I just ordered this on the new website Paul Stormberg advertised. It looks like the theme is getting together some artists and writers from the TSR of the late 70's/early 80's to produce some new material. The only thing available so far is what appears to be an expansion on Rob's "Living Room." Does this count as a dungeon level of Castle Greyhawk from the EGG/RJK Co-DMing era?
I was happy to see the announcement, but disappointed that the first/only product available is the Living Room again, even if it's been expanded. With all the material Rob has mentioned over the years, you'd think they could have put together something new for the initial release.
I never got into any of that because of Rob's erratic behavior since the 2007 Lake Geneva Convention. I think based on interacting with him on Facebook last year that he has misconstrued who I am at this point because he handed me some generic bragging that missed its mark. All he would have to do is send me an e-mail at this point but I'm not holding my breath. I might have to Photoshop him out of the GenCon pic... ...and replace him with Roger E. Moore...
Have to agree that they could have started with something a little (or a lot) more exciting. I have Bottle City, CotSK and a few others from one of Rob's ventures in the last decade or so. I guess you don't really want to bring out the great treasures right off the bat, but I'd have preferred something else.
I'm not so sure there are any other unreleased treasures left from Rob in the wake of his El Raja Key Archive. It could be that going forward the intent is to do new material as an expansion upon old material considered classic or with nostalgic appeal. Consider the other offerings listed on their website (and what I surmise they will be): Discovery of the Unknown (sequel or expansion of B1: In Search of the Unknown), Mansion of Mad Professor Ludlow (reworking of an old module from Dragon magazine that used AD&D rules for a 'modern' scenario), and three more giant lairs (a sequel series to G1-3 Against the Giants).
There were a ton of seeds on the Archive that could have been expanded on. Any one of those El Raja Key dungeon levels with the maps redrawn and keys added. Those fragments of wilderness adventures, etc. Something a DM could use, instead of just a historical curiosity.
I received this as well as the monograph titled "The Game That Changed Everything" today. Everything smells so freshly printed! A few initial impressions... The BEYOND THE LIVING ROOM module replicates the nostalgic format and style of late 70's/early 80's era (my favorite) with separate folder/cover with maps in blue ink on the inside. There is artwork by Jeff Dee on the front and back cover, and interior art by Darlene Pekul, Andy "Atom" Taylor and also with reproduced art by Jim Holloway (RIP). It even has "Pregenerated Character Statistics" in the back in the exact same format as was in G1-3 and D1-2! So, visually, it is everything I want. It looks like it may be three set pieces that can be dropped into existing dungeon adventures -- 32 pages total, not counting cover and maps.
The monograph "The Game That Changed Everything" is 12 pages total, counting front cover as page 1 and back cover as page 12. It is soft cover on glossy paper and printed in color and stapled. There are excerpts of art, advertisements, maps and map notes to go along with the story.
From a distance, it all seems alright. Personality aside, that Stormberg character seemed alright making D&D facsimiles so if he is involved it might be tight-looking. At least, compared to some of Rob's "D20 System" rough outings. Jeff Dee attacked me on Facebook a few years ago, so he also has a bit of a hard tang for me to swallow, but I'll be fair it does seems alright looking. As for the rest, Mike Carr (B1;FIGHT IN THE SKIES/DAWN PATROL) was specifically pointed out to me as one of the TSR good guys by EGG. Although, I only met briefly B1 adventure has always been an old standby. Darlene has always been a fave so... with the unholy "like/unlike" trinity of Dee/Kuntz/Stormberg it might be decent.
I have ordered the "Beyond the Living Room" module, but do not have it yet. I am intrigued by the LR8 module "Nexus of the Elder God"; which appears to be a take on "Temple of Tharizdun"; but the name implies EEG... I hope that whatever parties are involved with it remember that Gary categorically stated that Tharizdun and the EEG(s) were NOT the same entity! If they even hint at that Monte Cook-derived link, I shall vent online hell fire such as I have not in years! And also, Gary got the EEG idea from "Dwellers in the Mirage" by A. Merritt; even using a variation of the being's name from said novel in both Dangerous Journeys and Lejendary Adventures. It's rather easy to do an EEG in the proper light with that in mind... Just sayin'.
Well, I have to say that I like the Beyond the Living Room adventure (with its two additional areas). If my PC's go back to Greyhawk, I'll incorporate it into the Castle. Without saying too much, the main antagonist is an interesting sort... This module does have that 1E kind of vibe going for it, so I'm guessing that will be the case for the further modules to come. One of the upcoming modules is "Tomb of Terror", modeled after "Tomb of Horrors" but the artwork advertising it has an Egyptian motif, so perhaps it will be a reworking of Alan Lucien's original Ra-Hotep tomb edited for AD&D play. I think Paul does a lot of the editing and thus far it holds up; so here's hoping for some more "Old School" adventures.