Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lich Dungeon Level 2 is Out - It Has to be Better Than Level 1, Right?

In case you missed my coverage of the 1st Level of Lich Dungeon back in April of 2012, I'll link it here (it's actually a 3 part review)

In summary, it wasn't as bad as I had actually expected and pulled off the "1970's Nostalgia" fairly decently, but didnt compare well to more modern dungeon releases. Well, that and the "Non System Specific System" stat blocks were annoying as all hell. Reminded me a bit of Mayfair Games products, and not in a good way.

So, 15 months later Lich Dungeon Level 2 is out from Frank Metzner.

Is there an interest in having this reviewed?

Level 2 is about 50% larger in page count than level 1, but there was lots of bloat in the page count of level 1. So, there's lots of room for improvement or just repeating last year's annoyances.

If you are interested in a review, let me know and if there is enough interest I'll grab it in PDF.


  1. Yes! Please review!

    (Those stat blocks in the EE products are terrible, for no good reason.)

  2. I'm always eager to hear what folks have to say about megadungeons.

  3. The cover for some reason reminds me of a dungeon press conference and the denizens are not happy with the news.

  4. The Wife played in Mentzer's Lichdungeon NTRPGCon game, and had a blast. I'd be up to hearing what someone who "wasn't there" thought of it.

    1. Frank's a great DM (or was someone else running his Dungeon?) but there is a big difference between how a particular DM runs a dungeon and how the dungeon works as a published module. So is doesn't matter who 'was there' at NorthTex because what is being talked about isn't a Con experience. Erik's talking about the published adventure.

      I'd like to see a review on your dime, Erik. I say go for the pdf.

    2. I'm well aware of what Our Host is doing.

      And it actually matters to me, thank you kindly, to hear the differences between "the published version" and "an auditory retelling of what went down at the table".

    3. This is Frank's baby. He better be able to run it awesome and then some

      Actually, that goes for most published adventures / dungeons / etc. The author knows what never made it to the page.

      "Our Host?" I feel like a bodysnatcher victim ;P

  5. Surely you had enough the first time. What on earth makes you think its gotten any better?

    1. Perhaps EE responded to customer feedback? It's been known to happen.

  6. Having just read your first review (I missed it the first time) I'd say yes. Especially since it appears from your tone that over the months, your opinion has lessened from what it was. This post gave me the impression that overall you weren't impressed at all, and (my reading of) your first review gave the impression that overall you thought it was nice, but the stat blocks really annoyed you. So if for no other reason than to possibly resolve that dissonance, I vote yes.

  7. Yes, I'd love a review. Particularly since Frank says Level II is where things start to get good. From his FB post:

    Some reviews of Level One were, um, lukewarm. Yes, it's repetitive; that's the way it was, originally. Didn't change that part.

    Here's the secret: things don't get interesting until L2 and below. You can think of L1 as an intro, the lay of the land, the basic geographic template for what will come later.

    But before you can hit L2 you have to hit L1, and before that you have to figure out how to get INTO the place, and... well, you see the results.

    Level One came out a year ago, but Level Two just got released. Sorry, it took a while to get things in shape. L3 shouldn't take a year like L2 did.

    Here are just a few 'Designer's Notes' -- spoilers sorta but not severely -- about Level Two.

    Norks: These orc-nole hybrids are trying very hard to rise above their beastly origins. To maintain thair 'advanced' status, they combat their inner chaos by working within a rigid system of daily chores, even using water clocks to nail down the timing. I included 2 pages of timetables for those who want to keep track of the 100 or so on Level 2... and I also included a note saying "If you don’t want to precisely handle Nork locations and activity, then DON'T." In other words, have 'em your way.

    Loot for Brains: These are tough brain-teaser puzzles. Very tough. My partners think they're TOO tough. A long time ago I solved the puzzle problem: never put 'em in the way, always make 'em optional. These follow that system. You get a free magic item if you can figure out a puzzle. They're tough, very tough. Included only for that one guy in the group who loves 'em (while the others hate 'em). Good luck, smart guy.

    Homework: As usual, I leave some areas for the Game Master to customize. You can leave 'em empty if you don't want to do homework.

    Tocsin: This is the most dangerous thing in the whole dungeon, and it isn't a creature; isn't even magical. You'll have to read LD2 to find out the details.

    Souvenirs: Ever mindful of the value of good Public Relations, Chagur the Lich (boss of the place) has approved the manufacture and sale of various ‘Official Souvenirs' of Lich Dungeon. You'll find them in some of the 6 Shops.

    Shops: Okay, I confess; the proprietrix of the Textile Shop is a new creation, a skinny but pretty little gal named Taylor Quick. All the other shopkeepers are original, including the guy with Phoenix blood who comes back (in flames) if you kill him. No, he doesn't know where the Egg is.

    Gunge: In the original Fantasy game, we all love goops, globs, blobs, amoebae, and similar critters. The scientist within me was always bothered by this category; weren't they all variations on a theme, sorta? So I created Gunges, the "goop group" all in one bucket. Some of 'em do things you've seen before (paralysis, cold, poison, etc). Some of 'em do new things, like the nasty one that sucks the water out of your body before you even get close enough to whack it. Watch out for gunge, and remember the colors, so you'll know which does what.

    That's enough for now. An old friend named Angelia is in here (in masquerade), as is a robot (which needs repair), an in-joke about pole-arms, and a guy who's been stuck for 5 days 7 hours (another new addition; just think about it for a bit). The place is jam-packed with 'Easter eggs', bits that seem innocuous enough until you think about them for a while, other bits tied to the good ol' days at TSR with Gary, and more and more.

    Oh yeah, one last thing; WE FIXED THE MAP PROBLEM!


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