Friday, 2 December 2022

The Sea Barons Primer


“What is the universe
but a lot of waves
And a craving desire
is a wave…”
― Jack Kerouac, Scattered Poems

“I looked upon the sea, it was to be my grave”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein


Basking in Sun
A casual observer to the Asperdi's ragged coasts might wonder, why in gods’ name would anyone want to live here?
Lashed by winds that never cease, these high cliffs and rocky shores are beat upon by an endless parade of rolling waves and spray that thunder and roar as though besieged by the wrath of those sea monsters the charts and maps invariably declare dwell east of here. Here be dragons, they say.
These Asperdis, they've gazed out on this, that long lonely frightening expanse of sea since before time reckoned. Since before the Aerdi came. Before the Suel. Indeed, even before those first Flan stitched their seagoing rafts together and ventured out into that unknown the elves had always warned them against. Here they landed, and here they stayed, perched above the cliffs, never knowing, but always wondering how vast that rolling sea stretched. Wondering if it might reach out into eternity. Where monsters really do dwell.
The Asperdi Isles are a hard, if plentiful, land. It's pleasant, even bucolic, once you scale the walls, and mount the grassy hills of the interior, where the sun basks the heights, and the crests and troughs undulate with grain and pastoral fields aplenty. Indeed, the coats are not all rocky, not all beaten upon by the sea. Where the iguanas give way to gentle coves and inlets, tall palms are weighed down with bananas and figs, with galda and plantains. Wild goats clamber over cliffs, and gulls wheel in numbers beyond belief. The seas here are as rich as any. It's no wonder those that crossed the Bay of Gates have clung as tenaciously to these islands as they have. And it's no wonder why they have each in turn fought as fiercely as they did against those who'd weighed anchor in their sheltered bays.
One would be mistaken in believing these lush lands to be paradise, though. They may look it, but its coastal cities are a dangerous place, where the "sharks" are as voracious above as those beneath the sea.
Dangers Below

There are as many raiders and pirates ashore as asea, both foreign and domestic; slavers plying their trade – don't judge 'em, everyone has a right to earn an honest living, don't you know –; and spies from every port the old salts can recall spying. And o'er the horizon? There are whispers of nagas and sea serpents beneath the waves. Talk of kraken and sahuagin and ancient civilisations that lurk in the dark depths, that rise up when the moons are new, tentacles wavin', tridents thirsty for blood, towers twinklin' in the pitch, depending on which you're alluding to. They beach ships, they do; and drag them down to the bottom of Dahsy Johs' Locker when they dive back down, the lot of them. Or so the old sharks say.
One might think it safer to sea, where all a shark has to worry over is keeping the coasts and trade routes safe from those pirates to the north and south, as we always have. Not that those lubbers inland give credit where its due. But that's always been the way, hasn't it?
Have I put the fear in you?
All I can tell you is to keep your mouth shut while you're here. You never know which side a listener is on. Or what he's listening for. Keep an ear tuned for a creak of a plank when you bunk down, whether in tavern or inn or still on your ship. And keep a hand on your dagger just in case there's someone skulking in the shadows, or some foul fishy thing has come out of the brine, drippin', slaverin', lickin' its lips. Do them things down there have lips? Or just teeth? Thoughts like that can keep you up at night, can't they?



Those who wish to campaign where the oerth is awash with swashbuckling swords and international intrigue will be well-suited by placing their game in the isles of the Sea Barons. Danger is everywhere, and no end to the possibility of adventure:
The Barons are caught between the south Province – the United Kingdom of Ahlissa, as it came to be known – and the North – the self-described Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy – each demanding loyalty; between the Twin Cities and Ratik, each professing good will; and betwixt wars waged upon the Flanaess and the machinations of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Barbarians raid the coasts from their icy north; and those swaggering pirates of the Lordship of the Isles are lurking to the south, poised to pounce from the narrows to the south. It's a good thing, then, that the Sea Barons don't trust any of them, because they are literally caught between a rock and the mysteries of the deep blue sea.


Inspiration can be found in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Nautical adventure might be inspired by the “Master and Commander” series, by Patrick O’Brian; as well as “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped,” by Robert Lewis Stevenson; and Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” and the film “Apocalypse Now” evokes tropical possibilities.
Further inspiration can be found in the “Golden Age of Piracy”: “A General History of Pyrates,” by Daniel Defoe; “Pirates: A complete History From 1300 BC to the Present day,” by Angus Konstrum; and “Pirates: A New History, from Vikings to Somali Raiders,” by Peter Lehr.
Might I also recommend: “Borderland Smuggling” Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820,” by Joshua M. Smith.


Country specific resources:
The most pertinent include:
Dragon #204 – The Twin Cities: A Strange Alliance
Dragon #206 – The Sea Barons
(Both of these are excerpts from Ivid the Undying by Carl Sargent, available here.)

Further details can be found in:
The Greyhawk Folio, The Greyhawk setting boxed set, Greyhawk Adventures, Greyhawk Wars, From the Ashes Boxed Set, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, and Dragon magazine #52,55,57,63,67
Dragon #116 – High Seas

To some extent you can adapt information on the lendore Isles to the Sea Baron's Asperdi Isles.
L1 – The Secret of Bone Hill
L2 – The Assassin's Knot


