Thursday, January 04, 2018

Rage of Demons

I'm (quite belatedly) discovering the Rage of Demons storyline that D&D did back in... what; late 2015, I think?  2016 maybe, for the majority of the execution?  There were some Salvatore Drizzt novels (up to... what, 31 titles now?  Holy cow.  I read maybe 7-8 of them years ago, but since have lost track completely.  I don't even particularly like the character anymore.  I did, however, not get rid of my original Icewind Dale trilogy in paperback.)  There was a computer game. And a Neverwinter Nights expansion.  And a big megamodule, Out of the Abyss, which I'm also reading currently.

This last is what is intriguing.  While it's obviously very D&Dish, even specifically Forgotten Realmsish, which is not normally my thing, I also can see converting the Underdark environment into a strange, alien world on the surface, and maybe figuring out some way to adapt this megamodule into something that I might even run.  Chris Perkins, who wrote the forward, said that it deliberately has a Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass vibe.  I came for the demon lords, but I find that the adventure itself is surprisingly intriguing, and that I might want to see what I can do with it.

Now, what I wish Wizards of the Coast had done was chartered some independent novels not set in the Forgotten Realms that were tie-ins with the Rage of Demons theme.  I wonder if I couldn't do my own spin-off of some kind with the theme?  Hmm...   I suppose that had they done this, it would resemble somewhat the Abyssal Plague series.  Now, the Abyssal Plague series isn't really very good, I'm afraid.  I think I got rid of my copies, but I got the two preview novels from the public library, and bought the regular trilogy itself.

Of course, that brings to mind the fact that while I liked very little about 4e (and it marks my separation from D&D per se) I did really like the concept of the "Points of Light" Nentir Vale campaign setting, and I see it as the platonic ideal of what a campaign setting should look like.  Forgotten Realms (Gray Box), and old Mystara before we knew much about it (the Grand Duchy of Karameikos?) or even early work on settings like Eberron or Golarion before they got more "built up" is really where it's at, and Nentir Vale, whatever other faults the 4e era may have had, never fell victim to this (a Gazetteer was scheduled, but never released, but most likely it never would have risen above that of the old Greyhawk Gazetteer or Forgotten Realms Gray Box in terms of detail.  Besides, the setting is observably smaller.)

My own TIMISCHBURG setting is meant to mimic this to some extent, although I have no idea where I could possibly fit something like Out of the Abyss in that setting, unless I decide to get into traveling to parallel worlds or planar adventures or something.  It's simply too alien to fit in a setting that is otherwise deliberately rather traditional in most senses.  On the other hand, maybe the DREAMLANDS REMIXED setting is perfect for exactly this type of adventure.  In fact, I'm more and more convinced that adapting it to DREAMLANDS REMIXED is probably the best thing I can do with the tag in the first place, which has otherwise languished without any development at all other than a list of place names and a small discussion on Lomar.

So... it looks like I have my next project ahead of me after ISLES OF TERROR is done.  I'll have to take a different approach to this one, but still—I think that there's a lot to be said for a rather drastic reworking of this adventure into something workable in my milieu.

Here's the YouTube trailer for the event, in case you didn't see it before.

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