Lolth, Spider Queen of the Drow
July 11, 2018 11:02 AM   Subscribe

In 1979, Queen of the Demonweb Pits debuted at the Origins game convention. This Dungeons & Dragons adventure pitted the party against a minor god, Lolth, in her home plane of the Abyss. It was published the next year as module Q1, the finale to the G (Against the Giants) and D (Descent into the Depths of the Earth/Vault of the Drow) series of modules.

As a capstone to a landmark series of modules by D&D creator Gary Gygax, Q1 was a bit of a head-shaker. Written by TSR artist Gary Sutherland, it was a strange and otherworldly romp without any of the Drow's political and religious machinations the series seemed to be leading up to.

What it did have was a climax inside a steam-powered brass-plated spider-shaped mechanical ship. This threw much of the fanbase for a loop. For while contemporary published adventure modules were also including laser pistols and robots, many hardcore D&D players were (and often still are) much more wedded to the medieval fantasy genre than the writers appeared to be.

So much so that over 20 years later, fans were still rewriting the end of the module to erase the proto-steampunk Spider Ship of Lolth. When the Demonweb Pits were revisited in edition 3.5, there was no trace of the thing. Modern 5th edition has yet to go there, but as the original Demonweb Pits were written for the campaign setting of Greyhawk, any transition to the Forgotten Realms is likely to leave behind Lolth's unloved transport as well.
posted by rikschell (71 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
 
The weirdness of the early [A]D&D materials was a wonderful thing.

I love the 5th edition rules, but the particular high fantasy aesthetic it emphasizes (I blame Peter Jackson) leaves me cold.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:08 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


The wild nonsensical whimsy was the best part.

It was the ABYSS. What part of "chaotic evil" implies "makes perfect sense"?
posted by kyrademon at 11:19 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Man, I stared at that cover art SO MUCH when I was younger. I can't say that I played all the modules in the serious very thoroughly, but I loved the ideas.
posted by Gorgik at 11:28 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Don't be badmouthing Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

I mean, how much more weird is it versus the Gamma World 2nd ed-D&D conversion charts in the original DMG?

Also, I find it amazing that people are still discussing this module 40-some years later.
posted by GuyZero at 11:31 AM on July 11 [14 favorites]


I'm sure it's largely due to nostalgia and imprinting, but the AD&D 2nd Ed. aesthetic is my forever favorite. Sure, the rules were needlessly complicated sometimes (looking at you, THAC0) but the feel was pretty great. I've lugged my collection of ~60 various books / manuals from 2e around for 20 years and I will not stop anytime soon. Dragonlance and FRealms and especially Dark Sun were just super solid campaign settings.

Let me also just say that I am forever team LLOTH and think that Lolth is a silly name. You know, for an evil spider deity.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:31 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


I suppose I just prefer the Menzoberranzan dialect.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:32 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


also:

So much so that over 20 years later,

Q1 was published in 1980. You're not wrong, but it's closer to 38 years.
posted by GuyZero at 11:33 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Dragonlance and FRealms and especially Dark Sun were just super solid campaign settings.

These were first edition AD&D settings? I mean, yes, they were 2nd ed settings too I guess, but they were originally published for 1st ed. Dark Sun came out after 2nd ed.
posted by GuyZero at 11:34 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I *think* that owned this module but never played it -- and I have zero recollection of a spider-shaped robot thing.

(I just read the list of D&D modules, and I think in my mind they're all mixed up with the one that had an inverted glass ziggurat with different monsters on each level (one of which was filled with water!), and also with "Barrier Peaks." It was a long, long time ago, though...)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:36 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Let me also just say that I am forever team LLOTH and think that Lolth is a silly name. You know, for an evil spider deity.

I always figured that drow were just in it for the Lolth.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:39 AM on July 11 [24 favorites]


Jason B. Thompson produced a bunch of very well-executed (and very funny) walkthrough maps of a bunch of 1E modules. Unfortunately, he didn't make one for Q1, but he did do a bunch of others. I recall looking at the cover art, and reading through the modules, but my youngest brother was 6 years older than me, and when he played D&D, he did it with his friends, and I was too young, and Not Welcome. But I would read them though when nobody was looking.

