Thursday, December 5, 2019

New Release - Castle Xyntillan (Funhouse Dungeon)

I'm borrowing the following from Rob Conley's Bat in the Attic Blog:
This begins with a story, back in the 2000's a bunch of folks were organized by Necromancer Games to flesh out Judges Guild's Wilderlands of High Fantasy. The project took a lot of work but finally saw the light of day. 
One of the author involved was Gabor Lux (also known as Melan). 
So as a follow up to the Wilderlands one of the project Necromancer Games was planning on was Tegel Manor and Gabor Lux was tapped as the author. We all knew him from his blog and other writings and was excited about seeing his take on the venerable adventure from Judges Guild
But alas it was not to be.
Instead, we now have Gabor Lux's take on what might have been, a haunted castle reimagined. With maps by none other than Rob Conley himself.
“The immense, rambling complex of Castle Xyntillan has stood in its mountain valley for many years. Built over several generations, it has now been deserted by its former owners, and left to time and the elements. However, that is not the end of the story, for Xyntillan’s fabulous treasures and Machiavellian deathtraps continue to fascinate the fortune-seekers of a dozen lands – and never mind the ghost stories!” 
A 132-page hardcover describing the three massive levels of the eponymous funhouse megadungeon, Castle Xyntillan has been designed for the Swords&Wizardry game, and is suitable for 1st to 6th level characters. Built on surrealism and dream logic, Castle Xyntillan has been designed to be versatile, open-ended, complex, and accessible - and always a bit mysterious. From the soaring tower of the Donjon to the inky depths of the Oubliette (and beyond), this module should provide ample opportunities for exploration, confrontation, and subterfuge. Whether you would like a dungeon for one-off expeditions and convention play, or repeated forays and full campaigns, this book should suit the demands of your campaign! 
With cover art by Peter Mullen, and interior illustrations by Denis McCarthy, Stefan Poag, Peter Mullen (again) and The Dead Victorians, Castle Xyntillan ships with four map sheets featuring GM’s and player’s cartography of the labyrinthine complex (the work of Robert S. Conley). Further free downloads are available at beyondfomalhaut.blogspot.com. 
Please note that your print order also makes you eligible for a free copy of the PDF edition, published a few months after the print version. PDFs will be delivered via DriveThruRPG to your regular e-mail address, unless you request otherwise.
You can grab a copy for 40 bucks plus shipping here


  1. I am confirming with Gabor that the $22 for shipping to the US is correct...

  2. Thanks for the mention, Tenkar! Much appreciated.

    Art: Yes, it is correct - that's how much it costs at the post (and it is still better than US-Europe shipping, which has exploded in the last few years). However, due to an odd pricing structure, the same rate applies to anything between 500-2000 grams (1.1 to 4.4 pounds), so extra items do not incur any additional shipping charges. Considering that Xyntillan + maps + the box it ships in is at ca. 850g, and my other modules are all under 100g individually, someone could theoretically get "everything else" and still stay within the limit. Not applicable to everyone, but the possibility is out there.

  3. What does "funhouse dungeon" mean?

    1. A dungeon more concerned (but not necessarily unconcerned) with fantastic encounters than rationalising the existence of the same. For example, a library in a regular dungeon might have rotting books, including a hidden magic scroll, while in a funhouse dungeon, it might have flying books, a ghost librarian, or a folio transporting the reader's party into a library-themed mini-dimension. Conventional logic vs. dream logic.

      The term comes from fairground funhouses, which have things like distorting mirrors, optical illusions, weird corridors, moving floor, etc. The original Castle Greyhawk (and most 1970s megadungeons) would now qualify as funhouse dungeons. With respect to Castle Xyntillan, this does not mean it is a dungeon with no rhyme or reason - but it is a place which often makes more sense on a thematic than a physical level. It is mostly a mixture of the two approaches.

  4. I received my copy a couple of days ago and just finished reading through it. It is a magnificent addition to the OSR megadungeon oeuvre. That is has been released at the same time as Frog God's new edition of Tegel Manor is serendipitous, as you can now buy both.

    It is arguably the best classic funhouse dungeon currently available in the tradition of Tegel Manor (of which I am aware), and is the premier spiritual successor to that grand-daddy of funhouse dungeons. It is a phantasmagorical Gothic adventure, a great ruined pile in which I am eager to bury my players... er, their characters, that is.

    I could not more highly recommend Castle Xyntillan. I will be putting up a full review on my blog in the early new year.

    December has been the best month in games for me all year, as I not only received this and Tegel Manor in the mail, but I also picked up Geoffrey McKinney's "Mike's Dungeon" (another amazing megadungeon of a completely different style), but also Geoffrey's "Wilderness" series, his new "Carcosa" gazetteers, and his "Crypt of the Lilac High Priest."

    All the above of which I will include in a brief overview on my blog shortly after Christmas... all fall under the "I wish I had written this" category of awesomeness.


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