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interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / Favorite Bad Modules?

SubjectAuthor
* Favorite Bad Modules?kyonshi
+* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
|+* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?kyonshi
||`- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
|`* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Ubiquitous
| +- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?kyonshi
| `- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
+- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
+* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Zaghadka
|+* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?kyonshi
||`* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Zaghadka
|| `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?kyonshi
||  `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Zaghadka
||   `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
||    `- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Zaghadka
|+* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?lkh
||`- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
|`* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Spalls Hurgenson
| `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
|  `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Spalls Hurgenson
|   `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Kyonshi
|    `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Spalls Hurgenson
|     `- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Kyonshi
`* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Ubiquitous
 `* Re: Favorite Bad Modules?kyonshi
  +- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Ubiquitous
  +- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Justisaur
  `- Re: Favorite Bad Modules?Spalls Hurgenson

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Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2024 16:13:28 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Thu, 25 Jan 2024 15:13 UTC

What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
reason or another?

For me it's X9 Savage Coast.

It is not a good adventure. There's basically no point to why you do
things in there, and it even tries to force a change of allegiance on
you for no reason besides "these guys are lawful so they are actually
the good ones".

In fact reading through the module I noticed that this whole scenario
made more sense for chaotic players than lawful ones. There are two
orders, and it is the chaotic one (The Brotherhood of Light) that hires
them to check on their lawful counterpart. And over most of the
adventure there actually is no reason to dislike either side over the
other, as both orders are quite shitty to the natives, both exploiting
and enslaving them. Maybe this was supposed to be shown as different,
but it isn't.

One part of the problem was that this whole module was clearly not
complete. It ends with a non-resolution after fighting a particularly
devious monster in a ruined city, but why you should fight it, or even
how you are supposed to reach the city without railroading is not really
clear and needs to be worked out by the DM.

The answer came later in Dungeon Magazine: Tortles of the Purple Sage
was likely the stuff that was cut from the scenario, with some additions
that make it into another story. Put both of them together and you have
a quite impressive exploration scenario all along the Savage Coast and
the north of it. But for that you first would have to track down the two
early Dungeon magazines this was published in, and put the work in to
actually put them together.

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2024 12:50:08 -0800
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 by: Justisaur - Thu, 25 Jan 2024 20:50 UTC

On 1/25/2024 7:13 AM, kyonshi wrote:
> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
> one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
> reason or another?
>

What's a bad module? Well there's The Forest Oracle I guess, but I've
never run it. T2-4 I hate, but many seem to love.

I'll have to go with C3 Lost Island of Castanamir. Yes it's got some
glaring issues, like having a number of very powerful items for it's
espoused level of 2-4. Such as an amulet of the planes, and all the
magic items made from some extra-planar semi-elemental beings. It's got
the teleport maze, and golems out the wazoo which are really too hard
for that level, and it disappears forever if you somehow manage to
escape getting past the iron golem. Then there's the infinite monster
generator room as well.

For all that a few tweaks on the obvious and taking characters toward
the higher end of the scale work really well and it's probably the most
memorable module I've run. I've never had a bad time running it (all of
2 or 3 times) and the PCs managed to get out with a load of loot. I've
never actually played it as a PC, so I can't say for sure from that
point of view, but I did have one player the last time ask about how to
run it when he started his own game, so I assume he liked it.

I could probably give you a near endless list of modules that are well
regarded I didn't like.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2024 12:51:57 -0800
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 by: Justisaur - Thu, 25 Jan 2024 20:51 UTC

On 1/25/2024 7:13 AM, kyonshi wrote:
> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
> one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
> reason or another?
>
> For me it's X9 Savage Coast.
>
> It is not a good adventure. There's basically no point to why you do
> things in there, and it even tries to force a change of allegiance on
> you for no reason besides "these guys are lawful so they are actually
> the good ones".
>
> In fact reading through the module I noticed that this whole scenario
> made more sense for chaotic players than lawful ones. There are two
> orders, and it is the chaotic one (The Brotherhood of Light) that hires
> them to check on their lawful counterpart. And over most of the
> adventure there actually is no reason to dislike either side over the
> other, as both orders are quite shitty to the natives, both exploiting
> and enslaving them. Maybe this was supposed to be shown as different,
> but it isn't.
>
> One part of the problem was that this whole module was clearly not
> complete. It ends with a non-resolution after fighting a particularly
> devious monster in a ruined city, but why you should fight it, or even
> how you are supposed to reach the city without railroading is not really
> clear and needs to be worked out by the DM.
>
> The answer came later in Dungeon Magazine: Tortles of the Purple Sage
> was likely the stuff that was cut from the scenario, with some additions
> that make it into another story. Put both of them together and you have
> a quite impressive exploration scenario all along the Savage Coast and
> the north of it. But for that you first would have to track down the two
> early Dungeon magazines this was published in, and put the work in to
> actually put them together.

I'll have to go with C3 Lost Island of Castanamir. Usually when I bring
it up, it's been derided as very bad. Yes it's got some glaring issues,
like having a number of very powerful items for it's espoused level of
2-4. Such as an amulet of the planes, and all the magic items made from
some extra-planar semi-elemental beings. It's got the teleport maze,
and golems out the wazoo which are really too hard for that level, and
it disappears forever if you somehow manage to escape getting past the
iron golem. Then there's the infinite monster generator room as well.

For all that a few tweaks on the obvious and taking characters toward
the higher end of the scale work really well and it's probably the most
memorable module I've run. I've never had a bad time running it (all of
2 or 3 times) and the PCs managed to get out with a load of loot. I've
never actually played it as a PC, so I can't say for sure from that
point of view, but I did have one player the last time ask about how to
run it when he started his own game, so I assume he liked it.