I've tried DMing some games for my kids, but our first attempts were with Pathfinder, and 5E, and, like others above, that aesthetic just leaves us cold. Not fun enough. We tried a simple dungeon crawl I put together with 1E rules, and it was much more fun. We just need to bring in some of their friends, because a party with only two players is a bit small.
posted by curiousgene at 11:49 AM on July 11 [16 favorites]


in it for the Lolth

[golfclap.gif]
posted by slater at 11:50 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


One thing I find interesting about these reviews is that they see the module through the eyes of people who have watched RPG adventure design evolve considerably in the time since this module was published. It's a little like comparing Huckleberry Finn to A Catcher in the Rye.

Which is not to say the criticisms are wrong in any way - just that someone like Sutherland was inventing the genre as much as Gygax was and there wasn't a lot of guidance to help make high level decisions. Per the video review it's a fancier dungeon as opposed to an adventure of politics, intrigue and combat. Q1 should probably have been a lot of things it's not, as should have D3. It would be interesting to see a more modern reimagining of these modules. I mean other than Expedition to the Demonweb Pits because I'm not a huge Planescape fan.
posted by GuyZero at 11:54 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I am forever team LLOTH and think that Lolth is a silly name.

I recently re-read some Drizzt books on my Kindle, and I figured the instances of Lolth were an amusing autocorrect on the part of the sketchy Russian site whence the .epub came. Well, I'll be whipped by live snakes.
posted by turkeybrain at 12:29 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Huh, it seems pretty similar to the Avernum series of CRPGs. They are also set underground (Avernum is Cave Australia, where a morally bankrupt empire sends its criminals and troublemakers), and the main plot point of most games centers around a race of humanoids that look like traditional conceptions of Gray Aliens, called Vahnatai. The Vahnatai often have tools and artifacts that are more or less direct analogues of ray gun sci-fi stuff, and are heavily hinted at having come from the stars and colonized the cave systems that you're exploring. The games were first published as Exile in 1994, so it definitely seems like the dev may have drawn some inspiration.
posted by codacorolla at 12:31 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


These were first edition AD&D settings? I mean, yes, they were 2nd ed settings too I guess, but they were originally published for 1st ed. Dark Sun came out after 2nd ed.

Definitely - I just didn't play 1st edition so I didn't hit them then.

That said, I do have some 1st ed AD&D books that I do enjoy. The cover of the Fiend Folio is especially fun.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:32 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


By "over 20 years", I meant that Skein of the Death Mother dates to 2003. This post was inspired by the fact that today I am DMing my home game by throwing Lolth's Spider Ship at my 15th level 5e party. I've been wanting to run this bit since 1980 or 81 when I got the module for Christmas or my birthday. I thought the mechanical ship was weird and very un-Tolkein, but it was just too cool not to face! But no-one ever had characters high enough level to take it on, and I wasn't a big fan of just rolling up 10th level characters. Back then, PCs only developed background as they went along, because most didn't survive long enough to bother with a backstory.
posted by rikschell at 12:33 PM on July 11


It's so interesting to this 2nd ed. and largely novel reared player that there was such pushback to the mechanical ship. One of my favorite running threads in the TSR novels was the gnomish race in Dragonlance, which was 100% all about technology like spaceships and stuff.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:35 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The cover of the Fiend Folio is especially fun

So I went to the Wikipedia page for Fiend Folio and what do I stumble across...

The githyanki, designed by Charles Stross within the pages of White Dwarf...

MIND. BLOWN.
posted by GuyZero at 12:48 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


These were first edition AD&D settings?

Insofar as there was an implied setting, it was Greyhawk. I am pretty sure all the spells with named creators (Tenser, Mordenkainen, Bigby and the like) were from PCs from Gygax’s original Greyhawk game. Forgotten Realms was confined to a series of intriguing Ed Greenwood articles in Dragon. 2nd edition, as I recall, was the big shift to FR as default setting.

