Thursday, May 1, 2014

D-Series Map Mysteries

Speaking of the classic D&D D-series of modules (Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, et. al.), assuming you own a copy, pull the maps out and see if you can answer the following mysteries.
  • In the D2 major encounter area (the "Shrine"), what are the three "S" locations near the main entrance?

  • In the D3 major encounter area (the "Fane"), on the last level, did you ever notice that the final secret door was misprinted as a location number "5"? (Compare to the text description.)

  • In the large-scale map connecting the whole series, note that module D1 has encounter piece maps I, II, and III (although it simply re-uses a single one a few times). Module D2 has encounter pieces IV and V (the river and tunnel nexus). Module D3 has encounter pieces VII, VIII, and IX. So... whatever happened to encounter piece VI? (Note the unusually long passage leading to the Shrine without any encounter areas.)
 

6 comments:

  1. In order:

    - The S locations aren't described, but there are also no storerooms. I'd bet they are storerooms and accidentally left undescribed by accident.

    - On my map that doesn't look like a 5, it's a shaky but clear S (although there is a gap in the "wall" where the secret door is, like someone lifted the pen before completing the line.)

    My copy of D1 and D1-2 have I-III, IV, V, and a corridor that isn't marked in any way. I always assumed it was supposed to be VI. It's possible it's not and they just lost track of the numbers. Tight editing isn't a noted trait of TSR products. ;)

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    1. "My copy of D1 and D1-2 have I-III, IV, V, and a corridor that isn't marked in any way."

      You're looking at the blue cover interior, right? That non-numbered corridor isn't a set "encounter piece", it's an example for primary tunnel passages (maybe for a wandering monster event). Note that it's copied from module tear-out page (i), where it's one of the 3 sample tunnel widths (that page itself duplicated from old monochrome D1; page (ii), originally from mono D2, has its own 3 tunnel samples, plus encounter areas IV and V).

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    2. Yes, I am, although to be honest the copies of D1-2, D1, and D2 that I have all have their tear-outs detached, so it's hard for me to tell what page goes with what. It's kinda weird, though, that they replicate the primary passage encounter sheet twice (unless the tear out I have is from the monochrome D1.)

      In any case, I couldn't find any encounters that call for VI, so I still believe it's just bad record keeping causing a skipped number.

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    3. I agree, the duplicate tunnel map always weirded me out a bit too. It vaguely makes sense that almost all the travel is expected to be in the primary passage (hence conveniently putting it on cover?). That tear out map page is identical between mono D1 and combined D1-D2.

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  2. I think Peter is looking at the secret door in area 2 of the dungeon level of the Fane; Delta is referring to the secret door between areas 3 & 4 on the upper (5th) level of the Fane. On my copy (3rd printing) it definitely does look like a 5 (I see what Peter is saying about the other secret door, too.

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    1. Ah, okay, I see which one you guys are referring to now. Yeah, 5 not S.

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