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Questions about Maze of the Blue Medusa

Maetco

Registered User
Validated User
Has anyone ran the module from start to finish?


  1. What was your reason for the party to enter the maze? Did you implement it into an existing campaign or run it on its own? Did the party have any actual quest/s relating the maze?
  2. What is the level of the party supposed to be throughout the campaign? The book suggests somethig like 1-4 if you want to keep the party on their toes all the time and 5-10 to make it easier. This got me to think, how on earth is a party of 4 level 5 characters supposed to survive this?! The GM is supposed to be throwing random encounters at the party all the time (every in-game 10 minutes + triggers), there are a lot of 10 - 20 HD named NPCs with full BAB, the maze is very long, and there are environmental hazards too. No level 5 party would ever survive that! So I realized that the party should probably get XP during the campaign and the suggested levels only represent the starting level. Is this right? If yes, what level should the party be (about) at the end of the campaign?
  3. How long (sessions / gaming hours) is the campaign? Of course each "try" is unique but how long did it take when you ran or played it?
  4. Has anyone used it outside D20 systems? It's supposed to be edition agnostic but also runnable with any system. I my self am not a fan of D&D and would be a lot more interested using some other system (eg. Fate).

Any general tips?
 

Yora

Registered User
Validated User
The key with encounters in this kind of modules is to avoid fighting. Because the odds are stacked so high against you it becomes really important to scout ahead, try to negotiate, or run away, with fighting being only the means of last resort.
These dungeons are not meant to be cleared of their occupants.
 

Blackwingedheaven

Crystal Human
Validated User
I just started reading this today. It may be one of the most sublimely weird things I've ever read in gaming, including Zak's previous game, A Red and Pleasant Land. I'm already thinking of reskinning this material for Godbound or Savage Worlds, depending on how vicious I want to be to my players.
 

Bubbles McGee

New member
  1. Has anyone used it outside D20 systems? It's supposed to be edition agnostic but also runnable with any system. I my self am not a fan of D&D and would be a lot more interested using some other system (eg. Fate).
Any general tips?
If you run it with Fate you don't have to worry about any sort of lethality. No character ever dies in Fate unless the player has given the GM, in advance, the authority to end the character. It's has to be a meaningful, collaborative death scene. Just let the players create the fluffy super snowflake characters that usually come from Fate and they'll just walk through it. It doesn't matter how many encounters they have. All their stress boxes are healed at the end of every encounter. There's no worrying about the next encounter because it's like the last one didn't happen. Any sort of equipment economy is hand-waved away so there's no need to try and leave the maze to stock up on supplies. And if something bad actually does manage happen to the players they can just say nevermind and use a fate point to undo it. They should finish it in a session or two.
 

Zounds!

Frog of Paradise
Validated User
The key with encounters in this kind of modules is to avoid fighting. Because the odds are stacked so high against you it becomes really important to scout ahead, try to negotiate, or run away, with fighting being only the means of last resort.
These dungeons are not meant to be cleared of their occupants.
Just to expand on this: it probably helps to imagine Maze of the Blue Medusa playing out more like Alice in Wonderland than the Mines of Moria. The players are strangers in a strange land; they go from room to room, interacting with strange objects, meeting strange people, having strange conversations, and trying to figure out what the hell is going on while not dying. The majority of encounters probably won't involve violence unless the PCs are being needlessly aggressive.
 

Dave R.

Registered User
Validated User
Has anyone ran the module from start to finish?
Sadly, no. I have another campaign ongoing, so I'm most likely to mine it for things like the room with the mosaic monster right now. And "to finish" is going to narrow the field even more, since I only recently got my print copy from the pre-order. I guess if someone started immediately with the pdf they could have.

Too, I'm reminded of the time I went looking for actual plays for Qelong. I was surprised and disappointed to find not that many, in comparison to the quality I saw in it. I came up with this completely untested theory that, by the time a GM sees the value in that class of book-setting-campaign, he's also probably capable of and interested in rolling up his own home brew, and may already be doing so. I group books like Qelong, Yoon-Suin, Red and Pleasant Land and now Maze of the Blue Medusa all into that general category: awesome, but probably best appreciated by GMs already kicking around worlds, campaigns, or mashups.

Any general tips?
Keeping in mind I haven't run it...

If your version of D&D doesn't have reaction rolls and morale, find one that does and copy that down. There's no need to roll when the text already has an initial attitude or response for a monster, which Maze is pretty good at. But it's still a pretty foundational assumption for a dungeon like this that the players aren't expected to, and shouldn't want to, fight everybody. Talking is good.

Fudge nothing, not to keep anyone alive, not to avoid a tpk, but also not to make a fight more challenging, more satisfying, a better story, or any other excuse to drag it out. If the players "cheat" - I mean not fudging dice, but bypassing or one-shotting or out-thinking an encounter, great. Congratulate them and move on. That campaign I am running is an old school clone where I'm rolling in the open, and I've been surprised by how much the players can run rampant over the map just by smart thinking and me being unbiased about my monsters and npcs going down like chumps if that's what the dice say.
 

Yora

Registered User
Validated User
Yoon-Suin is really mostly a toolkit that's much more suited to taking elements from it than as a complete world. There's also One Page Dungeon, which is just lots of single page content to be worked into running campaigns.
Maybe we're going to see a return to modules away from adventures and settings.
 

Dave R.

Registered User
Validated User
Yoon-Suin is really mostly a toolkit that's much more suited to taking elements from it than as a complete world.
That's another way you could use it, but saying that's what it really is massively underrates it. I'd love to run it as intended, rolling up the elements and finalizing the map. It'd take some time, but I think not more or much more than sitting down and fully familiarizing yourself with a game world in the Greyhawk/Eberron/Kingdoms of Kalamar vein. That it's not literally a full continent or globe the way game worlds used to be packaged doesn't make it incomplete as far as running a game in it.
 

akajdrakeh

Pronounced 'akkadrakka'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Has anyone ran the module from start to finish?
Not yet, but....


  1. What was your reason for the party to enter the maze? Did you implement it into an existing campaign or run it on its own? Did the party have any actual quest/s relating the maze?
I'm going to run it on its own, and I'm going to start with the PCs washing up on the rocky shore of the island where the maze exists, with only vague memories of their past lives and cooperatively building character histories as play (and exploration of the maze) progresses. I will probably run it using The Black Hack, plus a few supplements.
 

Particle_Man

White Knight
Validated User
What was your reason for the party to enter the maze? Did you implement it into an existing campaign or run it on its own? Did the party have any actual quest/s relating the maze?
The party misheard a bard, thought it was a blues fest, and hoped to go there and get stoned. ;)
 
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