Adventures in this country include:
Greyhawk Adventures, Diver Down
Dragon #78 – Citadel by the Sea, Generic
Dungeon #3 – A Desperate Rescue, Generic
Dungeon #4 – Escape from the Tower of Midnight, Generic (Thieves)
Dungeon #6 – After the Storm, Generic
Dungeon #8 – For a Lady’s Honor, and Flowers of Flame, Generic (Thieves)
Dungeon #9 – The Ghostship Gambit, Generic
Dungeon #10 – They Also Serve, Generic (Thieves)
Dungeon #11 – Kingdom in the Swamp, and The Deadly Sea, and Wards of Witching Ways, Generic
Dungeon #12 – Light of Lost Souls, and Intrigue in the Deeps, Generic
Dungeon #66 The Sunken Shadow
Dungeon #14 – Stranded on the Baron’s Island, Generic
Dungeon #15 – The Wreck of the Shining Star, Generic
Dungeon #16 – Vesicant, Generic
Dungeon #34 – The Lady Rose, Generic
Dungeon #39 – Last of the Iron House, Generic
Dungeon #49 – The Dark Place, Generic
Dungeon #50 – The Vaka’s Curse, Generic
Dungeon #62 – Rat Trap, Generic (Thieves)
Dungeon #66 – The Sunken Shadow, Generic
Dungeon #74 – The Scourge of Scalabar, Generic
Dungeon #97 – Blind Man’s Bluff, Generic
Dungeon #107 – Dead Man’s Quest, Generic
Dungeon #116 – Death in Lashmire, Generic
Dungeon #125 – Seekers of the Forge, Generic
Dungeon #136 – Company of Thieves, Generic (Thieves)
Dungeon #156 – The Last Breath, Generic
Dungeon #107 – Dead Man’s Quest, Generic

- Sea adventures
- Serving abord naval, merchant, and privateer vessels
- Fending off pirates and raiders
- Reclaiming Leastile
- Scarlet Brotherhood agents, perfidious North and South Provinces!
- The Sinking Isles
- Sahuagin, Sea Elves, and Tritons
- Delving into the undeoerth beneath Tar Hill
- The Cauldron of Night
- Ancient ruins of Serpent Isle
- Expeditions into the eastern sea


Adventures in nearby areas include:
World of Greyhawk Gazetteer (Gold Box), Jungle of Lost Ships
World of Greyhawk Gazetteer (Gold Box) Werewolves of the Menowood
The Stolen Seal, World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, Ratik
The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga
Forge of Fury, Bone March
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Hepmonaland
I12 Egg of the Phoenix, Dullstrand (noted on Canonfire! It’s a bit of a stretch, but it you flip the map…)
S1 Tomb of Horrors, The Vast Swamp
Return to the Tomb of Horrors, The Vast Swamp
L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, Spindrift Isles
L2 The Assassins Knot, Spindrift Isles
L4 Devilspawn, Spindrift Isles (available on Dragonsfoot)
L5 The Kroton Adventures, Spindrift Isles (available on Dragonsfoot)
Dungeon #4 – Kingdom of the Swamp, Generic
Dungeon #37, The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb, Bone March
Dungeon #71 – Priestly Secrets, Spindrift Isles
Dungeon #84, Armistice, Griff Mountains
Dungeon #87, The Sharm’s Dark Song
Dungeon #87 – Glacier Seas
Dungeon #89 – Wedding Bells, South Province/Ahlissa
Dungeon #91 – Kambranex’s Mechinations, South Province/Ahlissa
Dungeon #95, The Witch of Serpent's Bridge, Schnai
Dungeon #121/Ghosts of Saltmarsh – The Styes, South Province/Ahlissa
Dungeon #123 – The Salvage Operation, Tivenot Peninsula
Dungeon #148, In the Shadows of Spinecastle, Bone March
Although later retconned into the Yeomanry, B1 Into the Unknown (in the monochrome edition) was originally suggested as located in Ratik. That would make north Ratik an ideal location for B1 Keep on the Borderlands, as well.

The Scarlet Brotherhood
Thunder in the Earth, Hepmonaland
Fire of the Worlds Heart, Hepmonaland
Death on Black Wings, Hepmonaland
Sky of Mourning, Hepmonaland
Pray to a Different God, Hepmonaland
Shaman, Hepmonaland

CH2 The Tears that Forever Stain, casl Entertainment, 2021, Hepmonaland
FB1 While on the Road to Cavrik's Cove, casl Entertainment, 2021, Ratik
LF1 The 9, from casl Entertainment, 2021, Medegia

- Oeridian Ruins and the Betching Vortex of Leuk-O (see: Kambranex’s Mechinations)
- Spy on the Lordship of the Isles/Scarlet Brotherhood
- Trade expeditions to Ratik, Sunndi, North Province, South Province
- Sea adventures upon the Solnor and the Aerdy Seas.
- Adventuring in the Lendore/Spindrift Isles.



SEA BARONS
The Great Kingdom (Kingdom of Aerdy): chaotic evil, lawful evil
Oeridian, [Aerdian], Common, Suloise
[Dragon #52 – 20]

Sea Barons: So [Dragon #55 – 18]
The Sea Barons CN [Dragon #52 – 18]
Sea Barons: chaotic evil, chaotic neutral; [Aerdian], Oeridian [Dragon #52 – 19]
Most of these geographically isolated areas were settled centuries ago by Suloise peoples fleeing the Oeridians; the Sea Barons have Oeridian and Flan influence as well. [TAB – 12]

576 CY
His Noble Prominence Sencho Foy, the Lord High Admiral of Asperdi; Commander of the Sea Barons (Fighter, 13th level)
Capital: Asperdi (pop. 7,100)
Population: 40,000+ [Folio – 15]
Population: 55,000 [WoGA – 33]
Demi-humans: Few
Humanoids: Few
Resources: None outstanding
[WoGA – 33/WoGA –17]

584 CY
Ruler: His Noble Prominence Basmajian Arras, Lord High Admiral of Asperdi, Commander of the Sea Barons
Capital: Asperdi
[FtAA – 36]

591 CY
Basmajian Arras
Proper Name: Dominion of the Sea Barons
Ruler: His Noble Prominence Basmajian Arras, Lord High Admiral of Asperdi, Commander of the Sea Barons (LE male human Ftr13)
Government: Independent feudal monarchy with hereditary leadership; a different noble family governs each island, but all owe fealty to Asperdi
Capital: Asperdi
Major Towns: Asperdi (pop. 8,100), Oakenheart (pop. 5,000)
Provinces: Three islands under government control, two islands not controlled
Resources: Seafaring technology and knowledge, shipbuilding supplies
Population: 154,000—Human 79% (So) [Sof, as per all text references], Halfling 9%, Elf 5%, Dwarf 3%, Gnome 2%, Half-elf 1%, Half-orc 1%
Languages: Common
Alignments: CN*, CE, NE, N
Religions: Procan, Xerbo, Osprem, Norebo, Syrul, Kurell, Nerull, Ralishaz, Celestian
[LGG – 98,99]



“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner





One must always give credit where credit is due. This Primer is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is exhaustive.
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.
It has been expanded from the original postcard found in Canonfire’s “Touring the Flanaess” index, written by Sean “Ket Onwall” W. and some passages from that scholarly work reside with this piece.


