Category Archives: Mystara

Tomb of Annihilation – Captains of Chult

Large stretches of Chult are coasts, and with Port Nyanzaru being a port, it is an obvious choice to reach distant parts of Chult by sailing along the coast rather than braving the jungles or the sluggish rivers – but ships are expensive, so how does explorers in Tomb of Annihilation get there? By hiring transport on a ship, and in the dingy taverns of Port Nyanzaru, there are captains who offer their services for a reasonable fee.

I really like the concept of guides in Tomb of Annihilation. It may seem obvious, and yet it is so rarely done this well in wilderness adventures. Expanding upon the idea, thus allowing us to increase the scope of expeditions into the wilderness, I added Experts for Hire as mentioned in my previous post, and now I have Captains for hire. An assortment of captains, each with their own little kernel of a potential adventure, and a series of random events ranging from bad weather to weird and inexplicable phenomena. Captains of the Coasts of Chult can now be found at DM’s Guild. My previous Expedition Crew supplement was Experts of Chult, and I am considering adding a third one.

I am running my own Tomb of Annihilation set in the Mystara setting, and there may be hidden a few references to that setting among the captains, but easter eggs seems to a part of D&D 5th edition, so it is merely keeping with the style.



Tomb of Annihilaton – Experts of Chult

Tomb of Annihilation is an interesting campaign module, not just because of the modern attempt to create a hex crawl adventure but also because of some the tools the adventure contains. One of these tools are the Guides. They are NPCs with well-developed personalities, quirks and secrets, and not just that they are set-up with nice handouts, making them easy to present for the players and keep in mind.

The guides may not be a revolutionary thing, but they are still something I have not seen in other hex crawl adventures. Some adventures may suggest hiring a guide and even add a few details, but having a roster and letting the players choose between these set-ups is quite inspiring.

For my ToA campaign (which is set in the Mysrara setting) I am planning on running larger expeditions with more henchmen, and thus I wanted to add more NPCs for hire, and they did not all need to be Guides. Some could be experts with valuable skills, and thus I set up a bunch a small selection of Experts for Hire. The Experts of Chult – which now can be found at DM’s Guild.

Using henchmen, that are more than anonymous torchbearers and sword caddies, is also an opportunity to add role-playing situations to an otherwise eventless trek through the wilderness. Travelling through the wilderness may present the players with obstacles and challenges, but many are dealing with savage beasts or difficult terrain, but many does not include beings to interact with, and having NPCs jog along means there continuously will be beings to interact with. The experts add skills or bonuses to skills, but getting access to these require interacting with them, and that creates opportunities for role-playing.

Experts of Chult is the first of my Expedition Crew supplements to Tomb of Annihilation. The next one is Captains of the Coasts of Chult, as seafaring along the coasts will likewise be a part of my campaign.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything including Easter Eggs

So I went and added Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to my library, which I intend to mine for ideas, when running my tweaked Tomb of Annihilation campaign – and lo and behold, if not a reference to an old favorite D&D-module sprang forth during the reading of the book.

D&D 5th edition contains several call backs to earlier D&D-material, for instance they happily namedrop older settings in their campaign books even though the default setting is Forgotten Realms, but they also add small touches here and there referencing various characters, details, events and such from older modules. For instance the Monster Manual in the goblin section, they reference ‘Bree-Yark’ from module B2 Caves of Chaos, and in the Players Handbook a table of random items contains wines from module B7 Rahasia. And being both a D&D becmi and a Mystaran fan this warms my heart. Likewise I was pleasently surprised, when I discovered that Xanathar’s Guide to Everything caries a reference to B4 The Lost City.

In the DM section the chapter on traps includes a deadly trap found in the Lost City of Cynicideans near the graves of queen Zenobia and king Alexander. These details are all taken from module B4, including the trap. I may not get Mystara back in published form, but at least I still get some references to some of my favorite stuff.

Any other references to the B-modules in the D&D 5th edition material?

Tomb of Annihilation – Using the Mystara Setting

This fall’s great adventure for D&D is the Tomb of Annihilation, and I picked up the book with some interest. I like the idea of a hex crawl having the players to travel deep into jungles searching for lost cities and ancient ruins, but without finding everything on their first go. Instead, they will have to make multiple journeys mapping the jungles bit by bit, and between expeditions they have a home base in a large harbor town.

