Lendore Isles

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Havard
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Lendore Isles

Post by Havard » Sun May 01, 2011 4:31 pm

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenard_Lakofka
In 1980, Lakofka submitted three modules to TSR, taken from adventures he had originally created for his home campaign of Lendore Isle: The Secret of Bone Hill, The Assassin's Knot and Deep Dwarven Delve. Gary Gygax was simultaneously creating his World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting, and Lakofka asked if "Lendore Isle" could be incorporated into Gygax's new world. Gygax agreed, and Lakofka chose the largest island in the Spindrift Isles archipelago as the location of his Lendore Isle adventures.

On top of his written contributions, Lakofka continued to be a high-profile player in the D&D world: in 1980, he was listed as the 6th-ranked player in national D&D standings;[10] and the same year, as a dungeon master, he placed third in the Invitational Dungeon Master's Tournament at Gen Con. (Frank Mentzer was the winner.)[11]

In 1981, Lakofka's first adventure, L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, was published. Reviews were mixed. In Different Worlds, Anders Swenson complained about the randomness of encounters, and that the monsters and townspeople were unrealistically compressed into too small a geographical area.[12] However, White Dwarf's Jim Bambra gave it an 8 out 10, and liked the roleplaying situations the module afforded.[13] James Maliszewski claimed the module was one of his favorites because it created "a very flexible 'sandbox' framework for a low-level campaign".[7]

In 1983, TSR published Lakofka's second adventure, L2 The Assassin's Knot. Reviews were again mixed. Rick Swan, in The Space Gamer, thought the murder mystery of the plot was "a very pedestrian affair", and the adventure was "just plain dull".[14] Dave Morris in White Dwarf disagreed, calling it "an entertaining murder mystery for AD&D characters" and scoring it 7 out of 10. [15] In 2004, Erik Mona and James Jacobs ranked The Assassin's Knot as the 29th greatest AD&D adventure ever written.[16]

Lakofka also continued to write more articles in Dragon in addition to his monthly column. When Gygax was creating the World of Greyhawk, Lakofka suggested that based on the migration patterns of various Greyawk races as outlined in the campaign setting, that "his" Lendore Isles would have been mainly settled by Suel. When the twelve gods of the Suel pantheon of gods were simply listed in the 1983 edition of the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting, with no details or powers given, Lakofka took it upon himself to flesh out descriptions of each god.[17] In 1984, Lakofka published this information as a major five-part series in Dragon.
I'm becoming more interested in this part of Greyhawk. What are peoples experiences with the Lendore modules? How would you describe the overall feel of this part of Greyhawk?

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by rol-oeste » Sun May 01, 2011 5:49 pm

Len released "L4 - Devilspawn" in Dragonsfoot:
L4 - Devilspawn

This is the exciting new adventure written by Len Lakofka and set in the Lendore Isles. An adventure for 6-10 characters of level 3-5.

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/php4/archive ... atchfile=0
and a Companion book:
L4C - The Lendore Isle Companion

This is the excellent companion to the adventure L4 - Devilspawn, by Len Lakofka. It contains all you need to know about the Lendore Isles and running L4.

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/php4/archive ... atchfile=0
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Samwise » Tue May 03, 2011 6:55 am

L1 The Secret of Bone Hill and L2 The Assassin's Knot are both good and bad.
The good is, they are each a nice little village, with plenty of nearby adventure, and a decent amount of seeds that can be expanded as needed.
The bad is, they are stocked to an absurd level that makes you seriously question what the intended death rate or power level is supposed to be. As part of that, the number of high level NPCs is reminiscent of the jokes about the excesses in FR modules. Then there are also some rather peculiar continuity/compatibility issues with the articles on the Suel deities, making me wonder just how much the home version of the adventure was kludged over to fit the Greyhawk setting.
If you are willing to make the effort to completely restock the treasure, revise a few continuity points, and handwave off the rather overwhelming number of higher level NPCs, you can at least salvage a good starting point from these two. I've certainly reused them multiple times just for casual villages.

L3 Deep Dwarven Delve is a bizzarre mess. I'm not really sure what the "polishers" were thinking, but an industrial strength buffer is needed to make that thing useful. It doesn't even have any background material that can be reasonably salvaged.
It should be noted that Len Lakofka disowns this, saying it was not edited with his approval.

