"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, January 2, 2012

The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, Wild Magic 8


Let me start off by saying that I love the idea behind these  modules. The concept of converting a child's story into an  adventure was a good one. I fully enjoyed reading them and seeing  how the characters and events in the module were handled using  game mechanics.

On the flip side as much as I loved reading them and the idea  behind them they seem to be one of those great ideas on paper and  in planning but when done they don't live up to expectations. The  modules can be fun but would require the right group of players  in the right mindset. I am certain I would also never use this in  an existing ongoing campaign (though I do have an idea how that I  will mention at the end).

EX2 "The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror" is the companion piece to  Dungeonland. I found that Dungeonland had more of the material I  I liked though the inclusion of Humpty and the twins in this  module made it memorable as did the Jabberwock. For the record  though the Jabberwock deserved a better treatment.

The artwork was not as good in EX2 as it was in EX1. It is not  that the art is bad in anyway it is just that I liked the earlier  modules art better and there was more there. I am not certain but  that he did all of it but James Holloway did most of the art from  what I could tell. I like his art and as I said the art was good  it was just that EX1 had more and I liked it better.

The module is going to be one that will test the players. Just  because the theme is a child's tale the players might want to  take it as something they can walk through. Nothing would be  further from the truth. If they are not well seasoned players who  are familiar with running higher level characters they will most  certainly meet with characters dying unless the GM takes pity on  them.

As to my idea on how to use these modules. I was thinking of  using them as a "Dallas" or "Newhart" TV show situation. Where in  the end it was all a dream but used as a test. To make the  players even more uncomfortable I thought about making a  situation where they had to swap characters they played. This  would test them and make all of them uneasy. In the end the  possible benefactor who placed them there would allow them to  keep some magic item that they got from the adventure but in the  end none of it was real.

Published: 1983
Pages: 32

From the back cover:


Your adventures have taken you to strange places before, but in  the eyes of your experienced party, few of these places are as  unusual as the bizarre Land Beyond the Magic Mirror. Here the  delightful and the light-hearted often hide great challenges and  dangers; here you will journey through a landscape unique among  fantasy role-playing scenarios.

This module was first conceived by E. Gary Gygax as part of the  Greyhawk Castle dungeon complex and has been the source of  challenge and fun for many skilled players of the ADVANCED  DUNGEONS & DRAGONS(R) game. It is finally available to all  players and can be added to your existing campaign with ease.

The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror is designed so that it may be  used with its companion scenario, Dungeon Module EX1,  Dungeonland. Still, The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror may easily  be played on its own, and should offer hours of excitement in its  strange landscape!


 
Spell:

Wild Magic 8


Level: Ninth
Range: Special
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Components: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special

With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate  the casting of any eighth or lower level spell. The spell will  work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is  not a requirement.

When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any eighth  or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they  memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the  spell will go off without problem.

Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they  have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will  work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of  things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and  out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a  negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.

The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical  effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they  will need to impose strict limits on its use.

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. 

2 comments:

mortellan said...

Good commentary. I ran EX1 and EX2 more than once, and I agree it takes the right players with the right mindset. Those that did enjoy it actually yearned to go back strangely. I think the idea behind strange demiplanes is one of the things that sets Greyhawk apart from other settings. One never knows where you may end up.

Jason Carney said...

I love these modules. They are uniquely Gygaxian. I was reading a collection of Gord the Rogue short stories recently called Night Arrant (written by Gygax) and there are some jaunts to settings that resemble that strangeness that characterizes these modules. Thanks!

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