Sunday, October 16, 2011
I2 - Tomb of the Lizard King, Cassandra's Randomization
I2 - Tomb of the Lizard King, released in 1982 is a module that is way to often overlooked. I have myself fallen prey to this. For some unknown reason I always think of Dwellers of the Forbidden City before I think of this forgotten gem. I know Dwellers is probably a "better" module but I remember this one being a lot of fun but then I was the DM.
This module if run right can come close to competing with Tomb of Horrors for being able to kill the entire party without too much bad luck occurring. A party that does not exercise a certain level of caution will most like be rolling up new characters. This has more of a plot than the Tomb of Horrors. I am not saying it is a better module just that it has more of a plot. Below is the warning in the module.
"Special Warning: Before beginning play the Dungeon Master should warn his players that this particular module is extremely hazardous. It is specifically designed to put characters of the specified levels to a severe test. Success in this adventure will require that the party exercise the utmost caution, think a great deal, and still be ready to “hack and slash” against powerful opponents. Some players may not want to risk their favorite characters in an adventure of this difficulty. In such cases, it is recommended that the Dungeon Master allow the use of the pregenerated characters included in the back pages of this module."
I won't go into too much detail but the module starts things off right away and does not let up too often. The module tries to pack in as many different things to kill as it can and makes somethings tougher than you would have thought possible. The module combines roleplaying, riddle solving, wilderness and a good old dungeon crawl in good measure. The roleplaying option in this one for the DM is nothing short of golden....playing crazy is fun! The art inside is by Jeff Easley and Jim Holloway which only adds to its appeal.
The module is common enough in the secondary market. If you want to pick this up you should not have to spend anymore than what you would pay for a new printed module today and may end paying less. I know this did not make the official Top 30 Adventure List but if I were going to make my own this would easily replace one of the others on the list.
From the back of the module:
"The southlands of Eor are being despoiled. Merchants will no longer run their caravans on the main highway past the quiet village of Waycombe. The peasants are fleeing their lands, and all are demanding protection from the powerful Count of Eor. The goodly count has sent a troop of his trusted fighters to exterminate the brigands believed responsible for these outrages, but weeks have passed, and still there is no word from this force.
Now John Brunis, Count of Eor, has turned to you for aid. After taking counsel with the High Priest of Eor, he believes that a small party of cunning, bold adventurers may succeed where armed might has failed. You find yourselves faced with many mysteries!
Why has robbery suddenly erupted in the peaceful southlands?
How could mere brigands be as powerful as the foes described to you by their numerous victims?
Is this really mere robbery? Or is there some truth to the rumors, told only in hushed whispers, about the beginnings of a hideous plot being hatched by an ancient, vile and evil foe of all mankind?
The answers to these mysteries will be found by only the most brave and cunning in this extremely challenging adventure for characters levels 5-7."
Duration: 2 Turns/Level
Area of Effect: 12" Sphere
Casting Time: 5 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves
When this spell is cast the magic user causes all creatures inside the area of effect that are not party of their party to polymorph into random creatures that would be appropriate to the location. In addition the affected will be teleported away to a random location. Victims who save will still be polymorphed and teleported but the duration of the effects will halved.
When this spell is cast the DM will need to randomly determine what the affected is polymorphed into. If there is a random monster table in use this would be the best option though this is up to the DM's discretion. Whatever the creature the victim becomes they will have the sole purpose, unless mindless, to find the caster who is now their prey. They will become wandering monsters looking for the party.
The victims will also be teleported to a random location that would be considered within the confines of the area they were previously in. If in a dungeon that is clear but in a house in a city it would be the city and not the house. For wilderness areas it will be to a random location that they creature could return to the location from in one half the duration of the spell effect for them.
polymorphed but will be pulled back to their original location. At the end of the spells duration all victims will be pulled back and returned to their normal form. There is no chance of permanency from the polymorph effect from this spell.
The material components of this spell will be a small functional hourglass and a gem of no less than 500gp in value. Both will be consumed with the casting of the spell which will buy the caster some time to get done what they need.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of 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.
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