Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Bringer of Doom

I am the Warden!!

Yesterday was an offline day for one specific reason. I had a giant stack of loose papers - legal documents, old projects, assorted receipts, and more junk than I thought I could hoard - in an old filing cabinet. What I needed was just one and since I had to tear through the cabinet looking for it, seemed only fitting to sort and collate them once and for all.

While I found what I was looking for, I also found a lot more. Old projects and adventures never intended for publication. Not only that, but there were typed. On a typewriter. (Now that I think about it, they were probably written on the typewriter secured down in the basement. Whoa! Maybe I am a hoarder.)

Titled "The Bringer of Doom," it's an introductory AD&D quest for the Planescape setting. The heroes gather themselves in the town of Clearsky for an annual tournament when suddenly there is an explosion in the sky and a horde of demons and planar monsters stumble out to ransack the town. Complicating matters is a giant force field surrounding Clearsky, trapping everyone inside until the heroes can hack-and-slash their way to the culprit and save what remains of the town.

Behind the scenes, it was all part of a demonic safari set up by a yugoloth named Lokotz (a name inspired by the typesetter of nearly every AD&D product back in the day). When the Bringer of Doom was activated, an explosive portal would tear into the fabric of reality and provide means for Lower Planes creatures normally unable to travel to the Prime Material Plane direct access. Through careful calculation and manipulation, Lokotz was able to determine where the portal would open on the Lower Planes and charge various demons a hefty price (paid in larvae, of course). For certain creatures who crave mortal flesh and/or souls, it was a price worth paying. Like I said, a safari. The force field's role was to keep the populace under control and prevent any interference from the outside world.

Add to that the massive number of hordlings pouring through the portal at the same time. What the heroes face is a literal mass of demons and vicious creatures laying waste to everything they see, meaning the adventure is a smorgasbord of action, mayhem, and bravery in the harsh realm of AD&D rules.

It's been close to twenty years since I last looked at this sucker, so my memory is a bit hazy on the details, but I do remember the adventure's accuracy. When I used to write adventures for my group, sticking to the original source material was key and when you're dealing with the mythology of any D&D setting (particularly Planescape), there's a lot to account for. The Bringer of Doom is an actual artifact mentioned in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium's hordling page and many of the restrictions and planar demands associated with many of the other creatures who poured through the portal were researched to the letter. Every decision and background detail had to be confirmed through previous documentation... though when I say "had to," perhaps "really really wanted to" is the better term. In my mind, because people went to a lot of trouble to mentioned this matters, it was important for me to honour their work and adhere to every mention and connection provided in the core rules. In other words, this thing had to work without exceptions and needed to fit within the setting's clearly defined guidelines and history.

My plan is to use this coming weekend to sit down and read through it. While I'd love to upload the PDF for everyone, it is typed and would need to be scanned. Combined with the fact that it's pretty much the first thing I've ever written, it could also be a giant pile of larvae requiring major edits and revisions before sharing. If it's worth sharing, I'll do my best to provide.