L4 Devilspawn is a prime example of why editors are essential, and why an adventure writer is not automatically a setting writer is not automatically a rules developer is not automatically a game designer. The adventure sprawls everywhere, with the structure to keep going drowned in a series of new rules tweaks that confuse the stat blocks.
If there is anything salvageable in this wall of text someone else will have to try and excavate it.

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Argamae » Tue May 03, 2011 6:17 pm

When the twelve gods of the Suel pantheon of gods were simply listed in the 1983 edition of the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting, with no details or powers given, Lakofka took it upon himself to flesh out descriptions of each god.[17] In 1984, Lakofka published this information as a major five-part series in Dragon.
Say, is this series about the Suel deities still to be had? Maybe via a download somewhere? I would be immensely interested in that.

About the Lendore-Modules I can only say that some years back I DM'd the "Secret of Bone Hill" and we had a very good time with it (and some memorable scenes). I must add, however, that I was not that "quality conscious" at that time as I am now. But the strong point remains: a fleshed out little village with some good floor plans for a couple of houses, a small castle to visit, a cave, a multi-level dungeon beneath a ruined castle, and about 28 miles of surrounding wilderness to explore. It can be used as a small "sandbox" for new characters to whet their adventure appetite.
After finishing "Secret of Bone Hill" we wanted to move on to "Assassin's Knot" but never got around to it. I, too, think that the murder mystery is adequate for a fantasy adventure, though not brilliant.

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Big Mac » Thu May 19, 2011 7:34 pm

Hmm. Looks like Lendore Isles could have turned into a Greyhawk subsetting, if it had continued.
Argamae wrote:
When the twelve gods of the Suel pantheon of gods were simply listed in the 1983 edition of the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting, with no details or powers given, Lakofka took it upon himself to flesh out descriptions of each god.[17] In 1984, Lakofka published this information as a major five-part series in Dragon.
Say, is this series about the Suel deities still to be had? Maybe via a download somewhere? I would be immensely interested in that.
Sadly, you can no longer buy old copies of Dragon magazine. But I'd bet at least some the information would be on The Great Library of Greyhawk.
Argamae wrote:About the Lendore-Modules I can only say that some years back I DM'd the "Secret of Bone Hill" and we had a very good time with it (and some memorable scenes). I must add, however, that I was not that "quality conscious" at that time as I am now. But the strong point remains: a fleshed out little village with some good floor plans for a couple of houses, a small castle to visit, a cave, a multi-level dungeon beneath a ruined castle, and about 28 miles of surrounding wilderness to explore. It can be used as a small "sandbox" for new characters to whet their adventure appetite.
After finishing "Secret of Bone Hill" we wanted to move on to "Assassin's Knot" but never got around to it. I, too, think that the murder mystery is adequate for a fantasy adventure, though not brilliant.
That sounds like something another GM wanting to do the same thing might find useful. Do you still have your notes for the parts of the village you added?
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Jorkens » Thu May 26, 2011 10:13 am

Big Mac wrote:
Sadly, you can no longer buy old copies of Dragon magazine. But I'd bet at least some the information would be on The Great Library of Greyhawk.
Although they are usually pretty cheap at Noble Knight (at least those after nr 40 or so), so if you really want them this is the place to look.

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:45 pm

Jorkens wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Sadly, you can no longer buy old copies of Dragon magazine. But I'd bet at least some the information would be on The Great Library of Greyhawk.
Although they are usually pretty cheap at Noble Knight (at least those after nr 40 or so), so if you really want them this is the place to look.
I could have booked a return ticket to Scotland a couple of years ago, and picked up all the magazines that Silverblade was tossing out to make space.
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Big Mac » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:10 pm

There is now a Lendore Isles category in the Book-House on The Piazza.

I'm not sure if there will ever be a demand for a Lendore Isles subforum, in the Greyhawk forum here, but hopefully that category will help people looking up product information.

(So far the Dragonsfoot published Lendore Isles products don't have their own pages on the Book-House.)
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by ghendar » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:42 pm

Big Mac wrote:There is now a [url=http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/shop/doku.p ... dore_isles]

(So far the Dragonsfoot published Lendore Isles products don't have their own pages on the Book-House.)
Why not? I know the DF stuff has some issues but it is written by Len. Not a criticism, just curious.
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Big Mac » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:46 pm

ghendar wrote:
Big Mac wrote:There is now a Lendore Isles category in the Book-House on The Piazza.

