Monday, October 25, 2010

The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth

I was looking through my D&D and AD&D modules this week (unpacking them onto a shelf) when I stumbled upon The Lost Caverns.

I've never run this module, don't even know if it's any good at all, but some of its elements have been KEY in my Queston Campaign for years.  Very odd.   I never really thought about its impact on me until now.

Here are some of the bits that play or have played a big role in my games since the module came out --

  • Graz'zt, the demon prince.  Was the focus of a major campaign where the heroes ventured to the Abyss to destroy him and...
  • Fraz-Urb-Iuu, the demon prince.  A temple to Fraz was actually one of the first adventures I ever wrote/ran in 1983.  I still have my copy of the dungeon.  Maybe I'll update it and upload it some time. 
  • Dretch.  These little demon buggers were very useful as hordes of minions.
  • Cooshee.  One of the elf PC's had one as a pet.
  • Chasme.  These demon bugs were popular fodder in the Abyss and in other abysmal areas.
  • Derro.  They became the evil dwarves in my campaign.
  • Behir.  A challenging non-dragon dragon.  I've used one in nearly every campaign I've ran since.
  • Gorgimera.  Frequently used as a major challenge to PCs and another non-dragon dragon.
  • Daoud's Wonderous Lanthorn.  Although I never used it, I did make a number of equally complex magical artifacts for my campaign. 
  • Magical Diagrams.  I actually created my own set of diagrams based upon Mr. Gygax's work.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the module.  I find them very inspirational.


Telecanter said...

I don't remember much about the one time we ran through it in highschool, except we looted that place like crazy; took the valuable doors off the hinges and used them to carry more treasure out. And, I ended up with that damn lanthorn.

I missed a session following that victory and they played my character anyway, shooting spells from the lanthorn galore. I was mortified when I found out: "Do you know what happens when those gems run out!?" Ha ha.

christian said...

That was one hell of a modules and as you mention, it was stuffed full of goodness.

Anonymous said...

I have never run it either, but have likewise been inspired by parts of it, especially the spherical room and what's inside it. I think the module actually feels kind of like a bunch of smaller segments, unrelated, put together and then rationalized, but maybe that's just me.

I'd also be interested in the old adventure you wrote, should you feel like putting it up. I bet the original would be as interesting as an updated one though.

biopunk said...

I've played in and run S4, and have had great fun doing both.

I remember us squabbling over who got to keep Drelnza's cool helmet after she turned vapourous.

I'd agree with Anonymous that it can sometimes feel like a bunch of unrelated segments on it's own, but that made it easy to expand with appropriate random encounters into a longer home-brewed dungeon crawl.

It's other booklet also made the purchase of the MM2 unnecessary.

Unknown said...

Running S4 was a lot of fun. Good loot and memorable locations.

I disliked the occupant of the sleeping room, though. She had such potential as an interesting NPC but was set up as a straight-on fight.

Unknown said...

Another old favorite of mine, though I never ran it. Like you, I did loot it for ideas.

Anonymous said...

Eric Wilde: yes, it's a fight, but not straight-on. The tactics made possible by the occupant's abilities and the nature of the room make it interesting. Although I am also more inspired by the NPC quality, and would find a way to use it as such. This was a tournament adventure originally, remember... for a home campaign it probably should be altered.

Anonymous said...

All I remember about this apart from the cover is the the vampire with a +4 sword. That was the only piece of loot my half-orc got out of the the module but it was a powerful item.