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 1   Judges Guild Public Forum / Judges Guild History / Re: Under the Storm Giant's Castle -- OUCH!  Today at 3:43am 
Started by thomas_a_mccloud | Last post by Melan
First, just what is "entertaining bad"? I can think of two definitions. (1) "So bad that it's funny." (2) "Bad because it fails to entertain."  

I would define it as: "plainly ridiculous, but not without charm and imagination". It doesn't fail to entertain - for that, I'd refer you to Gen Con IX Dungeon by the late Bob Blake.
Is it that these just don't go together in your mind, the evil of Satan being something much too serious to be put into a frivolous adventure?

Certainly. By being put in a frivolous adventure, Satan becomes even more cheesy (and an adventure where you encounter Satan himself is pretty cheesy to begin with).
Third: "...and you get to kill sentient balloons..." I take it you are simply pointing out nonsense?

Absolute strangeness, yes.
Fifth: "Just not D&D as we usually know it." Melan, this is the most interesting of your points. Unfortunately, it is also, I suspect, the most difficult to focus.  I can at least ask, do you mean D&D as it is played today, or D&D as it was played back then? There is a huge difference.

I mean D&D as most people think of D&D - the way most TSR and JG modules imagined D&D, even back in the late 70s and early 80s. What your adventure looks like is something done by a talented teenager with an active imagination. I don't mean this as a put-down: USGC reminds me of wild, nonsensical and imaginative things I wrote when I was in my teens, like that dungeon that was all stairs. "And then, there is Satan waiting at the bottom. Cool!"
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 2   Judges Guild Public Forum / Suggestions and Ideas / Re: Wilderness Books Questions  Dec 8th, 2004, 7:14pm 
Started by jamesmishler | Last post by Marc_Kuhl
As for format, I would much prefer a D20 version of everything.   D20 is the new Universal System.   The Web page could have a page or two decicated to converting D20 to the Old Universal Format.
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 3   Judges Guild Public Forum / The Market Plaza / Re: Mint/ NearMint Judges Guild Items for sale...  Dec 5th, 2004, 8:32am 
Started by fencert | Last post by Melan
I bought some items from Tony on eBay, and will buy more in the future. The items arrived in time, and in the advertised NM to M conditions. I am especially happy with the "I installments" I got - that's a piece of gaming history I am delighted to own.
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 4   Judges Guild Public Forum / Judges Guild History / Installments I and J are in my hands  Dec 5th, 2004, 8:28am 
Started by Melan | Last post by Melan
In the last two months, I have been lucky with my JG purchases. Not only did I score two of JG's Runequest items (City of Lei Tabor, Duck Tower - to tell the truth, they seem pretty mediocre), I also got "installments I and J" (two of the first, one of the second). For those who don't know, these babies were the first regular JG products ever (the "I" stands for "Initial"), and can be counted among the oldest RPG supplements! The only item I didn't get from them is the oldest issue of the guild newsletter, but I got the rest.
I described the items below, with a few scanned bits - those which are unavailable to the average JG fan. I did this for the sake of history and don't intend to infringe on Bob Bledsaw's rights. If I was in the wrong, please say so.

Guidelines I is what you could call an embrional City State of the Invincible Overlord. It comes with a big-ass Judges Map (I don't know if there was one for players at this point - if there was, I didn't get one) that's four parts and covers about half of my gaming table. It may be a bit awkward to use, but there is plenty of space to put notes and such. There is a watermark on the maps which says "HAMMERMILL BOND. MADE IN U.S.A.".
Our other item is the small 16 page booklet. The first page (as seen on the scan) is marked "I-13", which hints at pages before that. If these existed in some other product, I'd appreciate more information on them. The content is sparse, but clearly showing JG's style. There is the encounter system which takes three pages. After that, a two page introduction to the City State. We later saw this in the regular product - F.E.A.R., the Altanis, the Overlord, common laws and so on. There is only one thing which I didn't find in the 1999 reprint, and that is clan membership. To make matters simpler, here is a scan of the paragraph (note the use of the ability check mechanic):

After this, we get sparse descriptions on some locales for 7 pages. They describe the establishments on Regal Street, the Hell-Bridge Temple (with map, about 1,5 pages in all), the Street of Shadows, Guardsman's Road and Cutpurse Row. The Thieves Guild and its important thieves take another page. At the end of the last page, we find another "lost" paragraph with NPCs:

The remaining four pages (including the cover, which is orangeish, thick stuff - wish I had that kind of stuff) describe the judicial system and advertising. This is identical to later versions.