I had tuned out of TSR by then, but my impression is that Greyhawk was scarcely ever referred to again until Fifth edition.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:59 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


It's like some people don't have an eye for proto-Dwemer artefacts these days.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:03 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The Forgotten Realms actually pre-date D&D entirely, it was a world Ed Greenwood created to write stories in while he was in middle school
posted by Chrysostom at 1:06 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


MIND. BLOWN.

Holy crap!
posted by lazaruslong at 1:08 PM on July 11


MIND. BLOWN.

But not DEVOURED or FLAYED. Never that.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:12 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


I'm kind of dubious, cstross would have been 17 in 1981.
posted by octothorpe at 1:14 PM on July 11


It's the real deal, here's an interview where Stross talks about it.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:18 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


I'm kind of dubious, cstross would have been 17 in 1981.

I was younger than that when I was trying to get Dragon magazine to publish my Staff Spells For Wizards article.

I guess there's a reason I'm not an excellent author now and cstross is.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:20 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Also, I just checked the 1E FF, and Stross is given credit for the gith.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:31 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Some of those early modules were a trip. I especially liked Dungeonland, which as the name implies was shamelessly a D&D take on Alice in Wonderland (with a bit of Through The Looking Glass Iirc)
posted by sotonohito at 1:42 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Sonohito: there was a sequel to Dungeonland, The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, which had more of the Looking Glass stuff.

I remember the outrage at Castle Greyhawk (WG9), which people had been waiting for for, literally, years and then it turned out to be a pun and comedy dungeon. It was one of the last ones released before the 2nd Edition release, and it seemed very much to be a "ah, fuck it, let's get this out" kind of thing.

...it was earlier this year that I've been playing D&D longer than some people I have played D&D with have been alive. It made me a bit sad, especially with the loss of three of my close friends, met through gaming, including my best friend this past year.
posted by mephron at 1:57 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Look... Imma gonna say this once: Spelljammer.

Like it, hate it - I don't care. This module - this encounter - basically built an entire TSR boxed set and gave credence to the concept of players traversing the planes. I did not own this module, but my best friend did - and we poured over it again and again. That map was basically a crazy excuse to use a blacklight in the 80s.

But, for a pair of 11 year old boys hanging out on a rainy afternoon - all the weirdness of the encounters wasn't weird... we were just trying to figure out how to get a character within level range to play this.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:01 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Forgotten Realms was confined to a series of intriguing Ed Greenwood articles in Dragon. 2nd edition, as I recall, was the big shift to FR as default setting.

So TSR was many things, but it was not well run.

Forgotten Realms settings supplements came out right over the 1st ed-2nd ed transition so FR 1-6 were 1st ed supplements but FR 7-16 were apparently for 2nd ed.

Any sane company would have planned around this and probably held all the Realms material to be part of a big coordinated 2nd ed launch, but this was 80's TSR, so no. They trickled out out for two different rulesets.
posted by GuyZero at 2:05 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


@mephron

Never disparage Castle Greyhawk... there's no way it wasn't a pun of a dungeon. I mean... ignoring 4th or 5th floor with the fire elemental that said 'Flame On!' and Indiana Gnome - even the rest of it was just as freaking bizarre as possible.

But it made a lot of friends as we chuckled over it, or that there was something silly with it - that nobody needed to be the best... that there was a certain... non threatening learning curve to it...

I mean... find me one person that actually ran that dungeon and survived all the way to the end and I'll show you some characters with PTSD...
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:05 PM on July 11


Jason B. Thompson produced a bunch of very well-executed (and very funny) walkthrough maps of a bunch of 1E modules.

may I just say that the landing page for this link does not immediately reveal how INCREDIBLY FUCKING AWESOME THESE MAPS ARE
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:11 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The weirdness of the early [A]D&D materials was a wonderful thing.

Um, yes.
posted by The Bellman at 2:11 PM on July 11


Spelljammer is coming back for 5th ed.

I am hoping they bring back Eberron as well. It's insane and I love that world.
posted by mephron at 2:15 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Spelljammer wasnt a module, it was a setting. Not especially well edited but cool and they took a kitchen sink approach to it which upped the weirdness factor.