The Art:
Sea Barons map, by Dave Sutherland, from Dragon #206, 1994
Dungeon #66 cover art, by Stephen Daniele, 1998
Bullywugs, by Erol Otus, from I6 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, 1981
The 9 cover art, by Daniel Govar, from LF1 The 9, casl Entertainment, 2021
Sea Barons Heraldry, from the World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983

Sources:
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
9025 World of Greyhawk Folio, 1981
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
2023 Greyhawk Adventures, 1989
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
9577 The Adventure Begins, 1998
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
11743 Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, 2000
Dragon Magazine
OJ Oerth Journal, appearing on Greyhawk Online
Living Greyhawk Journal
Greychrondex, Steven B. Wilson
Greyhawkania, Jason Zavoda
Anna B. Meyer’s Greyhawk Map

Friday, 25 November 2022

Thoughts on S1 Tomb of Horrors


“We’ll never survive!”
“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride


S1 Tomb of Horrors
In the far reaches of the world, under a lost and lonely hill, lies the sinister TOMB OF HORRORS. The labyrinthine crypt is filled with terrible traps, strange and ferocious monsters, rich and magical treasures, and somewhere within rests the evil demi-lich.
[S1 Tomb of Horrors – 1]

That’s evocative, isn’t it? A labyrinthine crypt, terrible traps, ferocious monsters. All those things scream early D&D play, making this adventure module reputedly most iconic and fabled adventure of all times. Everyone who has ever played D&D has heard of it, even if they’ve never actually played it, or even peered within its covers. I wonder how many have, played through it, that is? Fewer than those who ventured into the Caves of Chaos, surely. I suspect that far few survived the ordeal. It’s not a hack and slash adventure. Indeed, there’s precious little combat to be had at all in it. But there is a fair bit of misdirection, and just as many traps. It’s a tomb, after all – Acererak’s tomb – not an invitation to the bold to come-one, come-all and take what’s presumed deservedly theirs for having ventured in. Acererak desires his resting place left alone, even forgotten, and he went to great lengths to ensure just that. He has been successful in regard to his first desire, thus far, if not in the second. The location of his tomb remains a mystery, no matter how many wizards and sages may have tried to divine its whereabouts; but he and it have certainly not been forgotten.

The legend of the tomb is an old story with many parts, some of which may be lost or obscured. [S – 2]
Possible locale of the Tomb
1) The highest hill on the Plains of Iuz
2) An island (unmapped) in the Nyr Dyv
3) In the Bright Desert
4) At the western border of the Duchy of Geoff
5) Somewhere in the Vast Swamp south of Sundi [sp]
6) On an island beyond the realm of the Sea Barons
[S – 2]

Acererak is something of a mystery – a legend, in fact. What’s known depends on what side of the DM screen you happen to be sitting on; PCs should know little, players less, and DMs a fair bit, depending on how many resources they have at their disposal.
Little is known concerning the being called Acererak, for the name was ancient when eastern Oerik was still ruled by the Flan peoples, and the frightening tales of the Tome of Horrors had long been a part of the folklore throughout the Flanaess when the Kingdom of Aerdy was but an idea posed by an Oeridian chieftain. [Dragon # 225 – 53]
Acererak is ancient, then. And his name still raises the hackles of those who hear it uttered. Deservedly so, as he appears to have been a sadistic tyrant in his time.
While alive, Acererak built an unholy temple in the name of a now deceased power. When the project neared completion, he slew every worker, excavator, and consecrating priest who had assisted in the temple’s construction. The murderer instructed his few remaining servants to place the dead and their effects into the lower catacomb level of the temple, which was sealed off and paved over, consigning the mass grave to memory. Eventually, Acererak succumbed to the lure of lichdom, refusing to allow age and infirmity to end his existence. [Dragon # 249 – 38]
He was also reputedly as dangerous dead as he was alive. Liches tend to be, aren’t they?
What can be said, however, is that if Vecna was the most powerful lich ever to walk the face of Oerth, Acererak was a close second, for only a being of great might could strike so much fear into the hearts of men yet remain mostly absent from the eyes of history. [Dragon # 225 – 53]

How ancient was Acererak, anyway? Truly, apparently, if he lived at the dawn of Flan civilisation. His longevity as a lich is what one might call impressive, as well, if he was still out and about thousands of years after having risen to his undeath.
45 CY (5516 SD)
Acererak
Rumours of a powerful lich, Acererak, building a stronghold in the Vast Swamp caused some alarm, as the Brotherhood feared another magical war with possible cataclysmic consequences – especially as the undead mage was presumably unconcerned about any damage to the local ecology.
[SB – 4]
That he was of concern to the Kingdom of Shar is as impressive, to my mind. I wonder, though, why there is no mention of Acererak’s demesnes in the annals of the Kingdom of Aerdy? Then again, perhaps there is. Aerdy never did venture into the Vast Swamp, or not deeply into it, as far as we know.
There are many tales and legends concerning this area, but the most likely is that of the lost burial place of the demi-lich, Acererak, who once ruled the morass and beyond into the cockscomb of Tilvanot. [WoGA – 51]
There are many tales and legends concerning this area, especially in old times before the wild swamp was as extensive as it is now. The most oft-told one is that of the demilich Acererak, who is said to have ruled the swamp in the distant past and now has his burial place somewhere within its confines. [FtAA – 60,61]
Perhaps the Kingdom of Aerdy knew more than they cared to admit, preferring to extoll their successes, their greatness, rather than their failures and humiliations.

