16 February 2020

Renovating the Monastery - Recasting the Classic DMG Dungeon in Greyhawk - Part 1



Wichita Greyhawk Campaigning
Wichita Greyhawk Campaigning

I ran the unnamed sample monastery dungeon from the Dungeon Masters Guide for my eldest son's after-school AD&D group a few years ago, and I've repurposed it as one of the starting points for the new Wichita Greyhawk campaign that kicked off last month.  


I've compiled the bits and pieces about it that I've discussed over at the Knights & Knaves Alehouse forum and Scott Gregg's Doomsday Games forum:
  1. Background
  2. Maps - Wilderness Environs 
  3. Maps - Dungeon Levels
  4. Keys
I'm detailing #1 and #2 in this post, with more info to follow on the updated, revised, and expanded dungeon maps and keys later. 

Below I dig into plenty of spoilers for the sample dungeon, so if you are currently playing through it, you should stop reading now. 


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Background

 

I've decided to leverage my continued interest in the sects and cults of Wee Jas for my background to the DMG Monastery dungeon in the Wicihta campaign.  This necessitates some changes to the original sketchy background from the DMG:


  • The slain abbot becomes an abbess
  • The fire opal becomes a holy relic of Wee Jas, perhaps in part reflecting her vanity
  • The lower level needs a new rationale from how I'd originally conceived it, and I'm thinking it may be tied to the Plane of Shadow now, but am still noodling on that:  perhaps the shadow influences are what, in part, lead to the near-total destruction of the monastery, and if so, it seems likely that the destruction was meted out by other, more-orthodox sects within her faith (this aligns well with my depiction of the relationship between the primary and heretical sects in my Castle Greyhawk level)

Some other changes are related to the broader picture of the historical record of Greyhawk, too:

  • The fen that surrounds the monastery was caused by the subsistence of the ground due to the deleterious effects of the cult of Elemental Evil a decade ago
  • The EE cult's origins will tie back more closely to Dyvers and Wild Coast (as hinted in T1), but the DMG Monastery will not be a significant part of that network as I've previously used it (it will however still have some ties to there, via the brigands)
  • I think I'm going to insert an octych piece in the dungeon somewhere as well....


Wilderness Environs Maps

 

I've been sketching out the larger campaign environment on and off for awhile now, and spent some time over the past few weeks building it out further.

I began with the larger regional level for mapping out roads, smaller-sized settlements that don't appear on the Darlene Greyhawk map, etc.:



Kron Hills, Gnarley Forest, and Welkwood environs
Kron Hills, Gnarley Forest, and Welkwood environs -
map by grodog

On the above map, each large hex is a single Darlene Greyhawk hex, so 30 miles each. The smaller hexes within each are 5 miles each. 

The hex with the DMG monastery dungeon is one hex north of Narwell, in hex # I4-93 on the Darlene map grid location system.  Then I use our single-hex sheets to drill down into each campaign hex; the single hex sheets have three layers of hexes, which break out like this in scale:
  • Layer 1 = large campaign hex = 30 miles
  • Layer 2 (6 medium hexes per large hex) = 5 miles
  • Layer 3 (6 small hexes per medium hex) = 5/6 miles = 1466 2/3 yards/4400 feet



Greyhawk hex I4-93 - detail map by grodog
Greyhawk hex I4-93 -
detail map by grodog

I haven't started to color the above map yet, so it's probably a bit faint....  

Then I drill down to a detail view using the 5 mile hex as the large scale on the same hex sheet template:
  • Layer 1 = 1 large campaign hex = 5 miles = 1 medium campaign hex (layer 2 above)
  • Layer 2 (6 medium hexes per large hex) = 5/6 mile
  • Layer 3 (6 small hexes per medium hex) = 244.4 yards = 733 1/3 feet



Detail within Greyhawk hex I4-93 -
map by grodog



The small hex that the monastery ruins are part of is now 244 yards across, and sited on a hilltop that measures about two full hexes in area (the smallest hexes), which feels about right for the complex size as I envision it.  


The small-scale (colored) hex map shows the subsided fen round the monastery hill (which I've not decided whether to color in part with forest or to leave "cleared"), and some other forested areas on higher-ground in its immediate vicinity.

Next up:  the ruins of the monastery site, as well as the dungeon levels and keys.

Allan.

3 comments:

  1. Just looking at those maps takes me back to a magical time in the early 80s. Looks awesome man!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is most definitely "time and effort." And it looks like it was well spent. Looking forward to seeing where this takes you. Keep it coming!

    ReplyDelete

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