horrors? Both were epic in scope and had two of the coolest bad guys ever to rear their ugly heads in Orcus and Acererak. I never played through For Duty and Diety but read it and liked the whole idea of it. It also had Graz'zt as the main meanie IIRC, who is one of my favorite Abyssal lords. :twisted:




I agree Moore did a good job on Return of the Eight.  He was faced with the task of both writing an intro into the "new" Greyhawk setting, but having to please the fanatical Greyhawk fans, and I think he struck a nice balance..

  I'm not a big fan of Planescape stuff, I do have Dead Gods because of the discussion of the Fane of Lolth. I think Return to the Tomb of Horrors is pretty darn good, forgot about that one. I'm thinking that might be a TPK waiting to happen, though, I haven't even gotten a party of adventurers high enough level to attempt it, so in that case it might be ripe for conversion to 3rd ed.  Some really deadly monsters and situations in that one, but not totally illogical or ridiculous.



I guess also everyone has different standards when they look at a module, and 2nd ed doesn't meet these standards for me and many others in most cases.  I always look for an interesting locale, setting or map; a certain internal logic that is hard to explain in words, but you just have a "feel" for it when you read over the module; good combat situations with monsters as well as the opportunity for thinking out problems or roleplaying those same encounters; and versatility in shape (i.e. can I easily fit it into my style of Dming and campaign with not that much work).   For example, I must have ran D1 something like half a dozen times in the last 25 years. Sure, it really all boils down to a battle royale between the adventurers and the hordes of trolls, bugbears, trogs and Drow, but the many different strategies to get to that point show how versatile and interesting the adventure really is.  I've had a party storm in and take on everything in one huge battle; I've had a party disguise themselves as a drow merchant train and make it out the back with minimal combat; I've had a party infiltrate the caverns using spells and magical items and attack the monters by surprise; I've had a party completely overwhelmed, half were captured while the other half had to retreat into the underdark with angry drow and monsters on their tails (only to have to sneak back later and rescue their friends).  So this kind of adventure gets really top marks in my book.

   Now, not to be elitist, but there are some 1st edition modules that  I really think stifle this sort of creativity.  I mentioned C2 and S2 earlier, these are essentially tournament style "Treasure in Room A, find and remove traps and defeat Monster A and get treasure; Treasure in Room B, find and remove traps and defeat Monster B and get treasure, etc".  Not that there isn't the ocassional place for this sort of crawl, but there seem to be way too many of these type in the 1st edition canon.  By the time I finished trying to work logic into the illogical procediings (Why is a fully stocked monster hotel sitting in the middle of nowhere with valuable treasures? Why don't the monsters leave, grabbing the treasures on the way and selling them to finace their new castle or whatever? And what the hell do they eat in a dungeon where they can't even get past the traps themselves to head to the local 7-11 for a snack?)  I think the 2nd edition concept was a backlash to a lot of this mindset, but unfortunately they went a bit too far. Not every adventure has to be an epic trilogy where the characters are trundled along from Point a to Point b to Point c while the DM reads the prearranged script, ugh.

    2nd edition modules really don't lend themselves to this sort of adventuring anyway.  As mentioned before, most are very linear in plot, and don't take into account alternate actions, directions, solutions, or anything.  If you would glance at the modules I really like and the ones I've DMed again and again, you would see this aversion to plot handcuffs and internatl illogic.  I mean, yeh you have to get the characters to go into a dungeon to adventure but the motivation should arise naturally out of characters actions and behaviors instead of an artificial constraint "You wake up one morning in the local jail with a headache, for your release the major has decided that you and your fellows must find the Star of Caliph in the Dungeon of Doom...) Likewise it's a fantasy game so sometimes all the answers aren't going to be there, but good lord it took years for a castle to finally have toilet holes (I beleive this was L2) and 15 years for a dungeon to have a waste disposal system that while magical actually made sense (Ruins of Undermountain).  Up until then I guess everyone just took a crap in the hallway or took a whiz in the flowerpots, who knows.  The toilets were in the same room as the non-existent food supply for the group of ten Ogres way in the back room past the blade barrier trap...

   Well, enough rambling, as you can see this is a subject I am passionate about.  While agreeing that the typical 2nd ed module didn't live up to 1st ed standards, I also have to say a lot of it is looking through the glasses of nostalgia.  That, and Dungeon magazine was poaching away all the best adventures for publication in their mag instead of producing them as an actual adventure.

