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    Canonfire :: View topic - Most and Least Favourite Greyhawk Modules
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    Most and Least Favourite Greyhawk Modules
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 08, 2003
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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:02 am  
    Most and Least Favourite Greyhawk Modules

    Hi Guys

    I had thought to post this to get a feel for your favourite (and not so much) Greyhawk modules. I am not too concerned about whether single modules or Adventure Paths, just some fun ...

    I really enjoyed the Queen of Spiders mod and didn't enjoy the Greyhawk spoof module The Land Beyond The Magic Mirror., for example.

    Looking forward to what comes up here.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:17 am  

    The A series about the slavelords was pretty interesting.

    Tomb of the Lizard King was basic but one of the more fun and successful adventures for my party.

    Tomb of Horrors was a classic but pretty disastrous the few times it was tried (for the parties concerned).

    It is started for me with the Ghost Tower of Inverness so that has a special place.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:10 am  

    Favourite; a close call between G1-3 and A1-4, but I'll stick my neck out and say G1-3 as I finished those three whereas we never got to finish A4. Iconic fights, environments and a decent overarching plot that fit the campaign well.

    Wild card; Hidden Shrine Of Tamoachan as a one-shot. Beautiful design, evocative handouts and great story. BUT.........never had a chance to run it and it never fitted into the campaign.

    Least favourite (AKA pile of poo!); Return To The Temple Of Elemental Evil. Decent start followed by rapid descent into using every 3e option available. Okay, that was Monte's brief but, could it at least have made some sort of sense. Dozens of guards all in masterwork armour (and not a forge in sight), a Troll with a two-bladed sword that was more effective with a C/C/B routine and...........well that's just the tip of the iceberg of shoehorn lunacy.

    And I actually ran it Embarassed .

    Until the halfway mark. Whereupon I self-combusted. And so did the freakin' volcano. Happy
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:49 am  

    My absolute favorite Greyhawk modules were the Giants and Drow series. The Queen of the Demonweb pits was not well done as my players were just not impressed with a demon lord cum goddess that could be slain by 14th level adventurers. Confused The Isle of the Ape is next on my 'loved it' list. Happy

    The Keep on the Borderlands and The Isle of Dread, though not originally promoted as Greyhawk-specific, are now officially located in Greyhawk and remain two of my most favorite adventures.

    I also count the Greyhawk Ruins mega module as one of my favorites.

    I did not enjoy The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror (Dungeonland was okay as a one-off, but LBM was just too much nonsense Shocked ). Neither did I like Child's Play. And I know this will shock many of you, but I didn't like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks either. And, I was quite disappointed to discover that too, as I had imagined such an awesome adventure before getting my hands on a copy and reading it. Cry

    Five Shall Be One was a disappointment as well. This was due to the fact that it led the PCs around by the nose like all the FR modules and the DL modules did beyond the first couple (which I actually enjoyed).

    I thought the concept for The Apocalypse Stone was excellent, but it should have been written for 20+ level characters, not 14-15th. I mean, they had 9th-12th level NPCs guarding the stone that could be used to completely destroy the entire planet! Shocked Come on!

    Well, that's enough or I'll end up writing a lengthy rant. Razz

    SirXaris


    Last edited by SirXaris on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:15 am  

    Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is actually my favorite module! Laughing (I do wish it had more of a resolution at the end, though). The Temple of Elemental Evil is another favorite, along with Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan and Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

    Least favorite module is easily WG7 - Greyhawk Castle. rolleyes
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:00 am  

    Ok, this is a tricky one because I've spent much of my life hungering for new GH material that this colours my views of some modules.

    Absolute favourite is probably the T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil supermodule (never saw the original ones) as this is largely where I started as a DM in Greyhawk. Still a classic after all this time with good advice on how dungeons respond to PC incursion and how the local area can change. This is how modules should be written. Also loved A1-4 which is worth it for the time on the Ghoul alone and obviously the GDQ series.

    I was also a fan of WG8 Fate of Istus though more for the city source material and the individual adventures (some of them) than the overarching plot which was clunky and contrived. The Greyhawk Ruins module is good as well but needed to be bigger with more detail.

    Least favourite of those I've seen (and sadly still own) is either WG8 Gargoyle which is semi-comedy and of course the spoof Castle Greyhawk which is IMHO an abomination. Pretty sure I bought the second one by mistake without realising what it was and for some reason I still have it.

    I also did not like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (sorry Bluebomber Smile) but then I'm not a fan of genre-mixing so that's just personal preference.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:44 pm  

    Favorite -- I can't choose between White Plume Mountain and Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. Least favorite -- Gargoyles. I even like Castle Greyhawk better than that steaming pile, although frankly there are a number of GH adventures I really don't care for.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:37 pm  

    I think that in the older versions of AD&D, lower levels were the order of the day, so 14th level was actually quite high but looking back now ...


    Sad


    I agree with you about Barrier Peaks, Sir Xaris but that may have to do with my dislike of crossing genres in role playing campaigns. I never played the Apocalypse Stone but was always intrigued by the idea. Don't know much about the adventure, however.
    GreySage

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    Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:19 pm  

    warlock wrote:
    I think that in the older versions of AD&D, lower levels were the order of the day, so 14th level was actually quite high but looking back now ...

    Quote:
    I never played the Apocalypse Stone but was always intrigued by the idea. Don't know much about the adventure, however.


    The Apocalypse Stone isn't that old. I think it was 2nd Ed., though it may have been late AD&D.

    The premiss of the adventure was that the DM and the players were all ready to retire their party of PCs and begin anew and destroying the entire world would be a cool way to have them go out with a bang. But, really, who decides that there is no fun left in playing a PC beyond 15th level? Besides, every single officially published campaign world has NPCs of 20+ levels in it. So, it is unbelievable that a world's doomsday device would be protected by an NPC party of 9th-12th level individuals. Any bad guy with a reputation could take it from them. Any member of the Circle of Eight could likely do it on their own, as could Rary, Robilar, Warduke, Eli Tormorast, Iuz, Ivid, Mordenkainen... You get the picture. Confused

    Quote:
    I agree with you about Barrier Peaks, Sir Xaris but that may have to do with my dislike of crossing genres in role playing campaigns.


    Initially (i.e. in Jr. High and High School) I had no aversion to the mixing of genres - in fact, I loved the idea, having played Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Boot Hill, and Gang Busters too. My dislike for such mixes has developed with age, but it wasn't there when I first read the module. I just thought it was boring. Maybe I'd just read so much fantasy and sci-fi by that time that Expedition to the Barrier Peaks seemed unoriginal and uninspired. Like I said, it wasn't until about 1990 that I got a copy to peruse, so it is probably an unfair criticism for the product at its initial offering.

    SirXaris


    Last edited by SirXaris on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:46 am  

    Favorite: Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun.

    Runners-up: T1-4 (Hommlet/Temple of Elemental Evil), G1-3, Return of the Eight

    Least Favorite: Gargoyles (blech!), UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave. That last one isn't all bad, though.

    Apocalypse Stone was late 2nd edition, and like Die, Vecna, Die! provided a springboard into the changes of 3rd edition. I liked parts of this one, but did not like the names, and I agree that the stone wasn't very well-protected...
    GreySage

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:03 pm  

    Warlock,

    I posted a very similar thread on Aug 28th of last yr. You can find it listed about 2 pages back. I was very gratified with the deluge of responses. In no particular order I posted my answer to the 'favorite module' or series, but never asked the 'least favorite' aspect.

