playing OD&D - Judges Guild modules
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
Author


Active Collector

Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 15, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 07, 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:53 pm 
 

Any of you players of the OD&D ruleset?  I got bit by the collecting bug when I joined an OD&D group... got copies of the rules/supplements (thanks Aneoth! lovin' 'em) and have been eagerly blowing money left right and sideways on everything all things AD&D/D&D 1st edition.  I hated playing 2nd edition, so I won't go there I don't think.  But anyway, I was wondering about Judges Guild modules.  Are they any good?  Fun to play?  Fun factor is important to me, not merely collectability.  I'm a multiclassed player/collector.  ;)

Ultimately I want to have a great selection of modules so I can run my (future) kids through them as cheap entertainment for the whole family.

 WWW ICQ  


Active Collector

Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 15, 2005
Last Visit: Sep 07, 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:24 pm 
 

PS: the avatar comes from a sexual harassment online training exercise I had to take ... I thought it was pretty hilarious.  :)



 WWW ICQ  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3793
Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 17, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:31 pm 
 

My most extensive experience with Judges Guild is playing City State.  My group returned to it again and again.  It was incredibly entertaining, one of the most thoroughly developed scenarios I've ever played in.  The diversity of encounters alone made it unpredictable and challenging.  I also just like the "feel" of the JG stuff.  Kind of raw and gritty.

  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3793
Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 17, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:32 pm 
 

beermotor wrote:PS: the avatar comes from a sexual harassment online training exercise I had to take ... I thought it was pretty hilarious. :)


Yeah, I can see why this would qualify as sexual harassment...what the hell is she doing to that poor guy, anyway?   :lol:

  


Active Collector

Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 12, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 08, 2005
Location: Hjørring, Denmark

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:07 pm 
 

beermotor wrote:PS: the avatar comes from a sexual harassment online training exercise I had to take ... I thought it was pretty hilarious. :)


Wee - what an empoyer you must have - he actually trains you in sexual herassment. Corny?
who is this guy? Hugh Hefner?


/B

 WWW ICQ  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:20 pm 
 

beermotor wrote:I was wondering about Judges Guild modules. Are they any good? Fun to play?


i have tons of judges guild stuff and bar for a few AD&D 1E modules (ravenloft, queen of the demonweb pits and sinister secret of saltmarsh), i like the JG stuff more than everything. the stuff in every book is very raw - you pretty much get the bare bones of a scenario and everything in it and then as a DM , you have to bring it to life. its pretty much down to the DM with these books, whether its good/fun imo.

i have read the vast majority of them (i have erm a lot), but my fave, just, is Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor - this is a fantastic module and was tremendously enjoyable. it took us a LONG time to do that one and i would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone to play.

the city state stuff tho, is a world unto its own. there is enough playing material there to probably give you a number of years gaming.

i recommend you to check them out as they are very cool. if you dont like them, they will always sell again, without doubt.....

big thumbs up from me.... (but them i am biased)

Al



  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 1883
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 21, 2021
Location: Ohio, The land without sun

Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:43 pm 
 

1st edition is my favorite.  It's what I had the best times with, and still do.  It's not overburdened with technical information and the simplicity enables the DM & players to actually "play" the game.  2nd and 3rd aren't bad, though.  They have their positives (Non-weapon proficiencies, enhanced details on sketchy character classes and creatures and more).

With respect to JG items, I own and have read, just about everything but have played very little.  Some of them are pretty neat.  Most aren't the same quality, in my opinion, as TSR items from the same time.  There are a few exceptions though.  The Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor is a good one, also Ravenscrag and the City State.

Another company that I was really impressed with was Mayfair Games/Role Aids.  Most of their modules can still be obtained for cheap too.  They also did a great job with the City-State that they reproduced in a series of boxed sets.  This is probably a good topic for the non-TSR discussion threads instead of this one.

  


Active Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 50
Joined: Nov 05, 2002
Last Visit: Mar 05, 2012

Post Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 6:10 am 
 

PS: the avatar comes from a sexual harassment online training exercise I had to take ... I thought it was pretty hilarious.  


I think I took the exact same online excercise. All the TAs and profs at Univ. of Pittsburgh had to take it. At the end, you take a quiz and assuming your not an idiot - You mean I shouldn't walk into class dressed like the Gimp?? - you get to print out a certificate, proudly declaring you fit to be near 20 year old coeds.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:40 am 
 

Oddly, the bizarre nature of the Judges Guild modules is why I like them.  I use them as the bare bones of a 3.5 campaign in order to give it that old 1st edition flavor.  I do not try to re-write the modules.  I just loot them for ideas.  Judges Guild products were often long on concept and short on delivery.