I like this. I do not care much for the backstory with the curse killing people, who has been resurrected and making the raising of people impossible. It is a fine, grandiose plot, but not one, that I care for, and neither does the jungles of Chult nor Forgotten Realms have my interest. That is mostly because, when it comes to D&D settings, my favorite is The Known World or Mystara. So, I want to run this campaign, and I want to run it in the Mystaran setting.

But where to place this wonderful, empty hex map filled with deadly wonders and ancient secrets?

An obvious choice would be the major hex crawl adventure for D&D becmi, namely The Isle of Dread from module X1 The Isle of Dread (1980), which is an obvious choice, and I could simply just use the map from X1 with the adventure from Tomb of Annihilation, but I have already explored The Isle of Dread, and it could be interesting to try some other area.

Tomb of Annihilation itself suggests The Savage Coast, but they are probably not thinking of module X9 The Savage Coast (1985) but rather the (sub)-setting later published for AD&D 2nd edition The Savage Coast (based on the expanded material from the articles Voyage of the Princess Ark), but even though the region is called ‘savage’ it is far from unexplored or inhabited, and adapting Tomb of Annihilation to this region would require a lot of work, if I want it to stay true to the Mystaran setting.

There is, however, an interesting alternative. South of the Sea of Dread lies the continent Davania, and though parts have scarcely been colonized by Thyatis, it is at least from the view of The Known World unexplored lands, that are vaguely known, and near the Serpent’s Peninsula on the opposite side of The Serpent’s Sound the continent of Davania is somewhat shaped reminiscent of Chult area from the ToA book, which means that I can use the map from ToA without it being too far off, and that saves me time.

The coastal city being used as a base in ToA will be replaced with its Mystaran equivalent – there is actually one on the continent of Davania in the right place – called Kastellos. The name could indicate a Thyatian origin, but its position is just next to the Yawdlom Divinarchy, which means that I can keep large parts of the material from ToA and add materiale from the box set Champions of Mystara, which describes The Serpent’s Peninsula and The Yawdlom Divinarchy.

Adapting ToA to Mystara

The Mystaran Tomb of Annihilation plays out in the harbor town Kastellos on the continent of Davania. The town was originally a Thyatian colony, but Thyatis was unable to maintain its control of the city, and soon a large part of the population were newcomers from the Yawdlom Divinarchy seeking adventure. The city still has a large minority of Thyatians, and both traders from the Minrothad Isles and Thyatis pass by regularly keeping Kastellos in the orbit of The Known World-region.

Besides Thyatians and Yawdloms, Kastellos is home to a thriving colony of wererats, who arrived from Karameikos, as well as a large group of skygnomes stranded here, when their skyship crashed, and they are waiting for the flying city of Serraine to pass their way again. Elves are rare, but the few that are here, are mostly forest elves from Karameikos and sea-elves from Minrothad. Dwarves are here as travelling artisans, and the few hin finding their way here, are mostly hin pirates from the coasts of The Five Shires. Small groups of tortles from the Savage Coast also call the northern coasts of Davania for home, and they can be seen in the streets of Kastellos. Davania is home to nomadic tribes of Rakasta – some are related to the Rakasta from Isle of Dread – and Lupins. This should give a hint as to which playable races will be used in the campaign.

I am right now in the process of adapting ToA to run it in the Mystaran setting. This is first post in a small series of posts about adapting ToA, and fitting its backstory and plot into the existing framework of Mystara.

#RPGaDay2015 – Day 24: Favorite House Rule

rpg-a-day-2015Today the challenge in #RPGaDay2015 is favorite houserule, and I will pitch in with a few thoughts on my own. Houserules are interesting but sometimes also controversial, but to my mind most controversies around house rules are related to how they are broadcast to the group, and the purpose of houserules. To some a houserule is used to mend a perceived flaw in the system, whether there is a flaw or not, and careless applied houserule might in such instances make the game less appealing for the other players thus hurting their game experience and creating a controversy.

Day 24 – Favorite Houserule

I like houserules, and we use them a lot. We usually play with two kinds of houserules: 1) Campaign house rules (tailored rules) and 2) Houserule of the day.

Tailored rules are houserules, that are added to the campaign to make the rulesystem help focus on certain aspects of the game. In a Mystaran D&D Glantri campaign, where all the characters were wizards attending The Great School of Magic, all XP were gained from passing courses in magic, not from killing and looting, which forced the players to divide their time between attending classes and going on adventures.

