Call for Nitpickery!

The next release of Castle of the Mad Archmage is intended to be the last in the series of free pdf’s detailing the “core levels”; levels 2 through 13 of the dungeon complex. I’m hoping to make the next release a definitive one, hoping not to have to put out a supplemental release to address any issues, and thus I send out the call to you, my faithful readers.

Do you have any questions, concerns, nitpicks, problems, inconsistencies, flubs, rules violations, typos, formatting issues, stairs not lining up, names not matching, etc. etc. etc. with the Castle as it currently stands? Steve has done Yeoman’s Work catching my mistakes (and Sweet Istus! is he an unsung hero of this project, as our volunteer proofreader, because I just plain can’t proof my own work), but a hundred eyes are better than six.

If there’s anything that’s caught your eye over the last year and a half that you think should be addressed, or at least looked into, I put out the call. Now’s the time to let us know! Please respond in the comments, and help put the final polish on the project.

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.

27 thoughts on “Call for Nitpickery!

  1. Nothing I've found so far (besides the outside connection to the catacombs that Galbrechin already pointed out, but it seems you're already on top of this) but I'll keep an eye out for you.

    Does this mean the sub-levels are on hold for the time being in favor of a well-deserved break and/or Emprise? Also, is there any chance of getting some more of those exciting poster maps?

    In any case, I want to thank you once again for all your hard work, I'm eagerly anticipating the chance to see how you wrap things up in the next/final core installment. Moreover, my party's finally going to leave the first level so it looks like I finally get a chance to run some of this tantalizing material.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. More of a question; I didn't know the Black Reservoir was on the lowest level, the Maze. Was this something your research discovered, or was this your call? Just interested in the background. Will you eventually be doing any sub-levels? Maybe the Watery caverns or other areas connecting to the dungeons? I'll miss waiting for the new releases once done!

  3. Oh, but having a few errors hidden inside really makes it "old school"! 😉

    Like baronkohinar, I too like the poster maps. I have been cutting and pasting your segments for the last several levels together and making my own anyway. It's nice to have a "Mad Archmage" overview.

    Level 13 The Maze… only 10 areas? The maps & 6 areas are done already?


  4. Our esteemed cartographer Joe has been sending me poster maps for all of the levels, I've just been remiss in posting them here.

    I'm planning on putting them all together in their own .pdf as a separate download, at the same time L13 goes out the door.

    Galbrechin: Who said the Black Reservoir was on the lowest level?

  5. To Galbrechin, The Black Reservoir is 3A from my recollection. And there's an outside connection from a subterranean river in a well outside a stone cottage in the forest. Encounter WD-4 in the Mouths of Madness.

    Good to hear the poster maps are back too. Did anyone else like the Undermountain-style ones of was it just me?

  6. I thought the blue/white maps were just fine. The "Undermountain" style is a bit too busy for my tastes. Just my 2 shekels worth!

  7. Table 10.1: Random Encounters
    Roll 1d6 every 6 turns, or more often if warranted (by PCs
    making excessive noise, etc.). On a roll of 1, a random
    encounter will take place.
    Roll Encounter
    1 2d4 huge spiders
    2 1 ochre jelly
    3 1d4 galltrits
    4 6d4 mites will set ambush
    5 2d8 giant aphids (see APPENDIX III: New
    Monsters for details)
    6 Pick monster from nearby room
    7 Pick monster from nearby room
    8 Pick monster from distant room
    9 Minor cave-in (if in natural cavern area,
    otherwise re-roll)
    10 Pick monster from Level 9: THE GREATER CAVES
    11 Pick monster from Level 11: THE GREATER
    12 Dungeon Dressing (use table 9.2)

    it should say table 10.2

  8. My only nitpick at your cyclopean endeavor is a couple of very distinctive "one off" features that are repeated on different levels, it seems unintentionally. I haven't gone through all the rooms but I noticed (rot13) gjb qvssrerag frkl qrzba frpergnevrf naq gjb qvssrerag fxryrgba zhfvp tebhcf. I trust you know the ones I am talking about.