I could probably give you a near endless list of modules that are well
regarded I didn't like.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'
--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: zagha...@hotmail.com (Zaghadka)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2024 00:07:47 -0600
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 by: Zaghadka - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 06:07 UTC

On Thu, 25 Jan 2024 16:13:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>reason or another?
>
Tomb of Horrors, despite Dragon magazine's 2004 award. The whole thing
was Gygax's way of saying FU to arrogant high level players. He publicly
challenged people who thought their characters were "invincible." It is
full of his particular brand of small dick energy.

Suprise! You've been annihilated by a demon mask. Surprise! You get
teleported naked back to the beginning of the dungeon. Surpise! Failed
your save against that sleep gas? You just got run over by a juggernaut.
Oh, you all just got dumped into a fire pit. That's too bad. It's TPW
city by arbitrary, rulesless traps from start to finish, and when your
naked bedraggled PCs finally get to the very end and find their stuff,
they are greeted by Acererak and the ultimate TPW. There's no coming back
from that.

This module is pure cruelty. It also, in Gygax fashion, derives some of
its challenge by suspension of game mechanics entirely. Rot grubs (do
they even have hp?). The catoblepas (what do you mean there's no save vs.
death?). He invented stuff just to screw his players.

Those were the times though. Characters died. A lot.

But then it introduced the demilich and is very runnable with a little
modification. It was also the first of its kind. I have written
adventures modeled on the kind of experience it presented, though far
more fair and less lethal (unless the players really ask for it). The
ancient trap/puzzle dungeon is really quite the genre. This put it on the
map. Most dungeon crawls of the day were about combat and predictable
traps.

I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?

So, IMO, the concept is cool but not the adventure. Played as is, the
whole thing is just an exercise in frustration. There's really no point
to it. It is bad. I doubt anyone at the convention crumpled up their
character sheets. They probably just said, "Nice one, Gary."

P.S.: Remember to prepare multiple castings of that second level "Forget"
spell (that is generally forgotten) or you'll be sorry. Pshaw!

--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:49:07 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 08:49 UTC

On 1/25/2024 9:50 PM, Justisaur wrote:
> On 1/25/2024 7:13 AM, kyonshi wrote:
>> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad
>> in one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>> reason or another?
>>
>
> What's a bad module?  Well there's The Forest Oracle I guess, but I've
> never run it.  T2-4 I hate, but many seem to love.
>

I was specifically thinking about modules that are objectively, or maybe
just subjectively bad, but which you like anyway. Like with my example
of X9: It is a terrible mess, but I think there's a good scenario in
there somewhere.

Everybody always is talking about the best modules. But I was wondering
about modules that aren't the best, but which people like anyway, for
whatever reason.

> I'll have to go with C3 Lost Island of Castanamir.  Yes it's got some
> glaring issues, like having a number of very powerful items for it's
> espoused level of 2-4.  Such as an amulet of the planes, and all the
> magic items made from some extra-planar semi-elemental beings.  It's got
> the teleport maze, and golems out the wazoo which are really too hard
> for that level, and it disappears forever if you somehow manage to
> escape getting past the iron golem.  Then there's the infinite monster
> generator room as well.
>
> For all that a few tweaks on the obvious and taking characters toward
> the higher end of the scale work really well and it's probably the most
> memorable module I've run.  I've never had a bad time running it (all of
> 2 or 3 times) and the PCs managed to get out with a load of loot.  I've
> never actually played it as a PC, so I can't say for sure from that
> point of view, but I did have one player the last time ask about how to
> run it when he started his own game, so I assume he liked it.
>
> I could probably give you a near endless list of modules that are well
> regarded I didn't like.
>

Nah, I was thinking exactly about not well regarded modules that still
are good. I think I will have a look at C3 then :)

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:55:09 +0100
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 by: kyonshi - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 08:55 UTC

On 1/26/2024 7:07 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Jan 2024 16:13:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>> one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>> reason or another?
>>
> Tomb of Horrors, despite Dragon magazine's 2004 award. The whole thing
> was Gygax's way of saying FU to arrogant high level players. He publicly
> challenged people who thought their characters were "invincible." It is
> full of his particular brand of small dick energy.
I think the main problem is that this was supposed to be a small time
tourney thing, and instead it has been republished and redone for every
single edition. And especially for home play. It only makes sense as a
tournament module in my opinion, instead it shapes the way people play
at home. An issue that also is the same with other tournament modules
that made their way into home campaigns. Tournament modules are meant to
be things people fail at, instead DMs are forced to compromise on that
intent so players actually get to see at least part of the module.

By the way, are RPG tournaments still a thing? I never encountered one
in the wild.
>
> Suprise! You've been annihilated by a demon mask. Surprise! You get
> teleported naked back to the beginning of the dungeon. Surpise! Failed
> your save against that sleep gas? You just got run over by a juggernaut.
> Oh, you all just got dumped into a fire pit. That's too bad. It's TPW
> city by arbitrary, rulesless traps from start to finish, and when your
> naked bedraggled PCs finally get to the very end and find their stuff,
> they are greeted by Acererak and the ultimate TPW. There's no coming back
> from that.
>
> This module is pure cruelty. It also, in Gygax fashion, derives some of
> its challenge by suspension of game mechanics entirely. Rot grubs (do
> they even have hp?). The catoblepas (what do you mean there's no save vs.
> death?). He invented stuff just to screw his players.
>
> Those were the times though. Characters died. A lot.
>
> But then it introduced the demilich and is very runnable with a little
> modification. It was also the first of its kind. I have written
> adventures modeled on the kind of experience it presented, though far
> more fair and less lethal (unless the players really ask for it). The
> ancient trap/puzzle dungeon is really quite the genre. This put it on the
> map. Most dungeon crawls of the day were about combat and predictable
> traps.
>
> I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
> or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
> this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
> souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
> is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?