    Nothing comes to mind as of yet (I'll have to thumb through my stack), but I typically don't care for those modules focusing on a "flat" or basic plot, or those that are primarily dungeon-crawl or hack-and-slash in nature. Normally I add some type of depth or a plot twist to those types of modules.

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:22 pm  

    Sorry Lanthorn, missed your post mate, oops! Embarassed

    I was going through various modules looking for inspiration and then the idea struck me to inquire here. I have moved systems to Mongoose's RuneQuest/Legend and will try tackling some module conversions at some stage in the future ... but at the moment I am finishing a diploma so studies come first.
    Forum Moderator

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:00 am  

    Favorite: Until recent times I would've said 2nd edition's Greyhawk Ruins. I ran the thing completely through once then redesigned Zagyg's Tower and ran it a second time. I got halfway through 3.5's Expedition to Greyhawk which is sort of the sequel. So yeah, alot of history there. But my favorite (because its my player's least probably) is actually Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure and the sequel Dungeon #112 Maure Castle(with add-on levels). Eli Tomorast is my favorite GH villain and the guys know it too well.

    My least favorite? Not the joke Greyhawk Castle. I got a good sense of humor so I've got my fun out of just reading it. The worst time I've had running Greyhawk modules was Fate of Istus. It was painful to run and I ended up just parting it out for source material.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:34 am  

    Favourite: Temple of Elemental EVil, Scourge of the Slave lords & Queen of the Spiders.

    Least: Gargoyle and Child's Play
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:46 am  

    Most people agree on the classics, here are my favorite sleepers:
    *Tomb of the Lizard King
    *I12 Egg of the Phoenix or R1-4 - Frank has some really innovative encounters that will keep the PCs guessing.
    *Sargent's Night Below, City of Skulls, and Five Shall Be One - linear, but great problem solving and espionage.
    *The Lost City of Gaxmoor (the designers played it near Bissel/Veluna).
    *Dark Druids - sinister and great atmosphere, how the Gnarley should be!
    *Return of the Pick-axe - great mini-adventure with lots of room for expansion.
    *Book of Lairs (generic, but most of this Jim Ward collection fits very well in GH)
    *Vecna Reborn - best use of Vecna in an adventure

    Least:
    *Howl From the North - #1 Worst GH module of all time.
    *Puppets - at least Gargoyle and Child's Play have some challenging and/or amusing encounters, Puppets is as boring as it is terrible.
    *The Adventures chapter in GH Adventures
    *"G4-6" (The new giant strongholds in Liberation of Geoff) - boring, stupid, boring.
    *Border Watch - orcs, orcs, more orcs, and a half-baked conspiracy.
    *Patriots of Ulek - linear hack and slash with tons of boxed text.
    *LG Introductory scenarios by Tim Sech - not even proofread.
    Paladin

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:03 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Warlock,
    I posted a very similar thread on Aug 28th of last yr. You can find it listed about 2 pages back.

    As Lanthorn already noted, That was one of my first responses here in CF (over 140 ago wow time flies)
    Like the giants and Tomb of Horrors always gave me an evil chuckle. Evil Grin
    But will stand with B1 being my all time favorite, mainly to what it has become. a repository of history and a training ground for new players. Every time I have ran in in over its 30 year span, every "body" dropped, every room looted, has been recorded. IMC it has turned into a campaign with in the campaign.

    Got to go with Ragr and others on this one..
    Ragr wrote:
    Return To The Temple Of Elemental Evil. Decent start followed by rapid descent into using every 3e option available.

    I HATE anything generated with the sole purpose for revenue creation. IMO that's the impression it left me. They went with a very popular title ( the original Village of Hommlet), expanded it (which had good and bad spots), and then the commercialization of it with the Return. It was a pretty transparent facade at trying to push everyone to 3e while riding the back of past success instead of having 3e be judged for its own merits. Good Marketing, yea I guess, good gaming not so much.. Kinda like Hollywood regurgitating all these superheroes over and over instead of being creative with new scripts.
    Paladin

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:11 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    But my favorite (because its my player's least probably) is actually Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure and the sequel Dungeon #112 Maure Castle(with add-on levels). Eli Tomorast is my favorite GH villain and the guys know it too well.

    I must admit I haven't ran either for my players but with this and your greyhawkery comments around Eli (and here as well) was thinking about a combined effort corroboration between Eli and me, the Dark Lord. Just got to hammer out the details .. and of course, if /when / whom would betray the other first ... as evil tends to do... mawaahahaaa
    Would certainly like some sidebar (different thread maybe?) around the challenges and motivations of Eli.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:35 pm  
    favorite and least favorite adventures

    I can say, hands down, that the one module that I love most is Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh ... because that was the first module that I ever ran. ... I think that it was in '89 or so. Maybe '90.
    I also loved the Paizo-era Greyhawk adventures in Dungeon Magazine, but those aren't reallly *so* old ... only about ten years. <impish wink>

    I have disliked some adventures over the years, but, I can't really think of any that I just absolutely hated. I do particularly dislike WG7 - Castle Greyhawk ... not so much because it wasn't fun or an interesting diversion, but because of the canon issues that people claim from it. It was a humorous one-off, and I wish people would just take it with a grain of salt and laugh at it like it was intended.
    The only thing that I think that I can say that I have loathed over the years was some of the LG writing. It's like some of them didn't even bother knowing GH lore when they wrote them. To wit:
    Icarus wrote:
    I would like to say, for the worst I have ever seen, I would have to refer to a list of some of the RPGA Living Greyhawk mods. There were some real tragedies in there. Dozens of horrific travesties of mods. Cry
    I also have to say that LG was also the source of some of the best mods I have ever seen as well. Better, in fact, than many professionally produced stuff. There are about a handful that I would list among the best mods I have ever run, or seen.

    But it was a mixed bag. It was inconsistent with finding authors ... when it was good, it was glorious. But, when it was bad, it made you want to forswear gaming for the rest of your life, travel to meet the author's mother and slap her in the face for birthing him. Shocked It was that bad. Evil Grin
    I always loved that particular turn of phrase.
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    Paladin

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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:07 pm  
    Re: favorite and least favorite adventures

    Icarus wrote:
    I have disliked some adventures over the years, but, I can't really think of any that I just absolutely hated. I do particularly dislike WG7 - Castle Greyhawk ... not so much because it wasn't fun or an interesting diversion, but because of the canon issues that people claim from it. It was a humorous one-off, and I wish people would just take it with a grain of salt and laugh at it like it was intended.

    WELL PUT! I have thought along the same line of thought for years but could not assemble the words to reflect the sentiment. I liked it as an entertaining "one off" not something to "summon forth the avatars" and have it chiseled into stone as canon.
    GreySage

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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:58 pm  

    Hakuna matata, Warlock. That was one of my first posts (of many) in order to get to know what people were thinking and to have some 'fun.'

    It's good to see what folks like...and don't like. I am an older player (started in the early 80s) and really look fondly back to many of the older era modules. However, there have been some recent modules that I don't think are all that bad, with some fine tuning. But my heart belongs to many of those 'vintage' modules that I mentioned in my thread last year.

    Tis always nice to harken back to fond memories while creating newer ones.

    -Lanthorn
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    Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:04 pm  

    As many have said the classic modules being their favorites (A1-4, T1-4, D1-3, G1-3 Q1), I thuought long nd hard about this and can say some of the most enjoyaable was Pharoh, Martek etc (I think they were I something but can't remember exactly what the numebers where).

