However! Just want to stab a placeholder in the internet with a couple thoughts. Today saw the arrival in my mailbox of a seriously big ass adventure: a print-on-demand extravaganza from DriveThru that clocks in at a whopping 144 pages (including 16 pages of maps).
The product? Well, it's not Patrick Stuart's Demon-Bone Sarcophagus (though that one is ALSO available on DriveThru and ALSO has a listed page count of 144). Nope, instead, I put my money into Wizards of the Coasts pockets for a new copy of the 1985 classic The Temple of Elemental Evil (Gygax/Mentzer).
[I own a copy, but it's falling apart (missing the back cover) and that tiny little map booklet is...ugh. Hate it. The new print-out is clear and lovely with full-size (full page) maps. Lovely]
The ToEE is...large. I've never run the thing in its entirety. I've run T1 a couple times (it was a late addition to my collection) but I never felt a burning desire to explore the rest of the thing. Or any desire really...it looks like a pretty boring slog of a thing, and if I (once upon a time) read the entirety of the text, I have since forgotten nearly everything about it.
But now...well, while the Greyhawk setting holds zero interest for me (oh my...really need to do THAT post), and I have no nostalgia associated with ToEE (having never ran/played it "back in the day")...I'm kind of relishing the challenge of making it work.
Mmm. Apologies. Kids are out trick-or-treating with the spouse while I'm waiting on dinner. Back to what I was saying....
This wasn't really going to be a post about The Temple of Elemental Evil. It's about the siren call of a "big campaign adventure." I have this sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons people get geeked up to run such a thing...a ToEE or Stonehaven or Barrowmaze or Dwimmermount is that it is SO HUGE that it can provide hours upon hours of game play. Game play that allows DMs to provide players with the experiential joy of D&D (fighting monsters, securing treasures, acquiring levels) while simultaneously putting off the real work of crafting a world fit for one's campaign.
That's perhaps a little cynical, but I don't think it's a conscious procrastination. However, the DM who only runs such things is, perhaps, stuck in 2nd gear.
ANYway...I mentioned "challenge" and, for me, part of the challenge would be finding a way to work ToEE into my own campaign (the main challenge I have with pre-made adventures these days); the other challenge I somewhat relish is the idea of editing the thing into a more practical, usable form, an idea that I was hipped to by reading Trent's posts on the subject and the impetus to make me buy the POD book. Thanks to Trent's stuff, I have a bit of a roadmap to butchering the thing in a way that works for me...a little holiday project for when I'm bored.
But, of course, that's not where my madness ends. I find myself pulled in the direction of a completely idiotic idea that just...will...NOT...let...go! of my psyche. It's so stupid I'm embarrassed to even write about it. Although, that was the reason I even opened my laptop this morning in the first place. Sometimes you have to blog the demons out of the brain, just to regain processing power.
*sigh* Unfortunately, I really have run out of time now. Tomorrow the kids are in school the full day and the wife should be going into the office and Halloween festivities will be over (really need to stop stuffing my face with candy...). I'll embarrass myself writing about my stupid idea tomorrow. Good night!