"Because otherwise there would be no scenario"

>
> So, IMO, the concept is cool but not the adventure. Played as is, the
> whole thing is just an exercise in frustration. There's really no point
> to it. It is bad. I doubt anyone at the convention crumpled up their
> character sheets. They probably just said, "Nice one, Gary."
>
> P.S.: Remember to prepare multiple castings of that second level "Forget"
> spell (that is generally forgotten) or you'll be sorry. Pshaw!
>

I think Tomb of Horrors has it's place, but it's definitely not as
stellar as so many people regard it. Personally I never felt the need to
actually run it.

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
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 by: lkh - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:18 UTC

Zaghadka <zaghadka@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Jan 2024 16:13:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>>one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>>reason or another?
>>
> Tomb of Horrors, despite Dragon magazine's 2004 award. The whole thing
> was Gygax's way of saying FU to arrogant high level players. He publicly
> challenged people who thought their characters were "invincible." It is
> full of his particular brand of small dick energy.
Seems like a fair take on S1, but as I understand it OP is asking the
other way round. Modules that are commonly frowned upon as being bad,
but *you* like none the less. So I guess modules from the *Dungeon
Magazine* list of "30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Times" [1] don't
count as a rule.

That has me thinking hard ... I was gonna say *S4 Lost Caverns of
Tsojcanth*, but it's on the list, damn it.

How about *X6 Quagmire*? It's getting some bad rap [2] for being an empty
hex crawl, and that the authors don't shy away from using the same single
map of the spiral sea shell city for three different locations.

But I kind of like it. I can't even say why. Maybe because the fantastic
reality of the sea shell cities is just a bit different from your usual
EDO-Fantasy? At least I seem to be not the only one to like X6 [3].

I must say, I haven't played, nor GM'ed it though. I wonder if the hex
crawl doesn't feel so empty after all, if it's actually played by the
rules and wilderness random encounters come into play. Maybe I should
try it eventually ...

Cheers,

lkh

PS: Also, I kind of like S1, still have to run it though 🤓

[1]: https://shopontheborderlands.co.uk/2014/08/dungeon-magazines-30-greatest-dd-adventures-time/

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKWa0leL1Hg

[3]: http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2023/08/retrospective-quagmire.html

--
xmpp: lkh@jabber.sdf.org
mastodon: @lkh@social.sdfeu.org

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
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 by: Justisaur - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 15:54 UTC

On 1/26/2024 12:49 AM, kyonshi wrote:
>> C3 Lost Island of Castanamir...
>> ...level of 2-4...

>> Characters toward
>> the higher end of the scale work really well

To add to that, "really well" might be an overstatement. I did one it
once with the pre-made characters, and those were really bad.

> Nah, I was thinking exactly about not well regarded modules that still
> are good. I think I will have a look at C3 then :)

Yeah, I think C3 fits that. It's hard on the "Objectively bad" because
I like it :)

That's the only one I can think of that fits the bill.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

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 by: Justisaur - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 16:04 UTC

On 1/26/2024 1:18 AM, lkh wrote:
> Zaghadka <zaghadka@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, 25 Jan 2024 16:13:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>>> one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>>> reason or another?
>>>
>> Tomb of Horrors, despite Dragon magazine's 2004 award. The whole thing
>> was Gygax's way of saying FU to arrogant high level players. He publicly
>> challenged people who thought their characters were "invincible." It is
>> full of his particular brand of small dick energy.
>
> Seems like a fair take on S1, but as I understand it OP is asking the
> other way round. Modules that are commonly frowned upon as being bad,
> but *you* like none the less. So I guess modules from the *Dungeon
> Magazine* list of "30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Times" [1] don't
> count as a rule.

Yeah, that's the number one I dislike that people seem to love. I have
played it and run it.

One time I played it was the worst game I've ever played by far, where
the story about how I was killed by 100 bees (which isn't in the module)
at the entrance of the dungeon at a paid game is from. Anger I still
can't let go of, more than 40 years ago.

The time I ran it went fine, but that was in my young munchkin years and
I probably went very easy on the PCs.

- Justisaur

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Fri, 26 Jan 2024 17:03 UTC

On Fri, 26 Jan 2024 00:07:47 -0600, Zaghadka <zaghadka@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>On Thu, 25 Jan 2024 16:13:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>>one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>>reason or another?
>>
>Tomb of Horrors, despite Dragon magazine's 2004 award. The whole thing
>was Gygax's way of saying FU to arrogant high level players. He publicly
>challenged people who thought their characters were "invincible." It is
>full of his particular brand of small dick energy.

I don't know if I'd call Tomb of Horrors a bad module. It's purposely
designed to be cruel and unfair, and it does just that (and quite
well). It's not a module I'd ever want to play, but it was designed in
an era when dungeon-crawls had become run-of-the-mill, and it was made
to subvert all expectations regarding the genre.

No, if I went for 'bad' I'd probably go with "T1-4 Tomb of Elemental
Evil." I know, I've just been declared heretic and a fatwah has been
issued against me. I stand by my assessment.

It's not that "Tomb of Elemental Evil" is without merit. It has a lot
of good ideas. I just don't think they are implemented - or at least,
they aren't presented - well in the module. It wants to be both a
giant open-world sandbox and tight dungeon-crawl module, but does
neither very well. The open-world feels barren and requires a lot of
effort on the part of the DM to fill in the details. The
dungeoncrawling feels generic, with uninteresting villains and
cartoony situations. Had the module either been smaller in scope - or
expanded to be a much larger series - it might have been a more
effective adventure. As it is, it requires so much extra work from the
DM and players that you might as well just write your own adventure
entirely.

But if you want more traditionally bad modules, you need look no
further than the Spelljammer game. While they often were fun, they
were also poorly written, terribly balanced and often just ridiculous
in concept. Still, it's hard not to glean at least some enjoyment from
an adventure that might have you land your spaceship on a titan's back
to help him deal with his chronic eczema and giant space-fleas. ;-)

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 by: Zaghadka - Sat, 27 Jan 2024 07:20 UTC

On Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:55:09 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>> I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
>> or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
>> this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
>> souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
>> is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?
>
>"Because otherwise there would be no scenario"

The scenario appears to be: "This lich is taking a thousand-year nap out
of sheer boredom. Do not bother him. He has gone to great, extremely
convoluted, and inefficient lengths to not be bothered."