    As for least favorite ... hmmm I think it would have to A1-4 (I know I will burn in hell for this) but not sure if it was just the DM but they seemed dull. I'm looking for a gaming reunion with some of my old mates waiting to see if they are prepared to start these off again as so many people here like them they can't all be wrong.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat May 12, 2012 5:28 am  

    Always a fun topic, especially since there are so many great GH modules. Mine have been the same for decades.lol

    1. Greyhawk Ruins
    2. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
    3. City of Skulls
    4. Return of the Eight
    5. Slavers
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun May 13, 2012 8:21 am  

    Chevalier you and I have the same taste. I loved the Dark Cthuluesque qualities of The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. Probably my favorite. It's good also because the dungeon stays alive and responds to what the party does. The first room of that one should be a hard fight but the group I ran it for lucked out with a wand of wonder and took out all the guards in one shot. It was kind of disappointing. LOL My other all time favorite was Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. It is a fantastic way to get a new group started and has some very cool elements that can be woven into a bigger campaign even if you don't do the other U modules.
    Least favorite would definitely be The RTOE for all the reasons already stated. It is what is worst with Thried Edition playing.
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    Sun May 13, 2012 9:06 pm  

    Favorites: WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure/Maure Castle, Bottle City, T1 Village of Hommlet, G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King, and S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

    Least Liked: Doomgrinder, WG7 Castle Greyhawk, WGR1 Greyhawk Ruins, and L3 Deep Dwarven Delve.
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    Tue May 15, 2012 12:08 pm  

    Oh man, this is a very tough one and I'm sure I'll change my mind the moment after I hit the Submit button.

    Favorite(s)
    A1 - 4 series was probably the best for me - the riches to rags to escape plot was great
    C2 - The Ghost Tower of Inverness, ah the traps, the puzzles and the history!
    WG6 - Isle of the Ape - just because it was whacky out of control

    Least
    Doomgrinder - Hands down the worst treatment of a friggin awesome story...EVER (used a bit for source material)
    WGS2 - Howl from the North really Dale? really?!
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat May 19, 2012 2:05 pm  

    Why/what did you not like about Greyhawk Ruins Grodog? I don't think I've ever heard someone dislike it so I'm curious.
    GreySage

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    Sat May 19, 2012 4:08 pm  

    xo42 wrote:
    Why/what did you not like about Greyhawk Ruins Grodog? I don't think I've ever heard someone dislike it so I'm curious.


    From a realistic point of view, the combination of monstrous opponents is completely unbelievable, as are some of the other more minor issues. However, the same can be said of the monstrous inhabitants of the Caves of Chaos in the Keep on the Borderlands and I went to great lengths to make a believable story out of that conglomeration. So, I'm guessing that that issue may be Grodog's major objection to the adventure.

    SirXaris
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    Sat May 19, 2012 6:52 pm  

    I, too, have been chided for trying to make something 'realistic' in a fantasty game, from magic to creatures and the like... Perhaps it is the scientist in me. Nevertheless, or due to that quirk, I am always one to add a sense of realism to my adventures. My favorite modules are seldom dungeon crawls, and if they are, I have tried to modify them somewhat (The Lost Caverns, for instance, which is one of my faves), or add a 'logical reason' for packing so many apex predators in a narrow cavern system. ;)

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat May 19, 2012 7:42 pm  

    I'm with you, Lanthorn. Most adventures I have to tweak at least a little bit because it doesn't make sense to me in the context of how I think a "realistic" fantasy campaign should be. That said, it's just how I like to ttun things. Everybody has their own style.
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    Sun May 20, 2012 6:40 am  

    SirXaris,

    You're right there are some very powerful monsters/NPCs throughout the adventure and I admit the amount of treasure and magic items available approaches "Monty Haul" levels, but I think most of those issues can be smoothed over by the DM. One of my favorite things about Greyhawk Ruins is the large variety of experiences a group of PCs can get into throughout the three towers.
    GreySage

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    Sun May 20, 2012 8:21 am  

    xo42 wrote:
    SirXaris,

    You're right there are some very powerful monsters/NPCs throughout the adventure and I admit the amount of treasure and magic items available approaches "Monty Haul" levels, but I think most of those issues can be smoothed over by the DM. One of my favorite things about Greyhawk Ruins is the large variety of experiences a group of PCs can get into throughout the three towers.


    I agree. And, I really liked Greyhawk Ruins as a module. I'm just guessing at the reason some people may not like it very much. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Sun May 20, 2012 7:13 pm  

    Most favorite:

    Village of Hommlet (not Temple of Elemental Evil, but just T1, which is bursting with so much potential that T1-4 never lived up to)

    Against the Giants (well, to be honest I like the individual modules G1-Q1, but the combined module is what most people seem to remember; if pressed, I'd put D2 as my overall favorite)

    Least Favorite:

    Castle Greyhawk (this is the joke one that was made just to smack Gygax upside the head, and wasn't worth the wood pulp it was printed on)

    Greyhawk Ruins (had little if anything to do with the canonical references we had grown up with and were expecting in what should have been THE seminal product of the WoG setting; a huge disappointment)

    Puppets (do I really have to explain this?)
    GreySage

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    Mon May 21, 2012 7:02 am  
    Re: favorite and least favorite adventures

    Icarus wrote:
    I have disliked some adventures over the years, but, I can't really think of any that I just absolutely hated. I do particularly dislike WG7 - Castle Greyhawk ... not so much because it wasn't fun or an interesting diversion, but because of the canon issues that people claim from it. It was a humorous one-off, and I wish people would just take it with a grain of salt and laugh at it like it was intended.


    What are you referring to, here? I'm not aware of anyone who claims that anything from WG7 is canon. From the Ashes and The Adventure Begins both specifically say it isn't. The closest thing I can think of is Maldin appropriating the character of Xodast for his Codex timeline - but he's not claiming the character is canon either.
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    Thu May 24, 2012 4:47 am  

    The WG-series, from WG-7 onward, were horrible. Each and every release was utter crap, and I ran or played through every single one of them. Oddly enough, some of those adventures brought about recurring foes who ended up being quite memorable in their own right. Fate of Istus was the only one that actually damaged our enjoyment of the game world and caused us to play in other worlds for quite a long while.

    Zeb Cook's WGA4 was the least enjoyable module I ran, both for myself and the players. I have no good memories of that product, which is sad because even WG-7 had some bright spots amidst the silliness and stupidity.

    Like most folks, I really enjoyed The Slavelord, Temple of Elemental Evil, and Queen of Spiders. Those supermodules are some of my most enjoyable adventures. Toss in S1-4 and WG 4, as well as U1-3 and the UK series (though not all set in Greyhawk), and there was plenty to enjoy.

    If you promise not to tell anybody, I think I probably like The City of Skulls the most, possibly due to the stress that permeated the entire adventure.
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:39 pm  

    Favorites: A1-A4 Slaver's series, T1-T4 ToEE supermodule & last, but by no means least, Tomb of The Lizard King

    Loathed: Return to the ToEE → I wanted my money back 3 pages into it.


    I'd list G1-G3 as favorites but I thought the Drow were a really poor choice as the masterminds behind it. I feel mindflayers would've been a much better power-behind-the-throne. I still really like the modules, though they lost points for that in my eyes.
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:10 pm  

    The dark elves aside, I thought that Iuz also had a hand to play in the storm of giants that overtook the far West.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:15 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    The dark elves aside, I thought that Iuz also had a hand to play in the storm of giants that overtook the far West.

