I'd still love to see those adventures, but I don't have much hope. Game-related writing doesn't seem to be a priority with Rob right now, and when he does talk about possible projects, these don't come up.
This is the layout and in BOLD is what I believe might be almost completely rearranged from whatever he gave them but there might be more within the text. The maps seem very weirdly done and don't look like Kuntz's style either based on the various pile of maps that I went through with him at GenCon 2002 (one of which was the original "TSOJCONTH").
Author Preface Party Composition and Challenges Reading/lnterptreting the Module Text Player Introduction and Background Beginning the Adventure MAP of INDUNGWALD Background: The Battle and the Coming of N'Threxus Travelling to Fang Forest Outdoor Encounters Areas 1 - 6 Entry to Stronghold of Dark Druids (Map) The Dark Druids Keep: Dungeon Level One Dark Druids Stronghold Level One (Map) The Dark Druids Keep: Dungeon Level 2 Dark Druids Stronghold Level 2 (Map)\ Dark Druids Keep: Level 3 Dark Druids Stronghold Level 3 (Map) Ending the Adventure Playing out the Quest: Dark Druids and Beyond ... Dark Quest Series (Capsules) Appendix A: New Monsters Appendix B: New Magic Items APPENDIX C: DARK DRUIDS NEW PRESTIGE CLASS Dark Druid Sects Descriptions "DARK DRUIDS" IN THE WORLD OF ERDE
Earlier in the thread Allan wrote: "It's based on the expanded 1e/CU version that Rob published as a download several years ago via PPP, but never printed."
And this was on the Chaotic Henchmen website:
What's New & Different
As mentioned above, Dark Druids was previously released in 2002 by Troll Lord Games as a d20 module; and then released again by Rob Kuntz in 2006, expanded with additional content, as pdf modules for the Creations Unlimited system and the d20 system. (In fact, used copies of the 2002 version aren't hard to find on eBay, Amazon and Noble Knight Games, usually around $10 + shipping, so if you'd prefer that version, grab it!)
If you already own a prior version and are unsure whether to get the new version, the following might help you decide...
The new 2015 version of Dark Druids: - Incorporates all the 2006 expansion material (see below). - Adjusts the mechanics & statistics for usability with 1st edition AD&D. - Includes 40+ new illustrations, many suitable for showing the players, even if you run an older version of the module. - Contains newly re-renedered maps that are clearer and more correct than prior versions. - Has been re-organized for better ease-of-use during play. (Note: Keyed areas have be re-numbered and in some cases re-ordered. So if you're hoping to use the newly re-rendered maps with an older version of the module, you'll have to write the old area numbers onto the new maps.)
2006 Expansion Material: - Overview map & outline for the Claws in the Dark followup scenario - N'Threxus, Lord of Pestilence description & stats - Special Bonus Article—The Dark God: Historical Content, Developer Commentary, and an Ode to the Dark God (this was also previously published in 2003 in Rob Kuntz's ERKME #4, as well as on the Canonfire! website)
Post by geneweigel on Oct 23, 2015 10:04:04 GMT -5
I was looking for DARK DRUIDS talk in my e-mails and its nothing but superficialities (Immediately after the 2002 publication, I pointed out how the map on page 13 was misspelled and prior to the 2002 publication, Rob says that DARK DRUIDS is a Greyhawk module that he is working on.).
Interspersed with all the drama e-mails of my time as a never paid employee of PIED PIPER PUBLICATIONS... Heh, I just found the e-mail where he asked me to do all the graphics for the websites and logos. Honestly? I completely forgot that I never volunteered for that. I've been looking at a file filled with images for years and forgot he had asked me to do it. What a waste of energy! I have several redone banner for the EZ messageboard and what looks like an attempt at redoing logos. Also an advertisement for THE BARBAROUS COAST.
