Under the Storm Giant's Castle? Ummmmmm....
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:06 pm 
 

Having never picked up a Judges Guild product in my life, I was pleased to find a large stack of JG stuff in a recent lot I had purchased.

I settled on one of the books to peruse initially, one you probably all know - called Under The Storm Giant's Castle.

"Pins! Kill the Pins!"....green balloon people made out of chlorine gas....a baby storm giant held hostage by, um....Satan???

I promptly put it down and poured through the rest of the JG stuff...which included Dark Tower, Lara's Tower and Tower of Ulission. These were MUCH better than the um...balloon people module.

A couple of questions, since MOST of the JG stuff looks really good -

1) Is UTSGC the only JG module I need to avoid like the plague?
2) Was publishing that some kind of joke to see what the market would bear, or were they actually serious?

Thanks all.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:16 pm 
 

That's pretty much it for the twinky modules.  That being said, there ia a wide range of quality in JG's material.

They were serious.  For more insight on UtSGC take a look here:

http://www.acaeum.com/jg/Item0093.html

  

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:37 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:Having never picked up a Judges Guild product in my life, I was pleased to find a large stack of JG stuff in a recent lot I had purchased.

I settled on one of the books to peruse initially, one you probably all know - called Under The Storm Giant's Castle.

"Pins! Kill the Pins!"....green balloon people made out of chlorine gas....a baby storm giant held hostage by, um....Satan???

I promptly put it down and poured through the rest of the JG stuff...which included Dark Tower, Lara's Tower and Tower of Ulission. These were MUCH better than the um...balloon people module.

A couple of questions, since MOST of the JG stuff looks really good -

1) Is UTSGC the only JG module I need to avoid like the plague?
2) Was publishing that some kind of joke to see what the market would bear, or were they actually serious?

Thanks all.


LOL...ah, the discovery of UTSGC!!!!  What fun you must have had reading this...... 8O

As old timers here know, it's on my list for one of the top ten worst modules of all time...and perhaps THE worst JG module (tied for the JG module where everything turns out to be a dream...that one slips my memory at the moment...)

The balloon people are only the tip of the wacko monster iceberg...what about The Trang?????

"The Trang always sits in the air in the middle of a room and recites poetry to itself.  It never does anything else. However, if it encounters a paladin, it will ever after preceed that paladin into any area or room entered by the paladin by instantaneous teleportation, and there continue to sit in the air and recite poetry.  It cannot be persuaded to do anything else, and it simply ignores all attacks.  The paladin may be rid of it only by having a high Priest cast both Exorcism and Atonement, and the paladin must accept a Quest. In appearance, the Trang looks like a small white bearded old man, wearing a purple robe, and bald."

Questions abound...

Who created the Trang..Trangs? (as they are Very Rare there must be more than one...)

What do they eat?

Where do they live?

Why is their alignment Chaotic Good?

What do they do when not tormenting paladins?

What did the paladin do wrong in aquiring the Trang that he has to take an Atonement, plus go on a quest??? I can see a Exorcism or Remove curse...

Why do they look like the master on the old Kung Fu TV show?

How long do they live?

Do they take dumps?

WHAT IN HEAVENS NAME ARE THEY??????

btw, their intelligence is listed as "Supra-genius, but insane". That makes....perfect....sense?

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:12 pm 
 

I want this module. :(


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:23 pm 
 

For $5 including FREE shipping, this bad boy's yours.

PLEASE take it off my hands. The stupidity factor is KILLING me.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:57 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:For $5 including FREE shipping, this bad boy's yours.

PLEASE take it off my hands. The stupidity factor is KILLING me.


LOL.

I keep a photocopy here in my desk for those times when you have to quote the stats for the balloon people or The Trang....or if someone doesn't believe something this insane ever really existed.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:35 pm 
 

I am going to use the Trang in my next game.

That is cool. In a really stupid, stupid way.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:05 am 
 

leadjunkie wrote:That's pretty much it for the twinky modules.


Don't forget the Tinkles in Field Guide to Encounters- several pages of the most creepily named monsters you could imagine, then you get to their leader the Puppet Master. If it's possible for an illustration in a book to be posessed by the devil, it's the Puppet Master.

And the cover. That cover. Whoever drew that cover had experienced something like the artist Pickman did Lovecraft's story. This artist had seen a demon & lived long enough to put it on paper.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:56 am 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:I am going to use the Trang in my next game.