Guidelines J is the Thunderhold installment with a few extra bits (these were reproduced in Ready Ref Sheets and City State). There are two maps of Thunderhold, one for Judges (larger, Sunstone Caverns on the back) and one for players. There are also the tan "J" maps depicting the four level dungeon. I have seen some guessing about these before. Guess no more: the text explicitely states they belong here ("At present, the dwarves' attempts to clear more of the Sunstone Caverns & the other cave (J 1-4) have proceeded slowly."), to the NW corner of the castle map. Of course, you are still free to use it as you want to. For example, my copy has the first level marked as "Majestic Fastness, level 1", which is another interesting idea..

The "journal" that comes with the installment is a single page of rule interpretations, proclamations and product plans, all in the very cool yet insane style so typical of old JG material. You can find the entire text at www.judgesguild.net.
On to the booklet: this one doesn't contain much new material, as it seems it was more or less reproduced verbatim in the revised City State edition and Ready Ref Sheets. Contents: Exchange rates, gem types, beggars, characteristic use (the origins of the "Bend Bars" roll, only much better done than by Gygax). There is a table of contents for both guidelines... Publishers, take note: these were 16 and 12 page booklets and they had a table of contents!
Then there is Thunderhold, history and NPCs. We get a photograph of a similar fortress:

The Sunstone Caverns occupy another three pages, with a really, really, really lame picture of Zagrath the Spectre, who looks like an evil flour sack:

