Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Dungeons Downunder: The Australian Experience

The Australian Experience has its own loves...

"You are standing among the ruins of an old castle, looking at a flight of steps leading down into the darkness. You wear place mail and have your sword ready. With you are a dwarf, a hobbit with a cross-bow and a green-robed wizard.
You offer prayers to the Lawful Gods, the wizard lights a torch and you lead down the steps. You are in a stone-hewn corridor about five feet wide and eight feet high. You go down about fifty feet and to each side you see a heavy wood door bound with iron bands. The hobbit can't pick the lock, so after a brief consultation you and the dwarf run at the door. It opens, inside are fine rough man-like creatures, but shorter with thick hairy skin: goblins. You have the advantage of surprise, and you start laying into the nearest ones with your sword, and the dwarf with his axe. The hobbit fires off a couple of bolts at the furthest goblin, then starts in with his sword when it comes over to complain. You kill your goblin, the hobbit is doing well but the other three have the dwarf surrounded and he's looking bad. So the wizard raises his hand and writes in the air while reciting: 
A green glow jumps from his hand to the nearest goblin, which shrieks as if burning, and dies. You kill the rest: five dead goblins, The wizard adds to the map he's been drawing. You search their bodies. Nothing. The room is full of junk, bones, rag. You start rummaging and find a sack: a hundred gold pieces, a fortune for a farm labourer. You split it up and put it in your back packs and are on the point of leaving when the wizard finds a small knob on the wall. Standing to one side he flicks it up; two poisoned darts spring out just missing his hand, and a panel falls open. Inside is an old moldering scroll of parchment and a sword. You take it, it has strange lines along the side and has a magical feel to it. 
The magician casts a spell to read the forgotten language on the scroll then suddenly feels com pelled to follow its directions to the lost armour of a long dead king. The scroll was cursed, but if you survive the armour might be useful. And so back to the nearby village to wait for the dwarf to recover before satisfying the scroll guest. And so on."
-Game Review: Dungeons & Dragons by Martin Ellison, Woroni, Canberra, March 15, 1977 

'GM: 'Walking through the Woods of Quendor, you are in search of the largest tree in the forest, as you have heard that its roots once led to caverns of riches tunnelled by Ground Goblins. You approach a very large, and very dead tree. Its trunk appears to be hollow. Judging by the stories you have heard, you believe you have reached your destination.'

MAGIC-USER: "We climb the tree and look down the trunk with a lantern.' 
GM: 'You climb 15ft and can see that the hollow tree leads down below ground level to about 20ft below the surface.' 
MAGIC-USER: 'We all climb down to the bottom.' 
GM: 'You find yourselves in a circular room 15ft in diameter .with a 5ft wide passage leading off to the north '

MAGIC-USER: 'We look down the passage.' 
GM: 'It extends for 50ft and then turns to the right. You can see a crossroads of some sort 30ft away.' 
MAGIC-USER: 'We proceed to the crossroads and look left and right.' And so it goes on... Later the party burst a door open and are horrified to find a Gorgon inside.! They beat a hasty retreat! 
The GM throws the dice and an encounter takes place - unluckily for them - in which the dwarf who charged the door is turned to stone and must be abandoned. However, the rest escape unhurt. Trying the east door, they surprise a party of 10 Goblins. The Magic-User sends them all to sleep and is awarded 250 Experience Points. 
The Fighter slits their throats...
They search and find a chest containing 1500 Gold Pieces, 1000 Silver Pieces, a Potion and a Scroll. They are rich beyond their wildest dreams! But they are also lost in the dungeons of the Ground Goblins.'

- Dungeon & Dragons for Me! Tharunka, Kensington, NSW  May 23, 1978

There is the relevant bits of a bunch of Adds selling dungeons & Dragons to the Aussie Gamer. Tharunka and Woroni are University Campus Magazines. If you are searching for a deeper relevance to how they think the game is played you can investigate the full adds/reviews here:

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