Largest and/or most impressive RPG sets
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:45 pm 
 

I was wondering what the largest and/or most impressive RPG sets or adventures have been produced.

I am thinking in terms of not only sets like Rappan Athuk Reloaded, but also of the Worlds Largest Crap-pile books such as Dungeon or City.

Early on Judges Guild had some impressive releases like their City States.

I will try to go alphabetical with a list:

Azhanti High Lightning for Traveller

City State of the Invincible Overlord (It was the first fantasy city I'd come across and it was invaluabel to me when I first started into RPGs and had no idea how to design a fantasy city)

City State of the World Emperor

Dungeon Crawl Classics #30 (Tournament Edition)

Dungeon Crawl Classics #51 Castle Whiterock

Night Below

Ptolus

Rappan Athuk Reloaded

Retrun to the Tomb of Horrors

Ruins of Undermountain

T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil - this was the first supermodule I owned

These are the kinds of releases that are or were impressive to me, some no longer rank as high as they did when I first read them, opened them up or even saw them on a shelf but at one point they all were memorable.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:46 pm 
 

No idea why you would rate World's Largest Dungeon and World's Largest City as "crap pile," Jason.

I don't own the city book, but World's Largest Dungeon is a really impressive product.

Were you just joking?


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:00 pm 
 

Game of Thrones and The Great Pendragon Campaign are impressive books.

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:49 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:No idea why you would rate World's Largest Dungeon and World's Largest City as "crap pile," Jason.

I don't own the city book, but World's Largest Dungeon is a really impressive product.

Were you just joking?


You must be a cheap date since you are so easily impressed.

Other than use as a blunt instrument the Worlds largest pile impressed me with mediocre maps, bad writing, no table of contents, no index, poor plot and lack of continuity.

After buying it I really didn't see the humor.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:13 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
You must be a cheap date since you are so easily impressed.

Other than use as a blunt instrument the Worlds largest pile impressed me with mediocre maps, bad writing, no table of contents, no index, poor plot and lack of continuity.

After buying it I really didn't see the humor.


I'd have to second the opinion of World's Largest Dungeon as good for nothing except a murder weapon. It's big, no doubt.

My personal favorite for overall most impressive "set" would have to be Lankhmar: City of Adventure. Captured the flavor of the stories perfectly (well, yeah, about 1/4 of it is actually synopses of the books, but whatever), and I always liked the geomorphic customizability of the city map and the in-depth coverage of major (and minor) NPCs. You could really pick the book up and run a campaign with it. Indeed, the rest of Nehwon was barely covered, but then Leiber barely covered the rest of Nehwon in his stories. Faithful to a T.

EDIT: The rest of the Lankhmar modules and supplements, IMO (including CA1 and CA2) were a steaming mound of boiled tripe.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:19 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I'd have to second the opinion of World's Largest Dungeon as good for nothing except a murder weapon. It's big, no doubt.

My personal favorite for overall most impressive "set" would have to be Lankhmar: City of Adventure. Captured the flavor of the stories perfectly (well, yeah, about 1/4 of it is actually synopses of the books, but whatever), and I always liked the geomorphic customizability of the city map and the in-depth coverage of major (and minor) NPCs. You could really pick the book up and run a campaign with it. Indeed, the rest of Nehwon was barely covered, but then Leiber barely covered the rest of Nehwon in his stories. Faithful to a T.

EDIT: The rest of the Lankhmar modules and supplements, IMO (including CA1 and CA2) were a steaming mound of boiled tripe.


Does it matter which printing? There is a greyish cover and a blackish cover.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:21 pm 
 

Mars wrote:Game of Thrones and The Great Pendragon Campaign are impressive books.