Racist beholders and pseudo Cylons? Sure! A straight rip off of the Guyver anime and giant space hamsters? Why not! Ships that look like giant bugs and ships that look like fish? Damn straight!


I love Spelljammer. It was weird and wonderful and failed only in that its stupid, stupid, purpose of uniting the Grayhawk and FR settings was just a bad idea.
posted by sotonohito at 2:18 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I'm not Spellhjammer's biggest fan but I'll give it credit for being some seriously original stuff.

Seriosuly messed up too, but you can't say it was derivative. (well, no more than the rest of D&D)
posted by GuyZero at 2:21 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


*cough* Planescape

I’ll see myself out
posted by fallingbadgers at 2:23 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Anyone play Council of Wyrms? That setting was my shit. You got to play an actual dragon as a player character from hatching onwards, and you got to also play the usual humanoid PC (and usually burn through them pretty fast) as your dragon's familiar / servant / minion which was super fun.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:31 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I have such mixed and complicated feelings about Planescape, in some senses it was everything I'd always wanted in an AD&D campaign setting and also it sort of felt like a weird graft of 90s dystopia-punk sensibilities and forced jargon that made something that should have felt impossibly vast and unfathomable into an incongruously parochial reimagining of life outside the boundaries of linear time and space

spelljammer was fucking legit, though
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:37 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


prize bull ocktorok, I have those same feelings about Dark Sun.

Playing D&D I would always think "If people had all these powers, it would destroy the world." And then someone handed me Dark Sun and I was like "Oh look, the world was destroyed."

But it never seemed to live up to it's promise.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:50 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


oh yeah so cosigned. Dark Sun was a fantastic deconstruction of high fantasy, but pretty grim as a sandbox to actually play in.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:52 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Spelljammer had awesome potential but never really lived up to it, I feel.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:37 PM on July 11


So TSR was many things, but it was not well run.

It is known.

However, this was not unique to them, although it was happening at a larger scale because of their success. The TSR writer I mentioned here was, as it happens, Ed Greenwood.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:17 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I've always felt that Spelljammer failed mainly because it was set, canonically, in the established settings. And that's a problem, because flying ships that travel through space don't fit in the established settings and would seriously mess up what was going on there.

Which is why they kept repeating the phrase "the Groundlings have no interest in Spelljamming" over and over.

They had to come up with some explanation for why everyone on Greyhawk or Faerun acted as if Spelljamming and all the power that represents didn't exist.

Which is where things start going sideways, because even completely ignoring the space travel aspects, simply having terrestrial travel at 400 miles per day totally screws with the balance of power in any fantasy setting. Being able to airlift a few hundred soldiers behind enemy lines and hit the opposing forces where they aren't reinforced, or possibly where they aren't even garrisoned?

Even worse, the setting necessitated a much more commercialized, "realistic", approach to magic where it's bought and sold as a commodity, which screws up the "basically medieval Europe but with fireballs" core of both Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms.

The introduction of Helms would totally change any fantasy setting, so it had to be basically ignored which just made things kinda stupid.

If they'd just let Spelljammer be its own thing, totally separate from the other settings, it would have been a lot better.

It was also a setting that TSR kinda ignored and where TSR's bad editing hurt. Remember the "retain atmosphere envelope" spell that was mentioned not just in the boxed set but in several modules? The one that was never actually published? Yeah.

So yeah, cool concept that was screwed both by ties to existing settings and TSR's failures.

However, if you file the serial numbers off and recycle the core stuff (wooden sailing ships in space!) you can come up with some good homebrew settings.
posted by sotonohito at 5:17 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


if you file the serial numbers off and recycle the core stuff (wooden sailing ships in space!) you can come up with some good homebrew settings.

Yeah, or an entirely different game that was published a year earlier: Space: 1889
posted by GuyZero at 5:31 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


The TSR writer I mentioned here was, as it happens, Ed Greenwood.

