Day 16 - My Favorite Gary Gygax Module: G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
Whither Day 15?---Blogger ate my post on The Court of Ardor for MERP, and I've not recreated it yet. Trying to stay as on-track as possible....
G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King (TSR, 1978) is Gary Gygax's final adventure in the initial trilogy of GDQ modules that made him a household name among every generation of D&D players.
"The Battle for Snurre's Hall," a play account from all three rounds at Origins 1978 was published in The Dragon #19 (October 1978), and it speaks well to the trials and tribulations faced by the players in this scenario.
Why I Love G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King!
It's a meat-grinder, it's a small moon, it's a TPK trivializer!
G3 is a wonderful capstone to the G1-3 Giants series of modules, while at the same time it acts as the introductory bridge into the even-more-brutal threats to be faced in its sequels, the D1-3 drowic underworld trilogy. (Perhaps Gary intended the final series of Q adventures to be a Q1-3 trilogy as well?; hmmm....). G3 pounces upon the PCs who've progressed through G1 and G2, ratchets up the level of challenge, and spits them back out by introducing many new and horrific ways for the players to bemoan the beat-down it delivers:
- King Snurre Ironbelly (who fights as a storm giant!), his delightful, decapitating wife Queen Frupy, their pet hell hounds, pyrohydra (!!), and huge ancient red dragon (!!!), and other courtly attendants
- A series of interesting prisoners who may, or may not, aid the PCs in their pursuit of vengeance against the giants, including:
- An olven noble and her retinue
- Obmi, the infamous dwarf from Castle Greyhawk and the Gord novels, first sees print here, complete with his now-under-powered gnoll retinue ;)
- A stupefied titan
- A comely human female thief, likely to ally with the PCs in the short-term
- And various other monsters that are likely to attack and/or betray their rescuers at the first opportunity
- The Temple of the Eye---a fully-functioning temple to the Elder Elemental God, complete with Lovecraftian tentacles, madness-inducing/wish-granting sacrifices, and more!
- Ropers, gnolls and trolls en masse as shock troops, wererats, ettins, and of course fire giants and hell hounds by the dozen!
- As with each of the previous adventures, careful players' PCs will learn more about the fountainhead behind the incursions of the allied giants into Geoff, and are likely to come face to face with pure, unadulterated EVIL (don't touch it!)---of course, the drow!:
- Eclavdra, Evil High Priestess of the Elder Elemental God and House Eilservs (in anagram, "serviles"?)
- Nedylene, Despana second-in-command, and foe to the Eilservs
- Mind flayers spying on both, and being ignored by the drow!
Three Runners Up
This selection is more difficult than it should be, since Gygax wrote so many great modules, but I'll go with these as my selections:
- D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (TSR, 1978) - Picks up the gauntlet the drow throw down in G3, luring the PCs deeper beneath Oerth to their (assumed) doom!
- EX2 Land Beyond the Magic Mirror (TSR, 1984) - I love Murlynd's home, and the whimsical play of romping around in Alice's Wonderland (here as well as in EX1 Dungeonland!)
- S1 Tomb of Horrors (based on the ideas of Alan Lucien) - Classic, classic, classic!
My other posts in Kellri's 18 Day Module Challenge:
- Day 15: The Court of Ardor by Terry K. Amthor (coming soon!)
- Day 14: Starstone by Paul Vernon Lydiate
- Day 13: "The Ruins of Andril" by Ian Melluish
- Day 12: "Treasure of the Dragon Queen" by Rutgers University Gamers
- Day 11: S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth by Gary Gygax
- Day 10: Return of the Eight by Roger E. Moore
- Day 9: Pavis and Big Rubble by Greg Stafford, Steve Perrin, Oliver Dickinson, & Diverse Hands
- Day 8: Angmar, Land of the Witch King by Heike Kubasch
- Day 7: X2 Castle Amber by Tom Moldvay
- Day 6: DMG Monastery Dungeon by Gary Gygax
- Day 5: S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks by Gary Gygax
- Day 4: "Deep Shit" by Jeff Barber
- Day 3: A Fabled City of Brass by Anthony Huso
- Day 2: Masks of Nyarlathotep by Larry DiTillio
- Day 1: Empire of the Ghouls by Wolfgang Baur
- Day 0: These are a Few of My Favorite Things...