Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gygax and The Disappearing Dwarf

This Tomeful Tuesday, I am finishing up Chapter 7 in a series of short posts.  To illustrate his points regarding tactical mastery in Role-Playing Mastery, Gygax introduces a scenario title, The Disappearing Dwarf  (127).  He then gives a thumbnail sketch of three very different scenarios that could share that same title, one fantasy, one science fiction, and one espionage.  It is instructive to note that this is information that Gygax would give to players before play is commenced.  I also thought it might fuel someone's creative juices to see what Gygax wrote for such a hypothetical fantasy scenario (unrelated to the James Blaylock novel of the same name published a few years before).

Background: Fordor Goldenbeard, king of the Dwarfs of Grimberg, was one of the wisest and best rulers ever known to his folk.  A month ago, in the midst of a festival in his very court, Fordor the king was seated upon his throne before the assemblage one minute, then gone the next!  An immediate search of the palace was fruitless.  No trace of the king could be found.  Now civil war threatens the community of dwarfs as various factions contend for rulership of the kingdom (128).
General Information: Three factions in the dwarven court vie for power.  One group uniequivocally supports the vanished king, so the members of that group might be expected to assist the team.  The second and third are suspects.  The second has as its candidate for interim ruler the wife of Fordor Goldenbeard.  The third faction supports a cousin of the king.  All three factions proclaim a deep desire to find Fordor and return him to the throne if at all possible, but it seems likely that at least one faction is lying.  The following physical evidence is known: First, a thin circle of black dust appeared and fell to the ground, surrounding the throne.  Then the flames of all lights within the cavern chamber flared and instantly burned out just as Fordor vanished.  The king's gold cup, which he had been holding when he disappeared, was later found in the king's own bedchamber (129).

Current Situation: This is not given, but it would tell how the players got to the dwarven court and how they are situated.

No comments:

Post a Comment