FGG October 24 2011 (Jason called it right)
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:09 pm 
 

FGG-The Big Announcement

The background of the big announcement goes all the way back to 1978, when I read a small book by Gary Gygax detailing the use of outdoor and wilderness adventures in D&D. This book, along with what has affectionately been termed the "Skull Dungeon" of John Holmes fame, formed the basis of my thinking when I began to write my own vast dungeon that I called Rappan Athuk.

A decade ago, I released the first few levels of Rappan Athuk as a book, which was followed by a series of releases of different parts and pieces (29 levels in the first 3 books, and another 7 or so later in Rappan Athuk Reloaded).

To my surprise, even though I expected it to be a success, Rappan Athuk turned out to be one of the major hits of the Third Edition decade. Even though it's not the largest dungeon that was ever published (it might be this time!), it quickly picked up a reputation for being one of the deadliest, and if you haven't heard, "Don't go down the Well" or "Beware of Purple Worms," you probably weren't attending gaming conventions or reading the RPG internet during the Third Edition years.
 
Rappan Athuk Reloaded, which contained a lot more of the original dungeon, became an immediate collector's item. With only 1000 copies of Rappan Athuk's expanded version in existence, many players unfortunately could never get a copy. This was probably fortunate for a lot of player characters, but it means that many people who wanted to see the dungeon's broader scope never got to see what they were missing.

Well, it's been almost 10 years since I wrote the last few chapters of Rappan Athuk Reloaded. As you would expect, I haven't been idle during that time. In fact, over the last few hundred gaming sessions I've run, I have continued to write up my notes from levels that were never published, and add new levels as adventurers continued to explore. Many of the mid-level areas have been fleshed out (the ultimate adversaries, of course, remained the same), and several new upper levels have been added as adventurers avoided "The Well" and "The Mausoleum" in attempts to delve deeper into Rappan Athuk's depths. I have been mulling over what to do to get this monster out to all of you. So here goes…

Weighing in with over 50 dungeon levels and dozens of wilderness areas, Rappan Athuk will be released next summer as a hardbound, library-stitched book in both Pathfinder and Swords and Wizardry formats. The book contains 18 more levels even than Rappan Athuk Reloaded, as well as the outdoor adventures supporting them. I am also working on a leather cover (or faux leather) for the binding.

This thing is truly the granddaddy of all dungeons. It represents years of play testing, years of adventure, and hundreds of player character deaths. Many parts of my campaign that have transpired over the years are included in its pages from the dead remains of fallen heroes, to marks left on walls, to cryptic scribblings left by lost or dying adventurers.
Just like the dungeons of the early 1970s played by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, Rappan Athuk is like a living being, big enough to be used for thousands of hours of play. From the Goblin city of Greznek to the Hall of the Titan Cyclops, from the Well of Zelkor to the Mithril gates, and from the Well of Agamemnon to the Abyssal pocket-plain and to the throne of Orcus himself—this terrifying place will create memorable experiences for all players and Game Masters.

This Tome represents the completed manuscript, including the wilderness surrounding the dungeon, three villages nearby, and the dreaded Temple of Tsathogga, where the sinister, evil priests of the frog-demon seek dark secrets and dark powers lost when the army of light destroyed the temple of Orcus at the site.
This book will be available for pre-order in March or April 2012. Retail price and page count are still to be determined (though it will probably be about $125 and 1000 pages or so). The pre-ordered copies will contain bonus material as a pdf enhancement that were cut from the final manuscript and will not be available after the pre-order period ends.

So once again, in this new decade of gaming, we will have the chance to say, "Don't go down the Well."



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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:09 pm 
 

Well I will certainly be getting this, both versions of course :)


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:15 pm 
 

Ditto..

Althought that a long time to wait to pre-order..

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:28 pm 
 

not yet



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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:50 pm 
 

Awesome....

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:17 pm 
 

Cannot wait for these to come out.  I'll be in for one of each.

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:25 pm 
 

Hoping there's a plan to get a PDF along with the hardcover (at least for the maps so we don't have to try photocopying the book).


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:03 pm 
 

SoulCatcher78 wrote:Hoping there's a plan to get a PDF along with the hardcover (at least for the maps so we don't have to try photocopying the book).


There's always a free pdf with the books. It's a Frog God Games standard.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:17 am 
 

Only problem with the old PDF is that they soon make the rounds.. I know the Complete Horrors was around the day after it was released..:(

Brette:)


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:50 am 
 

Put me down for pre-ordering a copy.
Shucks. I'm sitting on old stock now. Gonna have to shift those RARs and RA3s before the market goes.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:46 am 
 

I'd be in for a S&W version please Bill, pre-order if necessay.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:34 am 
 

As a D&D luddite, what's the relative difference between S&W and PF, and which is most easily coverted for use with D&D? I assume the products are identical in terms of content and that the only things that change are the stat' blocks? Or am I over simplifying things?