    -Lanthorn


    For the first time, I'm going to (respectfully) disagree with you.

    While your stance definitely makes sense, I think Iuz has his grubby fingers in so many usk-fruit-pies already that it's a bit too much for me to include him in this.
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:48 pm  

    DtG,

    Mmmm...now you've got my wheels and memory spinning. I could've thought I came across some info that hinted that Iuz helped spawn the troubles with the giants. Here's the connection:

    Iuz has drow in his Court (Eclavdra the High Priestess). He holds some (flimsy?) alliance with the Queen of Spiders (this was also true with the Temple of Elemental Evil, I believe, as well as the Queen of Fungi...was it not the three of them that worked together to bring about the Temple's rise?). The drow incited the giants to storm the Western Front. Iuz masterminded it. He used the giants, prodded by the drow of the Hellfurnaces, to keep the forces of Good busy in the West just as he used the Barbarians (sorry, Argon) to keep the Eastern Front busy. His main target was, has always been, Furyondy and Veluna, the 'bastions' of Goodness (Rao and Heironeous).

    Again, never underestimate the cunning of CE. It doesn't mean they aren't strategic or clever. It merely means they are willing to sacrifice anyone, anything, to their own gain. Alliances, promises, be damned.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:52 pm  

    Lanthorn,

    Ok, I think I see the issue here.

    You definitively have the upper hand as far as canon goes.

    I can't fight that and I suppose I'm being a bit foolish to debate the issue on a site called Canonfire! Laughing

    I am simply of the mind there should be no drow involved in that plot-line from the beginning, thus eliminating Iuz from the equation.
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:56 pm  

    DtG,

    You give me undue credit, but thanks all the same. There are countless others (Argon, Ceb, Rasgon, SirXaris, to name but a few) who have far more canon knowledge than do I. I am merely stating that I thought I read, somewhere, that Iuz had some meddling in the events that ultimately lead up to the giant incursion. That's all. I am sure that someone will cite evidence one way or the other (I will continue looking in the meantime).

    However, I think that most people on this site will agree that you, as DM, do what you prefer in your own game. If you don't want drow behind it (I agree that it's pretty lame to think that giants would ally with them, unless the fire giants can be manipulated by the dark elves or think that the alliance benefits them...and vice versa!), then that is truly your choice, and nothing's wrong with that.

    -Lanthorn


    Last edited by Lanthorn on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:07 pm  

    Lanthorn,

    I suppose it all boils down to why I chose to return to the WoG with 3.5ed.

    With the plethora of feats, books and ability to customize, I'm of the mind that I can do things the progenitors simply didn't have the tools to do.

    Hence my motto of 3rd ed rules; 1st ed feel.

    I make every effort, Truly, to keep what I perceive the spirit of of the Olde school to be while ratcheting up the quality of encounters and story-flow.

    Some may agree with my choices, many may disagree but I think you'd be impressed with just how much effort I put into making the classics as good, if not better, than they were with newer tools.

    In fact, I'm on this site to keep sharp and focused in doing the above.
    GreySage

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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:54 pm  

    According to the Gord books, Obmi (the dwarf working for the Fire Giants) was a vassal of Iuz. He was in direct competition with Eclavdra in those books when they were searching for some powerful artifact. Gord defeated him in battle, but his Ring of Regeneration brought him back. He wielded a warhammer with spikes on the other side called the Martel. I seem to remember that he swallowed his ring so it couldn't be taken from him, but he was burned to ashes so the ring didn't work that last time. Hmm...

    Eclavdra was never in Iuz's employ, as far as I can recall. I can't remember how Obmi came to be a servant of Iuz and it seemed odd way back when I read it, but that was definately the case in the books. That's the only connection I am aware of between Iuz and the Giants/Drow incursion.

    In ToEE, Lolth is not in league with Iuz and Tzuggtmoy. She has a couple of her own servants there (Lareth the Beautiful and that wizard on the second or third level) as spies, keeping an eye on what the other two deities are up to.

    SirXaris
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    Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:02 pm  

    Friend Xaris,

    I, too, have those books, but haven't read them in quite a while! However, I do recall some of the points you've made as well as some of the characters you've noted. I am glad that in Iuz the Evil (one of my favorite sourcebooks), Carl Sargent included such noteworthy characters from the Gord books such as Keak, Obmi, and yes, even Eclavdra. However, she is a true conundrum, b/c in different sources, she is a priestess of either Grazz't OR Lolth (and as a priestess of Lolth, she appears, I think, in both one of the old drow elf modules (Demonweb Pits, perhaps?) AND also as a higher level priestess in the Iuz sourceguide mentioned above).

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:34 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    ...I could've thought I came across some info that hinted that Iuz helped spawn the troubles with the giants. Here's the connection:

    Iuz has drow in his Court (Eclavdra the High Priestess). He holds some (flimsy?) alliance with the Queen of Spiders (this was also true with the Temple of Elemental Evil, I believe, as well as the Queen of Fungi...was it not the three of them that worked together to bring about the Temple's rise?)...


    -The puppet masters are having their own strings pulled. I like it. Evil Grin

    I think there are hints that the Scarlet Brotherhood had something to do with it.

    It is possible that different giant groups who attacked Geoff, Sterich and the Yeomanry were getting support from different groups (there are real-world precedents). G1-G3 and D1-D2 merely details some groups who were supported by the Drow. And (IIRC) there are also hints that there were two different Drow factions trying to control those giants.

    DrassustheGaunt wrote:
    Lanthorn wrote:
    The dark elves aside, I thought that Iuz also had a hand to play in the storm of giants that overtook the far West.

    -Lanthorn


    For the first time, I'm going to (respectfully) disagree with you.

    While your stance definitely makes sense, I think Iuz has his grubby fingers in so many usk-fruit-pies already that it's a bit too much for me to include him in this.


    -Iuz, Iggwilv, Vecna, Zagyg and the Drow. Any other overused puppet masters I've missed? Oh yeah. Scarlet Brotherhood. Laughing

    DrassustheGaunt wrote:
    ...I suppose it all boils down to why I chose to return to the WoG with 3.5ed.

    With the plethora of feats, books and ability to customize, I'm of the mind that I can do things the progenitors simply didn't have the tools to do.

    Hence my motto of 3rd ed rules; 1st ed feel...


    -That's a good way to put it. Some people hate the skills and feats concept, but I think it allows you to customize each character, PC or otherwise. FWIW
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    Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:53 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:


    The Apocalypse Stone isn't that old. I think it was 2nd Ed., though it may have been late AD&D.

    The premiss of the adventure was that the DM and the players were all ready to retire their party of PCs and begin anew and destroying the entire world would be a cool way to have them go out with a bang. But, really, who decides that there is no fun left in playing a PC beyond 15th level? Besides, every single officially published campaign world has NPCs of 20+ levels in it. So, it is unbelievable that a world's doomsday device would be protected by an NPC party of 9th-12th level individuals. Any bad guy with a reputation could take it from them. Any member of the Circle of Eight could likely do it on their own, as could Rary, Robilar, Warduke, Eli Tormorast, Iuz, Ivid, Mordenkainen... You get the picture. Confused



    Does the Apocalypse Stone actually contain Greyhawk-specific references? If yes, it must be one of the few GH modules I don't currently own.
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    Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:41 pm  

    Favorite module: Well, I've always been partial to G1-3 Against The Giants, but a close honorable mention goes to T1 Village of Hommlet and S1 Tomb of Horrors, just for its sheer sadisticness.