That is cool. In a really stupid, stupid way.


Don't forget that the module itself is a good idea...and a time capsule of the state of the hobby at the time it was published.

OK, so "Satan took my baby" and the balloon people blow up and it all takes place in a marshmallow cloud and so on.....

Taking the basic premise of the module....that there is a dungeon below a cloud giant's castle....a good DM could build a good adventure with lots of deadly twists of PC fate.  In fact, I did...having only heard the module's title.  (I was much too poor to purchase JG modules back then...which is why I got into collecting them two years ago.)

What the module needs is a cloud giant and a castle...the very things which are missing from the adventure.

Under the Storm Giant's Castle is a nice example of a forgotten phenomenon.  When D&D first appeared it appealed strongly to Christians.  The clash of good and evil...the conflict between doing what is right and the potential to do imaginary evil...struck many Christians as an ideal tool for teaching Christian...um...ideals.

That is what McCloud was trying to do in Under the Storm Giant's Castle.  The PC's were supposed to prevail over Satan by their virtue rather than by might of arms.  The light-hearted tone of the adventure is meant to appeal to Christians.

There were a number of examples back in the day.  Dragonraiders springs to mind, but there were many Christians enthusiastic about D&D and a fair smattering of them in the fantasy/RPG industry.  (Tolkien and Lewis would be good examples, but so would Rodney Matthews, the quintessential artist for many gamers' dorm room walls.)

There was a Devil scare in the 1970's.  It was a phenomenon that was in motion long before D&D appeared, sparked by the sudden rise of interest in Eastern Religion and the occult among youth of the 1960's.  Warning people about Satanism was a small industry long before anyone at church heard about RPG's.

If you will recall, it was also a time when world events (the rise of modern Israel, for instance...the Cold War, for another example) sparked an apocalyptic fervor in the American church.  People were seriously worried about The Mark of the Beast and what they would do when a world authority demanded that they tatoo it on their palms or foreheads. Back-masking on rock records seemed like it might actually be real (...and it was, to a limited extent).  

This scare was fed by deliciously alarmist books by authors like Bob Larson and Hal Lindsey.  The whole thing had a very Erich von Daniken feel to it that made those books fun to read, even if you disagreed with their premise.

Incredibly poor marketing choices by TSR propelled D&D into the evil-is-upon-us spotlight.  People who looked through the Monster Manual had good reason to believe tracts like Dark Dungeons...which is why the D&D scare spread so well.

And so....my point....

If you are an active gamer, the most useful part of Under the Storm Giant's Castle is its title.

If you are an RPG collector, then Under the Storm Giant's Castle is an excellent artifact of the early days of D&D, before the Satanism backlash and before everything had to be so serious and so professional.

Finally, Under the Storm Giant's Castle has a place in the lore of the Acaeum:  One of you guys who know how to use the Acaeum search engine (which never works for me)...why don't you search out a story we discussed about a year ago.....of how Badmike sent a Post-It note to Germany that managed to be heard around the world.  Post the link here for newcomers to enjoy.

Mark  8)


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:47 am 
 

Well here's one link to it in the "Most Laughable RPG Product" thread:

viewtopic.php?t=5173&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=24

P.S. Mark the search fixture works perfectly if you know to use the word "and" in between each and every word that you type, even if the words are supposed to be together, i.e "Storm Giant" (No quotations do not work either, the search engine just ignores them like they are not even there). :)   And no don't feel bad that you didn't know, I am not sure that many people here actually know that. I actually just discovered it myself about 9 months ago and that was through sheer luck by trial and error.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:00 am 
 

For $5 including FREE shipping, this bad boy's yours.


Sweet! Want PayPal or something? I can have the money to you by Friday (have to get paid first, sorry.) Oh, and please don't get scared when the name on the PayPal account is not my own... its my fiancées account, but we share the same address.

Woohoo! Finally I can get the, arguably worst, module of all time! Yes! And I thought The Phantastical Phantasmagorical Montie Haul Dungeon was bad.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:50 pm 
 

Guess I should have read this (UtSGC) before I got my Lasik Surgery! :lol:


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:59 pm 
 

you know....i actually like this module.

i guess i just like different ideas and something a little odd and it worked for me....

to each their own eh :)

Al



  
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