Houserule of the day is a favorite among my players. In this instance a rule is introduced, that only applies for one session (unless it becomes such a succes, that it becomes a permanent feature of the campaign). Houserule of the day is a specific rule introduced to support a certain event or feature during a session (just as when an episode of a tv-show is filmed entirely in black/white or as a muscial). One such houserule during the wizard campaign was A Night at the Opera, where the wizard students when to a yearly major opera and the action alternated between the story of the opera and the backstage intrigues among shady wizard nobles.

In this case the rule was: Everytime you want your character to do something at the opera (a clandestine meeting, conspirering, gaining intel etc.), you must play a scene from the opera, and the scene must last two minutes.

This meant that the action alternated between the play on the stage and the intriques behind the stage and among the nobles on the balconies at at opera house, and we had some great fun at seing the players act out the different roles of the opera struggling to keep a scene lasting two minutes (this required a lot of repeating the same lines “I love you … I love you … I looooooooooove you …” giving the events on the stage a feel of being an opera play).

So the opera house might have been a favorite, but mine would in this case be the following:

Play a scene, gain a bonus

This is the most basic version of the scene, but we use it in a variety of ways. In The Great School of Magic campaign, the rule was formulated as follows: Play a studyscene with another play to gain a bonus to pass an exam.

Passing exams was the source of XP and thus levels, and the players would do their best to gain as many bonuses to these rolls as possible – and one source was studyscenes. In a studyscene the player’s character would be studying together with a secondary character belonging to another player, and what happened during the scene was open, and was mostly being used to develop characters and explore aspects of their personalities. It allowed the players to shine, and was important for the development of the characters.

We use this kind of houserule in many different versions, and it works great to put a focus on the small things, but stille those that develop characters and settings.

A New XP-system: Exploration-based Rewards

Recently I noticed, that Erik Mona does not like the experience point system – and thus have created his own system – and it reminds of how I have been doing XP myself.

On the good old pre-2000 days, you killed an orc and gained some XP. You might get 50 points or so, and only needing a few thousands, then that was ok. Unless you played D&D becmi, where an orc gave 10 points, and your first level fighter needed 2000 to go up a level. Then collecting treasures became really important.

But even with the increased XP values of monsters in AD&D, once you needed 10.000 or even more XP, killing a few monsters granting some hundreds XP or so resulted in bookkeeping XP just felt meaningless. This also began being reflected in scenarios, where you huge sums of XP were being granted for reaching the end of a module, and in some cases whole levels were granted (making it even less meaningful to collect XPs for killing a few orcs).

With this slowly deteriorating system for granting XP became still more useless, many began developing new ways of granting XP, and when 3rd edition came around a new shiny model were introduced, and an even shinier one with the 4th ed rules.

Since XP is such a nice thing to drive the game, as it quite literally is an award, you can use it to tell the players, what you want to reward them for. Kill monsters and bring home treasures! Complete modules! Use your class based abilities! For surviving encounters (as Erik Mona suggests)! Spending your money at the inn between adventures (as I saw suggested years back)! Roleplaying! (An always nebulous one for who is to gauge “roleplaying”, and you might end rewarding extrovert or charismatic players or players for ‘reading’ their GM?).

Attending Class, Gaining XP

I just recently ended an eight year long campaign about a group of teenage wizards at The Great School of Glantri. Xp were not granted for killing monsters or picking up treasures, nor were they granted for ‘good roleplaying’, but instead for attending classes and passing exams, and everytime you had enought to level up, you had to pass a test. Failing exams also gained XP, as you still had learned something.

The system worked great. It gave the game a good focus – we are at school and need to balance fun and adventuring with actually attending class, and what to do, when a great adventure presents itself the night before exams? It also gave us space to explore, what happens at wizard schools and how does it feel to attend one?

Exploration-based Experience

For my D&D retro-clone the focus is on exploration. I have been reading and playing a a bunch of the old, really old modules, and one thing that separates them from the 90’s modules is absence of the detailed narratives to draw the PCs through (especially thinking of the Ravenloft and Planescape modules here), and from the 3,5 material, where you go from encounter to encounter. In the older material you explore areas. You map dungeons, you fight monsters, avoid traps and meet weird things, ancient things and strange things. There are plenty of empty rooms, and sometimes there is a room with a large bed and a lady’s hat for no other reason as to pique the players’ imaginations.

So for my D&D retro-clone (previous design posts part 1, part 2) I want an XP-system, that rewards the players for exploring dungeons, for poking their noses into the next room and the next room and the next room again.

This is what I came up with.

The Adventure Points System

For each room investigated the party gains 50-100 Adventure Points (50 for fairly harmless dungeons, 100 for average dungeons).