    Least favorite should be a cakewalk for Castle Greyhawk, but since it was obviously released as a big FU to Gary, I disqualify it for actually achieving its purpose.

    That would leave Child's Play as least favorite. There are absolutely no redeeming qualities to that module. It's a mess of epic proportions.

    Most disappointing goes to GReyhawk Ruins, because it delivered on NONE of the promise for what it could have been.
    GreySage

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    Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:17 pm  

    "Favorite module: Well, I've always been partial to G1-3 Against The Giants, but a close honorable mention goes to T1 Village of Hommlet and S1 Tomb of Horrors, just for its sheer sadisticness."

    Have you checked out the released Silver Edition of Against the Giants: the Liberation of Geoff? I would like to know what your thoughts are on the revised edition, if so.
    I agree about Hommlet, as I cut my teeth on that module during high school, and loved it, even though it nearly killed my PCs. Wink

    -Lanthorn
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    Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:37 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Have you checked out the released Silver Edition of Against the Giants: the Liberation of Geoff? I would like to know what your thoughts are on the revised edition, if so.


    I wasn't very impressed with it. There were some parts that I thought would be fun to add to the original G1-3, but most of the new stuff, I didn't really care for. Not really sure why, actually. I just remember not being overly impressed when I read through it years ago. I think the new stuff just wasn't very original in my mind. I may be being overly critical, though, so let's see what others have to say about it. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:33 am  

    I haven't read the module page by page, in detail, to be quite honest. However, from a casual perusal, I did appreciate the extensive information about the giants, including their augmented (?) powers. Furthermore, perhaps the greatest discovery for me, as a DM, was how the module handled healing recovery rates for the giants. I very much approved of the decision to increase giant daily healing from a mere, pitiful 3 hp (complete rest for characters) to whatever their HD happened to be. Ex: a 12 HD giant has a complete, daily rest healing rate of 12 hp! That compensates for their immense size and physical fortitude. I LOVED IT. Thusly, I have made it a (house?) rule to translate this over to any and all creatures with either enhanced HD and/or Large size or greater (includes ogres, dragons, etc).

    -Lanthorn
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    Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:48 am  

    Favourites: Slavelord series, Drow series
    Least Fasvourite: Withouta shadow of a doubt the awful Doomgrinder. Total rubbish from start to finish.
    GreySage

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    Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:31 am  

    @ Twiceborn

    I'm sorry, but I no longer have a copy of The Apocalypse Stone to check, but don't remember it being specific to Greyhawk.

    @ Skulking

    Welcome to Canonfire! Please introduce yourself in the Welcome Forum so that we may initiate you properly. Evil Grin

    SirXaris
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    Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:45 pm  

    @Lanthorn: I downloaded the PDF of the silver Anniversary of AGAINST THE GIANTS, and I can't say I was impressed. I dunno.... I find a lot of stuff from that period is just so over the top (see: RETURN TO THE KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS) that I just can't enjoy them.
    GreySage

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    Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:06 pm  

    SUPrUNown wrote:
    @Lanthorn: I downloaded the PDF of the silver Anniversary of AGAINST THE GIANTS, and I can't say I was impressed. I dunno.... I find a lot of stuff from that period is just so over the top (see: RETURN TO THE KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS) that I just can't enjoy them.


    Praytell your thoughts in more detail, if you have time and inclination. I am interested to hear what you think. Again, I haven't read the module in any real detail. Must rectify that.

    thanks,

    Lanthorn
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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:51 pm  
    My turn!

    Hi again,

    Favorite: S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (though, oddly, I haven't run it in years! Too sacred for me...?)

    Least Favorite: Gargoyles (some read worse, but I can say this one plays poorly too because I actually ran it)
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    Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:07 pm  

    DrassustheGaunt wrote:
    Favorites: A1-A4 Slaver's series, T1-T4 ToEE supermodule & last, but by no means least, Tomb of The Lizard King

    Loathed: Return to the ToEE → I wanted my money back 3 pages into it.


    I'd list G1-G3 as favorites but I thought the Drow were a really poor choice as the masterminds behind it. I feel mindflayers would've been a much better power-behind-the-throne. I still really like the modules, though they lost points for that in my eyes.


    Mindflayers. Wow. Is there literature on their culture? Would it work to substitute mindflayer for Drow? now i gotta get the MM
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    Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:14 pm  

    Mindflayer bosses with Drow underlings. A city of them would be interesting. I love the picture of the party getting mind blasted.
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    Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:36 pm  

    mcneilk wrote:
    Mindflayer bosses with Drow underlings. A city of them would be interesting. I love the picture of the party getting mind blasted.


    For an extreme adventure against lots of mind flayers, see Dungeon Magazine #24, Thunder Under Needlespire. Evil Grin

    SirXaris
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    Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:48 pm  

    mcneilk wrote:
    Mindflayers. Wow. Is there literature on their culture?


    The best source is The Illithiad for 2nd edition.
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    Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:30 pm  

    so there is literature out there.

    You guiys are good.
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    Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:13 pm  

    I hate creating a whole new thread, so:

    Is the Saltmarsh in DMG 3.5 the Salinmoor/Keoland one?

    (If so, not for player study...)

    Does the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil include more campaign stuff besides Hommlet, the Moathouse and the Temple itself? Did they ever flesh out Nulb (besides the 4 (?) things in T1-4?)?

    ...thinking of going ot Amazon... Wink
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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:16 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    I hate creating a whole new thread, so:

    Is the Saltmarsh in DMG 3.5 the Salinmoor/Keoland one?

    (If so, not for player study...)

    Does the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil include more campaign stuff besides Hommlet, the Moathouse and the Temple itself? Did they ever flesh out Nulb (besides the 4 (?) things in T1-4?)?

    ...thinking of going ot Amazon... Wink


    No is the short answer. They re-used the locations whilst adding little of interest unless you include the oft derided concept of Tharizdun being behind the whole Elemental "plot". Most of the mod centres around detailing the Crater Ridge Mines and the Fane in the lake which are just parts of a mega-dungeon with a check-your-brain-at-the-door theme designed to get you to the required level for the later parts. Granted, the layout of the mines is different from the multi-level type but..........

    Rastor gets a mention, albeit a brief one with no map.

    To be completely fair my players and I had fun rooting around Hommlet and the Moathouse a second time and Hommlet gets some updates in the text. But other than that, unless you're a completist, avoid.

    I'd let you have my copy but, unfortunately, I'm cursed with completeitis.
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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:30 am  

    Ragr wrote:
    ...No is the short answer. They re-used the locations whilst adding little of interest unless you include the oft derided concept of Tharizdun being behind the whole Elemental "plot". Most of the mod centres around detailing the Crater Ridge Mines and the Fane in the lake which are just parts of a mega-dungeon with a check-your-brain-at-the-door theme designed to get you to the required level for the later parts. Granted, the layout of the mines is different from the multi-level type but..........

    Rastor gets a mention, albeit a brief one with no map.

    To be completely fair my players and I had fun rooting around Hommlet and the Moathouse a second time and Hommlet gets some updates in the text. But other than that, unless you're a completist, avoid.

    I'd let you have my copy but, unfortunately, I'm cursed with completeitis.