There’s a great deal more backstory, if you’re privy to Bruce Cordell’s Return to the Tomb of Horrors, but that lengthy boxed set is another creature altogether. It’s 2nd Edition, and bares little resemblance to its progenitor, to my mind.
Is the Return as celebrated as the first? I believe not. The Return does not spark the same level of interest or discussion, either, I believe.
Why’s that, I wonder? Might that be because the sequel is meant to be an epic adventure, while the original challenges players and not PCs?
Perhaps.
The original Tomb is daunting in its introduction.
Somewhere under a lost and lonely hill of grim and foreboding aspect lies a labyrinthine crypt. It is filled with terrible traps and not a few strange and ferocious monsters to slay the unwary. It is filled with rich treasures both precious and magical, but in addition to the aforementioned guardians, there is said to be a demi-lich who still words his final haunt. (Be warned that tales told have it that this being possesses powers which make him nearly undefeatable!) Accounts relate that it is quite unlikely that any adventurers will ever find the chamber where the demi-lich Acererak lingers, for the passages and rooms of the Tomb are fraught with terrible traps, poison gases, and magical protections. Furthermore, the demi-lich has so well hidden his lair, that even those who avoid the pitfalls will not be likely to locate their true goal. So only large and well-prepared parties of the bravest and strongest should even consider the attempt, and if they do locate the Tomb, they must be prepared to fail. Any expedition must be composed of characters of high level and varied class. They must have magical protections and weapons, and equip themselves with every sort of device possible to insure their survival. [S – 2]
This was written for the DM, obviously. Little of this information (none, actually) could possibly be known by the PCs, because no one has discovered the location of the tomb, to date. It is still sealed when they first arrive, and no one has tampered with it in any way since Acererak laid his weary head to rest.
And no wonder: Weeks, if not months have been spent in investigating each of those widely placed possibilities, and trekking through the hellish morass to stand at the foot of his barrow.
The Vast Swamp
The party has arrived at the site of the demi-lich’s last haunt. Before them is a low, flat topped hill, about 200 yards wide and 300 yards long. Only ugly weeds, thorns, and briars grow upon the steep sides and bald top of the 60 high mound. There are black rocks upon the top of the hill, and if these are viewed from a height of about 200’ or so above the mound, it will be seen that the whole is shaped like a human skull, with the piles of rock appearing as eye holes, nose hole, and the jagged teeth of a grinning death’s head. A thorough inspection and search of the entire area will reveal only that the north side of the hill has a crumbling cliff of sand and gravel about 20’ high in about the middle of the whole. […] A low stone ledge overhangs this eroded area, and shrubs and bushes obscure it from observation at a distance.
[S – 2]
Is Acererak’s tomb in the Vast Swamp? We all declare it to be so, now, but that was not the case, originally. That list of potential locations was just that, then, when published. It did not need to even be in Greyhawk at all; and to a great many games, it very likely wasn’t – such was the way of plug-and-play. So long as there a swamp, a marsh, a bog, a wetland nearby, you were good to go, so long as it was vast and mysterious, uncharted and dangerous. But that was then; this is now. It’s widely accepted that Acererak’s tomb is in the Vast Swamp (unless you don’t want it to be, that is).

Acererak's Tomb
What follows is what divides players.
As clever players will gather from a reading of the Legend of the Tomb, this dungeon has more tricks and traps than it has monsters to fight. THIS IS A THINKING PERSON’S MODULE, AND IF YOUR GROUP IS A HACK AND SLAY GATHERING, THEY WILL BE UNHAPPY! In the latter case, it is better to skip the whole thing than come out and tell them that there are few monsters. It is this writer‘s belief that brainwork is good for all players, and they will certainly benefit from playing this module, for individual levels of skill will be improved by reasoning and experience. If you regularly pose problems to be solved by brains and not brawn, your players will find this module immediately to their liking. [S – 2]
Is the module unfair? Capricious in intent? Is it purposely lethal? Was Gary Gygax out to kill your players’ characters? Of course not. He was out to challenge HIS players, Ernie Gygax and Rob Kuntz, specifically.
There were several very expert players in my campaign, and this was meant as yet another challenge to their skill – and the persistence of their therefore-invincible characters. Specially I had in mind foiling Rob Kuntz’s PC, Robilar, and Ernie Gygax’s PC, Tenser. [RttToH – 3]
Must I mention that they survived? And that others who’ve played through it have, as well?

You will too if you’re cautious. If you’re attentive.
There are clues everywhere, some disguised as taunts:
"ACERERAK CONGRATULATES YOU ON YOUR POWERS OF OBSERVATION. SO MAKE OF THIS WHATEVER YOU WISH, FOR YOU WILL BE MINE IN THE END NO MATTER WHAT!
Entering Acererak's Tomb
Go back to the tormentor or through the arch,
and the second great hall you'll discover.
Shun green if you can, but night's good color
is for those of great valor.
If shades of red stand for blood the wise
will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of
magical metal – you're well along your march.

Two pits along the way will be found to lead
to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall.
These keys and those are most important of all,
and beware of trembling hands and what will maul.
If you find the false you find the true
and into the columned hall you'll come,
and there the throne that's key and keyed.

