Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swords and Wizardry ... and Wizardry

Chgowiz's Ultima project has got me thinking about one of my old favorites; Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. 

As a kid I spent many hours completely enraptured by this game. My Uncle gave my family an Apple 2+ one year and it eventually found itself in my sole possession. There were a few games to be had among the disks it came with among them was Wizardry and its strange little booklet.

I had no idea of the implications of its digest format and box. The spell lists and the magic words that cast them bore no resemblance to any game I had played before. The artwork was humorous, in stark contrast to the brutality of the game it adorned. 

I wish I knew how many thousands of characters I sent to their doom in that dungeon. For years I was toiled on the first two levels before ever finding the elevator. I knew nothing of "Identify Item 9" and other such easter eggs.

Toiling in those dungeons became a science. Eventually I had memorized all the spells, just as my characters had. Rescue expeditions had extracted numerous slain heroes from the depths. I struggled to map the depths of the place yet never succeeded in any great degree. 

How could a game so sparse in options be so captivating? 
There was an inn, for recruiting and equipping your party. A trading post for the buying and selling of goods and a temple for curing and raising the dead. Those locations were inside the castle and at the edge of town was the maze. There was no overland adventuring. You were either in town or in the dungeon. You were either dead or your were alive. 

Identifying items was tantamount to success as was having a thief - you could forget about opening a chest without one in your party.  

Friendly factions were also in the dungeon. Surprise could tip the scales in a single round. 

Flavor text was rare. Few places in the dungeon held a description of any kind. 

There was no plot other than to reach the bottom and kill the badguy.

Werdna, you son of a bitch.

I never got him. Not once.

Not yet.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beer Barbarian

I was highly amused when I saw this over at critical ankle bites. 
Truly hilarious! Very detailed work as well. I'm not sure it would hold up in a fight, though.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Treasure Map Generator

The Treasure Map generator is finally available. Roll all the dice and find out the location where the treasure is buried. This one is sure to spark to the imagination and lead on to new adventures.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Music and Modules

Here's the lyrics to the song "Jambi" by Tool. 
I think I'm going to have to use it as inspiration to write an adventure. I may even take some cues from the real story of Jambi, which was an Indonesian kingdom colonized by the Dutch in the 1700's.
Here from a kings mountain view 
Here from the wild dream come true 
Feast like a sultan, I do 
On treasures and flesh never few 
But I would wish it all, away 
If I thought I'd lose you just one day 
The devil and his had me down 
In love with the dark side I'd found 
Dabblin' all the way down 
Up to my neck, soon to drown.  
But you changed that all for me 
Lifted me up, turned me round 
So I, I would wish this all away 
Prayed like a martyr dusk to dawn 
Begged like a hooker all night long 
Tempted the devil with my song 
And got what I wanted all along 
But I I would 
If I could 
I would 
Wish it away 
Wish it away 
Wish it all away 
Wanna wish it all away  
No prize that could hold sway 
Or justify my giving away my center 
So if I could I'd wish it all away 
If I thought tomorrow would take you away. 
You, my piece of mind, 
my all, my center, 
just trying to hold on one more day. 
Damn my eyes!  
Damn my eyes! 
If they should compromise the fulcrum: 
(If) wants and needs divide me 
Then I might as well be gone... 
Shine on forever 
Shine on benevolent sun 
Shine down upon the broken 
Shine until the two become one 
Shine on forever 
Shine on benevolent sun 
Shine down upon the severed 
Shine until the two become one 
Divided, I'll wither away 
Shine down upon the many. 
Light our way, benevolent sun. 
Breathe in union  
So, as one, survive 
Another day and season 
Silence, legion. Save your poison. 
Silence, legion. Stay out of my way.