    -Crater Ridge Mines? Fane in the Lake? That's new to me. And I am a completeist. But a slow one. I think I'll wait. Confused

    I tried doing a search on "Saltmarsh", but the only thing I got was these two posts. Laughing

    I thought someone discussed this. Confused
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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:20 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:

    I tried doing a search on "Saltmarsh", but the only thing I got was these two posts. Laughing

    I thought someone discussed this. Confused


    Yeah, the forum search function is broken. Maybe it will get fixed sooner if more people chime in here. A google site search will dig up some forum discussion, but it's incredibly clumsy and hard to sort.

    IIRC, some CF & DF members liked the Saltmarsh update, but many thought it destroyed the English-fishing village vibe of the original modules. The population Saltmarsh is increased to 2,000 and and it's pretty generic 3E.
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    Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:40 pm  

    vestcoat wrote:

    ...IIRC, some CF & DF members liked the Saltmarsh update, but many thought it destroyed the English-fishing village vibe of the original modules. The population Saltmarsh is increased to 2,000 and and it's pretty generic 3E.


    -Hmmm... the original was set in the late 570s, and I assume that the one in DMG II 3.5 is set in 591 or so, so a popultaion increase might be expected, particulalry if there was an influx of refugees from the Sea Princes. The refugees could also explain the change in flavor. To get the CY 579 version, I'd just have to do soem retro-engineering.

    Or maybe the people who wrote the new one didn't bother to look at U1-U3. Confused

    I will adapt!

    Thanks.
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    Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:02 am  

    If I remember right, part of the deal was that Seaton was sacked by pirates and alot of the refugees ended up in Saltmarsh.
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    Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:51 pm  

    xo42 wrote:
    Why/what did you not like about Greyhawk Ruins Grodog? I don't think I've ever heard someone dislike it so I'm curious.


    Sorry, I missed your Q last May, xo42. I'm not a big fan of Greyhawk Ruins for a few reasons, but I think the biggest is that it still wasn't the original Castle Greyhawk of Gygax and Kuntz. That's not really fair to Greyhawk Ruins, but that was certainly my primary motivation in picking it up (and WG7 at the time it came out, too).

    WRT Greyhawk Ruins on its own terms, I've never been a big proponent of the three towers of quasi-themed encounters---they just never worked well for me. I didn't like the maps/designs of the levels much either. But it's really been ages since I re-read it, so I should probably do that again to offer a more informed opinion than "I really didn't like it when it came out 23 years ago" ;)
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    Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:49 am  

    I'm sure this has been discussed earlier, but what do you all think about the Silver Anniversary Edition of "Against the Giants: the Liberation of Geoff?"

    I finally got my paws on an actual copy of it and have read most of its contents, and am not all that disappointed, though I know some of you did not prefer it.

    Likes? Dislikes?

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:56 am  

    I appreciated the idea of the Cloud Giants being included, though I wasn't happy with everything about the way it was implemented. That's not a real criticism, though, as every DM will prefer to change things here and there.

    I also liked some of the smaller encounters, like the the keep held by the Mountain giants (or was it Hill giants?).

    What I especially didn't like were the Frost Giant caverns. I remember thinking that there was nothing new and interesting (the rather unimpressive multi-headed giants being the extend of it). It was just more of the same, seeming very much a copy of the Glacial Rift of Jarl Grugnir. Neutral

    SirXaris
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    Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:00 pm  

    I thoroughly enjoyed the cloud giant angle. It made more sense for giants to band together under their own oversized banner against the smaller folk than to have drow elves (or Iuz, as I once thought) engineer the whole plot.

    Too bad there wasn't a counter-war with storm giants and some good cloud giants, perhaps with a few voadkyn as well (or a titan or two), to rival the opposing forces of Evil, and attempt to assist the overrun humans to reclaim their homelands. With a 'price' of course.

    DM plotline? Wink

    Overall, though, I liked the premise, and I very much appreciated the added information provided at the beginning of the module about giants, including the part about cloud giant magic and giant healing. I have begun to institute that rule for ALL large creatures, b/c, to me, it makes SENSE. Bigger creatures SHOULD heal faster than smaller ones to counter their large hit point totals, and to reflect their greater constitutions/fortitude.

    I also really like what 2e did to 'beef up' both giants and dragons (!!!) into truly terrible foes. This module is a real TPK if your players aren't savvy, clever, and tactical. A 'kill them all' attitude is likely to get you to a short grave too...or a cooking pot amid many hungry giantkin. Shocked

    Although I will likely never have the opportunity to run this module ( Cry ), it is a great tribute to the old giant series, and a wonderful addition to my collection.

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:16 pm  

    I'm not a fan of Liberation of Geoff.
    1) The module makes absolutely no attempt to adapt the old scenarios to the new edition. It just raises the giants' hit points and that's it. No change to the number of giants or the suggested party levels. No advice for the DM. I'm fine with powerful 2E giants and the new healing rules make sense, but more work was in order.
    2) LoG is a very awkward mix of reprint and retcon. The only way to run the module as written and stick to the official timeline is to insert a fifteen-year gap between G1-3 and G4-6.
    3) Like it or not, Lolth and the drow were behind G1-3 in 576CY and an official GH product shouldn't have written them off. I don't mind integrating the Sakhut, but it requires a fair amount of work and LoG is no help.
    4) Boring, boring, unimaginative dungeon maps. See the circular dungeon of Castle Thrasmotnir. See the clouds of the Sakhut... Azeil's Castle... Kargyraa's Fort. Like Star Cairns and Lyzandred, all of Sean Reynolds' maps are just a bunch of rooms! Compare them to anything Gygax did.
    5) The towns are equally boring - nothing but wreckage and stupid, lazy giant despots. SKR could have given us an awesome writeup on Gorna; instead we got a couple dozen ogres and fomorians shouting insults across ruined streets. Where Gygax crafted intelligent, wily humanoids and wheels within wheels, SRK gives us ambitionless oafs content to sit in bombed-out ruins waiting for humans to come and kill them. Where Sargent's evil lands had intrigue, politics, notoriety systems, SKR has "obey your leader", kill your enemy", and "fight orc, you die!" rolleyes


    Last edited by vestcoat on Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:37 am; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:22 pm  

    Ok, safe to say that Vestcoat is definitely not a fan. Wink

    Nevertheless, I appreciate your thoughtful response and pointed arguments explaining why you didn't like the module. That's better than merely saying, "Dude, this module sucked!"

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:53 pm  

    Vestcoat is pretty spot on though. Just changing the giants stats (and those of some dragons) from 1E to 2E, but not actually changing the number of giants (or toning down dragon power levels enough), turns the main encounters of the G Series into TPKs, and even the moderate encounters can be TPKs. Oh, and "hydra" frost giants are beyond lame (anybody familiar with LoG knows what I am referring to). Razz LoG is decent enough, but it needs some serious revamping before a DM (who doesn't plan on killing everyone) runs it.

    I am with Grodog on Greyhawk Ruins, though not because it wasn't written by EGG, just all of the other reasons he mentioned. Greyhawk Ruins has some good ideas, but others are just a bit too contrived/gimmicky. It was sort of a weird product era though. Things were just...off.
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:19 am  

    I actually like Greyhawk Ruins. Granted, I've only read the Tower of War word for word and browsed the other sections, but I'm looking forward to trying it on my players one of these days.

    I was disappointed when I first bought it because it seemed so weird, but my opinion improved considerably when I read that response letter that Grodog or Joe Bloch or someone got from the authors.