   You know, I actually completely forgot about the Monstrous Arcana series, there were three trilogies dealing with Beholders, Sahaughin and Mind Flayers.  I never read the Mind Flayer one, I didn't like the Beholder one, but the Sea Devil trilogy I seem to remember was pretty darn good.  Interesting locale and nasty monsters (plus it's always good to make your party get into an unfamiliar enviornment like underwater so that the monsters and the DM have the advantage). Anyone else run these?



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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:57 am 
 

I just assumed everybody crapped in the hallway.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:04 pm 
 

Blackmoor wrote:Long live feats, skills and prestige classes HA HAHAHAH HAAHHHH :wink:



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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:07 pm 
 

White Plume Mountain is an interesting test case.



People who don't care about realism and plausibility so much consider it one of the greatest modules of all time. People who do rate it pretty low, lower than most other 1e modules.



I think a person's opinion about S2 tells you a lot about their gaming philosophy, actually.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:20 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:One of my favorites was always Dark Clouds Gather. And of course Bone Hill. Both excellent adventures.

I am still a huge fan of JG. The descriptions are fairly raw, and leave the details up to the GM. The reason why I prefer this is because it doesn't put any preconceived notions in the GM's head.




UK7had a very cool and epic plot, good monsters, and a great structure. Highly overlooked 1st edition item, I've only run it twice but both times the players absolutely had a ball with it.  As for Bone Hill, I must love it because I've run it about half a dozen times over the years.  It really has everything you need:  Fully stocked village (as a base for the adventurers), even got a couple of adventures you don't even have to leave town to participate in!.   Good NPCs that are fleshed out just enough, a nice balance of wilderness adventuring with dungeon adventuring, and Bone Hill itself which is pretty neat and has a few of the best and most overlooked monsters ever, the Zombire and Skeletar!  



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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:28 pm 
 

RWilson wrote:I just assumed everybody crapped in the hallway.




Hey, I actually wouldn't have any problems with that, as long as the area was described correctly in the descriptions: "You traverse another long hallway deep in the dungeon, carefully avoiding the noxious piles of ogre and orc dung strewn in hardening piles along the stone.  Your eyes and nose burn with the stench as you stifle the urge to vomit after stepping in a particularly fresh load which comes up to your ankles and has the color of spinach and the consistency of hot fudge."  Now that's something I could get into  8O



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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:33 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
RWilson wrote:I just assumed everybody crapped in the hallway.




Hey, I actually wouldn't have any problems with that, as long as the area was described correctly in the descriptions: "You traverse another long hallway deep in the dungeon, carefully avoiding the noxious piles of ogre and orc dung strewn in hardening piles along the stone. Your eyes and nose burn with the stench as you stifle the urge to vomit after stepping in a particularly fresh load which comes up to your ankles and has the color of spinach and the consistency of hot fudge." Now that's something I could get into 8O



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With the evokative detail in that description, I'm looking forward to my most recent purchases from you, Mike. :(



<edit> It evokes memories of my wife's vegetables. A truely mouth watering description. :D


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:59 pm 
 

Sweet Merciful Demogorgon my eyes are watering after that description.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:10 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:"You traverse another long hallway deep in the dungeon, carefully avoiding the noxious piles of ogre and orc dung strewn in hardening piles along the stone. Your eyes and nose burn with the stench as you stifle the urge to vomit after stepping in a particularly fresh load which comes up to your ankles and has the color of spinach and the consistency of hot fudge."


"With the exception of one suspiciously spotless 10' x 10' area directly in front of you...roll for surprise, please."  If it weren't for the cubes, these places wouldn't be habitable for long.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:03 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
Blackmoor wrote:Long live feats, skills and prestige classes HA HAHAHAH HAAHHHH :wink:



J


I'm not looking! I didn't see that. Ooh. It burns the eyes!




Through in a big helping of new $50.00 hardcovers into the stew and let it boil :twisted:



Sandstorm

Lords of Madness

Complete adventurer

Eberron



GO GO GO GO GO 3.5 rules GO GO :wink:


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:33 pm 
 

Noxious pile of orc dung. Sounds like my wife's meatloaf. Probably tastes like it too.

My campaigns are almost always low-mid magic, much more realism, and you don't get the "Cool, this vorpal sword should net 5000 gold in the Big City". I do use a lot of disposable stuff like potions and scrolls. But a sword like Maragbur is quite a treasure in my campaigns. So 3E really doesn't suit my campaigns, since first level 3E characters usually start with +4 keen double-bladed swords, etc.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:43 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:So 3E really doesn't suit my campaigns, since first level 3E characters usually start with +4 keen double-bladed swords, etc.




:roll: No they don't



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