Sticking an undesigned product into the catalogue as a way of forcing the issue is a baller MBA move.
posted by GuyZero at 5:36 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


My version of Lolth's Spider Ship is going to have a spellhelm, if the characters want to make that jump (I also have an adventure hook leading them to Carceri, the prison plane). Trying to come up with challenges for a 6 to 8 player high level party is pretty crazy in 5e, but it makes for some fun play!
posted by rikschell at 5:36 PM on July 11


Dragonlance and FRealms and especially Dark Sun were just super solid campaign settings.

Pithy comments about kender and Elminster~

As a self-serious teen I probably would’ve been turned off by Q1 but these days I’m all about science fantasy and would jump in feet first. I got in with mid-era 2E so missed a lot of the original stuff.

Niche settings: Dungeon published a special gith adventure/campaign setting (Incursion) which I highly highly recommend anyone check out if they can. Still vivid in memory after a bunch of years.
posted by curious nu at 5:45 PM on July 11


GuyZero: "Yeah, or an entirely different game that was published a year earlier: Space: 1889"

Which I remember being heavily advertised in Dragon magazine. Jeff Grubb doesn't mention it as an inspiration, but maybe subliminally.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:47 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Came for the Spider Queen, stayed for the Spelljammer love.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:55 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Wait, I sounded far too offhand for such a well-constructed FPP. Much appreciated rikschell, I have clicked on multiple links!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:04 PM on July 11


Also, If you can find them, the Pirates of the Spanish Main minis make great Spelljammer galleons. Speckle some black cloth with a star field and you have your play mat.
posted by curious nu at 6:07 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


> Which is where things start going sideways, because even completely ignoring the space travel aspects, simply having terrestrial travel at 400 miles per day totally screws with the balance of power in any fantasy setting. Being able to airlift a few hundred soldiers behind enemy lines and hit the opposing forces where they aren't reinforced, or possibly where they aren't even garrisoned?

The usual way to write an overpowered item is to make its use so prohibitively expensive that it only appears when the benefit of using it is appropriately extreme. So sure, once the magic user reaches level [ridiculous] they can have their flying ship, but they've gotta to sacrifice, lessee, five people of noble birth to launch it, three more daily to keep it airborne. And oh yeah that probably insta–fucks any relationships with nearby kingdoms, since even if their heirs haven't been collected for fuel, they've heard through the grapevine that they're on notice. So, basically, the airships only come out when it's time to conquer lands.

It's harder, but not impossible and possibly a little less narratively fun, to cook up OP items that can be used by non-evil characters -- maybe an equivalent volume of spellbooks and enchanted items of appropriately high level. As a bonus, you've just added a side-quest to source the materiel.

Or, of course, you as DM could run a campaign on the other side of the coin too: Some asshole's kidnapping the princes and princesses from Kingdom A and not doing the usual thing of issuing ransoms for them. Your party has answered the call to find out what's going on and, ideally, stop it. As the party travels, they pass through Kingdom B and learn that there's a similar crisis there. Hmmm...
posted by ardgedee at 6:49 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Dark Sun was a fantastic deconstruction of high fantasy, but pretty grim as a sandbox to actually play in.

What's this "was"?

OK OK, my gaming group is having a ridiculous time really keeping campaigns going so I guess it is kinda past, but to this day I still have basically every Dark Sun supplement in PDF form and have run campaigns in 2e, 3e, 5e, and some homebrew mish-mash rulesets, and I hope to god to never truly stop. Best. Campaign Setting. Ever.
posted by tocts at 7:08 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Chrysostom: "It's the real deal, here's an interview where Stross talks about it."

Huh, well OK. He and I are exactly the same age and I certainly wasn't doing anything that creative or important at the age of 17. I do remember one of my characters getting his ass kicked by some Githyanki around 1982 though.
posted by octothorpe at 7:09 PM on July 11


ardgedee Sure, but that breaks the whole Spelljammer setting where wooden starships are fairly common and there's not merely interplanetary commerce but interstellar (well, inter-sphere) commerce.

Spelljammer as it was written is simply fundamentally incompatible with other D&D settings, and that's fine. TSR just screwed up by trying to use Spelljammer as a way of linking their settings.
posted by sotonohito at 7:15 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Well, I have some good news: you can just play Dark Sun and ignore it, because Athas (the world of Dark Sun) is canonically not reachable via spelljamming. In fact, it is surrounded by a plane of existence called The Grey which cuts it off from the normal astral realms, and the only planes that connect directly to Athas are the elemental ones, which makes reaching it at all from other settings very, very unlikely*. It's also why there is no true divine magic on Athas.

