Sunday, January 25, 2009

Castle of the Mad Archmage January Release Now Available!

Well, this was an interesting experience, but I think my initial outing for this project has turned out pretty well. If you look over to the right, you'll see a link to the latest version of the Castle of the Mad Archmage, which conceit has led me to label as WG13, which would have been next in the WG series, had it been continued by TSR.

I'm hosting it through, which has the advantage of being free both for me and for those who are downloading the file, but which of course "encourages" users to upgrade to their premium service by imposing artificial wait times to download the file. If anyone knows of a better solution, please let me know and I'll consider it for the February release.

This initial release covers Level 2: The Deep Cellars. You'll find the whole shebang here; introductory material, the dungeon key itself, maps (hand drawn), new monsters, and new magic items. 183 rooms, four maps, 25 pages and clocking in at about 6.5 MB for the pdf (I tried zipping it, but the savings in size was negligible). I've tried to evoke the feel of the old TSR modules from the 1970's, which I know some readers will find atavistic, but to my mind it is a simple extension of the homage which the project as a whole entails. There's no interior art, which I've always found a bit weird, seeing as it is destined for the DM's eyes alone.

As far as the content goes, only time will tell if you, faithful readers, gel to it. I've tried to create something which will be fun in actual play, as well as being at least in the general direction of the spirit of the original. I make no pretense that my effort is anything even approaching the level of the original Gygax (and Kuntz) dungeons, but hopefully it'll serve. Plus, I might point out that some things that seem odd right now might seem better once more levels are published and some cohesion begins to be apparant. For those curious about the genesis of this project, please see this post.

And if anyone has a problem with the creative decisions I made, or notices that the stairs don't line up, or finds other great faults with it, I will gladly refund your share of every penny this module has put in my pocket. :-)