It is a very, very silly module. Still, it has nostalgia.

--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten

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Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
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 by: kyonshi - Sat, 27 Jan 2024 11:36 UTC

On 1/27/2024 8:20 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:55:09 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>> I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
>>> or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
>>> this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
>>> souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
>>> is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?
>>
>> "Because otherwise there would be no scenario"
>
> The scenario appears to be: "This lich is taking a thousand-year nap out
> of sheer boredom. Do not bother him. He has gone to great, extremely
> convoluted, and inefficient lengths to not be bothered."
>
> It is a very, very silly module. Still, it has nostalgia.
>

Well, one of the issues is that it is basically a funhouse dungeon from
the early years. It was written for Origins 1975, and then refined over
the next years until it was published in 1978. DnD as a hobby was a year
old at that point. (and there already were players that claimed to have
seen it all and be able to beat any challenge...)

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 by: Zaghadka - Sat, 27 Jan 2024 19:12 UTC

On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 12:36:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>On 1/27/2024 8:20 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
>> On Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:55:09 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>>> I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
>>>> or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
>>>> this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
>>>> souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
>>>> is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?
>>>
>>> "Because otherwise there would be no scenario"
>>
>> The scenario appears to be: "This lich is taking a thousand-year nap out
>> of sheer boredom. Do not bother him. He has gone to great, extremely
>> convoluted, and inefficient lengths to not be bothered."
>>
>> It is a very, very silly module. Still, it has nostalgia.
>>
>
>Well, one of the issues is that it is basically a funhouse dungeon from
>the early years. It was written for Origins 1975, and then refined over
>the next years until it was published in 1978. DnD as a hobby was a year
>old at that point. (and there already were players that claimed to have
>seen it all and be able to beat any challenge...)

Yup. I'm aware of the history. And boy did those players grind Gygax's
gears. Thus, the entire module is pure vengeance.

But it _is_ the first published puzzle dungeon. I love puzzle dungeons,
because you get to use your brain instead of dice, so I love ToH as a
guilty pleasure.

But this puzzle dungeon? Yeah it was written with _malice_. It was a
commentary on roll playing vs. role playing, and the fact that players
had turned their brains off.

It is true. D&D consisted entirely of silly dungeons, where inexplicably
the monsters got harder the lower you went in 1975, and none of them had
to eat. Gelatinous cubes cleaned up any possible way of marking the
mazes. Everything was 10x10x10', with the occasional double-wide hall. It
was in its infancy. Nethack is a great representation of the game at the
time. I was a contemporary of that period, though I never played boxed
set.

But the question was "name a module that is objectively bad," and IMO all
of that era is objectively bad, at least a bit. I would not run White
Plume Mountain in this day and age, classic that it is. I would run
Inverness. But ToH is doubly bad, because it is specifically written as a
huge FU. A demonstration that the DM can always call "Rocks fall,
everyone dies." The module practically does that at several points. Quite
literally when you defeat the false lich.

--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2024 15:35:00 -0800
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 by: Justisaur - Sat, 27 Jan 2024 23:35 UTC

On 1/27/2024 11:12 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 12:36:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On 1/27/2024 8:20 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
>>> On Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:55:09 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>>> I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
>>>>> or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
>>>>> this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
>>>>> souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
>>>>> is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?
>>>>
>>>> "Because otherwise there would be no scenario"
>>>
>>> The scenario appears to be: "This lich is taking a thousand-year nap out
>>> of sheer boredom. Do not bother him. He has gone to great, extremely
>>> convoluted, and inefficient lengths to not be bothered."
>>>
>>> It is a very, very silly module. Still, it has nostalgia.
>>>
>>
>> Well, one of the issues is that it is basically a funhouse dungeon from
>> the early years. It was written for Origins 1975, and then refined over
>> the next years until it was published in 1978. DnD as a hobby was a year
>> old at that point. (and there already were players that claimed to have
>> seen it all and be able to beat any challenge...)
>
> Yup. I'm aware of the history. And boy did those players grind Gygax's
> gears. Thus, the entire module is pure vengeance.
>
> But it _is_ the first published puzzle dungeon. I love puzzle dungeons,
> because you get to use your brain instead of dice, so I love ToH as a
> guilty pleasure.
>
> But this puzzle dungeon? Yeah it was written with _malice_. It was a
> commentary on roll playing vs. role playing, and the fact that players
> had turned their brains off.
>
> It is true. D&D consisted entirely of silly dungeons, where inexplicably
> the monsters got harder the lower you went in 1975, and none of them had
> to eat. Gelatinous cubes cleaned up any possible way of marking the
> mazes. Everything was 10x10x10', with the occasional double-wide hall. It
> was in its infancy. Nethack is a great representation of the game at the
> time. I was a contemporary of that period, though I never played boxed
> set.
>
> But the question was "name a module that is objectively bad," and IMO all
> of that era is objectively bad, at least a bit. I would not run White
> Plume Mountain in this day and age, classic that it is. I would run
> Inverness. But ToH is doubly bad, because it is specifically written as a
> huge FU. A demonstration that the DM can always call "Rocks fall,
> everyone dies." The module practically does that at several points. Quite
> literally when you defeat the false lich.
>

I agree with it being objectively bad, and ushering in the era of
players vs. DM that took decades to right.

However it was "Favorite Bad Module." Some people love it *shrug*. I
don't, and It doesn't sound like it's your favorite either. I can
appreciate it for what it is, but I'd never play or DM it again, unless
in 5e just to see how badly it was neutered (improved.)

