Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

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agathokles
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Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by agathokles » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:44 am

Hi all,

I was rereading the listing of Mystara materials in Dungeon Magazine, and I noticed that two adventures are listed in the product listing, but not in the previous listing.

Looking a bit further, I found that NPCDave provided summaries of these two adventures elsewhere, which may be useful for reference.

In particular, Dragon's Delve is a followup of Thunderdelve, whereas Esmerelda's Bodyguard is set in the Savage Coast.

Did anyone use Dragon's Delve information to help with the placement of Thunderdelve in Mystara?

GP

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Robin
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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by Robin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:38 pm

I did not knew of Dragon Delve...so thanx....I had placed Thunderdelve in the Darokin Mountains North of the five Shires, as a memory of the past of dwarven oppression in the Shires. Yet forgotten by the Hin as it is not within their actual territory
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agathokles
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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by agathokles » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:45 pm

As you did, Robin, this Threshold article also places Thunderdelve in the Cruth Mountains, on the Darokin side.

However, the Dragon's Delve adventure provides a deeper background for the dwarven clans of Thunderdelve, and an additional dwarven kingdom, Underdoin, which is relatively near Thunderdelve. The lord of Thunderdelve, who completed XS2, is the brother of the Underdoin king.
Furthermore, there is a presence of numerous non-hostile dragons -- two crystal dragons and their offspring, and an amethyst dragon.
The main opponent is a Baldandar sent by a Derro kingdom, Nizzinzar.

This has several interesting effects:
  1. It makes a stronger connection between Mystara and Thunderdelve -- the adventure uses uniquely Mystaran monsters such as the Baldandar, as well as the living statues, choker, geonid, etc., all of which appear in AD&D only in the Mystara MCA.
  2. It makes it harder to position Thunderdelve in Darokin, since Underdoin can hardly be there.
  3. It places derro dwarves in Mystara, connects them to Baldandars, and gives us a name for a derro city (Nizzinzar).
That's quite a lot of information which has since now been mostly ignored...

GP

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Robin
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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by Robin » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:52 pm

I am confused about the Derro. As being AD&D1 or 2 creatures a lot of information seems to conflict. In one they are deep gnomes, the other sets them as another breed of dwarves, and TSR 9120 - UK4 - When a Star Falls describes them almost as being an alien race.
I also feel adding another dwarven race reduces the capacities of the original dwarves. Maybe (my humble opinion) it is best to keep normal dwarves, yet make the Derron a single tribe or family clan of dwarves.
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agathokles
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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by agathokles » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:55 pm

Robin wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:52 pm
I am confused about the Derro. As being AD&D1 or 2 creatures a lot of information seems to conflict. In one they are deep gnomes, the other sets them as another breed of dwarves, and TSR 9120 - UK4 - When a Star Falls describes them almost as being an alien race.
I also feel adding another dwarven race reduces the capacities of the original dwarves. Maybe (my humble opinion) it is best to keep normal dwarves, yet make the Derron a single tribe or family clan of dwarves.
The derro first appear in The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, where they are described as a degenerate race of dwarven stature, rumored to be a cross-breed of humans and dwarves. Deep gnomes are the Svirfneblin, which actually appear in another Mystara-related adventure, The Night Below.

The derro are more fully defined as a mutant dwarf sub-race in later books. In UK4, they are just an outpost of a derro underground city that was struck by the meteor of the title. Not particularly different from previous incarnations, from my point of view.

In Mystara, the nearest thing to derro (and the other evil dwarf sub-race from AD&D, the duergar) could be either the Moulder Dwarves or the Moadreg (Dwarves of the Shimmering Realms).

GP

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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:47 pm

Robin wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:52 pm
I am confused about the Derro. As being AD&D1 or 2 creatures a lot of information seems to conflict. In one they are deep gnomes, the other sets them as another breed of dwarves, and TSR 9120 - UK4 - When a Star Falls describes them almost as being an alien race.
I also feel adding another dwarven race reduces the capacities of the original dwarves. Maybe (my humble opinion) it is best to keep normal dwarves, yet make the Derron a single tribe or family clan of dwarves.
In Gary Gygax's novel Sea of Death, the derro are "Suel pygmies," mutated descendants of Suel humans trapped in the City Out of Mind, the buried capital of the Suel Empire.

In "Legacies of the Suel Imperium" in Dragon #241, Roger E. Moore established that derro were descendants of human and dwarven slaves magically crossbred by the ancient Suel. What's more, the article claims that this is the origin of all derro: derro only exist on other worlds because they've used spells or magic devices to travel there from Oerth. The article mentioned that the Theiwar of the Dragonlance setting are similar to the derro, but unrelated.

Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark speculated that derro were the result of illithid experiments in crossbreeding humans and duergar. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes said that (the duergar believe) derro are descended from those left behind when other duergar escaped illithid slavery.

In "Ecology of the Derro" in Kobold Quarterly #1, Wolfgang Baur suggested that derro were hybrids of dwarves and humans banished deep beneath the earth by their dwarven kin and subsequently enslaved by duergar, drow, and aboleths before becoming acolytes of demons and elder elemental gods, finding strength in madness.

The Slayer's Guide to Derro from Mongoose Publishing suggested they might be crossbreeds of dwarves and hags, or an accursed clan of dwarves, or descendants of dwarves and the human tribe that enslaved them.

In the Pathfinder RPG, derro are descended not from dwarves, but from pech, fey creatures connected to the Elemental Plane of Earth. After their masters, the Vault Keepers, fled the world following a war with the aboleths, the pech fought among themselves and some discovered a glowing blue fungus called cytillesh, which mutated them and damaged their brains, transforming them into derro.

If you wanted to incorporate derro into Mystara, it might make sense to have them be descendents of elder (Kogolor) dwarves afflicted by radiation from the Great Rain of Fire who fled into the caves deep below the surface of the world, their sanity lost due to exposure to the Burrowers there. D&D derro are inspired by the "Dero" from the Shaver Mystery stories featured in Amazing Stories between 1945 and 1949, which made them inhabitants of the Hollow Earth, so Mystaran derro might be found in the Hollow World.

If you replace them with Modrigswerg, it might make sense to set "Dragon's Delve" in the Northern Reaches.
agathokles wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:55 pm
Deep gnomes are the Svirfneblin, which actually appear in another Mystara-related adventure, The Night Below.
UK4 has both derro and svirfnebli in it, which might be the source of the confusion (so does Night Below, for that matter).

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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by agathokles » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:27 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:47 pm
If you wanted to incorporate derro into Mystara, it might make sense to have them be descendents of elder (Kogolor) dwarves afflicted by radiation from the Great Rain of Fire who fled into the caves deep below the surface of the world, their sanity lost due to exposure to the Burrowers there. D&D derro are inspired by the "Dero" from the Shaver Mystery stories featured in Amazing Stories between 1945 and 1949, which made them inhabitants of the Hollow Earth, so Mystaran derro might be found in the Hollow World.
This is an excellent idea, as well as an interesting fact. I'd definitely go this way.

GP

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Re: Mystara Adventures in Dungeon Magazine

Post by Robin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:19 pm

nice ideas. thanx
makes them more logical
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