Challenges International -- CH1 and CH3
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:20 am 
 

I have been going through my collection to determine what I will be able to part with and what is a definite must keep and came across my CH2: Seren Ironhand and, while I know the other modules were not published, (CH1: The Morandir Company; CH3: The Mountain King), this place is a bounty of knowledge so I was curious if anyone knew or had insight into what those modules were like... any maps or notes ever discovered? Any unpublished manuscript surface? I'm just curious.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:27 am 
 

copycat wrote:I have been going through my collection to determine what I will be able to part with and what is a definite must keep and came across my CH2: Seren Ironhand and, while I know the other modules were not published, (CH1: The Morandir Company; CH3: The Mountain King), this place is a bounty of knowledge so I was curious if anyone knew or had insight into what those modules were like... any maps or notes ever discovered? Any unpublished manuscript surface? I'm just curious.


I brought my copies of the CH1 and CH3 typescripts and maps to NTX this past June, to display in Doug's rares display case.  I'll type up a summary of them later tonight.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:22 am 
 

Thanks grodog. I hope CH3 has a heavy dwarf influence.

I really wish there were more dwarf-influenced and driven modules, along with some for gnomes.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:10 pm 
 

copycat wrote:I really wish there were more dwarf-influenced and driven modules, along with some for gnomes.


I can barely think of any that involve gnomes at all, never mind as a key element.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:04 am 
 

grodog wrote:I brought my copies of the CH1 and CH3 typescripts and maps to NTX this past June, to display in Doug's rares display case.  I'll type up a summary of them later tonight.


are both modules by Moldvay? ...in case would it be possible to have them printed as a NTRPGCon goodies? (like the wee warriors stuff) the authorization is though to get now though...  :?


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:00 am 
 

aia wrote:
grodog wrote:I brought my copies of the CH1 and CH3 typescripts and maps to NTX this past June, to display in Doug's rares display case.  I'll type up a summary of them later tonight.


are both modules by Moldvay? ...in case would it be possible to have them printed as a NTRPGCon goodies? (like the wee warriors stuff) the authorization is though to get now though...  :?


Too complicated, the plus with Wee Warriors is that Peter is still around and we were able to talk to him personally. Anything written by Moldvay is going to have a lot of other considerations.  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:37 pm 
 

Why do you think it would be any more difficult? If these were written for a different publisher, say Challenges International, then one would assume that the copyright or publication rights would belong to them, and not to Hasbro. And even if they did belong to WotC / Hasbro, they've been on a kick of late to do old school material... maybe if it was presented as a "charity" kind of thing? I know I would like to buy a couple and I am sure several others on here (and elsewhere) would as well.

Maybe that is optimistic, but I am really curious what these modules were like.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:33 am 
 

copycat wrote:Why do you think it would be any more difficult? If these were written for a different publisher, say Challenges International, then one would assume that the copyright or publication rights would belong to them, and not to Hasbro. And even if they did belong to WotC / Hasbro, they've been on a kick of late to do old school material... maybe if it was presented as a "charity" kind of thing? I know I would like to buy a couple and I am sure several others on here (and elsewhere) would as well.

Maybe that is optimistic, but I am really curious what these modules were like.


Where or who is challenges international? It could be found out or you could spend a lot ofttimes writing letters and making phone calls to no avail. Andi can personally attest that hasbro has zero interest in me or you publishing anything they own the rights to for any reason. Don't get me wrong id like to see them published also.

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:10 am 
 

Just as a tip: maybe Mars in the past got some refs to get in touch with Tom's partents/relatives... there are actually 2 degrees of problems (and i do agree with Mike it is not easy to cope with both of them):

1) is to retrieve someone who can speak on behalf of Tom... an authorization to publish his 2 unpublished works should be the final outcome...

2) is to retrieve the manuscripts/beta versions of both modules...

I have to admit it's not an easy task... but we could however try...

ciaooo


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:48 pm 
 

Thanks Mike. I understand your view on it, that it would be harder to contact someone about doing it than actually doing it, which is what I had initially thought, due to some legal concerns or what-have-you.

I'll poke around. Surely someone must know someone.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:33 am 
 

copycat wrote:Thanks Mike. I understand your view on it, that it would be harder to contact someone about doing it than actually doing it, which is what I had initially thought, due to some legal concerns or what-have-you.

