Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Level Twelve Was Filled With Dragons

Castle Greyhawk, Megdungeon of Yore, Described

  • The first level was a simple maze of rooms and corridors, for none of the participants had ever played such a game before.
  • The second level had two unusual items, a Nixie Pool and a fountain of snakes.
  • The third featured a torture chamber and many small cells and prison rooms.
  • The fourth was a level of crypts and undead.
  • The fifth was centered around a strange font of black fire and gargoyles.
  • The sixth was a repeating maze with dozens of wild hogs (3 dice) in inconvenient spots, naturally backed up by appropriate numbers of Wereboars.
  • The seventh was centered around a circular labyrinth and a  street of masses of ogres.
  • The eighth through tenth levels were caves and caverns featuring Trolls, giant insects, and a transporter nexus with an evil wizard (with a number of tough associates guarding it.
  • The eleventh level was the home of the most powerful wizard in the castle. He had Balrogs as servants. The remainder of the level was populated by Martian White Apes, except the sub-passage system underneath the corridors which was full of poisonous critters with no treasure.
  • Level twelve was filled with Dragons.
  • The bottom level, number thirteen, contained an inescapable slide which took the players 'clear through to China', from whence they had to return via 'Outdoor Adventure'. It was quite possible to journey downward to the bottom level by an insidious series of slanting passages which began on the second level, but the likelihood of following such a route unknowingly didn't become too great until the seventh or eighth level. Of the dozen or so who played on a fairly regular basis, four made the lowest level and took the trip. . .
  • Side levels included a barracks with Orcs, Hobgoblins, and Gnolls continually warring with each other, a museum, a huge arena, an underground lake, a Giant's home, and a garden of fungi.
 - Gygax, April 1975 [from typos cleaned up and formatting by me]

Castle Greyhawk, which by "modern" game standard would be called nonsense and random and full of things that make no sense as well as senseless level design (despite being a game played by nerds in basements about elves shooting magic to save beautiful princesses).  But with the living dungeon concept I'm going with for the Eradu campaign castle Greyhawk makes all the sense in the world.

Also: Level 12.  Filled. With. Dragons.

I love this freaking game.  I found this over at this awesome blog.