    I think there is a tight competition between Judges Guild modules for which one is the Most Unplayable.  There are also categories for Least Logical, Most Silly and Most Eccentric Editing.

    My nominees:

Most Unplayable:

    The Book of Ruins
    ("Ruins" that consist of two rooms...usually with 1-3 orcs hiding there...and a note that the dungeon section of one of the ruins has not been provided because, "I have not had the chance to playtest it yet because no one gets past the first encounter.")

Most Eccentric Editing:

    Survival of the Fittest
    (Of all the things to leave out....the dungeon map!)

Least Logical:

    Thieves Fortress of Badabraskor
    (A dragon behind half the doors in the dungeon...what are they doing there?)

Most Silly:

    Under the Storm Giant's Castle
    (The storm giant family has lost....their baby, who has been stolen...by Satan.  Although it is possible to hack one's way through the cloud itself the storm giant has not been able to look for his child because he is too large!  The one place we do not go is into the Storm Giant's Castle...which is the only possibly interesting place in the module.)

Honorable Mention:

    The Maltese Clue
    (Sam "Lonetree" Spade leads the players on a quest.  When I went  through this module decades ago as a high school student I considered killing Sam so the DM would have to stop his Humphrey Bogart impression. )

    Ravenscrag
    (Nice castle map.  Where is the adventure?  A wizard is sending adventurers to hunt for monsters under the castle in order to recruit soldiers for the king's new army?  Would it have killed the writer to put some sort of...umm...adventure into the module?)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:18 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:
 The Book of Ruins
 ("Ruins" that consist of two rooms...usually with 1-3 orcs hiding there...and a note that the dungeon section of one of the ruins has not been provided because, "I have not had the chance to playtest it yet because no one gets past the first encounter.")

Most Eccentric Editing:

 Survival of the Fittest
 (Of all the things to leave out....the dungeon map!)

Least Logical:

 Thieves Fortress of Badabraskor
 (A dragon behind half the doors in the dungeon...what are they doing there?)



Book of Ruins: i actually used this book just recently for some little mini-adventures. it actually worked out nice for me.

Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor: this is one of the JG items i have had many years. I once started a campaign using this. Once the party were about level 2-3, i sent them here and it became a massive campaign in the end and most of the party ended going up about 10 levels in the end by the time it was finished. was actually very enjoyable. i changed a few things to suit my game and added a touch here and there. i guess in them days, the construction of a module was somewhat different than now. reasoning behind why things are there wasnt quite the same back then :)

Survival of the Fittest: the reason they never did a map for this was because the idea was to make the dungeon even more difficult.

BUT if you want the map, go get your hands on JG Journal 16 #103.

The map is on page 12 with some additional explanations on page 13.

Al



  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:36 am 
 

Thanks for the tip, Alan.

    I have that magazine.  I will go look there.

    Seems kind of funny to make the adventure more difficult for the DM, though.   8O


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:06 am 
 

well its not difficult for the DM at all really. its up to the player to map it - you are just giving them details. if they do it wrong, well thats their problem :)

anyway when you see the map its not like its difficult anyway :D

Al



  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:17 pm 
 

From reading the magazine entry, it appears that the intent of this module might be that the player and the dungeon master are the same person?

   Talk about a "solo" adventure!


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 8219
Joined: Jan 21, 2005
Last Visit: Jun 12, 2017
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside, UK

Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:19 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:From reading the magazine entry, it appears that the intent of this module might be that the player and the dungeon master are the same person?

 Talk about a "solo" adventure!


heheheh well they WERE the good ol days chummer :)

is that the tunnels & trolls one? can't remember now. if it is, then that is a solo one i think....

Al



  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:29 am 
 

I just read "Portals of Twilight"  (Yeah, I opened the shrink wrap)

It is not so much an adventure as an adventure setting...and a good one.

Aside from the beautiful brunette on the cover (who looks like she is wondering what happened to her clothes...apparently the portal she just passed through would only admit flesh, hair products, magical staffs and tinfoil underwear), the module also offers pretty good ideas on a wierd world for your players to portal into.

(When I compare this cover to "The Ilheidrin Book" I wonder if female magic users intentionally go naked just to be mean.  What a different world we live in than the one Judges Guild products were published for!  The latest edition of D&D insists on mixing male and female pronouns, apparently on the presumption that women will be attracted to the game if the text is as hard as possible to read.  Judges Guild never seems to have doubted who their audience was.)

Portals of Twilight is probably the best of the three portals modules and it has the best campaign setting ideas.  I think it must also have been one of the last JG publications that was "Approved for Use with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons."  

Even at $4.98 back in 1981, it was still a pretty good buy.  (And, ironically, with the shipping cost, this is about exactly what I paid for it.)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1