The rest is more miscellaneous bits: prosaic poems and provoking prose (adventure seeds), shock recovery, questioned by guards table, offensive locution, poison, attack reasons and special encounters.
All in all, it was a blast reading this hoary relic. It goes on my self - except the City State maps... One of those may see use in my campaign.
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 5   Judges Guild Public Forum / Judges Guild Discussion / New Judges Guild Material  Nov 30th, 2004, 2:09pm 
Started by Soulmage | Last post by Soulmage
There had been some discussion over at the Necromancer forums about the possibility of some new Judges Guild material.
City State of the Sea Kings as specifically mentioned, as well as the possibility of Tulla: City of Mages.
What's the status on these efforts?
I just want to let you know that so long as they're quality products, you've got at least one person who will buy everything you put out for the Wilderlands.
I posted some comments over at Necromancer regarding production values and I wanted to echo those here.
While I wouldn't expect you guys to match the production values of CSIO by NG (which were incredible) I would hope however that you could release the new material in quality soft-cover format similar to the Player's Guide or Caverns of Thracia.
Anyway, please let us know where you're at with these efforts.  I've got money burning a hole in my pocket that I'm just dying to throw at you!  
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 6   Judges Guild Public Forum / Jovial Judge Tavern / Looking for Online Players  Nov 28th, 2004, 10:22pm 
Started by Marc_Kuhl | Last post by Marc_Kuhl
My Group, which plays in chat rooms Sunday Night, is looking for one or two new players.   We need Arcane Spellcasters and Rogue Type  characters.
The characters and adventures for my group are in the Portals page.   We also have a private web page for players in the campaign that explains how various players, and my interpretation have affected the Wilderlands.
We also welcome visitors.   If you just want to drop in and see what we do, drop me a line.
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 7   Judges Guild Public Forum / Off-Topic Chat / Enhancing your Wilderlands Campaigns  Nov 28th, 2004, 10:18pm 
Started by Marc_Kuhl | Last post by Marc_Kuhl
I have become very fond of Mongoose Publishings Products, especially their Ultimate Guides to feats, prestige classes, Equipment. their Power Classes, and their cities of Fantasy.    
The Cities fit well in any Wilderlands Setting, but I saw a need to reduce Stormhaven's population.   Skraag now serves as the Capital for the Purple Claw, Highthrone sits atop the highest peak of the Overdoom Mountains, Stonebridge is on the banks of a branch of the River of Ancients. and Stormhaven is in the Isles of Dawn, where the Markabs left  a great platform to serve some purpose only they know.
The Power Classes contribute character classes that  fit well into the Wilderlands.  My own group of players has a Gladiator, a Knight, an Explorer, an Alchemist, an Exorcist, and a Hedge Wizard.  
The characters love visiting the few marketplaces where they can buy some of the items in the Equipment Guide.  This makes trips to Mysk, Damkina, or Dragonscar exciting.
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 8   Judges Guild Public Forum / Judges Guild Discussion / Getting to Know the Unknown Gods  Nov 24th, 2004, 10:28pm 
Started by Michael_Proteau | Last post by Michael_Proteau
I was transferring files to my new laptop and found this, something I was working on last winter for my Wilderlands game, but never got to finish because of other writing commitments. In the Suggestions area, people wanted to see an update of the Unknown Gods, and this is what I was doing, so I thought I would share what I had done. I only finished a dozen or so of the updates, and I used the write ups in the Player's Guide oa smy model for the write ups. Here then are some of the Unknown Gods for 3.5...
Getting to Know the Unknown Gods (More Deities of the Wilderlands, taken from The Unknown Gods copyright 1980 Judges Guild and adapted for D&D 3.5)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Fire, Law, Sun
Symbol: Gold and Red Spiral
Typical Worshippers: Altanians, Fire Mages, Smiths, Fire Giants, Alchemists
Favored Weapon: Longsword
Umannah’s natural form is that of a 28 foot tall humanoid with golden skin and flaming red hair and a single eye in his head. His hair is actually a mass of writhing flames. He wields a massive great sword that can cast daylight at will. He can however shape-change at will into any fire-based or fire dwelling creature, but his favored form is that of a super-heated ball of sparkling light. He can take this form only once per day, and when in it, he can illuminate (as a daylight spell) a 15 mile radius, and can melt through solid rock. Umannah is associated with the refining fire from which a new creation can emerge. He is implacable and slow to anger, but his anger is fierce when incurred. When angry his body radiates a light so intense it is blinding for all within a 100 foot radius (Reflex Save DC 20 or be blinded for duration of the light plus 1d6 rounds) which lasts for 2-12 rounds depending on the intensity of his anger. His single eye can project a heat ray which can inflict 60 points of fire damage in a line (Reflex save DC 25 for half damage). He can fire this ray every 1d4 rounds. He is worshipped mostly in Altanian lands as a sun god, and by those who work with and dwell in or near fire. Alchemists perceive his refining fire as a symbol for ordered change.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Domains: Chaos, Darkness, Evil, Travel, War
Symbol: Green Star
Typical Worshippers: Astrologers, citizens of Rallu
Favored: Weapons: dagger, Morningstar
Pasperus appears as a muscular man who wears a glimmering white robe. The robe projects a daylight spell in a 60’ radius around Pasperus. Pasperus travels among the stars teleporting without error between celestial bodies. At night he descends to the Wilderlands, assailing those who travel in the night and bewitching them. His enchantments (Suggestion Caster level 20) cause his victims to commit a random act of violence. Pasperus can shape change a twill, preferring the form of a Night Hawk. Pasperus is a deadly combatant always seeming to strike his foes (misses only on a 1, gets to reroll any miss chance, critical range 17-20 x4 with any weapon). His worshippers are usually those who depend upon the stars for navigation, or those who revel in random violence.