    Basically, I like GH Ruins because the authors succeeded in what they were trying to do. Given the impossible, thankless task of imagining Gygax's famous dungeon in a $15 softcover, the authors did their research and made a faithful attempt to integrate every CG reference they could find, even though TSR wouldn't let them cite out-of-print sources and GH was going through a terrible period of product line management (WG7, WG9-11, Rose Estes novels, and very mixed bags like the GH hardbound and Fate of Istus).

    The authors also succeeded in creating the biggest dungeon ever fully detailed by TSR. Where the Undermountain box is 99% empty rooms and Expedition to Castle Greyhawk claims the dungeons are too big to fit in one volume, Mobley and Brown invented a space-saving text format and jammed 26 levels in 86 pages. **** yeah. Take that, 3E stat blocks and excessive tactical maps!

    I like the oblique Gagaxian references to products that can't be named. I like integrating weird bits of GH canon like the House of Yust in the Great Kingdom. I like reconciling and fleshing out the Ring of Five. I like the Ravenloft and Spelljammer connections. I like the wisps of plot and non-linear adventuring for no particular character levels (just be careful!). I like the themes and power struggles in the different towers and the choice players have in where they want to explore each week.

    Sure, the diagonal, gridless maps suck and the DM has plenty of customization to do, but WGR1 is so flush with barebones material and weird NPCs, that I can see it quickly taking on a life of its own in a campaign.
    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:03 am  

    Looks like Liberation of Geoff...not garnering much in the 'like' category. Confused Anyone out there actually like it?

    Cannot speak to much about Greyhawk Ruins one way or the other, but have heard that most folks don't care about it. I think my friend has a copy and I'll need to take a gander before I offer my own perspective.

    Okay, switching gears to another Silver Edition module. Same question applies, and please offer reasons. What about Return to White Plume Mountain?

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:06 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Looks like Liberation of Geoff...not garnering much in the 'like' category. Anyone out there actually like it?


    Cannot say, never played Liberation of Geoff. Confused

    I was disappointed with Ghost Tower of Inverness. It wasn't what I was really expecting, or hoping for. Needless to say, I've never "revisited" the module. For me, it almost needs a complete rewrite.

    And Gargoyle (WG9) is a little too "comedic" for my taste. With its setting in The Yeomanry and it's particular use of gargoyles, I saw great potential . . . needless to say -- another "let down." I'd rewrite it as well.

    But everyone has different taste. Wink
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:39 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:

    Okay, switching gears to another Silver Edition module. Same question applies, and please offer reasons. What about Return to White Plume Mountain?

    The Good: Bruce Cordell makes great dungeons.

    The Bad: utter disregard for GH canon and political divisions.

    For example...

    RtWPM: Cordell bothered to find a copy of Iuz the Evil and use locations from the map (Ringland and Plague Fields), but didn't read the descriptions. The logistics of putting a ho-hum trapper village in the middle of Iuz's empire didn't even occur to him.

    RttToH *SPOILERS*: The Great Kingdom's Kalstrand is a generic river town with less than half the population cited in Ivid, the Dark Intrusion covers the better part of a map quadrant and is sending packs of wights 400 miles from the Vast Swamp, crossing the border between the South Province and Sunndi is completely uneventful (indeed, nowhere in the adventure book is Sunndi even mentioned)... oh, and some townsfolk are concerned because, you know, Hazendel just disappeared.

    Bastion of Faith: a new Aerdi migration kingdom in the Harp River Valley in 303CY, why not? And how about monastic thieves of Heironeous and enough name-level NPCs to take over the Forgotten Realms?
    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:10 pm  

    Okay, so I won't expect "great reading" from Return to White Plume Mountain. Evil Grin

    I've only read through, never "gamed" it before and so, never paid close attention to the details! Embarassed

    Thanks for the "heads up" Vestcoat. Wink

    Now to give it another read . . . for a "fault" finding mission! Laughing
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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:52 pm  

    vestcoat wrote:

    ...Bastion of Faith: a new Aerdi migration kingdom in the Harp River Valley in 303CY, why not? And how about monastic thieves of Heironeous and enough name-level NPCs to take over the Forgotten Realms?


    1) I interpreted that as either - CY 303 or 303 Oeridian reckoning (I forget which off hand);

    2) They're thief class (or rogues), but they function as intell'guys. I don't interpret Heironeous as being against intell';

    3) Yeah. I cut down the earned XPs they would have by half for the adventurers and by 80% for the stay at homes. Wink
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:44 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    vestcoat wrote:

    ...Bastion of Faith: a new Aerdi migration kingdom in the Harp River Valley in 303CY, why not? And how about monastic thieves of Heironeous and enough name-level NPCs to take over the Forgotten Realms?


    1) I interpreted that as either - CY 303 or 303 Oeridian reckoning (I forget which off hand)


    It's a difference of about 30 years either way. Probably doesn't make much difference. Choosing OR would date the founding of Thalland before the birth of Tuerny. CY after.
    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:51 pm  

    With respect to Greyhawk Ruins:

    I realize that the multitude of creatures within is extremely unrealistic. And, usually, I am a stickler for making the fantasy Greyhawk setting as believably realistic as possible. However, I found that with a bit of added explaination (which I do for every module I run), the eclectic collection of monsters and the myriad mysteries the PCs have the opportunity to run into and solve makes campaigning through those 26 levels or so beneath that single ruin an extremely fun exercise.

    So, I agree with Vestcoat's analysis of Greyhawk Ruins while remaining willing to admit to its faults as expressed by others.

    SirXaris
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    Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:18 am  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    jamesdglick wrote:
    vestcoat wrote:

    ...Bastion of Faith: a new Aerdi migration kingdom in the Harp River Valley in 303CY, why not? And how about monastic thieves of Heironeous and enough name-level NPCs to take over the Forgotten Realms?


    1) I interpreted that as either - CY 303 or 303 Oeridian reckoning (I forget which off hand)


    It's a difference of about 30 years either way. Probably doesn't make much difference. Choosing OR would date the founding of Thalland before the birth of Tuerny. CY after.

    -I forgot to check, but the important consideration was to put in in the shadowy past, instead of 303 years after the declaration of universal peace...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:21 pm  
    My two cents

    One great module that is a sleeper hit is my personal favorite - N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God. It had mystery, a neat town setting, overland trekking, a dungeon crawl in a unique setting, lots of possibilities for the DM to create characters, and a good plotline.

    On a personal note, it was the first module I ever bought and the first one I tried to DM (badly at first, it was pretty challenging to a newbie). Since then, I have led each new adventuring group through this one first and each time had new twists that a party would bring to the table.

    As far as my personal worst, I thought that Patriots of Ulek had the most potential wasted. Some of the other "Hall of Shame" modules were always intended to be one shots or jokey, but this one could have been a bridge from the 1st to 2nd edition/From the Ashes transition module that opened up great opportunities for adventuring in the Pomarj. But instead it was just mundane and forgettable. So for my money, for what could have been a great mod, this one is the worst for its banality.

    O-D
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:16 pm  
    Re: My two cents

    Osmund-Davizid wrote:

    As far as my personal worst, I thought that Patriots of Ulek had the most potential wasted. Some of the other "Hall of Shame" modules were always intended to be one shots or jokey, but this one could have been a bridge from the 1st to 2nd edition/From the Ashes transition module that opened up great opportunities for adventuring in the Pomarj. But instead it was just mundane and forgettable. So for my money, for what could have been a great mod, this one is the worst for its banality.

