Friday, April 24, 2015

The Brood Ventricle

In 1985 my grandmother gave me $10.00 to spend on my 12th birthday. It was the summer and I was staying at her home in Philadelphia for two weeks along with my sisters and a cousin. I still recall walking all the way to the Roosevelt Mall that day to find my way to Allied Hobbies. I spent time pouring over the shelves of goodies in the RPG section. Then an image caught my eye that I will never forget. It was a bright blue book with the most awesome looking skeletal creature on it I had ever seen. It was entitled the Fiend Folio and it appeared to be some lost tome of AD&D power! I spent the rest of the day reading through this birthday present filled with monsters of badassery.

The Githyanki in particular really resonated with me. Alien like creatures with withered skin stretched over bone wielding super awesome swords! After learning some of their backstory it made me look at the mind flayer in a new light. The githyanki inspired me to make my own gonzo material at a very young age.

It was not until many years later that I learned readers were first treated to the githyanki by Charles Stross in the pages of White Dwarf magazine. Furthermore, that the word githyanki was originally coined by no other then George R. R. Martin himself in his novel Dying of the Light. Now decades later the githyanki have survived multiple iterations of the D&D game. They remain as an icon of old school D&D and symbolize everything that is metal, lethal and off the hook.

I decided to enter the One Page Dungeon contest this year and used the githyanki as my adventure foundation. I wanted to make something that my 12 year old self would have dreamed up. Githyanki are known to incubate and hatch their eggs on the prime material plane. So I thought what better place than the buried heart of some ancient dead god. The Brood Ventricle is designed completely to be system agnostic so you can open up any edition and just plug the monster stats in. All you really need is your favorite version of githyanki, mind flayer or red dragon of the appropriate level.

I included the suggestion “for character levels 10-14” for two reasons. First to emphasize to any potential DM that this adventure is designed to be very hard if not downright lethal. Secondly it is a nod to some of my favorite early published AD&D material. The Brood Ventricle is an extradimensional space so I encourage you to expand upon it beyond the four corners of this one page dungeon.

The contest aside if I spun this adventure correctly it will have players grumbling about it around tables for years to come. So without further ado I present to you The Brood Ventricle!