For each wonder and mystery encountered the party gains 50-400 points. Mysteries can be an enchanted lake, an illusion covering a room or some other supernatural effect. Wonders are the wonders experienced in the dungeons, as finding an ancient wallpainting made by a long forgotten artist, whose art touches your soul, or it may be a natural rock-formation in a grotto of great wonder.

For each trap encountered is gained 50-400 points – and half that much if the trap is avoided or otherwise not triggered. So if you find a pittrap, but never activates it, or disarm a crossbow-trap before it is triggered, you gain less, than if you fall into the pit or get shot at by the crossbow-trap. The basic idea is to entice the players to touch the red button, knowing they will only get half, if they disarm the red button instead of triggering it.

Adventure Points for exploring, for wonders and mysteries, and for traps are rewarded, when the PCs leave the dungeon and have time to rest briefly. Each PC present gains the full amount (four characters exploring eight rooms each gain 800 adventure points).

For treasures brought all the way home, the players each gain a share of adventure points equal to the treasure brought home. The four characters have borught home treasures equal to 500 gold, so each character gains 125 adventure points, however one of the characters hid a gem (value 50 gold) for himself. That character gains additional 50 adventure points, as he does not share the treasure.

The adventure point table

  • Level      Adventure Points
  • 1                             0
  • 2                     1200
  • 3                    2400
  • 4                    4200
  • 5                    6000
  • 6                    8400
  • 7                 10800
  • 8                 13800
  • 9                 16800
  • 10              20400

So far

I have tested the Adventure Points with several groups, and the great thing is that it works as intended. It makes the PCs open every door and stick their head into every nook and cranny. Since monsters don’t reward any Adventure Points, and combat with them generally slows exploration down, the PCs are just as willing to negotiate and use trickery to avoind fighting monsters, as they are to pick fights, and plenty of things are left alive, as long they grant access to more parts of the dungeon.

The extra points for mysteries, wonders, and traps also ensures, that the PCs are less likely to avoid set-ups and potential dangers, as being exposed to these, grants more Adventure Points. The players are eager to explore and map dungeons, to push on and take just one more room, because they are certain to gain points (every room grants points, whether or not any monsters, traps or any other things are present, so picking just one more room is a calculated risk).


I will attempt to resurrect my blog by joining this months blog carnival – Heroes, Living & Deadwhich Runeslinger recently announced.

To day it is just a brief story about how mechanics and rules shape play, and for us created a heroic moment in old campaign.

It was a D&D 3rd ed. campaign in the Mystara-setting.

Three characters were by means of planes and portals stranded in the far end of their home world, and they had to travel immense distances to reach their home, northern end of Norworld. Near the end of the journey, they had reached the Northern Reaches, a viking-like realm consisting of the kingdoms Ostland and Vestland, and the Soderfjord Jarldoms. One of the three characters, a warrior-priest originated from Ostland, so the three travellers decided to go visit his old family, and here they became involved in an intrigue, where a family were outing the others through holmgangs and duels. The family had hired a berserker to represent them in duels, and then they challenged the other locals to duels in order to steal their lands.

Out heroes decides to end this, and the warrior-priest volunteers to confront the berserker in a duel to the death (and resurrection is extremely rare in the campaign, ie. we did not use it). Dice were rolled, and the berserker did good. He whittled down out hero’s hit points, and got him down to 0 HP. From here the hero could either surrender and be healed and thus survive, or he could spend a half action and fall down.

As he is on his knees, he decides, that an attack is the only option, and using his remaining action, he not only hits his opponent, but his rolls a critical success, confirms it, and succeeds in bringing down his foe to -10 hit points in one blow, thus decapitating the berserker, where after he falls unconscious on his defeated opponent.

No dice were fudged during the events. It was just random dice rolls, and then the structure of the rules, that allowed us this epic moment, where the hero is on his last knee, and then succeeds in killing his foe with one blow before he falls unconscious. It was an awesome moment, and not one easily forgotten. Neither was it a moment, we had anticipated.

Playing CM7 The Tree of Life (old school D&D)

So I have not been too busy on this blog, where as I spew out posts on my Danish blog. Sometimes I wish I could just send them through a translate-machine, but in no way are services like google translate able to translate longer texts in a meaningful way, but here goes. Here is a little on my roleplaying archaeological project, which is playing old D&D modules. As of know we are playing D&D BECMI and the module is CM7 The Tree of Life from 1986.