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2024 15:47:10 -0800
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 by: Justisaur - Sat, 27 Jan 2024 23:47 UTC

On 1/26/2024 9:03 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>
> No, if I went for 'bad' I'd probably go with "T1-4 Tomb of Elemental
> Evil." I know, I've just been declared heretic and a fatwah has been
> issued against me. I stand by my assessment.
>
> It's not that "Tomb of Elemental Evil" is without merit. It has a lot
> of good ideas. I just don't think they are implemented - or at least,
> they aren't presented - well in the module. It wants to be both a
> giant open-world sandbox and tight dungeon-crawl module, but does
> neither very well. The open-world feels barren and requires a lot of
> effort on the part of the DM to fill in the details. The
> dungeoncrawling feels generic, with uninteresting villains and
> cartoony situations. Had the module either been smaller in scope - or
> expanded to be a much larger series - it might have been a more
> effective adventure. As it is, it requires so much extra work from the
> DM and players that you might as well just write your own adventure
> entirely.

I love T1, but I recognize some of it's faults. It seems like it's
actually a better module for an evil campaign, the treasure from looting
the village is better than the dungeon. It's memorable, but it's not
really suited for beginning characters, which is what it always seems to
be used for. Unless beginning character go out of their way to recruit
NPC help, but that can also backfire. The treasure is a bit lacking as
well (unless looting the town.) Other than that it's o.k. Might be a
couple other things I'd change like the green slime and the cleric is a
bit much unless with higher level characters.

However I've never been able to get through T2-4. I never even got to
the dungeon proper, the campaign just falls apart at Nulb. I've tried a
number of times on both sides of the screen. Even playing the computer
game I found it a horrible slog and couldn't get past the first level of
T2 before quitting.

>
> But if you want more traditionally bad modules, you need look no
> further than the Spelljammer game. While they often were fun, they
> were also poorly written, terribly balanced and often just ridiculous
> in concept. Still, it's hard not to glean at least some enjoyment from
> an adventure that might have you land your spaceship on a titan's back
> to help him deal with his chronic eczema and giant space-fleas. ;-)
>

Ah I love spelljammer as an idea, and I incorporated it into my multi
campagin home-brew world and used a number of the monsters. However no
one took up the hooks to go on a spelljamming ship and adventures, and
I've never run any of the modules, or even read them. :)

But what's your FAVORITE bad module?

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: zagha...@hotmail.com (Zaghadka)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2024 07:09:15 -0600
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 by: Zaghadka - Sun, 28 Jan 2024 13:09 UTC

On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 15:35:00 -0800, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>On 1/27/2024 11:12 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
>> On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 12:36:28 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On 1/27/2024 8:20 AM, Zaghadka wrote:
>>>> On Fri, 26 Jan 2024 09:55:09 +0100, kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>> I think that's why it got the award, because Good Gygax it's not a fair
>>>>>> or well written adventure. Why the hell did this evil wizard build all
>>>>>> this, complete with a counterfeit of himself, when he can suck people's
>>>>>> souls out at will? It's the ultimate in "Why is this even a thing?" What
>>>>>> is he doing there just sitting in that room anyway?
>>>>>
>>>>> "Because otherwise there would be no scenario"
>>>>
>>>> The scenario appears to be: "This lich is taking a thousand-year nap out
>>>> of sheer boredom. Do not bother him. He has gone to great, extremely
>>>> convoluted, and inefficient lengths to not be bothered."
>>>>
>>>> It is a very, very silly module. Still, it has nostalgia.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Well, one of the issues is that it is basically a funhouse dungeon from
>>> the early years. It was written for Origins 1975, and then refined over
>>> the next years until it was published in 1978. DnD as a hobby was a year
>>> old at that point. (and there already were players that claimed to have
>>> seen it all and be able to beat any challenge...)
>>
>> Yup. I'm aware of the history. And boy did those players grind Gygax's
>> gears. Thus, the entire module is pure vengeance.
>>
>> But it _is_ the first published puzzle dungeon. I love puzzle dungeons,
>> because you get to use your brain instead of dice, so I love ToH as a
>> guilty pleasure.
>>
>> But this puzzle dungeon? Yeah it was written with _malice_. It was a
>> commentary on roll playing vs. role playing, and the fact that players
>> had turned their brains off.
>>
>> It is true. D&D consisted entirely of silly dungeons, where inexplicably
>> the monsters got harder the lower you went in 1975, and none of them had
>> to eat. Gelatinous cubes cleaned up any possible way of marking the
>> mazes. Everything was 10x10x10', with the occasional double-wide hall. It
>> was in its infancy. Nethack is a great representation of the game at the
>> time. I was a contemporary of that period, though I never played boxed
>> set.
>>
>> But the question was "name a module that is objectively bad," and IMO all
>> of that era is objectively bad, at least a bit. I would not run White
>> Plume Mountain in this day and age, classic that it is. I would run
>> Inverness. But ToH is doubly bad, because it is specifically written as a
>> huge FU. A demonstration that the DM can always call "Rocks fall,
>> everyone dies." The module practically does that at several points. Quite
>> literally when you defeat the false lich.
>>
>
>I agree with it being objectively bad, and ushering in the era of
>players vs. DM that took decades to right.
>
>However it was "Favorite Bad Module." Some people love it *shrug*. I
>don't, and It doesn't sound like it's your favorite either. I can
>appreciate it for what it is, but I'd never play or DM it again, unless
>in 5e just to see how badly it was neutered (improved.)

I have a 3.5e conversion that's pretty playable. If you're interested, I
can get it to you via Dropbox or Google Drive.