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:42 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:As a D&D luddite, what's the relative difference between S&W and PF, and which is most easily coverted for use with D&D? I assume the products are identical in terms of content and that the only things that change are the stat' blocks? Or am I over simplifying things?


I personally don't know, but here's JasonZavoda's opinion.

JasonZavoda wrote:I use 1e AD&D and converting from S&W to 1e is much simpler than from 3.x or Pathfinder.....


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:46 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:As a D&D luddite, what's the relative difference between S&W and PF, and which is most easily coverted for use with D&D? I assume the products are identical in terms of content and that the only things that change are the stat' blocks? Or am I over simplifying things?


S&W is closer to 1e (it's actually 0e, if that's what you play) than PFRPG. You can play an S&W module right out of the box using the 1e rules.

In terms of conversion, there's a bit more to it than stat blocks, mainly
(1) S&W handles large combats more easily, so there are more combats where the monsters number in the tens or more,

(2) a smaller proportion of monsters are "leveled up" than in PFRPG, with additional numbers of them being used instead,

(3) PFRPG (as with 3e) used skill checks and other mechanisms based on the character sheet than 1e does, so these have to be replaced with mechanisms (usually additional detail about what you see and how specifically to screw with it to make it work) -- this is not a problem with Rappan Athuk since RA was written with those details for 1e, but it's generally the case for things that were written for PFRPG,

(4) Current authorship conventions for PFRPG often include situations where an event is scripted and unavoidable -- I remove these when doing S&W/0e/1e conversions as a matter of keeping to the original style of those games, where this was done very seldom except to start the adventure (again, this isn't something that's in RA, but a common conversion issue with other material)

(5) Some macro-level structural elements require tweaking based on the different xp progressions of newer vs later games. Rappan Athuk as published for 3e does not contain enough square footage in the upper levels to allow an old-game party to accumulate enough experience points to keep moving down. In 3e, there was plenty. My job is 9-10 of the new levels (both for PF and S&W), and I am concentrating these on the upper levels to allow S&W/1e/0e parties to build up xp. For PFRPG, the parties will probably move on without exploring all the upper levels ... although in Rappan Athuk it's pretty easy to die and need more xp for new characters :) But those levels structurally need to be there for use with the older systems.

(6) although I don't always convert these, since they are still in the English language, PFRPG uses many words as "terms of art." In other words, "dazzled" means nothing but "dazzled" to a 1e player, but it conveys specific bonuses and penalties in PFRPG. By not converting these, I don't think I discombobulate someone who has only played 1e, but it can read very strangely to post 2000 gamers if there's mention of (for example, and possibly not accurate) an "enchanted sword," because it's not under magically induced mental domination. The later games use a much more specific technical vocabulary in which words used generally in 1e actually have much more specific meanings. That said, this is typically an issue when converting the other direction, from S&W into Pathfinder.

For Rappan Athuk, since it was originally done in 1e, a lot of these issues won't be nearly as prevalent as they would be in something written directly for 3e or Pathfinder, but they're still there to a certain degree because they were necessary for use with 3e. That part has to be backed out of the text and re-formatted.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:08 pm 
 

Absolutely awesome.  Can't wait for this.  RAR is IMHO one of the finest gaming products ever produced, an update and expansion is welcome and unexpected news.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:29 pm 
 

I'm in!  Thanks for keeping these gems coming :)


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:16 pm 
 

Fantastic news!!!  RAR-PF and RAR-SW sound absolutely awesome!!!

Very much looking forward to both. :)


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:05 am 
 

Great explanation there, Mythmere. Put me down for an S&W copy.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:49 am 
 

Sounds great.
Would like to get an S&W Version.... Pre-Order.  8)
I do not intend to miss out on this like I did with RAR... :cry:


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:24 pm 
 

I definitely plan on picking up the S&W version of this supermodule when it is released. This supermodule along with the forthcoming Black Monastery module bodes well for Frog God Games. Finally, a publisher with a real budget for quality artwork, binding, and maps has entered the old school renaissance field. The crude DIY/poor production values approach that most of the OSR publishers have adopted up to this point has started to wear a bit thin for this gamer. I expect production values at least on par with that of TSR back in the early eighties. Sadly, apart from Frog God Games and a few other OSR publishers out there, my expectations have not been met. In other words, if I am going to give a publisher my hard earned cash, then I expect a certain level of aesthetics in addition to a quality module design, of course.  

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