07 October 2018

Kellri's 18 Module Challenge - Day 9: Pavis and Big Rubble

Day 9 - A Module That You've Never Played:  _Pavis_ and _Big Rubble_ by Greg Stafford, Steve Perrin, Oliver Dickinson, & Diverse Hands

Big Rubble box contents (Chaosium, 1983)
Pavis: Threshold to Danger
back of box (Chaosium, 1983)

I never played RuneQuest back-in-the-day (despite my love for Call of Cthulhu, and frequent experimentation with new systems demo'd at local conventions), likely in part because my exposure to it was pretty limited (and primarily through the Oliver Dickinson short stories in White Dwarf).  At the time, the setting didn't resonate with my more-AD&D-driven tastes, and Dickinson's stories didn't really click either.  

That changed in the early 2000s when I picked up a copy of the RQ2 hardcover rulebook at a gaming fleamarket at DunDraCon or KublaCon, and a few years later Jason Zavoda sent me some RQ materials he was getting rid of.  After going through them I grew a bit more intrigued, then I remembered Dickinson's stories, and picked up a copy of The Complete Griselda.  Dickinson's tales of Pavis and its adjoining ruin, The Big Rubble, came to life in ways I never appreciated as a teenager:  it's adventuring companies and ruffians, scoundrels and monsters, cults and mythologies, resonated and clicked for me, finally.  

I have since played RQ2 with Jennel Jaquays at the North Texas RPG Con, and with Steve Perrin using his RQ-like SPRQ rules at one of the SoCalMiniCon events organized by Dragonnsfoot members during the later '00s, and would happily play again, if given the chance.    

Why I Love Pavis and Big Rubble

One of things that I like about Pavis and Big Rubble  is their inter-twined proximity:  the much-smaller, non-ruined city of Pavis is dwarfed by the huge ruined metropolis of The Rubble, which is inhabited by trolls, broos, and other beasts of Chaos.  It's a proving-ground for new and mature adventurers, and its right next door!

This creates an excellent set-up for an urban-based dungeoneering campaign, with several active and competing parties of PCs and NPCs combing the Rubble for loot, all the while scheming against one another.  

I've considered updating my version of Castle Greyhawk using this as a model (with a healthy dose of inspiration from Scott Casper and Mike Bridges' Castle Greyhawk web comic), by placing a ruined settlement/village/whatever in close proximity to the old Castle ruins---perhaps abandoned after a plague, or magical curse, or who-knows-what....

I'm also quite fond of the scale of The Rubble's ruined environs---the ruined city is HUGE in comparison to Pavis, and for whatever reason that size difference really appeals to my imagination: 

The Rubble map

The city of Pavis map

The entire second map fits into the tiny dark blister to the top-left of the map of the Big Rubble!

Three Runners Up


Many vaporware products exist as incompleted ideas and/or as unpublished manuscripts that I'd love to play sometime, with Castle Greyhawk by Gary Gygax and Rob Kuntz heading the top of that list (in fact, it's on it's own list, all by itself!):  Stoink: A Wasp's Nest by EGG/RJK, Steve Marsh's Starstrands, the Pagan Publishing End Times project, Chaosium's cancelled "One Night" project, and many more if I stop to think longer about it, I'm sure.  (This also goes back to my comments in Day 7's Module I Wish I Had Written post, which I'll return to again in the future). 

Three properly-published scenarios that I still haven't played and would love to to one day include:
  • D1 Tomb of Abysthor by Clark Peterson and Bill Webb (Necromancer Games, 2002):  my favorite adventure published by Necromancer Games during their heyday
  • Necropolis by Gary Gygax (GDW, 1992):  I'd really prefer to play the AD&D version that Gygax created in the late 1980s while still running New Infinities Productions, Inc., but I'll probably have to be satisfied with Trent Foster's recollections of playing Necropolis with Gary at Glarthicon
  • The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues by John M. Ford (West End Games, 1985):  I've loved Paranoia every time I've played it, and it's been so many years since I last read this adventure that it'd be tablua rasa for me!

My other posts in Kellri's 18 Day Module Challenge:

  1. Day 8 - Angmar, Land of the Witch King by Heike Kubasch
  2. Day 7: X2 Castle Amber by Tom Moldvay
  3. Day 6: DMG Monastery Dungeon by Gary Gygax
  4. Day 5: S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks by Gary Gygax
  5. Day 4: "Deep Shit" by Jeff Barber
  6. Day 3: A Fabled City of Brass by Anthony Huso
  7. Day 2: Masks of Nyarlathotep by Larry DiTillio
  8. Day 1: Empire of the Ghouls by Wolfgang Baur
  9. Day 0: These are a Few of My Favorite Things...


1 comment:

  1. I was inspired by this; my RuneQuest-related past is similar to yours.

    Just recently got curious about Pavis/Big Rubble; found this post.

    Thanks for the Complete Griselda goto! I didn't know about it and it's so good.

    Now, on to Pavis!


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