The iron men of visage grim do more than
meets the viewers eye.
You've left and left and found my Tomb
and now your soul will die."
[S1 – 3]

Shall I disclose what lies within? No. Good Lord, why would or should I? It’s not that I haven’t done as much with other classic modules. But this one is different. There are no plot elements to unravel or piece together.  No complex web of NPCs and encounters. It’s a collection of tricks and traps and death magic. To deluge them is to ruin the experience. If you’ve played through this you know what’s in store; if you haven’t, I wouldn’t wish to spoil your fun, or relieve you of the tension that is sure to twist your guts into knots throughout your delve. Besides, more than many have waxed upon this adventure already, probably to great effect than I might. Moreover, it’s been updated and expanded upon over the years. 
Acererak
  • In 1987 it was included as part of the abridged super-module Realms of Horror.
  • In 1998, as mentioned above, it was treated to a substantial expansion and sequel in 2nd edition’s Return to the Tomb of Horror.
  • It was re-released in 2005 as a free download by WotC, updated for 3.5e.
  • It was realised as the novel Tomb of Horror in 2002.
  • In 2010, two Tomb of Horrors were created for 4e.
  • The original was published again in 2013 along with all four “S” modules in Dungeons of Dread.
  • Recently, in 2017, it was updated yet again for 5e in Tales from the Yawning Portal; and it was adapted as part of the Tomb of Annihilation campaign.
  • If that were not enough, it was included in the 2018 special edition of Art and Arcana and was “included” in 2019’s Infernal Machine Build, insofar as characters could travel back in time to its construction.
That’s a lot of love over the years. That’s a lot of spoilers over the years, too.
So why should I not, too? I prefer to leave well enough alone, lest those few people who are not familiar with the original might enjoy it as it was intended.

Do I like it? I do. Of course I do. I love it. I didn’t risk a character in it, though, preferring a pregen instead. Good thing, too: I, we, did not see its end. In my, our, defence that might be because it designed for a specific style of play, one quite dissimilar to ours when attempted. You’d think then that I would not have fond memories of it; but I do, and I still do reminisce on it, picking it up on occasion to leaf through its scant pages and its exemplary art booklet (a practice fallen into disuse, sadly), to thrill at how imaginative it was, how it reflected the style of play of its day, and how it inspired what was to come. I marvel at how obviously beloved it still is, considering how many times it’s been revisited. And how reviled it is by some.  Maybe that’s why it’s ranked 3rd greatest adventure of all time in Dungeon magazine: because it’s so polarizing.
The Green Devil Face
It’s worth the read, if you’ve never, if only to learn how a tomb should be, or could be, designed. It’s not a dungeon, insofar as others are. No one lived there, worshipped there in secret, plotted there, sallied out from it, or did what others have done in innumerable others. Someone, some thing, was secreted there, and it wanted to safeguard its possessions, its relics, its secrets.
Is the tomb realistic? Not really. It bares no resemblance to any of the tombs of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, nor Saqqara, nor Celtic burial barrows. It’s like no other in the real world. Those barrows and tombs are true crypts, religious in nature, not puzzles to be puzzled over, mazes to be mapped, death traps to survive. I might mention, though, that very few of them, if any, have green devil faces, teleportation portals, or orbs of disintegration.


“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
― Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems





One must always give credit where credit is due. This post is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.


The Art:
Cover Art, by Jeff Dee, from S1 Tomb of Horrors, 1981
Interior cover art detail (originally Monochrome cover art), by David Sutherland III, from S1 Tomb of Horrors, 1981 (1979)
Jungle, from pg. 9, Tomb of Annihilation, 2017
Tomb corridor, by David A. Trampier, from S1 Tomb of Horrors, 1979,1981
Acererak, from pg. 145, Return to the Tomb of Horrors, 1998
Back Cover Art, by Erol Otus, from S1 Tomb of Horrors, 1981

Sources:
1015 World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, 1983
1162 Return to the Tomb of Horrors, 1998
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
1064 From the Ashes Boxed Set, 1992
9022 S1 Tomb of Horrors, Monochrome edition, 1978
9022 S1 Tomb of Horrors, Green cover, 1978,1981
11374 Scarlet Brotherhood, 1999
Dragon magazine, #225, 249
Greyhawkania. by Jason Zavoda
The Map of Anna B. Meyer

Friday, 18 November 2022

Bigby’s Spells


“Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.”
― Dylan Thomas


Bigby the Archmage
Bigby’s spells: We all know what they’re about: Hands.
Interposing, Forceful, Grasping, Clenching, or Crushing hands. Or so they were until the Greyhawk Adventures Hardback was published.
They’ve broadened their scope a little since the 1e PHB was published, but the first thing I note about Bigby’s spells, even the latter ones, is that they are all evocation spells. The second thing I note is that they were all martial in the beginning, before James Ward began to mix them up a bit, even if they remain dedicated Gary’s initial theme. They are evocations meant to interact with the physical world. Violently, mostly. Most later spells continue to be martial, but there are a few that deviate from that initial intent: the Bookworm Bane, the Dextrous Digits, the Sculptures, and the Construction Crew. How useful they might be in an adventuring campaign is debatable; but these at the very least bestow a little imagination on Bigby’s creations.
Do the spells mirror the man?
Who is the man, then?
Bigby is a somewhat retiring and secretive man [.] [WG5 – 31]
[H]e conforms to the traditional role of the wizard, pale and studious. [Rogue Gallery 1e – 40]
[H]e is known for being cautious, quiet, nervous and puritanical. [PGtG – 22]
The mark to which Bigby adheres is simply “Caution.” [WG5 – 31]
Thus far, they don’t. But when we consider that Mordenkainen took Bigby in tow and again ventured into the dungeons [,] [Dragon #289 – 28] Bigby might have learned early on that “fists” and “battering rams” and the like were rather useful down there; and he might also have been coached by his perpetual mentor, Big M, that such spells might be just the thing to research.
Yet, despite how useful “lockpicking” hands might be while dungeon delving, the thought didn’t occur to Bigby, apparently; indeed, there are no initial “touchy-feely” type hands to speak of; no early “lifting,” or “sorting,” or “door opening” hands developed, at all. That seems a bit of an oversight, it would seem. There were, however, Interposing, Forceful, Grasping, Clenching, and Crushing hands. Why, one wonders, were those early spells so combat oriented? The question seems a little rhetorical, these days, I believe, regardless how many fighter-types there might be about, what with Robilar and Terik and Yrag clanking about nearby. My theory is that Bigby—the perpetual apprentice, once—was just a second set of spells for Gary Gygax to cast in combat situations. That makes Bigby less an apprentice and more a glorified henchman, to my mind. Not a real character, at all, really.
Bigby outgrew that role, I expect, thankfully. So too did his spells outgrow his original one-trick-pony purpose, too. The final tally? Combat oriented 10. Non-combat 7. Not quite 50/50, but he was getting there.