I spoke of the module earlier, but having played a few more sessions, two things become clear. One is that the elves have tremendous resources available. The group contains four ten level elves (that is more or less fighter 10/Wizard 10) and a wicca/shaman centaur (using the supplement PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk) since a healer was necessary in the group. Little do they fight in combat, but mostly just bombard their targets with fireballs, lightning bolts, ice storms, hold monster, charm monster, magic jar, polymorph other, dimension door and telekinesis. Many encounters are solved in this manner in round one.

For a scenario designed to this huge amount of spell casters, several encounters are poorly designed. For instance one encounter is the elves scaling a cliff to investigate the nest of a roc, and the section contains a lot of notes of how the roc will attempt to grab the climbers and drop them off in the surrounding forests etc., but as the roc came flying, it was eliminated before its first attack round. An invisible medusa and her Invisible Servant was eliminated in much the same manner. Invisibility does not protect from a bombardment of fireballs.

Secondly a part of the scenario is the characters picking up 12 medallions to open a mysterious thing. The problems are partly that they do not know why, and they do know that the villain also wants it opened. So are they helping the villain by collecting the medallions or doing the right thing by getting there first? And what is at stake? – they do not know, so they do not really know if it is important. Also the medallions are hidden in a huge forest. There are often 20 miles or more between each location (and no horses are available), and so there is a lot of travel only interrupted by wandering monsters.

So what began as a fascinating scenario about saving a dying Tree of Life and battling an evil wizard and his army of orcs and humans, has been reduced to a grind of picking up items. I hadn’t imagined it would become reduced to a grind. Boring, sadly, it is.

Another trouble with the module is that several encounters contains inaccessible information, such as when the text reveals that the hydra wanted to annoy the Narwhale and the Nymph and thus stole the Nymph’s medallion, but then the hydra was killed by the mage, who took all of their medallions, thus leaving the PCs with a unsolvable mystery – why is the Nymph angry at the Narwhale? But then again the PCs met the Nymph – a watery monster – as it was about to drown one the evil mage’s knights, and they thus assumed it to be a monster, not a guardian of a medallion, and they killed it. So even though there was a mystery, it never entered the game.

Story vs Game

The story is about the elves mobilising the creatures of the forest to battle the evil wizard and his armies. Ages ago the wizard drove away the elves, but he was unable to plunder their sanctuaries, and now a small band of elves has returned to access the sanctuary to save their holy relic. During their travels they ally themselves with the denizens of the forest.

But what we experience around the table is the PCs travelling a huge forest to collect 12 quest items, but often they do not know what exactly they are looking for, nor do they know, when an encounter is a potential ally – for instance the griffins and the roc were potential allies, but the hydra and the manticores are enemies. The wizard, his armies and the grand story is far away.

Elves, Elves, Elves Everywhere for this is CM7 The Tree of Life


This is the amount of XP to be divided between the characters, when creating a group of characters for the 1986-module The Tree of Life by Bruce A. Heard. With five players you get level 10 elves with one attack rank (or magic level, if you are like us including the rules from Gaz5 The Elves of Alfheim).

High Level Characters with the Basic Rules

We are playing various old D&D (BECMI)-modules, and after X3 Curse of Xanathon with skipped the Expert (X)-series and went on to the Companion (CM)-series, and neither I nor my players are experienced in playing high-level games, and with D&D-elves we have combat-abilities, spell casting and awesome saving throws (proved when one of the characters resisted the full onslaught of a beholder for more than two rounds avoiding being disintegrated, petrified, enchanted or telekinetically grappled).

The many resources allowed the players to pick a broad assortment of spells, and quite a few were burned just tp try them out. We had a lot of fun here.

The Joys of BECMI D&D

It is fast, oh so fast. Not just with the creation of characters even by players not particular experienced with the D&D-rules.

Combats are fast, the use of the rules are quick, and character generation is fast. This is a joy. Having been using the 3rd, 3.5 and 4th ed. rules the last eleven years, the speed of becmi is pleasant. Later we will explore AD&D 1st ed for a short while mostly to have fun with the quirky aspects of the rules. Also I got a copy of J. Alexander’s Legends & Labyrinths – since I too have payed to support the project – and I look forward to try that version of D&D.

By the way we use the following rules for creating characters:

Roll 3d6 eight times, keep the best six results and place them in any order. Stats in the old D&D don’t influence other stats that much, and you don’t need an average of 15+ to have a proper character. Furthermore we use heroic hit points to give the PCs a proper base of hit points, and that is easily needed, as D&D is still quite lethal.