I'll poke around. Surely someone must know someone.


Mars could probably give you more on this than I, but the problem as I see it would be getting permission from someone who says they have control of the manuscript, only to find out (or be told) at some point that it was not the case.  It would be a lot of leg work.  In the case of Wee Warriors we were able to speak directly with all the principals involved (Peter, Judy, Morno) and there wasn't any objections anywhere (even though we were told that all rights were owned by Peter). Unless you can speak with the principals, it gets tricky.

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Last edited by Badmike on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:06 pm 
 

I have definitely been in touch with Moldvay's literary heirs.  I hope things will eventually work out to publish these :D


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:55 am 
 

OK, here's a quick summary of the contents of both manuscripts.  There's been some interest in these since I announced my GaryCon events, so this seems like the best place to make the information available until I get my website updated:

CH-1 The Morandir Company by Tom Moldvay

170 pages of corrected typescript manuscript (the final page is blank).  The typescript is hand-corrected, and a photocopy (I haven't checked whether any of the hand-corrections are original to this copy yet).  Typing appears on the verso of each page, double-spaced.  Pages are numbered sequentially, and some pages are inserted into the page flow as additions.  Contains 2 sets of maps (the originals as drawn by Moldvay, and set of vintage photocopies) that depict the two levels of the CH-1 dungeon (with a total of 5 encounter zones/areas spread across the two levels).  

Table of Contents (pages 1-2; 2 total pages in this section)

Introduction (pages 3-47; 47 total pages)
- Abbreviations
- Game Master's background
- Pre-Rolled characters
- The Challenges Game System
- General Game Rules
- The River Pirates
- The Morandir Company
- Random Encounters

Scenario A - The Haunted Halls (pages 47-76; 30 total pages)

Scenario B - Goblin Outpost (pages 76-89; 13 total pages)

Scenario C - Gnome Homestead (pages 89-108; 21 total pages)

Scenario D - Goblin Stronghold (pages 108-124; 17 total pages)

Scenario E - Ice Cavers (pages 124-142; 19 total pages)

Playing Aids
- The Morandir Company Charter
- GM Map 1 The River Entrance
- GM Map 2 The Ice Caves
- New Monsters (pages 143-158; 16 pages total):  12 new monsters:  Aughisky, Brag, Cluracon (also includes 2 new psionic devotions, Sound Control and Apporatation) ,Coblynie, Firdarrig, Grisaille, Keres, Giant Moles, Great Orcs, Puffball (no stats, essentially a hazard), Red Caps, Shadow Stalker
- Adventure Spells (pages 159-160; 2 pages total; just a quick summary of the spells that appear in the module, no new spells present)
- Credits


CH-3 The Halls of the Mountain Kings by Tom Moldvay

143 pages of corrected typescript manuscript.  The typescript is hand-corrected, and a photocopy with hand-corrections that are original to this copy.  Typing appears on the verso of each page, double-spaced.  Pages are numbered sequentially, and some pages are inserted into the page flow as additions.  Contains 5 sets of maps (each a set of vintage photocopies) that depict the five levels of the CH-3 dungeon.  (Tom apparently copied his maps to spruce them up with stippling transfers of some sort, and to clean up errors, etc.; CH-2 includes similar styling on its maps, and CH-3 shows the same style of mapping techniques).  

Title Page (no TOC though)

Sundering of the Gray Mountain Dwarves (pages 1-4; 4 total pages)
The Empire of Thyatis (pages 4-7; 4 total pages)
Gray Mountain (pages 7-10; 4 total pages)
The Morandir Company (pages 10-12; 3 total pages)
Ironhand and Sargol (pages 12-14; 3 total pages)
The Lost Treasures of the Gray Mountain Dwarves (pages 14-17; 4 total pages)
The Campaign (pages 17-19; 3 total pages)
Further Notes to the Dungeon Master (pages 19-23; 5 total pages)
Wandering Monster Tables (pages 24-31; 8 total pages)

First Level
- Rooms 1-10 Abandoned Mine (pages 32-34; 3 total pages)
- Rooms 11-18 Gnome Lair (pages 24-46; 13 total pages)
- Rooms 29-34 River Pirate Lair (pages 46-57; 12 total pages)