--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2024 21:00:36 -0500
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Mon, 29 Jan 2024 02:00 UTC

On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 15:47:10 -0800, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>On 1/26/2024 9:03 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>
>> No, if I went for 'bad' I'd probably go with "T1-4 Tomb of Elemental
>> Evil." I know, I've just been declared heretic and a fatwah has been
>> issued against me. I stand by my assessment.
>>
>> It's not that "Tomb of Elemental Evil" is without merit. It has a lot
>> of good ideas. I just don't think they are implemented - or at least,
>> they aren't presented - well in the module. It wants to be both a
>> giant open-world sandbox and tight dungeon-crawl module, but does
>> neither very well. The open-world feels barren and requires a lot of
>> effort on the part of the DM to fill in the details. The
>> dungeoncrawling feels generic, with uninteresting villains and
>> cartoony situations. Had the module either been smaller in scope - or
>> expanded to be a much larger series - it might have been a more
>> effective adventure. As it is, it requires so much extra work from the
>> DM and players that you might as well just write your own adventure
>> entirely.
>
>I love T1, but I recognize some of it's faults. It seems like it's
>actually a better module for an evil campaign, the treasure from looting
>the village is better than the dungeon. It's memorable, but it's not
>really suited for beginning characters, which is what it always seems to
>be used for. Unless beginning character go out of their way to recruit
>NPC help, but that can also backfire. The treasure is a bit lacking as
>well (unless looting the town.) Other than that it's o.k. Might be a
>couple other things I'd change like the green slime and the cleric is a
>bit much unless with higher level characters.
>
>However I've never been able to get through T2-4. I never even got to
>the dungeon proper, the campaign just falls apart at Nulb. I've tried a
>number of times on both sides of the screen. Even playing the computer
>game I found it a horrible slog and couldn't get past the first level of
>T2 before quitting.

T1-4 was just too expansive for its own good. It's intended both as an
adventure for low-level adventurers that they continue to play as they
level up (1st through 8th level). There may be single adventure
modules that can span that range of levels, but Temple isn't that
module.

>Ah I love spelljammer as an idea, and I incorporated it into my multi
>campagin home-brew world and used a number of the monsters. However no
>one took up the hooks to go on a spelljamming ship and adventures, and
>I've never run any of the modules, or even read them. :)

Same. My campaign world has an entire spelljammer mythos, but it's
largely gone unused. We generally enjoyed lower-magic settings, and
spelljammer was just too fantastic for our taste. I deprecated the
whole endeavor decades ago, and although technically there still are
spaceships still cleaving the phlogiston, there has been precious
little interaction between the planetbound and starfaring
civilizations.

>But what's your FAVORITE bad module?

I so rarely play modules. Certainly I haven't in decades; my
pre-written module playing days were almost entirely during the early
parts of my D&D career. Honestly, I found very few of them to be very
good. They were all either very simplistic in tone and scope, or tried
to be too expansive but lacked the page-count to properly implement
their epic dreams.

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (Kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
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 by: Kyonshi - Mon, 29 Jan 2024 08:26 UTC

On 1/29/2024 3:00 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 15:47:10 -0800, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
>
>> On 1/26/2024 9:03 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>>
>>> No, if I went for 'bad' I'd probably go with "T1-4 Tomb of Elemental
>>> Evil." I know, I've just been declared heretic and a fatwah has been
>>> issued against me. I stand by my assessment.
>>>
>>> It's not that "Tomb of Elemental Evil" is without merit. It has a lot
>>> of good ideas. I just don't think they are implemented - or at least,
>>> they aren't presented - well in the module. It wants to be both a
>>> giant open-world sandbox and tight dungeon-crawl module, but does
>>> neither very well. The open-world feels barren and requires a lot of
>>> effort on the part of the DM to fill in the details. The
>>> dungeoncrawling feels generic, with uninteresting villains and
>>> cartoony situations. Had the module either been smaller in scope - or
>>> expanded to be a much larger series - it might have been a more
>>> effective adventure. As it is, it requires so much extra work from the
>>> DM and players that you might as well just write your own adventure
>>> entirely.
>>
>> I love T1, but I recognize some of it's faults. It seems like it's
>> actually a better module for an evil campaign, the treasure from looting
>> the village is better than the dungeon. It's memorable, but it's not
>> really suited for beginning characters, which is what it always seems to
>> be used for. Unless beginning character go out of their way to recruit
>> NPC help, but that can also backfire. The treasure is a bit lacking as
>> well (unless looting the town.) Other than that it's o.k. Might be a
>> couple other things I'd change like the green slime and the cleric is a
>> bit much unless with higher level characters.
>>
>> However I've never been able to get through T2-4. I never even got to
>> the dungeon proper, the campaign just falls apart at Nulb. I've tried a
>> number of times on both sides of the screen. Even playing the computer
>> game I found it a horrible slog and couldn't get past the first level of
>> T2 before quitting.
>
>
> T1-4 was just too expansive for its own good. It's intended both as an
> adventure for low-level adventurers that they continue to play as they
> level up (1st through 8th level). There may be single adventure
> modules that can span that range of levels, but Temple isn't that
> module.
>
>
>> Ah I love spelljammer as an idea, and I incorporated it into my multi
>> campagin home-brew world and used a number of the monsters. However no
>> one took up the hooks to go on a spelljamming ship and adventures, and
>> I've never run any of the modules, or even read them. :)
>
> Same. My campaign world has an entire spelljammer mythos, but it's
> largely gone unused. We generally enjoyed lower-magic settings, and
> spelljammer was just too fantastic for our taste. I deprecated the
> whole endeavor decades ago, and although technically there still are
> spaceships still cleaving the phlogiston, there has been precious
> little interaction between the planetbound and starfaring
> civilizations.
>
My current campaign setting started out after I was reading the
Spelljammer monster book and decided that I wanted to do something with
the stuff in there. I wanted to have a discworld-like setting where
there is an Edge region under the rim of the world where all the debris
and flotsam of the world above ends, with various places being trading
ports for both space and ocean transport. The whole setting is called
The Vertical Kingdoms, and has gone unused for the last few years. I
instead focused on another area above that was much more in line with
normal fantasy tropes to make a starter area. And, in addition, having a
discworld is damn inconvenient for justifying how everything works. It's
no wonder Pratchett made the whole explanation of how his is supposed to
work into one big joke, because it simply doesn't.