Level One
Bigby’s Bookworm Bane
Bigby’s Feeling Fingers

Level Two
Bigby’s Dextrous Digits
Bigby’s Silencing Hand

Level Three
Bigby’s Pugnacious Pugilist

Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet
Bigby’s Construction Crew
Bigby’s Force Sculpture

Level Five
Bigby’s Fantastic Fencers
Bigby's Icy Grip (4e)
Bigby's Interposing Hand
Bigby’s Superior Force Sculpture
Bigby’s Strangling Grip

Level Six
Bigby’s Besieging Bolt
Bigby’s Forceful Hand

Level Seven
Bigby's Grasping Hand

Level Eight
Bigby’s Most Excellent Force Sculpture

Level 9
Bigby's Crushing Hand


Bigby’s Bookworm Bane (Evocation)
Components: V, S, M
Range: 20 yds
Casting Time: 1 segment
Duration: 1 turn/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect Special
Explanation/Description: This spell is used to seek out and destroy one of the most feared enemies of the mage: the bookworm. When cast, the spell creates a disembodied hand that will search through a library and crush all bookworms it finds. The hand can search through 100 books or scrolls per round, seeking out bookworms with a 95% chance of detection. Once a worm is found, the hand will pursue the bookworm relentlessly, attacking with the skill of a fighter equal in level to the caster. A successful hit by the hand means the bookworm is instantly crushed to death. The hand possesses a strength of 8, so it can move aside books and scrolls in pursuit of a fleeing bookworm. The hand cannot be harmed by physical attacks, but it can be destroyed by four or more points of magical damage. The hand is incapable of performing any other function or combatting any other foe. Bigby uses the spell periodically to safeguard his valuable library. The material component is a child-sized glove made of tough leather.
[GA – 51]

Bigby’s Feeling Fingers (Evocation)
Level: 1
Components: V, S, M
Range: 60 yds
Casting Time: 1 segment
Duration: 1 hour + 1 turn per level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell calls into existence a disembodied hand under the caster’s command. The hand cannot hold, grasp, or carry, but it does have an amazingly sensitive sense of touch. The hand’s sense of touch is so fine that it can note miniscule cracks, separations, or openings in a surface, and thus detect the presence of a secret or concealed door with a 50% chance of success. The hand can search a 10 foot by 10 foot area each turn. The hand cannot be destroyed by physical attacks, but it is dispelled if dealt four or more points of magical damage. The hand can trip a nonmagical trap if the location of the trap is known. The material components for the spell are a child-sized silk glove and a swan’s feather.
[GA – 51]

Bigby’s Dextrous Digits (Evocation)
Level: 2
Components: V, S, M
Range: 90 yds
Casting Time: 2 segments
Duration: 3 turns/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell summons into existence a pair of disembodied hands that will follow the mage’s every order. The hands can perform all the functions of an unseen servant, but can also accomplish deeds requiring fine coordination, such as tinkering with tools, working with laboratory equipment, sculpting, painting, or playing a musical instrument. The hands can perform any task the caster can accomplish, including non-weapon proficiencies known by the mage. The hands will perform with a dexterity equal to that of the caster. Each hand can hold and carry up to 200 g.p. weight individually, or 500 g.p. weight together. The hands can move no farther apart than the caster’s own hands. The hands can move 120 feet per round, regardless of weight carried, but can move no farther than 90 feet away from the caster or they vanish. The hands cannot act out the somatic component of a spell. The hands cannot wield a weapon in melee or punch or grapple. Although the hands are immune to physical attacks, they can be destroyed by six more points of magical damage. The material component is a pair of gloves embroidered with the mage’s initials.
[GA – 51]

Bigby’s Silencing Hand (Evocation-Enchantment)
Level: 2
Components: V, S, M
Range: 40 yds
Casting Time: 2 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: This spell creates an appropriately sized hand that will fly toward the chosen creature and clamp tightly over the creature’s mouth unless the creature makes its saving throw. A creature affected by the spell will be unable to talk clearly, cannot cast any spell requiring a verbal component, or use a magical item triggered by an audible command word. The hand cannot be pulled away from a creature’s mouth or be harmed by a physical attack, but can be destroyed by six or more points of magical damage, although most magical attacks carry the risk of harming the affected creature. A successful dispel magic spell destroys the hand without injury to the creature. The material component is a cloth glove smeared with sticky syrup or honey.
[GA – 52]

Bigby’s Pugnacious Pugilist (Evocation)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: 60 yds
Casting Time: 3 segments
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell creates a pair of man-sized hands, appearing as clenched and padded fists. The hands pummel with the effectiveness of an 18/50 strength fighter of one-half the caster’s experience level. The hands together fight as a character with AC 4 and 3 hit points per level of the mage. The hands are dispelled when they run out of hit points. The hands can pummel only, and cannot hold a weapon or grapple. The hands cannot be grappled or overborne, since they can easily flit away. The material components are a mitten stuffed with cotton and a brass bell.
[GA – 52]

Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet (Evocation)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 60 yds
Casting Time: 4 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell brings into existence a shimmering violet force shaped like a battering ram with a clenched fist as the ram’s head. The force assumes a cylindrical shape 12 feet long by 2 feet in diameter, but the caster can shorten its length to 3 feet in order to fit in a cramped space.
The spell acts as a battering ram of great power, destroying a normal door with one hit, destroying a reinforced door with three hits, destroying a stone door with five hits, and having a 50% chance to destroy a metal door (the spell is destroyed if the gauntlet fails). Only one attack can be made per round, as with any ordinary battering ram. Used against a smaller physical obstruction, such as a dungeon door or metal grate reinforced with magic, a saving throw is made for the door at the level of the mage who cast the reinforcing spell on the door. If the save is successful, the gauntlet spell is destroyed. If the save fails, the gauntlet spell begins working on the door.
Against a living target, the ram has no effect. The caster must always remain within 60 feet of the ram or it will dissipate. The ram cannot be damaged by physical attacks, but it can be destroyed by magical damage if it suffers one-half the number of hit points of the caster. Dispel magic or disintegrate spells can also destroy the gauntlet. The spell cannot be used to open chests or batter anything but a door. It only functions against portals that are designed to open at some time. The material component is a metal rod with a chain mail gauntlet slipped over one end.
[GA – 53]

Bigby’s Construction Crew (Evocation)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 120 yds
Casting Time: 1 turn
Duration: 12 hours
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/description: This spell creates as many pairs of hands as the caster’s experience level. All of the hands come equipped with carpentry tools. The hands do the work of a construction team equal in ability to any crew of professional carpenters, masons, miners, or sappers. The hands never need to rest or eat. Each pair performs as one worker. They are unable to fight or inflict physical damage on anything. They cannot be destroyed by non-magical means and each pair has as many hit points as the caster has levels. The material components include an assortment of miniature tools, worth at least 500 g.p.
[GA – 52]

Bigby’s Force Sculpture (Evocation)
Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 30 yds
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: 1 turn/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This very flexible spell enables the mage to create a visible plane of force that can be shaped into any form the caster wishes. The caster could create a table, ladder, club, bucket, stilts, or cane, for example. Once an object is formed, it retains its form for the duration of the spell. The object imitated must be fairly rigid, can have no moving parts, cannot have a sharp point or edge, and cannot possess finely detailed features. A rope, long bow, sword, chariot, or accurate statue cannot be created with the spell. All objects formed out of force cannot be harmed by physical attacks, but can be dispelled by magical attacks that inflict more points of damage to the object than the creator’s hit points. Up to one cubic foot of matter per level of the caster can be simulated. The material component for the spell is a lump of soft clay with diamond dust mixed into it.
[GA – 52]

Bigby’s Fantastic Fencers (Evocation)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 60 yds
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell creates one hand for every three levels of the caster, each of which holds a long sword. Each hand fights with the skill of a fighter of one-half the experience level of the caster. Each hand is AC 2 because of its small size and speed, and each can sustain 15 points of damage before being dispelled. Each fencer is capable of disarming an opponent and does so on a roll four greater than the roll needed to hit. A fencer likewise disarmed of its sword is dispelled automatically. The caster need not concentrate on the fencers to keep them functioning, but only has to give them orders as if they were henchmen. The material component is a small, silver amulet shaped like a mailed gauntlet holding a gem-encrusted sword, worth at least 1,000 g.p. (this vanishes when the spell is cast).
[GA – 52,53]

Bigby’s Icy Grasp (4e)
You conjure a giant floating hand made of chiseled ice that clutches a foe and freezes it. 
Daily
Arcane, Cold, Conjuration, Evocation, Implement 
Standard Action 
Ranged 20 
Effect: You conjure a 5-foot-tall hand of ice in an unoccupied square within range. The hand lasts until the end of your next turn. When the hand appears, it immediately makes the following attack. While the hand persists and doesn’t have a creature grabbed, you can use a standard action to command it to make the attack again or a move action to move it up to 6 squares. 
Target: One creature adjacent to the hand 
Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex 
Hit: 2d8 + Intelligence modifier cold damage, and the hand grabs the target. The hand uses your Fortitude or Reflex if the target attempts to escape. You can end the grab as a free action.
Sustain Minor: The hand persists until the end of your next turn, and a creature grabbed by the hand takes 1d8 + Intelligence modifier cold damage.
[Dragon #401 - 57,58]

Bigby's Interposing Hand (Evocation)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 1"/level
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: Bigby's Interposing Hand is a large to huge-sized magic member which appears and places itself between the spell caster and his or her chosen opponent. This disembodied hand then remains between the two, regardless of what the spell caster does subsequently or how the opponent tries to get around it. The size of the Hand is determined by the magic-user, and it can be human-sized all the way up to titan-sized. It takes as many hit points of damage to destroy as the magic-user who cast it. Any creature weighing less than 2,000 pounds trying to push past it will be slowed to one-half normal movement. The material component of the spell is a glove.
[PHB 1e – 79]

Bigby’s Superior Force Sculpture (Evocation)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 30 yds
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: 3 turns + 1 turn/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell is a more advanced form of the 4th level force sculpture spell. The object or objects formed from force can be more complex, composed of large, moving parts, or have an edge or point, but still must be fairly rigid. A wagon, quiver of quarrels, shovel, sword, or water wheel could all be simulated, but not a mechanical timepiece, crossbow, or spring. Fine details can be worked into an object, provided the caster has sufficient skill as an artisan or sculptor. Fine details take 2d4 rounds to place on an object, but remain for the duration of the spell. Up to 8 cubic feet of matter per level of the caster can be simulated. The duration of the spell is also longer than force sculpture. Superior force sculpture is otherwise identical to the 4th level spell. The material component is a lump of clay with diamond dust mixed into it.
[GA – 53]

Bigby’s Strangling Grip (Evocation)
Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: 10 yds/level
Casting Time: 5 segments
Duration: 2 rounds
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: This spell creates a pair of disembodied hands that will seek out a creature’s throat and strangle the creature with the same effect as an attack with a garrote. The hands must make a successful attack roll to grab the creature’s throat, attacking with +4 to hit on the mage’s usual attack roll, because of the speed and ferocity of the attack. The strangling grip will strangle its victim to death by the end of the next round unless the creature is freed of the hands. The victim can break the grip if he makes a successful roll to bend bars. The grip can also be released if the mage’s concentration is broken. The limits on which creatures can be affected by the spell are the same as the restrictions on the use of a normal garrote. The material components are a pair of gloves sewn into a clutching grip around the neck of a bottle.
[GA – 53]

Bigby’s Besieging Bolt (Evocation)
Level: 6
Components: V, S, M
Range: Special
Duration: 1 round per 2
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: This spell is similar to magic missile. When the spell is cast, the mage is able to fire one magic siege bolt for every two levels of the caster. The bolt will behave as a given siege engine missile in range and effect. The type of siege missile the bolt mimics depends on the caster’s level.