Onwards to the module

An elven Tree of Life is dying and the clan has sent its best to investigate. They begin at the outskirts of their home village with a map, a few other things and a suggestion to visit an ancient clan leader’s grave. So off they go.

During their travel through the forest they encounter enemies carrying an identical mark revealing the presence of a mysterious villain. They chat with various residents of the forest, among others an ancient ent telling them to find the spiritual roots of the dying Tree of Life in order to find a cure. Various visions created by an evil dragon leads them astray and into an ambush between the dragon and its ally, a beholder, whom they defeat and they send the dragon retreating. Somehow these two creatures are involved with the case of the dying tree, but how? A mystery waiting to be solved.

In the beholder’s cave they discover a wormhole leading to unknown places. They decide to explore the tunnel, though they suspect they missed important information, since they did not investigate their ancestor’s grave. Thus ended first session.


It was fun. Not epic, at least not yet, as this was just the initial exploration of the situation. Next time the story will hopefully pick up speed. The contours of a conspiracy are slowly being built.

What I missed was the scenario spending more time on the great council – it summarised in a text box – and thus let the PC’s have a greater understanding of the importance of the situation.

Secondly there are two ways to get to the location, where the main part of the story takes place. One is a mysterious and dramatic journey using a rainbow, and a whole chapter is devoted to it, and the other is the wormhole. The last was chosen mainly because, the players were unaware of the other passage, and this creates a different flow in the scenario, as the wormhole approach does not seem to be the actual intended part of the scenario for the PCs to travel.

Those were the impressions of the first part. I am looking forward to continue this module.

A City Buried Under the Sand: B4 The Lost City

Recently I have tried to catch up upon my playing old modules mainly from the B-series, and while writing my post on X2 Castle Amber I realized, that I forgot to tell about B4 The Lost City, which is a Tom Moldway module with clear pulpy elements. We have an ancient city destroyed by time and decadence, and inside the single surviving structure, a huge pyramid lives the remaining inhabitants, most mad and wearing masks, but some organized in cults striving to rebuild the society and defeating the ancient evil, who caused the fall of the civilization.

Some interesting details

As with X1 Isle of Dread the worshippers followed false gods operated by dishonest clerics hiding inside the statues of the gods and terrifying the ignorant natives with fireworks. Inside the “Lost City” are cults of decadent madmen, who behaves in a manner according to the masks their wear, and three orders dedicated to the (false) gods strive to rebuild the civilization, though they are caught up in their own struggles, and in the struggle with the demon worshipping cult, who caused the fall of the civilization.

At the bottom of the dungeon is an encounter with the monster, that is worshipped by the demon worshippers. Interestingly it is a unique monster, and somewhat cthulhuid in nature, but it is as such not really deity or demon, thus making also the demon worshipping cult a false cult.

One of the good things in this module is that there is a story to explore. In some modules the ruins remain inexplicable because there is no outlet to explain neither players nor PCs as to the origins of the ruins, but in The Lost City the chance is there. It is not all too well communicated, but with a little extra effort a story about the fallen city appears.

The Three Parts of The Lost City

The first part is the most interesting part of the pyramid-dungeon. It covers the first ten levels of the dungeon, its inhabitants and so on. This part was reprinted in the collection B1-9 In search of Adventure. The other part is an inverse version of the first ten pyramid-levels, but this time all the rooms are inhabited by random monsters, hell hounds, medusae, ogres etc., and the idea is that the DM is supposed to finish the module from these notes, but where the first ten levels has a story, the next ten is a random assortment of monsters and treasures. Not much fun. The last level contains however the demonic villain. The third part is rather curious. It is a map of an underground city accessed by the buried pyramid, and suddenly the lost city is not just the ruined city covered in sand, but a secret city hidden underground, whose civilization has collapsed due to the same decadence that plagues the inhabitants of the pyramid-dungeon.

I like the idea, and thus in annoys me so much the more, that the second part is without meaning like the first part, and the third part is so sketchily described – yeah, it is do it yourself, but that is a cheap excuse for printing a map and doing much about it. At present we have played most of the first part of the pyramid, and it has been interesting to encounter the various factions of the dungeon, but the mysterious back story is so underplayed, that it is hard to communicate the epic scope of the ruined city and its tragic story, and that is annoying. At present I plan to skip the monster-levels of the second half of the dungeon, leaving the PCs to encounter the demonic entity, and then let them move onwards to the underground city.