Castle Zagyg Original Release Plans

Over on the Troll Lord Games message board, there’s a thread about how they had originally intended to roll out their Castle Zagyg line (which is, of course, only the latest incarnation of the long-awaited Castle Greyhawk). Someone was kind enough to post links to the original announcements as are still to be found on the TLG website, but since things on the web can be somewhat ephemeral, I repost them here in the interests of completeness and as a memory aid for my own design work in case TLG gets shut out in the latest Gygax Games IP reshuffling.

Gary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg: Yggsburgh
Beneath the shadows of the ancient, dreaded Castle Zagyg stands the fortified town of Yggsburgh. Its stout walls and cobbled ways give ample refuge to those bold and worthy adventurers who come to the Four Tors to plunder the dungeon deeps of the Mad Mage. Beyond the protective covering of the town’s walls and the deep waters of the Urt and Nemo Rivers, lie a vast rolling countryside from the Glittering Knobs, the Uplands to the Lonely Valley.

Enter the environs of that most dread of magi, test your mettle and make ready for the heroes forge that is Castle Zagyg!

The book you hold in your hands is the Setting for the famed Castle Zagyg, the monstrous dungeons of which are detailed in the following six volumes of this series.

More than a Campaign Setting!

This book consists of the town of Yggsburgh and its Environs, which include the town of Garham and 60 different geographic locales, each with their own peculiarities and adventures. The map charts over 1500 square miles of adventuring terrain, allowing the inclusion of Yggsburgh and Environs into almost any fantasy campaign setting. Each geographic locale has one or more adventures associated with it, offering hundreds of different plots, themes and escapades, players can take their characters on.

What to Expect:

  • 1 Full Color, fold-out, 24″ x 30″ Map of the Environs of Yggsburgh
  • 1 Full Color, fold-out, 24″ x 30″ Map of the Town of Yggsburgh
  • Nine Interior Maps of Points of Interest
  • 600+ Non-Players Characters
  • 30+ Random Encounter and Event Tables
  • 50+ Random Encounters, offering hundreds of adventure venues
  • Orders of Battle for everything from Goblins to Knights
  • New, Monsters, Magic Items & Spells for the Castles & Crusades© Role Playing Game
  • Crime and Punishment for Yggsburgh
  • Over 1000 Adventures and Adventure ideas!

Gary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg: Upper Works
The curse has finally lifted! The most legendary and fabled castle of them all, Castle Zagyg materializes from a dread fog that has long held it enthralled and thus averting its many seekers. As your party emerges from the tangled brush, briers, and vines that fence the Old Castle Track, you observe the sprawling ruins of an enormous castle complex built upon a sloping bluff of rock. Crumbling, battlemented walls join towers square, round, and pentagonal. Gatehouses, courtyards, and craft shops lie in varying states of disrepair. High above the ruins, at the culmination of the bluff, rise two impressive towers: one round, the other hexagonal. The great east towers flank an enormous fortress of stone from which carved spires rise, piercing the very sky. This edifice can be none other than Castle Zagyg, the dwelling of the Mad Archmage. An outer gatehouse presents the most immediate structure before you. A ravine stretches north-south behind it, forming a natural barrier in juxtaposition with the castle bluff. Closer inspection reveals a series of caves, toothy maws, dark and treacherous that riddle the sheer walls of the ravine and castle bluff. Your quarry looms ahead! Explore the ruins at the foot of Castle Zagyg, plunge within the murky caves that dot the rocky bluff, or make for the castle fortress, seeking ingress to Mad Archmage’s many and sundry dungeons below — your choices are myriad. Adventure and derring-do beckons, seekers, though discerning individuals will no doubt note that a horrible death is as probable as attaining both fame and vast treasure. Are you and your fellow explorers brave enough to undertake the challenge, the mystery, the weird whimsy and lurking horrors that are Castle Zagyg? Castle Zagyg, Volume II: The Upper Works is a Castles & Crusades mega-adventure for character levels 1-4. It is strongly suggested that adventuring parties contain at least one thief and be prepared to encounter all manner of dangers in the haunted ruin and in its subterranean mazes. With an estimated 272-page count in five books, this boxed set will contain the following adventures:

  • Mouths of Madness: Explore the ancient wilderness surrounding Castle Zagyg, then investigate the many caves that pock the rocky bluff on which the ruins lie. The Mouths of Madness are infested with humanoids such as bugbears, goblins, gnolls, kobolds, orcs, and a sly hill giant. Rumors persist of a prowling werewolf, a deranged owlbear, bizarre fungi, and deadly blobs that drink flesh from bone!
  • Ruins of the Castle Precincts: Broach the ruined walls, courtyards, towers, and outbuildings that comprise the precincts of Castle Zagyg, including an Oriental-style pagoda gatehouse and an Egyptian-style pylon gate. Human bandits and a formidable goblin tribe claim several structures, but some horrors are well beyond their mortal ken.
  • The East Wall Towers: Flanking the castle fortress loom a pair of colossal towers: The Great East Wall Tower and the Hexagonal East Wall Tower. One is inhabited by an enigmatic hermit and his horde of “pets”; the other is controlled by malign cultists of an ambitious sort.
  • Castle Fortress: Legend speaks of Zagyg’s Castle lying in a state of ruin, much like the walls and towers below it. But when that eldritch fog parted, the fortress of the Mad Archmage was revealed an intact and most imposing edifice. Now bandits hide out there, but even they live in fear of prowling and ravenous monsters, ghostly hauntings, weird machines, animated statues, and tricks and traps galore.
  • The Storerooms (Level 1): Below the castle fortress lies the first dungeon level of Castle Zagyg, where militant kobolds march and potent goblins congregate. Beware the tricks, the traps, and the whimsy enchantments of the Mad Archmage, for here begins the true zaniness of Zagyg, the Mad Archmage who invites all adventure seekers to engage in a bit of derring-do.
  • Upper Works Map & Illustration Booklet: This resource contains maps, floor plans, and dozens of illustrations that pertain to the adventure.

Castle Zagyg, Volume II: The Upper Works is the first of at least three boxed sets to comprise this unparalleled mega-adventure. Never before told, these adventures are Gary Gygax’s personal creations. For 30 years, whether at Gary’s table or on the convention floor, players have dashed themselves against the shoals of Castle Zagyg. So many have tried plundering these deeps of Gary’s favorite wizard that the dungeons have become legends throughout the gaming worldGary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg Volume III: The Dungeons

Beyond the gates and beneath the rooms of the mighty castle lie the upper chambers of the dungeons. Here, Zagyg gathered great store of supplies, built cellars and made room for the host of his minions. Too, he built a great Arena for his evil sport and opened the gate to the dread depths of the Ebon Well.

More than a Campaign Setting!

This third installment of the Castle Zagyg series brings the adventuring party beneath the ruins of the dread castle itself.

Gary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg Volume IV: The Deeps

In the Deeps, the true terror and horror of Zagyg’s mind was revealed, for here he built his laboratories. And ever his minions carted creatures great and small, proud and downtrodden to the rooms of the menagerie and these fed the vile experiments of his temper. The remains of tortures peopled his museum which led to the great ramp of the Inclined Way and the Catacombs beyond.

This fourth installment of the Castle Zagyg series brings the adventuring party into the labyrinthine corridors of the midlevels of the castle.

Gary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg Vol V: Chambers of Stone

Zagyg’s power burrowed into the deeps of the earth, where only dark things dwell. In these parts of the dungeons even his minions dreaded to go and they called these places the “Lairs” and the “Chambers of Stone”. Here were the lesser and greater Crypts, the Warrens and the nightmare of the Endless Rooms.

More than a Campaign Setting!

This fifth installment of the Castle Zagyg series brings the adventuring party into the caves of the underdark.

Gary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg Vol VI: A Lightless Lake
The foundations of Castle Zagyg were built upon the great caverns where sat the foul reek of the Pools of Chaos. Snaking from their deeps were a host of caverns, networks of tunnels that led to countless pits and the deep places of the earth. Here, all manner of evil came to dwell.

More than a Campaign Setting!

This sixth installment of the Castle Zagyg series brings the adventuring party into the magical worlds of Zagyg’s making and the heart of his dark realm.

Gary Gygax’s Castle Zagyg Vol VII: Zagyg’s Way

Beyond the confines of the dungeons of Castle Zagyg, in the deeps of the world, stands the Lightless Lake, bound only by the ever burning flames of the Infernos. Zagyg himself tread those halls with caution, and even then, only when girded in his greatest sorceries. For there, if the legends are believed, were the gates to other worlds . . . worlds of dread and death.

More than a Campaign Setting!

This seventh and final installment of the Castle Zagyg series brings the adventuring party to the point of no return.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.