Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Question Re. Stonehell

The author of Stonehell, Michael Curtis, wrote one of my favorite adventures, "The Fane of St. Toad."

I'm curious how Stonehell compares to The Fane; The Fane has giant toads, a CA Smith vibe, is lurid and pulpy, so it's completely up my alley.

I don't know much about Stonehell, but I get the impression it's a traditional BD&D dungeon with kobolds and the like, which doesn't seem to be my bag.

I'm wondering if I have a mistaken impression and Stonhell is indeed lurid and pulpy?


  1. Afraid that I'm not much help, i haven't picked up Stonehell.

    I just wanted to say that lurid and pulpy adventures are my favorites too. I'll have to track down "The Fane of St. Toad". Do you have a short list of other favorites along the same vein?

  2. I have only read the original Stonehell levels put out on the blog all that time ago, and I don't know how the finished product differs, but they didn't seem overtly pulpy.

  3. I'm leaning towards it not being your bag, baby. I think Stonehell is pretty dang awesome, but it doesn't strike me as going that far afield from the Basic/Expert ethos.

  4. Agree with Mr. Rients: Stonehell has a different flavor than Toad.

    It's a 'must have' piece though. It is laid out in sections and is loose enough that it could be re-flavored with ease.

    Perhaps mixing it with the free Zothique might work?

  5. I only have the free downloads, but I'd say it is worth a look. One of the modular sublevels heavily references Mutant Future, another has a mental hospital. If I was going to run a Planet Algol one-shot on short notice, I'd turn those into standalone dungeons. But that might just be me :)

  6. There's more than just orcs and kobolds. There's quite a bit of weird stuff, too. Not Planet Algol level weird, but definitely stuff I think you'd appreciate.

  7. Well it has the same designer so there are going to be certain elemental simularities, but for the most part, Stonehell is closer to your stock fantasy setting than high weirdness--all by design--so if you're expecting a larger Fane, you'll be disappointed.

    The good news is that the sequel gets weirder...

    As mentioned above, there are elements you'd probably enjoy (heck, the entire dungeon started out as the private prison of an evil tyrant who had the inmates dig their own jail and then fight to survive inside it) and the PDF is very cheap!

  8. I'm running a weekly online campaign right now with Stonehell and my group really digs it. My only complaint is that it forces the DM to flip pages around a bit more than I like, but the content and modularity of it more than makes up for that.

    As has been stated, it is rooted in stock B/X but has a very nice background and is an awesome dungeon sandbox. One could "weird it up" to Planet Algol standards very easily I think. It's hard to beat as an Old School Megadungeon. Again, given how easily it can be morphed into whatever you wish, I think the compelling question for a potential buyer is "do I need a really cool megadungeon"?

  9. Thanks guys!

    @ Michael: I'll check out the PDF, it sounds like there'll be some contents to my taste and the sequel sounds great! BTW, I'm guessing you'll be writing some lurid pulpy adventures in the future...awesome!

    @ Quibish: I'll try to hack together a blog post of my favorite lurid, pulpy adventures.