Yes, I know too much about Dark Sun.

* Somewhat on topic, one of the times this actually did happen was an invasion of Githyanki, so I guess we can thank cstross for providing the exception that proves the rule
posted by tocts at 7:23 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


> Sure, but that breaks the whole Spelljammer setting where wooden starships are fairly common and there's not merely interplanetary commerce but interstellar (well, inter-sphere) commerce.

Yeah, I'm definitely not trying to describe what Spelljammer should've been or should be (TSR has got better minds on the problem than mine), just kind of riffing on how to keep something under control when it's way-out-there relative to the low-tech undeveloped context it's been dropped into. This has less to do with RPGs than a recent obsession I've had with isekai manga, where the main character is almost always OP and running amok, and it's kind of interesting in a garbage-literature way to compare how writers are variously addressing the Superman problem (your hero is a god, so how do you as a writer keep the stakes interesting).
posted by ardgedee at 7:25 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Space:1889 ruled, should be relaunched, and would make for a truly excellent computer game setting in the right hands.
posted by aramaic at 7:45 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Dark Sun was a cross between Ancient Mesopotamia, John Carter of Mars (Edward Rice Burroughs) and Conan (R.E. Howard). Between Mantis Men, desert gladiatorial combat and sorcery that eats the land, those three sources made the world... Dark Sun was my *favorite* setting - partly because it arrived as I was starting to sunset out of D&D and it probably held my interest for another 2-3 years, but because it was so different in the way it approached standard classes and races. It was as mind altering as Spelljammer...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:04 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Space: 1889 from 1990.

And if you don't mind going slightly off brand... Ultima Adventures 2: Martian Dreams from 1991.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:07 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Also, I find it amazing that people are still discussing this module 40-some years later.

I'm still re-reading Paul Kidd's novelizations 1d4 x 10 years later.

You want to start with White Plume Mountain, then read Descent into the Depths of the Earth, and finish up with Queen of the Demonweb Pits. (reviews on goodreads)
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:44 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Dark Sun really was just so goddamn good.

I read a ton of the novels set in that world also, and often wished that the default campaign setting began during the rise of Rajaat and not way later after the mass genocides and rending of the world. High level adventures to take down various Sorcerer Kings before they have established their city-states, maybe culminating in the party actually sealing Rajaat in the Black would be super rad.

note - all terms from memory from playing 20 years ago, pardon any errors
posted by lazaruslong at 5:21 AM on July 12


Also the Tribe of One (Sorak) series of novels dealt with ideas about gender and sexuality and body dysphoria in ways that were VERY IMPORTANT to young me
posted by lazaruslong at 5:24 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


One of these days I'm gonna do the big Mystara post. Honestly, it would just be taking the best bits from this massive masterpiece of a thread.

The whole evolution of Mystara from "Uncharted Wilderness" to "Weird Cosmic Superheroes" to "Modern Fantasy Setting" to "Metaplot Land" is really interesting. It's like tracking the evolution of D&D itself.
posted by charred husk at 8:26 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Seconding the Mystara Let's Read, I spent days going through that.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:23 AM on July 12


The githyanki, designed by Charles Stross within the pages of White Dwarf...

Well how about that. You know, for all its flaws (and there were many) I eventually warmed up to the story in NWN2 because the Githyanki and Githzerai were in it, and I'd always been interested in them. Well done cstross!
posted by homunculus at 10:34 AM on July 12


I really honestly thought that cstross’ creation of the githyanki was common knowledge among the gamers on mefi. This is like people being shocked to learn asavage used to work in special effects (or, dare I say, has worked with Mr Whipple?)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:26 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Space:1889 ruled, should be relaunched, and would make for a truly excellent computer game setting in the right hands.

It's been updated for the Savage Worlds game system.
posted by Gelatin at 8:30 AM on July 15


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