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Domains: Evil, Strength, War
Symbol: Green Apple
Typical Worshippers: Amazons, female warriors, seekers of vengeance
Favored Weapons: Sword
Rashtri appears as a 10 foot tall stunningly beautiful woman with green skin and long white hair. She is believed to have been a Viridian who ascended to godhood. She can turn invisible and detect alignment at will and is never caught flatfooted. She will often grant supplicants seeking revenge the equivalent of a bless spell until they achieve their vengeance.  
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Domains: Charm, Luck, Protection, Trickery
Symbol: Drum
Typical Worshippers: Bards, Courtesans, Dancers
Favored Weapons: dagger, whip
Shindra appears as a tall voluptuous woman with water-colored hair. She has 4 arms and bears a musical instrument in 3 of them, a flute, harp, and drum. When she plays her flute, all who hear must make a will Save DC 30 or start dancing at top speed for 3d10 rounds. Her harp allows her to Charm Person or Charm Monster when she plays (caster level 20), and the drums create the effects of a Confusion spell. All males must make a DC 25 will save or be under a fascinate spell in her presence. Shindra has a penchant for jewelry that borders upon obsession. Anyone offering her jewelry worth more than 1000 gp should get a +4 circumstance bonus in all reaction checks (diplomacy, bluff, etc) when dealing with her. She can also shape change at will, preferring the forms of a gazelle, fox, or brown bear.  
Alignment: Lawful good
Domains: Good, Healing, Law, Luck, Protection
Symbol: Ram’s Horn
Typical Worshippers: Lawful, Paladins, those in need or danger, those trapped, oppressed people
Favored Weapons: Sword, Net, or Ram Headed Mace
Sinakad is an implacable foe of chaos. Appearing as an 18 foot tall man with the heard of a ram, Sinakad bears a passionate hate for all things chaotic. He radiates an aura of blessing in a 100’ radius, and all of Lawful Good alignment within that radius act as if under a bless spell. He also radiates a permanent Protection from Chaos. Sinakad can Detect Evil in a 500’ radius at will and can caste Haste upon himself at will. Sinakad can also cast Persistent Image 3/day (caster level 20). Sinakad wears an iron bracelet upon his right arm that allows him to levitate at will and grants invulnerability to fire, Sinakad is a great collector of swords, and wields a long sword and a net which stuns all whom he entangles in it for 1d10 rounds. Sinakad will also charge his foes and ran with his horns. Followers of Sinakad will oppose Chaos wherever it is found, and will always help those in need of aid, especially those oppressed at the hands of a Chaotic tyrant.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Domains: Charm, Knowledge, Law, Magic,  
Symbol: Purple Spear
Typical Worshippers: Seers, Prophet, Sages, Mages
Favored Weapons: Spear
Vicon is a tall slender, exceptionally beautiful woman. She can cause any to have visions, her victim must make a will save if the vision is unwanted (DC 40), but most cannot resist these vision when sent. Men must make a DC 20 Will save upon seeing her or be under the effects of a Fascinate spell. Vicon can cast charm person at will (DC 20) and men will have a -3 circumstance bonus on their roll. Vicon wears a purple Cloak of Displacement that provides a 50% miss chance for all attacks against her. She wields a powerful spear and carries a shield that radiates a purplish glowing aura. Vicon will try to help lawful beings who require aid, but despises Chaos in all its forms. Vicon is a social being, frequently visiting with other deities and often crashing mortal social gatherings in various female guises. If any discovers her true identity, she can use her stunning disposition 3/day to cause the viewer to lose all memories of the past 1d6 hours.
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Animal, War, Water
Symbol: Wandering River
Typical Worshippers: River travelers, fishermen, citizens of Tarantis
Favored Weapons: Trident
Zarkon appears as an 8 foot tall human who rides an aquatic and airborne Pegasus. He dwells in the Azurerain River, perhaps the longest river in the Wilderlands. His Pegasus is capable of riding through air or water equally well. Zarkon wields a wicked trident that he uses against all who attempt to despoil his river and its environs. He can command any creature living in the river and is always accompanied by 1-6 river creatures when in the water. He will occasionally attack river vessels for the sheer enjoyment of it. Once per week, his Pegasus can shift itself and its rider into the Ethereal Plane. Zarkon has few dedicated followers, most just offer supplications when traveling or fishing in the river Azurerain.  
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Air, Animal, Law, Travel
Symbol: Falcon or Hawk
Typical Worshippers: Druids, Hawk Folk, Birds
Favored Weapons: none (talons/claws)
Kadrim dwells in the Lords Mountains in the Elphand Lands. He has the head, wings, talons, and beak of a falcon or hawk depending on which accounts you believe. His face is white, his wings are red and his body golden. Kadrim can call forth an Anti-Magic field at will, or use Detect Chaos at will. Kadrim is fierce in defending his mountain lair, and deeply suspicious of any human who comes to it. He will attack any of chaotic bent who approach within 2 miles of his lair uninvited. He despises those who would cage avian creatures of any sort, and seeks to free all birds whenever possible. He possesses the ability to change shape, but can only assume a man-bird hybrid form, but the bird part can be that of any avian creature.
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Animal, Earth, Plant, Travel
Symbol: Sheaf of Grass
Typical Worshippers: Druids, Halflings, Gnomes, Shepherds
Favored Weapons: quarterstaff