Indeed, a few come to mind for other games:

Call Of Cthulhu - Beyond The Mountains Of Madness, Horror On The Orient Express, and of course, Masks Of Nyarlathotep

WFRP - the best parts of The Enemy Within campaign were collected in two volumes - Warhammer Adventure and Warhammer City Of Chaos

Harn - the recent Venarive is a pdf only, but if you printed it out, it would be a dense 250 or so pages

And I'll second the nod for GPC.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:29 pm 
 

The original Griffin Mountain was impressive

I haven't tried them, but "Axe of the Dwarvish Lords" and "Rod of the Seven Parts" were big.

The Ruins of Myth Drannor

Maybe some of the 3rd edition "Expedition" hardbacks and Paizo's hardback of their Adventure Path "Shackled City"

Wikipedia says that they would like to do hardbacks of "Age of Worms" and "Savage Tide" but WotC is holding them up.


Last edited by Randomdays on Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:17 pm 
 

Beyond the Mountains of Madness
Masks of Nyarlathotep
Shackled City
Return to the Tomb of Horrors
Rappan Athuk Reloaded
The Thousand Thrones

Honorable mention goes to the Shadowrun adventures Harlequin and Brainscan.  Probably larger in scope than several of the adventures above, just not fleshed out as much.


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:30 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
Does it matter which printing? There is a greyish cover and a blackish cover.


Which printing of what? If you mean Lankhmar, I like the 1st edition version better, even though the second has some extra illustrations (don't care for them..)


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:20 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:I was wondering what the largest and/or most impressive RPG sets or adventures have been produced.

These are the kinds of releases that are or were impressive to me, some no longer rank as high as they did when I first read them, opened them up or even saw them on a shelf but at one point they all were memorable.

What are we becoming, Dragonsfoot?  :lol:

"Largest" and "impressive" are similar but definitely different in meaning.  "Largest" is sheer physical size, quantity, or scope; "impressive" can mean anything breathtaking.

Largest
    Troll Lords
    • Castle Zagyg: Upper Works is a huge amount of books and maps.  The CZ modules/supplements make the area around the castle even larger in scope.
    • Adventure Games Publishing released a large number of booklets for Castles & Crusades.  While they were individually small booklets, the sum total is large.
    Paizo
    • Pathfinder has a massive Core Rulebook, Bestiary, and Gamemaster Guide.  The four-panel DM screen is thicker than most RPG supplements.
    AEG
    • World's Largest Dungeon is a thick book and lots o' maps.
    Goodman Games
    • Castle Whiterock is a big box o' goodies.
    • Gazetteer of the Known Realms pretty much sums it up.

Impressive for me includes all of the above plus every ruleset and module made for modern simulacra, retro-clone, and old-school.  Trying to re-capture the magic of the D&D in a ruleset is impressive.  I may not buy all of it, but the quality, effort, and chutzpah impress me.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:43 am 
 

Personal Favorites, either under the "large" or "impressive" category,  that IMO provide great RPG goodness no matter the game or edition:

Ruins of Undermountain
Night Below
Griffin Mountain/Griffin Island
Big Rubble
Pavis
Rappan Athuk Reloaded
Ptolus
Castle Whiterock
Castle Zagyg
Beyond the Mountains of Madness
Masks of Nyarlathotep
Horror On the Orient Express
Shackled City
Return to Tomb of Horrors
GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders
CSOIO

I concur that Worlds Largest Dungeon is the Worlds Largest Barf Bag.  While 3E items lik RAR and Castle Whiterock are readable (and usable) on their own merits, even to players of earlier editions, WLD isn't even that.  It's nearly impossilbe to read through (haven't ever been able to do it) and doesn't have a tenth of the charm, wit, intelligence or D&D lovableness of the others.  It looks, reads and feels like a dungeon constructed by a committee (which it is anyway).

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:54 am 
 

Some questions --

Ruins of Undermountain -- Is this Forgotten Realms?

Castle Whiterock -- Goodman does good stuff, but haven't read this.

Castle Zagyg -- I was disappointed in this. There was no castle in their castle (unless there's been an expansion)

Beyond the Mountains of Madness -- Would love to read this.  CoC?

GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders -- Local bookstore has it in VG condition for $80. Is it worth it?

CSOIO -- my sentimental favorite. Wish I had a usable copy. Mine's a collectible.

And a new one I'm impressed with is --
WG13 Castle of the Mad Archmage
It's compatible with OSRIC, S&W, D&D, AD&D, LL, etc.

8)


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:01 am 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:Some questions --
GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders -- Local bookstore has it in VG condition for $80. Is it worth it?


Ouch!  There are better deals to be had for this one although you might have to be patient.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:03 am 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:Some questions --

Ruins of Undermountain -- Is this Forgotten Realms?  YES

Castle Whiterock -- Goodman does good stuff, but haven't read this.

Castle Zagyg -- I was disappointed in this. There was no castle in their castle (unless there's been an expansion)  NOPE, NO CASTLE PER SE

Beyond the Mountains of Madness -- Would love to read this.  CoC?  YES, GOOD STUFF TOO, BUT BIG AND EXPENSIVE

GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders -- Local bookstore has it in VG condition for $80. Is it worth it?  THAT'S A BIT TOO MUCH

CSOIO -- my sentimental favorite. Wish I had a usable copy. Mine's a collectible.

And a new one I'm impressed with is --
WG13 Castle of the Mad Archmage
It's compatible with OSRIC, S&W, D&D, AD&D, LL, etc.

8)


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:17 am 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:Castle Whiterock -- Goodman does good stuff, but haven't read this.

It's crap. It is a completely fake megadungeon that was rushed out the door to try to jump on the bandwagon one year. It is marginally better than World's Worst Dungeon, but only marginally. Basically, it is GG cashing in on their reputation for small modules, and screwing their loyal buyers by shipping a substantially sub par product.

Keith the Thief wrote:Castle Zagyg -- I was disappointed in this. There was no castle in their castle (unless there's been an expansion).

The 'castle' has always been a ruin. This is the reminants of Castle Greyhawk, and CG has always been a ruin, throughout D&D lore.

Keith the Thief wrote:GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders -- Local bookstore has it in VG condition for $80. Is it worth it?

Probably if it's in EX/NM condition, because if you bought one off eBay you'd have to pay shipping.

Keith the Thief wrote:CSOIO -- my sentimental favorite. Wish I had a usable copy. Mine's a collectible.

These are ten a penny. You should be able to pick up a cheep used copy on eBay, or just download the PDF from RPGNow for $2 and print it out. I have changed my opinion over the intervening years, and now lean more towards the NG reprints of CSIO and Wilderlands, than the JG original. Indeed, I have just got rid of all my Wilderlands JD 1sts. The jury is still out on the other reprints.

Keith the Thief wrote:And a new one I'm impressed with is --
WG13 Castle of the Mad Archmage
It's compatible with OSRIC, S&W, D&D, AD&D, LL, etc.

Yep. Great product, but the maps make the use of the product very hard. They are poorly presented in the interest of trying to emulate 1E modules, and are very bad vusually to work with in game.

The prized items in my collection are Rappan Athuk Reloaded, NG Wilderlands, NG CSIO, and CZ:UW.


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:23 am 
 

smarmy1 wrote:
Ouch!  There are better deals to be had for this one although you might have to be patient.


Agree. Recently got G1-3, D1-3 & Q1 in a deal for much less inc shipping to the UK via rpgmarketplace


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:54 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Yep. Great product, but the maps make the use of the product very hard. They are poorly presented in the interest of trying to emulate 1E modules, and are very bad vusually to work with in game.


We're working on it!  There will be a map pack that should improve the situation!


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:07 pm 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:What are we becoming, Dragonsfoot?  :lol:

"Largest" and "impressive" are similar but definitely different in meaning.  "Largest" is sheer physical size, quantity, or scope; "impressive" can mean anything breathtaking.