>
>> But what's your FAVORITE bad module?
>
> I so rarely play modules. Certainly I haven't in decades; my
> pre-written module playing days were almost entirely during the early
> parts of my D&D career. Honestly, I found very few of them to be very
> good. They were all either very simplistic in tone and scope, or tried
> to be too expansive but lacked the page-count to properly implement
> their epic dreams.
>

I have gone back to actually playing a few modules. I used to not use
them at all, now I have gone to diving deep into one to get the most out
of them. Some are good for that, others simply aren't.
It used to be that every module I tried was wrecked instantly by players
that refused to follow the plot, but by now I realize that the issue is
mostly that I had the wrong approach to the whole business. German
roleplaying games have a tendency to have railroaded plots that are
supplemented with areas in which free interaction in the environment is
possible. So I got socialized to that. It took me a while to properly
get how to deal with modules that are actual modules or scenarios
instead of adventures (also one of those distinctions that nobody really
tells you about).
I noticed that there are some modules that are really good despite their
small size (B2, B3 esp. in the orange cover), while some other need a
lot of work to be brought into a usable state (as I mentioned B9 has the
core of a good module hidden somewhere).

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2024 20:37:43 -0500
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Wed, 31 Jan 2024 01:37 UTC

On Mon, 29 Jan 2024 09:26:59 +0100, Kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>On 1/29/2024 3:00 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>> On Sat, 27 Jan 2024 15:47:10 -0800, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 1/26/2024 9:03 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>>>
>>>> No, if I went for 'bad' I'd probably go with "T1-4 Tomb of Elemental
>>>> Evil." I know, I've just been declared heretic and a fatwah has been
>>>> issued against me. I stand by my assessment.
>>>>
>>>> It's not that "Tomb of Elemental Evil" is without merit. It has a lot
>>>> of good ideas. I just don't think they are implemented - or at least,
>>>> they aren't presented - well in the module. It wants to be both a
>>>> giant open-world sandbox and tight dungeon-crawl module, but does
>>>> neither very well. The open-world feels barren and requires a lot of
>>>> effort on the part of the DM to fill in the details. The
>>>> dungeoncrawling feels generic, with uninteresting villains and
>>>> cartoony situations. Had the module either been smaller in scope - or
>>>> expanded to be a much larger series - it might have been a more
>>>> effective adventure. As it is, it requires so much extra work from the
>>>> DM and players that you might as well just write your own adventure
>>>> entirely.
>>>
>>> I love T1, but I recognize some of it's faults. It seems like it's
>>> actually a better module for an evil campaign, the treasure from looting
>>> the village is better than the dungeon. It's memorable, but it's not
>>> really suited for beginning characters, which is what it always seems to
>>> be used for. Unless beginning character go out of their way to recruit
>>> NPC help, but that can also backfire. The treasure is a bit lacking as
>>> well (unless looting the town.) Other than that it's o.k. Might be a
>>> couple other things I'd change like the green slime and the cleric is a
>>> bit much unless with higher level characters.
>>>
>>> However I've never been able to get through T2-4. I never even got to
>>> the dungeon proper, the campaign just falls apart at Nulb. I've tried a
>>> number of times on both sides of the screen. Even playing the computer
>>> game I found it a horrible slog and couldn't get past the first level of
>>> T2 before quitting.
>>
>>
>> T1-4 was just too expansive for its own good. It's intended both as an
>> adventure for low-level adventurers that they continue to play as they
>> level up (1st through 8th level). There may be single adventure
>> modules that can span that range of levels, but Temple isn't that
>> module.
>>
>>
>>> Ah I love spelljammer as an idea, and I incorporated it into my multi
>>> campagin home-brew world and used a number of the monsters. However no
>>> one took up the hooks to go on a spelljamming ship and adventures, and
>>> I've never run any of the modules, or even read them. :)
>>
>> Same. My campaign world has an entire spelljammer mythos, but it's
>> largely gone unused. We generally enjoyed lower-magic settings, and
>> spelljammer was just too fantastic for our taste. I deprecated the
>> whole endeavor decades ago, and although technically there still are
>> spaceships still cleaving the phlogiston, there has been precious
>> little interaction between the planetbound and starfaring
>> civilizations.
>>
>My current campaign setting started out after I was reading the
>Spelljammer monster book and decided that I wanted to do something with
>the stuff in there. I wanted to have a discworld-like setting where
>there is an Edge region under the rim of the world where all the debris
>and flotsam of the world above ends, with various places being trading
>ports for both space and ocean transport. The whole setting is called
>The Vertical Kingdoms, and has gone unused for the last few years. I
>instead focused on another area above that was much more in line with
>normal fantasy tropes to make a starter area. And, in addition, having a
>discworld is damn inconvenient for justifying how everything works. It's
>no wonder Pratchett made the whole explanation of how his is supposed to
>work into one big joke, because it simply doesn't.
>
>>
>>> But what's your FAVORITE bad module?
>>
>> I so rarely play modules. Certainly I haven't in decades; my
>> pre-written module playing days were almost entirely during the early
>> parts of my D&D career. Honestly, I found very few of them to be very
>> good. They were all either very simplistic in tone and scope, or tried
>> to be too expansive but lacked the page-count to properly implement
>> their epic dreams.
>>
>
>I have gone back to actually playing a few modules. I used to not use
>them at all, now I have gone to diving deep into one to get the most out
>of them. Some are good for that, others simply aren't.
>It used to be that every module I tried was wrecked instantly by players
>that refused to follow the plot, but by now I realize that the issue is
>mostly that I had the wrong approach to the whole business. German
>roleplaying games have a tendency to have railroaded plots that are
>supplemented with areas in which free interaction in the environment is
>possible. So I got socialized to that. It took me a while to properly
>get how to deal with modules that are actual modules or scenarios
>instead of adventures (also one of those distinctions that nobody really
>tells you about).
>I noticed that there are some modules that are really good despite their
>small size (B2, B3 esp. in the orange cover), while some other need a
>lot of work to be brought into a usable state (as I mentioned B9 has the
>core of a good module hidden somewhere).