Running this adventure, it's got some issues. The main opponents, the druids, are pretty easy to take out. They're engaged in this civil war and easy to take off guard. They're lightly armored, and druid spells have high casting times. The party kind of mowed through them, interrupting their spells and cutting them to bits. There are some very tough encounters in the adventure, but most of the dark druid encounters did not fall into this category. They could use more meat shields. I was thinking dark bards might be a good addition too.
You know there is a lot of muddled info on Wikipedia. It says Pied Piper Publishing started in 2006 and stopped in 2010. So what the hell were we dicking around on that messageboard all that time for?
As an aside, the intensity of the CITY OF BRASS publication talk in the e-mails seems like it was really going to blow me away but the thing that he made was some sad sauce. Afterwards he's saying there is a manuscript that he didn't give them but I can't tell if he's trying to save face or not.
Yeah, City of Brass was a big downer. I think the HackMaster version that was published after the Necromancer deal fell apart was an incomplete manuscript from Rob filled in by a Kenzer writer. Never looked at it.
At one part in the e-mails, he is enraged at Gary stealing his idea for the City of Brass (an old legend BTW which I knew at the time) and I'm totally confused by the betrayal. Then I follow up this with an e-mail to Gary to defuse the situation then Gary says that he isn't going to do it.
DAMN! You mean... THIS could have happened if I didn't mention it?
Wait... on second thought, Gary's CITY OF BRASS would have been an even worse disappointment because it probably would have been assembled by the rounding up of his usual suspects of nerd asshats who worked for free!
Seriously, Rob had played Gary out years prior (early 1990's?) but I got only the READER'S DIGEST version plus I didn't want to believe that there was no hope for D&D and Greyhawk so I was just trying to make it happen. I was so steamed that I had never got a reply from Len Lakofka about working with Kuntz and Gygax so thats how crazed and blind I was at that time. I had no idea all this bad blood was with the guys from the real TSR.
That vision that I was pushing for I don't even think ever existed in any form whatsoever. Coincidence of trends among the staff was the major hand of the good years of D&D and not necessarily the staff themselves but rather what they aimed for as a whole which had worn away with new trends.
DARK DRUIDS the unpublished series has potential but I think post modern adventure modules need one step more content than the original classic AD&D era modules and Kuntz does not understand that. He's too busy worried about not having to pay for extra labor and trend watching that its distracting from his ideas.
Post by geneweigel on Jan 10, 2016 19:31:47 GMT -5
The Kuntz modules were offering advanced play but these later edition conversions are offering crumbled husks that are worthless. For example, while we're on the subject, if you compare SIR ROBILAR'S CITY OF BRASS to TO THE CITY OF BRASS then not only is this confirmed but its true down to the letter of gameplay. Kuntz gives the players a magic item that gave them efreeti appearance for around a month and the Hackmaster hack designer adds some longwinded history that to has to be remembered that permits humans into the City of Brass. My immediate complaint to Rob was over the map layout being abandoned for some overkeyed redone mess but the heart of the problem was the way all of it was presented. Another example of this that needs no explanation is the shit that was is in the "geeklerized" Maure Castle (gnoll bard, etc) just the feel for starters was reprehensible tripe from the RPG du jour of the time.
For Kuntz (and Gary) to stand by that crap was a total mindfuck.
Its just pencilled ideas and if the work can't be publicly presented then is there anything left to present? I want DARK DRUIDS continuance more than anything D&D being published but it has to live up to its potential.
Yeah, I remember Rob not even being clear on what was done. He assumed gnoll bard was just used in some sort of game mechanic way, and it was just a above average gnoll with some spell singing powers. I had to break it to him that it was a puffy shirt wearing harp collecting dandy of a gnoll bard.
The original RJK City of Brass mss. is just under 90,000 speeds, and probably needs another 30-60K words to wrap it up (with 15-30K of that gap being another long adventure or two mini-adventures). It definitely exists, I have print and electronic versions of it. Once Rob wraps up other projects, COB is something Black Blade intends to print.