Largest
    Troll Lords
    • Castle Zagyg: Upper Works is a huge amount of books and maps.  The CZ modules/supplements make the area around the castle even larger in scope.
    • Adventure Games Publishing released a large number of booklets for Castles & Crusades.  While they were individually small booklets, the sum total is large.

    Paizo
    • Pathfinder has a massive Core Rulebook, Bestiary, and Gamemaster Guide.  The four-panel DM screen is thicker than most RPG supplements.
    AEG
    • World's Largest Dungeon is a thick book and lots o' maps.
    Goodman Games
    • Castle Whiterock is a big box o' goodies.
    • Gazetteer of the Known Realms pretty much sums it up.
Impressive for me includes all of the above plus every ruleset and module made for modern simulacra, retro-clone, and old-school.  Trying to re-capture the magic of the D&D in a ruleset is impressive.  I may not buy all of it, but the quality, effort, and chutzpah impress me.


That is an interesting take on the question, impressive quantity, but I'm thinking more about single sets or modules. In that way I feel it is more of an acaeum question rather than a DF because normally whether it is good or bad quality impressive items usually command more collector interest (and prices) regardless of their actual playability.

I understand that the Dune hardcover is impressive both in size and desirability but I'm not sure about the game play since I've never even read it. Dune certainly sells for an impressive amount (though so do the wee warriors items which appear to me to be unimpressive other than sale price).

Necromancer games products as a whole are impressive to me because of the quality and the surprising number of hardcovers.

I'd definitely rank City of Brass as impressive looking (though I can't speak for quality) and The Wilderlands boxed set.

Most modern boxed sets and hardcovers would have been impressive back in the early 80s but they are rather commonplace now. DCC#35 stands out for me mainly because of the two distinct modules included but otherwise the set is just another campaign setting boxed set. I'm not sure what exactly drives the price of it so high (though the original retail was fairly high), the modules, the demand, the print run numbers, but DCC#35 commands a much greater price than DCC#51 which is a real detergent box of a set and all adventure rather than setting and a pair of small adventures. Right now there is a large pool of this boxed set (much larger than I'd have expected) but I think it is destined to become a reasonable expensive low order collectable.

If we rank these in monetary value I believe Dune comes out on top with Upper Works next, but all of them seem to have kept their retail value (except for DCC#51). I think the Undermountain boxed sets are one of the most undervalued right now, though their print run was probably vast.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:28 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Personal Favorites, either under the "large" or "impressive" category,  that IMO provide great RPG goodness no matter the game or edition:

Ruins of Undermountain
Night Below
Griffin Mountain/Griffin Island
Big Rubble
Pavis
Rappan Athuk Reloaded
Ptolus
Castle Whiterock
Castle Zagyg
Beyond the Mountains of Madness
Masks of Nyarlathotep
Horror On the Orient Express
Shackled City
Return to Tomb of Horrors
GDQ1-7 Queen of the Spiders
CSOIO

I concur that Worlds Largest Dungeon is the Worlds Largest Barf Bag.  While 3E items lik RAR and Castle Whiterock are readable (and usable) on their own merits, even to players of earlier editions, WLD isn't even that.  It's nearly impossilbe to read through (haven't ever been able to do it) and doesn't have a tenth of the charm, wit, intelligence or D&D lovableness of the others.  It looks, reads and feels like a dungeon constructed by a committee (which it is anyway).

Mike B.


Outside of the Cthulhu I have most of these but what is the difference between Griffin Mountain and Griffin Island.

I don't think these Runequest boxed sets are impressive physically but their qualty must make up for that.

I can think of several boxed sets that I had a great desire for before I actually read them such as the Mayfair CSIO, Dragon Mountain and Menzoberranzan, but all left me feeling greatly disappointed and I look at them now as commonplace rather than impressive.

I've heard of Big Rubble but have never owned it. Is it a slim boxed set like Griffin Island?

  
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