(So far the Dragonsfoot published Lendore Isles products don't have their own pages on the Book-House.)
Why not? I know the DF stuff has some issues but it is written by Len. Not a criticism, just curious.
Don't worry. There is no "ban" on the Dragonsfoot stuff. The Piazza is quite happy to have people linking to any good Greyhawk content, regardless of where it is hosted. :)

It's more a case that The Book-House at The Piazza is still being built.

If you look at the homepage for the Book-House at The Piazza, you will see that there are a redlinks for TSR and WotC products, that need to have the articles written. And there isn't a single Birthright product up yet. So there is a lot of research that needs to go into adding official products. It's just a matter of the other Lendore Isles products being further down the queue.

(I'll be so glad when it's all done. :) )

Anyhoo, are you an expert on the Dragonsfoot stuff for Lendore Isles?

Maybe you could explain what some of the best new things are. :)
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by shesheyan » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:13 pm

I have found memories of L1 Bone Hill and L2 Assassin's Knot. The adventures went very well. But I have never reread the modules since the early 80s. I liked those modules because they have detailed villages and action in urban settings. I saw them as a way out of the sprawling dungeon crawls style modules which I had grown tired of. After L1 and L2 I started writing my own adventures. They were very formative of the kind of adventures and campaigns I wrote.
Last edited by shesheyan on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by shesheyan » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:36 am

I'm looking at Bone Hill atm. Its a sand box. Descriptions for the town of Restenford, the castle, the local taverns and the surrounding area are detailed. That is why I liked it so much. Perfect to base a campaign around it.

Plans :
- Area of Restenford (1/2 mile hex scale)
- Town of Restenford (30 feet square), Ruined Square tower + Cavern map
- Castle Restenford ground floor + Cellar (10 feet square)
- Falco's Tavern, Inn of the Dying Minotaur, Tavern of the West Wind
- Pelltar's Home
- Cavern map
- Bonehill Castle Ruins : 3 floors above ground, basement, cavern map.

There is no synopsis of the adventure so you have to read all the entries to figure it out. There is a Rumor list at the beginning of the module to give hints to the players. Some are true, others are false, and some in between. It depends who the characters talk to.

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:00 am

Did you write any fanon to expand L1 The Secret of Bone Hill Shesheyan?
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by shesheyan » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:27 pm

Big Mac wrote:Did you write any fanon to expand L1 The Secret of Bone Hill Shesheyan?
While I was impressed by Bone Hill I'm pretty sure I wrote and drew from scratch my own version of a small town with mysterious ruins around it. I used Bone Hill as an exemple. I did not expand on it. That has been my process ever since. I buy, read then rename and modify the material to fit my creative urges of the moment. That was probably the start of my Fall of Arkinor AD&D campaign. My first home-brew continent/setting.
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by GMWestermeyer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:01 pm

Back in high school, one of the guys in our campaign (2 DMs taking turns running others in the games) ran a half-ogre fighter. In order to raise money to build a stronghold he took his henchmen and followers through the Wild Coast raiding villages - inspired by the opening scene of the original Conan movie.

I ran him through several raids, in both cases L1 & L2s village were the 'stand ins.'

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by GMWestermeyer » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:15 pm

BTW, there is an awesome blog, The Restinford Project http://restenford.blogspot.com/, that looks at the modules n depth and has links and discussions to many Lendore resources. His indepth look at the implications of some oddities for L1 & L2 is insightful. :)

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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by shesheyan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:37 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:BTW, there is an awesome blog, The Restinford Project http://restenford.blogspot.com/, that looks at the modules n depth and has links and discussions to many Lendore resources. His indepth look at the implications of some oddities for L1 & L2 is insightful. :)
WOW! thank you for this link. Very useful !
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Re: Lendore Isles

Post by ghendar » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:31 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Don't worry. There is no "ban" on the Dragonsfoot stuff. The Piazza is quite happy to have people linking to any good Greyhawk content, regardless of where it is hosted. :)

It's more a case that The Book-House at The Piazza is still being built.
Gotcha, thanks! And just to be clear I certainly wasn't implying that there was any ban on DF stuff.
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