Magic-user’s Level           Siege Engine Missile Mimicked

12th                                     catapult, light

14th                                     catapult, heavy

16th                                     trebuchet.

The bolts must be launched at the rate of one every two rounds in succeeding rounds. During this time the caster can do nothing else. If the spell is interrupted, no additional bolts can be launched. The bolts strike their target unerringly. The material component is a small stone sprinkled with diamond dust.
[GA – 53]

Bigby’s Forceful Hand (Evocation)
Level: 6
Components: V, S, M
Range: 1”/level
Casting Time: 6 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: Bigby’s Forceful Hand is a more powerful version of Bigby‘s Interposing Hand (q.v.). It exerts a force in addition to interposing itself, and this force is sufficient to push a creature away from the spell caster if the creature weighs 500 pounds or less, to push so as to slow movement to 1” per round if the creature weighs between 500 and 2,000 pounds, and to slow movement by 50% of creatures weighing up to 8,000 pounds. It takes as many hit points to destroy as its creator has. Its material component is a glove.
[PHB 1e – 83]

Bigby's Grasping Hand (Evocation)
Level: 7
Components: V, S, M
Range: 1"/level
Casting Time: 7segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: Bigby's Grasping Hand is a superior version of the sixth level Bigby's Forceful Hand spell (q.v.), being like it in many ways. The Grasping Hand can actually hold motionless a creature or object of up to 1,000 pounds weight, or move creatures as a double strength Forceful Hand. The material component is a leather glove.
[PHB 1e – 86]

Bigby's Clenched Fist (Evocation)
Level: 8
Components: V, S, M
Range: ½ "/level
Casting Time: 8 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: Bigby's Clenched Fist spell brings forth a huge, disembodied hand which is balled into a fist. This magical member is under the mental control of the spell caster, and he or she can cause it to strike an opponent each round. No other spell costing or magical activity may be undertaken for the duration of the spell. The Clenched Fist never misses, but the effectiveness of its blow varies from round to round.

Die Roll                Result

1-12                      glancing blow – 1 to 6 hit points

13-16                   solid punch – 2 to 12 hit points

17-19                   hard punch – 3 to 18 hit points and opponent is stunned next round

20                         crushing blow – 4 to 24 hit points and opponent is stunned for next 3 rounds

Note: Any stunned opponent allows the magic-user to add +4 to his or her die roll to determine how well the fist strikes, as the opponent is not capable of dodging or defending against the attack effectively. (This spell can be used with any of the other Hand spells of the Archmage Bigby.) The material component of this spell is a leather glove and a small device consisting of four rings joined so as to form o slightly curved line, with an "I" upon which the bottoms of the rings rest, the whole fashioned of an alloyed metal of copper and zinc. The Fist is destroyed by damage equal to the hit points of its caster being inflicted upon it.
[PHB 1e – 89]

Bigby’s Most Excellent Force Sculpture (Evocation)
Level: 8
Components: V, S, M
Range: 30 yds
Casting Time: 1 turn
Duration: 6 turns + 1 turn/ level
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effects: Special
  Explanation/Description: This spell is the most advanced form of the force sculpture spells. The object formed can be highly complex, containing many moving parts, such as a siege machine or sailing ship. Parts of an object simulated could be as flexible as a rope or the wood of a bow, so a large net, ballista, rope bridge, or collection of crossbows could be formed. As with lesser force sculptures, fine or accurate details require an additional 2d4 rounds to form, along with sufficient skill as an artist or artisan. Up to one cubic yard of matter per level of the caster can be simulated. With the exceptions noted above, the spell is otherwise identical to the 4th level spell of the same type. The material component is a lump of clay mixed with 1,000 g.p. worth of diamond dust, which vanishes when the spell is used.
[GA – 53]

Bigby's Crushing Hand (Evocation)
Level: 9
Components: V, S, M
Range: ½ "/level
Casting Time: 9 segments
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Explanation/Description: Bigby's Crushing Hand causes the appearance of a huge disembodied hand which is similar to Bigby's Forceful Hand and Bigby's Clenched Fist (qq.v.). The Crushing Hand is under the mental control of the spell caster, and he or she can cause it to grasp and squeeze an opponent. Damage from this constriction depends on the number of rounds it acts upon the victim:

1st round                             1-10 hit points

2nd & 3rd rounds                 2-20 hit points

4th & beyond                      4-40 hit points

The Hand can sustain hit points equal to those of the magic-user who created it before being dispelled. The material components of the spell are a glove of snake skin and the shell of an egg.
[PHB 1e – 92]



"Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious."
― Montaigne 





One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.
Special thanks to Jason Zavoda for his compiled index, “Greyhawkania,” an invaluable research tool.


The Art: 
Bigby’s Dextrous Digits, by Dave Sutherland (?), from Greyhawk Adventures, 1988
Bigby’s Besieging Bolt, by Dave Sutherland (?), from Greyhawk Adventures, 1988
Bigby’s Crushing Fist, by Karl Wailer, from Lords of Darkness 2e, 1988

Sources:
2010 Players Handbook 1e, 1978
2011A Dungeon Masters Guide, 1st Ed., 1979
2011 Unearthed Arcana, 1985
2023 Greyhawk Adventures, 1988
9031 The Rogues Gallery, 1980
9112 WG5 Mordenkainen’s Fantastic Adventure, 1984
9578 Player’s Guide to Greyhawk, 1998
Dragon Magazine # 401