My issue tends to be more with tone and style than actual
implementation. As I've mentioned before, I prefer a much lower-magic
game than is typical for most D&D games, which typically results in a
much more careful play-style. After all, if the players don't have
easy access to magical healing (much less Raise Dead spells), they
aren't going to jump into battle quite as readily. It also means that
magic heavy monsters are less common.

Which is almost the antithesis of typical D&D, I know.

My group also preferred to have long-running campaigns (rather than
stand-alone and unconnected adventures).

TL;DR: even when I found a module interesting, often just to get it to
'work' for our group would have required so much effort and tinkering
it rarely was worth the effort.

I often bought and read modules (and cheerfully lifted ideas I thought
were neat)... but rarely used them en toto in our games.

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (Kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2024 10:22:49 +0100
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 by: Kyonshi - Wed, 31 Jan 2024 09:22 UTC

On 1/31/2024 2:37 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

> My issue tends to be more with tone and style than actual
> implementation. As I've mentioned before, I prefer a much lower-magic
> game than is typical for most D&D games, which typically results in a
> much more careful play-style. After all, if the players don't have
> easy access to magical healing (much less Raise Dead spells), they
> aren't going to jump into battle quite as readily. It also means that
> magic heavy monsters are less common.

I have gone over to play rules as written, and making higher level NPCs
that could Raise Dead about as rare as they should be.
I play mostly B/X inspired DnD, so Raise Dead is a 5th level spell that
should only be available to a level 7 Cleric. A level 7 cleric should be
a bishop or above, and not every village will just have a bishop
bouncing around to heal whatever pieces some murderhobos drop on his/her
doorstep. In addition there's a time limit: a level 7 cleric can only
raise a dead body for 4 days after it's been killed. And they might not
do that for free, some bribes/donations might be necessary to show their
adherence to the faith. And of course there also might be a chance that
more deserving adherents to the faith are also in need of resurrection.
In other words: yeah, sure you can try to get the dead PC raised. But
doing that is gonna be a bit more difficult than you imagine.

>
> Which is almost the antithesis of typical D&D, I know.
>
> My group also preferred to have long-running campaigns (rather than
> stand-alone and unconnected adventures).
>
> TL;DR: even when I found a module interesting, often just to get it to
> 'work' for our group would have required so much effort and tinkering
> it rarely was worth the effort.
>
> I often bought and read modules (and cheerfully lifted ideas I thought
> were neat)... but rarely used them en toto in our games.
>

I have gone over to look for modules which are I either can implement in
toto, with only minor alterations, or which can be adapted to whatever
setting necessary. I have been doing some worldbuilding where I just
took whatever the modules threw at me and used that to inform the rest
of the world.
But that means I am scanning through a lot of modules and I don't really
find that many that are really all that useful after a while because too
much work would be needed to get it all to work together with the rest
of the setting.

Re: Favorite Bad Modules?

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From: web...@polaris.net (Ubiquitous)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2024 04:30:47 -0500
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 by: Ubiquitous - Tue, 6 Feb 2024 09:30 UTC

gmkeros@gmail.com wrote:

>What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>reason or another?

Good question!

I cannot think of any in particular, but I hated the early Dragonlance
adventures because they railroaded the hell out of us.

--
Let's go Brandon!

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Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
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 by: Ubiquitous - Tue, 6 Feb 2024 09:30 UTC

justisaur@yahoo.com wrote:

>What's a bad module? Well there's The Forest Oracle I guess, but I've
>never run it. T2-4 I hate, but many seem to love.

Which modules are those? If memory serves, only The Village of Hamlet was
published.

I am not fond of the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign, too.

--
Let's go Brandon!

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Favorite Bad Modules?
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 by: kyonshi - Tue, 6 Feb 2024 14:28 UTC

On 2/6/2024 10:30 AM, Ubiquitous wrote:
> justisaur@yahoo.com wrote:
>
>> What's a bad module? Well there's The Forest Oracle I guess, but I've
>> never run it. T2-4 I hate, but many seem to love.
>
> Which modules are those? If memory serves, only The Village of Hamlet was
> published.
>
> I am not fond of the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign, too.
>
> --
> Let's go Brandon!
>

Temple of Elemental Evil received the code T1-4 when it was published,
so it was implied that it also contained modules T2-4.

Just like TSR to choose a numbering system and then mess it up.

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 by: kyonshi - Tue, 6 Feb 2024 14:29 UTC

On 2/6/2024 10:30 AM, Ubiquitous wrote:
> gmkeros@gmail.com wrote:
>
>> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>> one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>> reason or another?
>
> Good question!
>
> I cannot think of any in particular, but I hated the early Dragonlance
> adventures because they railroaded the hell out of us.
>
> --
> Let's go Brandon!
>

But did you like them though?

(I never liked the DL series, too railroady)

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 by: Ubiquitous - Tue, 6 Feb 2024 15:39 UTC

gmkeros@gmail.com wrote:
> On 2/6/2024 10:30 AM, Ubiquitous wrote:
>> gmkeros@gmail.com wrote:

>>> What are your favorite bad modules? The ones that are objectively bad in
>>> one way or another, but somehow you still kind of like them for one
>>> reason or another?
>>
>> Good question!
>>
>> I cannot think of any in particular, but I hated the early Dragonlance
>> adventures because they railroaded the hell out of us.
>
> But did you like them though?
> (I never liked the DL series, too railroady)

Oops, I didn't answer your question. I was thinking of ones I hated but
others liked.

I am still drawing drawing a blank...

--
Let's go Brandon!


interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / Favorite Bad Modules?

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