    Yeah, WGQ1 is really bad - bloated box text and boring encounters - but at least the plot makes sense. IMO, Howl From the North is the real rotten egg of the Wars era. It ruined a trilogy, it contradicts itself in a dozen different places, it derails everything Sargent setup, and it doesn't contain a single encounter or idea worth cannibalizing.

    vestcoat wrote:

    Bastion of Faith: a new Aerdi migration kingdom in the Harp River Valley in 303CY, why not?

    A correction and apologies to Mr Cordell: I just realized that the Kingdom of Thalland came from Gnome Cache. There's no way Bruce Cordell would have put that in, which means Thalland is an Erik Mona easter egg (a la the Quag Keep reference in Expedition to the Ruins of GH) and the year really should be minus 303CY. An editor or typo probably took out the dash.
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    Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:08 am  

    Been awhile since I posted on these forums, but noticed this thread and felt like chiming in.

    Most favored:
    As a DM > The Gauntlet & The Sentinel - just love this little 2-part adventure! Even built a mini-campaign around the setting.
    As a Player > G1-3 & Cult of the Reptile God - loads of fun and we were just learning AD&D at the time.

    Least favored:
    As a DM > "L" Series - Secret of Bone Hill and Assassin's Knot - finishing up my campaign with this series and it can't end soon enough!! Writing is vague and hard to follow and maps are pitiful. Don't even care what happens with Assassin's Knot - just trying to get my players through Bone Hill and be done.
    As a Player > Expedition to the Barrier Peaks - boring, boring, and (everybody say it with me)...boring! [/u]
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:51 pm  

    I agree with you hedgeknight the worst in my opinion is expedition to barrier peaks. Boring is too nice a word. The original Keep on the Borderlands was kind of weak for me so I rewrote the keep and added some interesting characters to the town then used that for a starting place for countless generations of adventurers. Still use it today set in southern yeomanry.

    The best for me would have to be the Slavers series. I loved the storyline and probably ran them more times than any other. It was fun to tinker with - I had a pc kidnapped prior to A-2 when a friend wasn't able to show up for a while. He was sold to the slavers by Estelrath Tancred and Markessa "tinkered" with him a bit before being rescued by the players later in A-2. Isle of Dread and Tomb of the Lizard King are close seconds. Isle was good for adapting to the various parties I've run through it and Lizard King was just a good old time Adventure (with caps). Those are the top three for sure, but I must mention the Book of Lairs 1 and 2. They were pretty sweet for the quick rumble when time was short, but also spawned some memorable adventures when I had time to shape some of those "lairs" into something greater.
    GreySage

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    Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:12 pm  

    GreyMaus,

    Check out my thread entitled, The Keep on the Borderlands, in the Campaign Journals and General Online Play forum for some ideas on how to adapt and run that adventure. Cool

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=5218

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    Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:23 pm  

    I realize that my explanation on this is over a year late, but what the heck. 8) As to why I don't like The Liberation of Geoff.... now, granted, I haven't reread the module for a long time (like, over a year), but here's what I remember. I was not a fan of the power level being upped so completely. TPK, indeed. Unless you were running a group of power munchkins, I don't see a very long life expectency in this module. I could agree with the arguement that that was the nature of 2nd edition AD&D, but this module just seemed... overpowered? I also wasn't totally sold on the massive army of giants being retconned in (although, after reading this thread, I sort of agree with the idea that a giant army makes more sense than giants being ordered about by drow).

    I think my fundamental flaw with this update is I like my campaigns to be rather "low fantasy" - much more grittier, and Howard-esque. My campaign would have little trouble fitting in Hill Giants, and could probably handle Frost Giants and Fire Giants, but Cloud Giants, roaming around on floating cloud fortresses, is a little TOO high fantasy for me. I also remember feeling that the new storyline bascially relegated the old story to the tashpile, and completely ignored whatever charms it may have had.

    I think that sums up my feelings of most of 2nd ed AD&D... while the rules were cleaned up, too often, it felt like all the "fun" had been sanitized out of the game. I haven't read ANY 2nd ed module that has truly excited me the way The Forgotten City, or Keep on the Borderlands, or The Lost City, or Against the Giants did.
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    Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:57 am  

    I love when the Thread Necromancer revives old threads. It brings to my attention all these cool threads that I never saw before. Thus, I can now weigh in with my favorites and least favorites. I'll start with least:

    Least Favorites:

    3. Castle Greyhawk. I can't agree more about this comedic module. I never used it or anything from it, though that was more because we just never adventured there. Nothing in it should really have become canon; however, there were some good things. I think some NPC and dragon stats are there which were useful at the time.
    2. Puppets (WG11). I'm not sure if it was terrible or anything, to be honest. But I remember being very disappointed, to the point that I never ran it. It just collects dust. Maybe I should pull it out and check it out again.
    3. Fate of Istus. This one actually had lots of useful info about various locales, and that was all I liked. It was otherwise a cheap "trick" to transition from ADnD to 2nd Ed. As an informational supplement, it was great, but as an adventure it fell flat on its face.

    Favorites:
    3. Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun (WG4): If the rest of the WG series was this good, man! This had a very nice mix of wilderness and dungeon crawl. It had excellent combinations of combats and mystery. The map was cool! Finally, the thing was absolutely old-school awesome in how it didn't really explain what was in the Cyst. You got just enough info to then run with it as you wished. That was the beauty of the old DnD system, and GH in particular, and it worked here!
    2. Hall of the Fire Giant King (F3): An excellent and absolutely deadly module, this one has almost no downside. It's the perfect transition from surface to underground, and sets up some excellent hooks. For me, this one had the best fight in DnD history. In a nutshell, the party entered and immediately got in a fight in the main hall. As DM, I gradually emptied the ENTIRE MODULE as more and more reinforcements appeared. Only a hastily used Daern's Instant Fortress saved the party, as my old PC/NPC Cleric Ranger launched arrow after arrow from the top of the fortress. That was fun. Anyway, the fight lasted the entire night, with a few deaths, but the party being victorious. It was epic.
    1. Village of Hommlet (T1) and Temple of Elemental Evil (T1-4): I put these together for obvious reasons. There is a reason so many people still start with these. There's also a reason everyone seems to have run it half-dozen times. You just cannot beat a module that is so perfect. Yeah, there are some oddities in it, but really, this is what all DnD modules should have aspired to achieve. You start with 1st level guys for whom some giant toads are quite deadly, and end up fighting a demonqueen and getting a FtF with Iuz and St. Cuthbert. What more could you want?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:32 am  

    Reading some of the more recent posts on here (well, relatively recent) and have to agree with Hedgeknight about UK2-3. I'm a big fan of Graeme Morris's work and always love seeing Geoff Wingate's maps, no matter what the adventure is. He really knocked it out of the park with the map of the keep in UK3.

    Also, Ragnar, have to agree with G3 although I love pretty much all of the original giant series pretty much equally. It was a real treat for me seeing them updated to 4e. For the way I like to DM, and I had been planning to adapt them to my campaign, I always had something of a problem with them just because it never made sense to me, how the local ecosystem could be sustaining all them. I was just going to use a larger number of humanoid and ogre servants to replace some of the giants, although I guess when you get to that point, how is the ecosystem sustaining all those servants as well as a smaller number of giants, so maybe my reasoning breaks down. Embarassed Regardless, they are all excellent modules and not just because they retain a special place in my heart.
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