Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Halls of the Dwarven Kings

 Does anyone remember this advertisement?

I remember seeing it in the pages of Dragon originally, but I was reminded of it again after reading issue #21 of Imagine. Part of something called "The Complete Dungeon Master" series, it was apparently a system-agnostic boxed set that included an adventure, an illustration booklet, maps, player handouts, and even a referee's screen designed to help keep all the details of the scenario straight – the kind of thing that Chaosium frequently did with its boxed sets for RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu and that TSR would later do for D&D

I never saw a copy of the thing, but I was intrigued by the advertisements. I believe there were several sequels to this set, though, again, I never saw them. If you owned a copy or even saw one in the wild, I'd love to hear about it.

11 comments:

  1. One of my friends has this and has run it in every edition of D&D as it is released; I think he likes it as a sort of "control" adventure to test the new edition's rules. I've played it once, just after D&D4 was released, but I don't remember a great deal.

    It was first published by Integrated Games, but almost all the contributors are known from their associations with Games Workshop, and I'm fairly sure that GW took over publishing the series at some point.

    Later on, this and the three other adventures in the series were revised and converted to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay as the Doomstones campaign, which is how I first encountered it. Obviously, by this point, GW had the publishing rights. :)

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    1. I think you are conflating this with the Dungeon Planner set from GW (I have #2). Those got smershed into WFRP once they got that off the ground.

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    2. nope, you are mostly right, they took these to WFRP in 92, according to the wiki entry. anyone else amazed that this minor product would have a wikipedia page?

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  2. I do seem to remember that advertisement, but can't recall the product. Here's some info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Halls_of_the_Dwarven_Kings

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  3. I have all four sets in this series. They share a love of detail in the presentation, maps, and text. They are intricate settings with lots of options for adventure and discovery. The creatures, traps, treasures, and such are mostly familiar content, but the presentation is wonderful. I use the Halls of the Dwarven King in a Harn game, when there was still no official material for the dwarf kingdom. This series, Harn, and a few others appeared around the same time, apparently a surge in super-detailed products. Thanks for the memory trigger, James!

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  4. I own it, but haven't used it in play. There's a scenario booklet and a character booklet. The stats therein are a mixture of AD&D and RQ, enough so that you could use the adventure with either system. There's also a scene booklet with pictures to show the players at various stages in the adventure a dozen card stock tiles to lay out to form the rooms, a DM screen showing how the tiles go together, and a number of handouts.

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  5. Just saw this on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Complete-Dungeon-Master-Set-1-THE-HALLS-OF-THE-DWARVEN-KINGS-ULTRA-RARE-/233563955602

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  6. I have a scan of Halls of the Dwarven Kings, if you'd like to read it.

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  7. I have volumes 3 and 4 of this series (and when I had a WHFRP collection, I had all the Doomstones series and noticed the connection). I wish I had got volumes 1 and 2. I'd love to work this into an RQ campaign sometime...

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  8. I had, I believe, three of them. I'd love to own them again, but not for the outrageous prices that people are asking. If anyone wants to part with theirs, I'd love to have a piece of my youth back.

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