"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Monday, June 13, 2011

D1 - Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, Cassandra's Carpet Trap II


D1 is the first in what would be called the Drow series. It was released as a continuation/followup to the Giant  (G) series of modules and like those modules this one was also written y Gary Gygax. This took the players from the surface world of Oerth to an underground world just as vivid and complex as the surface world. The module was published in 1978 just after work was done on the AD&D PHB. 

The module is a smaller one coming in at sixteen pages. The actual play content of the module is actually only about half of that. The rest of the module consists of  notes for the DM, a new monster and actually two blank pages. When you look at it on its own it is not much to talk about but it will eventually be part of what is considered the beat module of all time by Dungeon Magazine (the GDQ series). It is also best looked at as a framework for a much larger campaign. The map of the area underground covers hundreds of miles and has spots marked where the DM can create their own encounters. 

The play content of the module is interesting and diverse. There are encounters that will fall into what is normally expected from a dungeon delve but there is also the inklings of a much larger underground societal structure that are expanded upon in later offerings and can make the adventures easier or harder in the future. 

The adventure is designed for a larger party of between seven and nine who should all be tenth level or higher. They should also be well equipped magic wise and set for an extended period underground. In just this portion of the adventure they can encounter  Bugbears, Drow, Gargoyles, Mind Flayers, Troglodytes and Trolls. The module also introduces the Jermlaine as a new monster for the players to encounter. Like the Drow the Jermlaine was later published in the Fiend Folio.

As mentioned earlier looking at it on its own for just play content the module is light but what is there is well done. Looking at it for what it leads to and is part of it becomes a lesser, but pivotal, chapter in a greater book. The module has been released in many forms. It can be picked up in the monochrome version pictured here. It was also combined with D2 and released in that manner in 1980. Finally it was also released as part of the GDQ super module. However you get it just for nostalgia everyone should own a copy. 


Spell:

Cassandra's Carpet Trap II


Level: Fourth
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Ares Effect: Special
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 5 Rounds
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast the magic user brings into being a carpet that is  magical in nature. The nature of the carpet can very based on the caster's  desire and the level of the spell.

By default the carpet will be of ornate and of exceptional quality. The  caster can specify a different appearance if desired though it will always  appear to have been a carpet of some quality at one time.

The carpet created will have a maximum size equal to ten square feet per  level of the caster. It will by default fill the space it is cast in though  the caster can specify any shape and size.

The carpet will remain until such time as the effect it is intended to have  is triggered. The triggering effect can be anything that the caster desires.  It can be a timed effect such as one day from now or a specialized event such  as the first thief to walk on it or if a spell is cast by someone while  standing on it. Until such time as the trigger effect occurs the carpet is  nothing more than a carpet. The carpet can be moved with no impact to the  trigger effect unless moving was part of it.

With this level of the spell there are two types of carpets that can be  created. It is important to note that higher level of the spell can also  create all versions of carpets that previous version could create.

Carpet of Trapping

This carpet upon the triggering event will fold and roll in on itself  trapping all on it who fail a saving throw versus magic. Those who save are  assumed to have been able to jump free and avoid entrapment.

Those who are trapped by the carpet will suffer two hit points of constriction  damage per round that they are trapped. They will also fall unconscious in six  to nine rounds from suffocation. When all in the rug are unconscious or dead  the carpet will loosen enough to allow those trapped to breathe. Those  unconscious will remain so for an additional seven to twelve turns unless  someone wakes them.

Those trapped by the carpet can be freed by those on the outside using  cutting instruments. There is a 50% chance that those inside will suffer one  to two points of damage per person per round when being cut out. It will  take twenty man rounds of cutting for to free those trapped inside. If there  is no one to free them those trapped inside can work themselves free in two  to five hours.

Carpet of Flame

This carpet when triggered will transform into a searing sheet of flames that  will rise to a height of twenty feet. These flames will persist as long as  any living being remains on the carpet. The flames will cause damage equal to  twice the level of the caster to all on the carpet or in the flames. Those on  the carpet or in the flames are entitled to a save each round caught in the  conflagration and those making their save suffer half damage for that round. 

The material component of this spell is a small woven rug of exceptional  quality. This carpet will cost no less than 100 gp per level of the Carpet  Trap. The rug transforms into the carpet with the casting and is used up. The  appearance of the actual carpet will be whatever the caster desires though it  will always appear to have been so high quality at some point.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups  last, were all written up back in the 80's so the terminology may not  appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back  then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of  spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel  free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to  use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask  is proper credit.

2 comments:

JasonZavoda said...

Back when the D series came out I got my first chance at DMing a pre-made module. Our group loved the Underoerth setting so much we campaigned there for over a year and a half. I wrote two binders worth of material detailing locations shown on the map and quickly realized that the underdark was a fully three-dimensional setting. Jules Verne was incredibly helpful.

DocStout said...

I can remember doing a classics tour a few years back, we did The D series, G series and Slaver's series, ran Castle Ravenloft and ended with Tomb of Horrors.

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