Second Level:  many encounters are less fleshed out from here on in the manuscript
- Rooms 43-50 Abandoned Mine (pages 57-58; 2 total pages)
- Rooms 51-60 Goblin Lair (pages 58-59; 2 total pages)
- Rooms 61-65 Ice Caverns (pages 59-62; 4 total pages)
- Rooms 66-70 Sluice Mining Operation (pages 62-67; 6 total pages)
- The Rapids and the Waterfall (pages 67-68; 2 total pages)

Third Level
- Rooms 81-84 Old Dwarven Meeting Hall (pages 68-71; 4 total pages)
- Rooms 85-90 Old Dwarven Storerooms (pages 71-74; 3 total pages)
- Rooms 107-113 The Lair of the Gray Drows (pages 75-82; 8 total pages; yes, the room numbering is correct here)

Fourth Level
- Rooms 136-150 Old Dwarven Storerooms (pages 82-85; 4 total pages)

Fifth Level
- Rooms 179-185 The Hall of the Mountain King (pages 86-92; 7 total pages)

New Monsters (pages 93-118; 26 total pages):  Astral Shells, Giant Bats, Killer Bees, Birds of Doom, Cat's Eye Aggies, Crimson Fungus, Energy Field, Feles Sapiens, Giant Foxes, Lupus Sapiens, Mind Parasites, Giant Moles, Mus Sapiens, Great Orcs, Protein Polymorph, Size Masters, St. Elmo's Firebug, Verres Sapiens, Visions of Pan(ic), Vulpus Sapiens

Additional Monsters (pages 119-124; 19 total pages):  Asperim, Baldandars, Crystal Men, Dust Devils, 6th level Energy Field, Giganthropithecus, Giant Gila Monster, Gray Drow, Gremlines, Grinder Wheel, Hypnoid Fungus, Incubus, Mangrolls, Muck Creature, Saraph, Snowball, Ursus Sapiens, Werefoxes


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:11 am 
 

Wowwsers!!!

Great good and... what are you gping to do once you've run them at the con??? Any chance to have a copy of the ms???
Ciaooo


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:48 pm 
 

Definitely want in on the action for these!

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:58 am 
 

Thanks for the index, Allan!

Lots of interesting tidbits there & connections to Moldvay's previous work.

In CH1, The "Haunted Halls" and "Gnome Homestead" bring to mind the "Haunted Keep" and "Gnome Lair" sample dungeons from the B/X rulebooks that Moldvay worked on.

In CH3, the "Empire of Thyatis" is of course from the Known World created by Moldvay/Shick, originally for their own OD&D campaign and later used for B/X.

The new monsters in CH3 have some connections to his older works.

Giants Bats and Killer Bees were two of the new monsters he added to the Basic rulebook. Crystal Men are probably Living Crystal Statues.

Protein Polymorphs were a monster he submitted to the Fiend Folio, and also appeared in B4 as Polymars. B4 also includes Werefoxes as a new monster. The Astral Shell might be Astral Searcher, another monster he submitted to the Fiend Folio (and looking at the description, they are called "mindless shells" in the first sentence).

Feles Sapiens = Rakastas from X1? These were originally Kzinti in the Known World as confirmed by Schick, who included them in the Fiend Folio as Tabaxi.

The original Known World material posted by Schick mentions Great Orcs and Giganthroptheci in the list of Languages. I wonder if these dungeons go back to his pre-TSR years?

There's a 1950s monster movie called The Giant Gila Monster. Holmes also included one on a map in his 1981 FRPG book.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:41 pm 
 

interesting stuff, Allan!

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:25 am 
 

Sorry i dont want to be annoying but as a non-US member i do not attend your super con... having said that i would like to ask Allan to kindly consider an initiative similar to the ruby dragon module we had some years ago... i would really love to have a copy of the original ms in my collection... i dont need to have a limited print run, i am one of the greatest fan of moldvay (amber castle is the best module by farcompared to any other i have read/played) and being the owner of the lost  CH series is one of the great score i have in my heart... if i can help this project somehow, i am available!!!
Thanks and ciaoooo


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:43 pm 
 

Would love to see a copy as well. CH2 is so interesting it'd be great to read the others - that until Allan announced his games I didn't think existed  ;)
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:48 am 
 

I have to point out that Allan is also running this at NTRPG con this year!

And I have  feeling if Allan can get these out in print, he will, he's not going to pass up that kind of opportunity if he's able...

Mike B.


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