  9. 22. DISORIENTATING ROOM. Note that all the passages
    leading to this room and #23 have 10’ high ceilings,
    as do the rooms themselves.
    This should read: "as does the room itself."

  10. 22. DISORIENTATING ROOM. Note that all the passages
    leading to this room and #23 have 10’ high ceilings,
    as do the rooms themselves. This room is lit by
    continual light, and has several large couches and
    tables upon which there is to be found a pitcher of
    wine and five goblets (worth 15 g.p. each), as well
    as two large wing-back chairs. Three rounds after the
    room is entered, all three doors will slam shut,

    should be "all four doors"

  11. Did I miss where the BR was detailed previously? 3A? I was aware of the well connection, but am drawing a blank on the rest.

  12. No, Galbrechin, it's just been referenced by areas that connect to it. For example, level 3, section 23:

    STAIRCASE. This narrow stair leads to level 3A, THE BLACK RESERVOIR. DESIGNERS NOTE: This sub-level was described by Gary Gygax in a magazine article entitled “The Expedition Into the Black Reservoir”, published in a still-unidentified magazine sometime in the early 1970’s and subsequently reprinted on line. It will be detailed herein eventually.

  13. If it helps, Joe:
    "The Expedition Into the Black Reservoir; a Dungeon Adventure at Greyhawk Castle" is from El Conquistador [a Diplomacy fanzine], Viking Systems, September 1975

    Sadly, I missed a copy of this on eBay a short while back. 😉


  14. Something I was wondering about was does the "Talisman of Zagy" have any use (powers/a purpose elsewhere in the dungeon) or is it just proof that you ran into Zagyg at some point?

  15. After some trouble posting here's what I WANTED to say! (And I have no idea why the original post was made as "Richard" as I have no account by that name. Go figure.)

    One nitpick I have is that the majority of the items found in Appendix II: New Magic Items do not have any X.P. or gold piece value listed.

    Those items that DO have such values listed are: Bigby's Rod (whihc is AWESOME by the way), Bowl of Seeing, Dart +1, and the Eternal Candle. The rest of the items do not have these values listed. Will this be something you'll be adding in a final edit?

    Also, one question regarding Table 12.2 Dungeon Dressing. The result for rolling a 9 on a d12 is "Marked on the wall in yellow chalk: "A.S. –>". I've only skimmed level 12 so far but am I missing something? Who or what is A.S.?

    Looking forward to seeing level 13 and the completion of the dungeon but when I also have to say that I already have a feeling like this will be over all too soon! It's truly been great seeing things take shape and I am interested in hearing more details about the eventual publication of the Castle of the Mad Archmage.

  16. "Those items that DO have such values listed are: Bigby's Rod (whihc is AWESOME by the way), Bowl of Seeing, Dart +1, and the Eternal Candle. The rest of the items do not have these values listed. Will this be something you'll be adding in a final edit?"

    yes, and you should indicate class which can use it, for example, Cleric for staff of the dragon.

    Also the map for level 12, room 49 is mislabeled 40

  17. (Taking a brief break from my long weekend offline to answer one quickie…)

    "A.S. –>" You ask?

    It's a sort of literary in-joke; you won't find the reference in the dungeon itself (like so many such references). Just another puzzle, but one that'll make sense if you get the reference. 😉

  18. Once the final version is out, I'd like to see a side view of the levels (and unpublished future sub-levels if possible) similar to what was done in the non-Gygax "Greyhawk Ruins". I'm also trying to get my head around where the Black Reservoir sits in between the 3 & 4th levels with all those staircases going through it. I'm such a geek about this stuff, glad you guys are too!

  19. Galbrechin: The Black Reservoir will be off to the side, not smack dab in between levels 3 and 4. It will not be released as part of the core levels.

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