When I think of the order modules should be played, GDQ comes before T1-4. In this case, I think it would be better to run a neatened up version of the 'as is' Temple. Zuggtmoy instead of Lolth, no reference to the EEG, etc. But I think if you opted to run the Temple 1st, there's a pretty good case for re-adding the EEG, or at least some references. Create this background nemesis that the party is dimly aware of, and then put him back into the climax of the GD series as originally intended. You can't really run them both as Gary originally conceived them, since he basically used the exact same plot for both. He outlined the Temple, but then took the plot and intended to use it for the GD series, forcing him to rewrite the Temple. This was the original reason for the Temple delay. Of course his GD idea was overruled, and the EEG never got to see the light of day.
Post by geneweigel on May 25, 2015 21:13:50 GMT -5
Sorry, I got a little distracted with all the crap I'm doing.
The only thing that is obvious is the second "moathouse" which is Lair #1. The rest will be other dungeons that reflect on the temple and will be complicated but not outshining the new Nulb and revised Temple.
That's been my kick around project for years. A sand box starter box set that's basically centered around Hommmlet and environs several years later. No ToEE involvement. Hommlet is detailed. Nulb. Some detail on Greenway Valley. Maybe a small elf settlement. References to Verbobonc. A restocked Moathouse and several other small dungeons tossed around in different terrain types.
I like that idea a lot, for a sandbox area around Hommlet. I also like the variation for several years prior to T1 instead of after. The prior period would predate the construction of Burne and Rufus' tower and many folk who are listed as newcomers to the village.
A better outdoor map that both includes some interesting detail* and actually matches the descriptions in the text is something I've wanted to do for T1-4 for a long time, but maybe instead of bothering with it I'll just borrow Gene's instead (since at least at a glance it looks really good; I like it better than a similar map done a couple years back by Paul Stormberg). T1-4 is an endless fascination and frustration to me because there's a ton of stuff in it that's really good and flavorful and inspiring but it's also a huge mess - there are big holes that need to be filled in by the DM, and the latter parts of the dungeon (the stuff, presumably, primarily written by Frank Mentzer) get more and more boring. On the one hand I'd love to run it again because I know I'd do so much better job with it now than when I was a kid and didn't really understand a lot of the subtle stuff, but if I did I'd want to do so much work "fixing" and expanding it that it almost seems like I'd be better off just creating something entirely new.
*I'm thinking stuff that might inspire the individual DM to come up with additional side adventures and red-herrings; I get why Gary (and Frank) didn't include those sorts of side-adventures in the book (both because they already had their hands full and because Gary liked to leave room for the DM to add and individualize things) but those sorts of adventures are really needed - especially if some PCs die off in the moathouse, which is very likely - and as-is the module provides only some pretty weak and bland suggestions for what they might be (presumably, again, written by Mentzer, since they're not in the original T1 - and they're lame).
As a mini "campaign" T1-4 definitely needs some filler. The rise in challenge between the Moathouse and the Temple is huge. It's so dungeon-centric that it would be nice to get the PCs into the wilderness a bit, but the wilderness can be tough for low level PCs. The party could make trips to Verbobonc. I once had a party head west to Greenway Valley to find a gnome that would buy the small elven cloak they found in the Moathouse. Really, there should be an adventure that is similar in scale to the Moathouse that the party tackles between the Moathouse and the Temple.
Alright, I came up with the non-"pave over Nentzer" approach so I'm going with everything redone as an extra or even a sequel instead of a redo. No EEG and no Lolth either as that can wait for something else.
Post by foster1941 on Jan 13, 2017 13:47:38 GMT -5
I spent too much time yesterday messing around with maps trying to make sense of all the textual references in T1 and T1-4. I decided to stick with T1-4's 30 leagues from Hommlett to Verbobonc (the 10 leagues reference per T1 is too close) and to go with the Polyhedron placement rather than T1-4's (or the 1983 set's). I kept the distance from Hommlett to Nulb at 6 miles instead of 30. A couple of decisions I made:
The "Low Road" doesn't literally follow the course of the Velverdyva River (which cuts sharply north right around Hommlett) but rather follows its course generally and is "low" because it stays below the Kron Hills. Thus the road from Hommlett through Nulb to Sobanwych (which lies at the eastern verge of the Gnarley Forest) and Dyvers is the Low Road. I'm not really able to reconcile the notions of Nulb being a remote backwater and being not only on the Low Road but commanding the only ford of the Imeryds Run (the upstream ford is on the road leading from Hommlett to the Wild Coast), but decreasing the distance between Nulb and Hommlett helps - merchant trains ford the river at Nulb but then continue to push on for another 2 hours to Hommlett and the Inn of the Welcome Wench rather than staying there.
The trace path that winds from the moat house for 7 leagues to the Temple also had me mystified for awhile, but I made it work by giving it a very circuitous route - crossing the Imeryds Run about 8 miles north of Nulb, winding along the northern and eastern verge of the marsh north of that town, and approaching the Temple ruins from the far (east) side. This is a very indirect route, but it allows approach to the ruins without passing through Nulb. It does contradict the statement that the only other crossing of the Imeryds Run is 18 miles upstream, but that's easy enough to amend to the only other commonly-known crossing, with the downstream crossing being a secret. Which makes sense, really - the temple denizens must have a way of crossing back and forth across that river without going through downtown Nulb or going 18 miles in each direction out of their way.
I spent too much time yesterday messing around with maps trying to make sense of all the textual references in T1 and T1-4. I decided to stick with T1-4's 30 leagues from Hommlett to Verbobonc (the 10 leagues reference per T1 is too close) and to go with the Polyhedron placement rather than T1-4's (or the 1983 set's). I kept the distance from Hommlett to Nulb at 6 miles instead of 30.
I like you're thinking, Trent! I've wanted to sit down and build a similar regional map around Hommlet for some time. I haven't since I'm still pretty disillusioned on T1-4 overall. And I do like Gene's, as well as Paul's maps: I'd love to see a map built similar to Gene's in a more detailed, drill-down hex grid manner, like:
or, more likely, both!
This analytic mapping also starts to lay some of the necessary groundwork for building out a network of roads in Greyhawk. I know that there were a number of folks who did some work toward that on greytalk in the 1990s, but I don't know of any contemporary efforts along those lines.