One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Ruins Of Myth Drannor

So today I wrap up my week of talking about some of my favorite Ed Greenwood, Forgotten Realms stuff. You might have missed Monday's, and Tuesday's posts on my old, and now defunct blog Zombie World, due to me switching over to this new blog halfway during the week.

Today's post features the Ruins of Myth Drannor box set. Here's what you get inside this slim box:

4 Poster maps
8 cardsheets, featuring important locations in the ruins, and random tables
A 128-page Campaign Guide
A 32-page Adventure Booklet
Why does this box kick more ass than Chuck Norris after drinking a 4 pack of Red Bulls? It's because it's a mega-dungeon in disguise. At least it took me a little time to figure that out. It's essentially a giant above ground dungeon that collects a series of what some people today would call lairs, or mini-dungeons into one location.

I sort of imagine Myth Drannor as what Rivendell from Lord of the Rings might have been like if Sauron managed to infest it with his evilness and monsters. Minus that big silly flaming eye. I'm mean really? A flaming eye? Really?

So you have this awesome ancient elven city, long ago it embraces all the other cool races, like humans, dwarves, halfling, and gnomes. They live in harmony and do all sorts of cool and awesome things, and then the shit hits the fan. Boom. Myth Drannor gets a serious case of evil invaders syndrome. Orcs and goblin kind are everywhere. Evil Dudes 1, Good Guys 0.

So today you have a Myth Drannor full of a variety of evil factions all seeking to rape and plunder the once glorious elven city for everything it ever had. Wealth, magic, and all sorts of cool magical nick-knacks like awesome rings of totally rad wishes, wands of yo-momma, magic 8-balls, and that really rare 1977, July issue of Playboy magazine (really, I just read it for the articles).

Basically it provides the DM with an awesome framework from which to build his own campaign. But even if your not into pre-made stuff, there's more than enough material here that you can rip off for your own game.

One of my favorite quotes from the box is found on page 3 of the Adventure Book:

On the Other hand, many AD&D game adventures begin with the warning that random encounters should be used with caution, so as not to ruin a party's chances by overwhelming them before they get anywhere. Apply no such caution here! If your PCs start to feel like rocks bouncing down a mountainside during an avalanche, you're doing it right!

What I dig about this is that it basically states that Myth Drannor is a deadly place. Just trying to reach a location in the ruins is tough, never mind the location itself. Of course the rewards for such danger are just as equal. Not only that, but the satisfaction of having accomplished something in an environment so tough is also just as rewarding as cool treasure and new magical doodads.

Final thoughts. This seems like a pretty original module, and well executed to boot. Defiantly an important piece of Realms lore, and a must have for any DM that really wants to have a feel for what the Forgotten Realms is really like.

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