Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh Yeah, Down at the Game Store...

So I was down at Fantasiapelit for a couple minutes today, checking out how other games do their layouts and looking at the new releases.

The new version of the Ars Magica adventure The Broken Covenant of Calebais by Jonathan Tweet, Mark Rein-Hagen, and Erik Dahl was on the shelf. The promo copy on the back cover which dominates all the other text?

"Delve into a Dungeon Done Right"

... the first thing to cross my mind was "So I wonder which dungeons they considered to have been done wrong?"

Anyone know if this ad copy was in the original 90s version of the adventure or if this is brand new for the 2010 edition?


  1. The first and second editions (1988, '90) of TBCoC don't have it, but in the bulleted list for "This story includes", remark:

    "At last, a 'dungeon' that makes sense, whose inhabitants have reasons for being where they are and for doing what they do."

    The '94 French and '95 Spanish editions seem to keep the same statement; but the '04 remake for ArM 5th ed. seems to introduce the "Dungeon Done Right" blurb.


  2. Well, fact is there have been a whole lot of dungeon adventures published where the rationale for the dungeon and its residents wasn't explained at all or just didn't make sense. You know the type. There's usually one room with goblins, one with kobolds, one with orcs, one with human bandits, one with ghouls, one containing a rust monster, one with giant rats, and about half a dozen with traps for some reason left undisturbed by all of the varied denizens, etc.

  3. Don't know about that particular adventure but I have waded through pile of so very mediocre dungeon adventures just like Navdi described, made similar ones to graph paper myself too.
    It helps if sales pitch or word on the mouth promises something diffent

  4. I don't think the '90s version was advertised that way, but that was definitely part of the thinking of the authors, based on the introduction and other text in it. They were trying to come up with a dungeon that was sort of self-sufficient, and that's something I tried to develop further in the rewrite. I know I've played a bunch of D&D adventures through the years where the logistics of the dungeon didn't really make sense, but I can't remember enough about them to cite specific examples by name, I'm afraid. :)