More Ancient RPG Items (and Dungeons) From the 1970s Box
I finally had a chance to go through the rest of that box of papers I found Palace of the Vampire Queen in. I discovered a few additional RPG items published in the late 1970s (and, near the bottom of the box, early 1980s): Enfland, The Curse on Hareth, Dwarven Glory, Starfaring, another copy of Tegel Manor, Warlock (a large OD&D variant article published in Spartan Magazine), FEZ 1: Valley of Trees, Legacy, Dungeon Designer’s Kit, some non-TSR dungeon geomorphs I don’t recognize and a Wee Warriors boardgame called Dragonlord. I’ve wondered where some of these things have been for years and a couple I don’t even remember: Enfland and the small dungeon geomorphs.
The real find, however, was some of my old 1970s dungeon maps and character sheets. Including my attempt to do a huge fortress based loosely on Angband (the Tolkien version, not the modern rogue-like game). This was obviously huge without any attempt to make it realistic. The first level includes huge underground parade grounds for the orc armies — about 800 feet wide and 2000 feet long and not a support pillar in sight. Most have a 150 foot opening with a ramp up to the surface for the orc units to march out of on their wars of conquest. The next few levels are basically barracks for those orc armies. The same rooms over and over connected with ever larger corridors that eventually lead up to those parade ground rooms.
The first three levels were probably the most BORING I’ve ever designed as far as exploring is concerned, but they were — I suppose — very useful for their original intended purpose. Worse, they were pretty much picked over for treasure, to get to the interesting stuff that hadn’t been looted repeatedly over the last few hundred years, one had to find one of the four small and well hidden stairways leading to the fourth level. This is probably the worst dungeon I ever designed. Sadly, I remember putting far too much time into it. Fortunately, most of the stuff I did back in the day was not quite this awful.