Limtram is known in various regions as Sister of the Earth, Meadow Mother, and Spirit of the Plains. She inhabits the various meadows, plains, and open-country of the Wilderlands. She shuns closed in spaces and will not enter buildings or caves. She will rarely even enter the forest for she finds the canopy of trees too confining. Her shrines are always in wide open fields and never have a formal structure. Limtram yearns for the open spaces and the creatures inhabiting them. Limtram dresses in flowing robes and carries a set of pipes which can summon and charm all sorts of fauna native to open plains. She wanders about her realms with just her pipes and a staff of bound grass, offering protection and succor to beasts, plants, and followers alike.  
Alignment: Lawful Good
Domains: Good, Knowledge, Magic, Trickery
Symbol: Open Book
Typical Worshippers: Sages, Wizards, Seekers of Knowledge
Favored Weapons: Sword
Bachontoi the Omniscient is known as the God of Red Wisdom and the God of sages. He appears as a very old man with a long gray beard in a white robe. HE projects an aura of fear as a gaze weapon (Will Save DC 30). It is said Bachontoi knows the answers to all problems and questions. He is fascinated by puzzles and riddles and will often require a supplicant to answer a riddle before he will aid them. He carries with him two wondrous objects. The first is The Sword of Wisdom which deals 1d6 points of Wisdom damage in addition to other damage with each successful hit. The second is the Red Book of Knowledge, which is said to hold the secrets of the universe. If a cleric or paladin of Bachontoi performs a great act of kindness in his service, he may appear to allow this hero to read a single page form the book. Doing o will provide a +2 bonus to the readers Wisdom score. This will happen only once for an individual, and the deed performed must be truly awe inspiring.
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Air, Sun, Travel,  
Symbol: Clouds
Typical Worshippers: Altanians, those who fear the dark
Favored Weapons: none
Tangadorn’s true form is unknown, but when he appears on the Prime Material plane he assumes the form of a 25’ tall blue giant with two huge ears, four eyes in his head and one on the palm of each hand. Tangadorn is active only during daylight hours, during which he sees and hears everything, including the faintest whisper. Nothing can escape the view of at least one of his eyes.  
 At night, Tangadorn retreats to his palace on the North Star and will not reappear until sunrise. He hates the dark and any who dwell within it. He will avoid any place that is illuminated less than full daylight and can cast the Daylight spell at will and will do so to illuminate any place he is that has a hint of dimness. He can shape change at will into any object which has been in daylight. His many eyes can glitter like gems and will have the effect of a Daze Monster spell on any looking upon them in daylight. He can cast magic missle at will (caster level 20).
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Animal, Strength, Luck
Symbol: A pair of feline eyes
Typical Worshippers: Druids, Witches, Liowan
Favored Weapons: natural weapons
Bandorack appears as a golden skinned man with the head and paws of a lion. Bandorack enjoys the hunt and will often be on the prowl to stalk prey. At any time he may summon 2d12 feline creatures native to his area to aid him (panthers, lions, tigers, etc,) at will. HE carries with him an enchanted whistle which will stun all non-felines for 1d6 rounds (DC 20 fortitude save). Bandorack radiates an aura of fear to non-felines in a 60’ radius (DC 20 Will or flee for 2d6 rounds) and he will stalk those that flee before him and revel in the chase.
Hope you enjoyed this and found it useful.  
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 9   Judges Guild Public Forum / Judges Guild Discussion / Re: Campaign Three: Wilderlands Online  Nov 22nd, 2004, 9:28am 
Started by Marc_Kuhl | Last post by Marc_Kuhl
The party finds the shrine's guest room. The room is not in use but they do find an old Opera ticket for Bellassaie's performance in Modron. After this, they find the torture chamber. The torturer has also spent time in the Gladiator pits. He recognizes Veep and challenges him to a one-on-one duel. If he wins then he is allowed to escape. if Veep wins he will surrender. Veep reluctantly agrees. The match is close and the torturer barely manages to win. He makes sure Veep is alive then leaves.
Tetzauhp has waken up and tried following the party. Her lost their trail and chose to search the secret passage they found earlier in the Gnoll Lair. He finds the party and helps take Veep back to the Keep to be healed. The party has Terdan identify the items. Veep takes the Helmet of Free Action and Lanalor gets the Flaming Broadsword.  
When the party returns to the shrine, they find four female adepts and engage them in a fight. One strikes a gong. The party realizes that the alarm has been sounded, and so after defeating the four women, they prepare to defend themselves.  
The gong summons twenty skeletons and twenty zombies. The party works well together. Verkan uses his turning hold on the front rows of undead. Veep, Nuekim, and Tetzauhp destroy the held skeletons, while Amabelle, Lanalor, and Verkan use missile weapons on the back rows. When the heroes come close to destroying all the held undead, Verkan would repeat his spell.   This fight was enormous and the party chose their positions in a restricted space well, allowing them to protect the weaker party members and keep the enemy restricted to a front they could handle.
When this fight ends, the party sees five women fleeing. They pursue the women to a collapsed corridor. The high priestess uses a Gaseous Form potion to escape. The other four beg for mercy.
The heroes search the remainder of the shrine and burn the unholy tapestries. In the priestesses' quarters, they find six tickets to Bellassaie's next Opera in Citystate.   When they question the prisoners, the heroes learn that the temple has plans in the works to kidnap the Opera star.  The party decides to return to the Keep and ponder their next course of action.
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 10   Judges Guild Public Forum / Judges Guild Discussion / Re: ciusRe: Campaign: Wisconsin Wilderlands  Nov 14th, 2004, 8:33pm 
Started by jamesmishler | Last post by jamesmishler
on Nov 12th, 2004, 6:01pm, hestrin wrote:
Though he might just have leaped from the frying pan to the fire.

My thoughts exactly... mwahahahahaha! Ahahahahahahaha ...
::hack, cough, wheeze::
... ehe, aha, ahem ...
I've got to stop with the maniacal laughter...
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