Saturday, June 19, 2021

Wintercon VII: Quest for the Fazzlewood

"Quest for the Fazzlewood" was the tournament dungeon for the Metro Detroit Gamers' WinterCon VII Gamefest, held December 1-3, 1978 at Oakland University, Rochester MI.

Update (Jun 26, 2021): see campus newspaper "The Oakland Sail(December 4, 1978) pgs 8-9 for a con report by Ree Moorhead, co-author of "Escape from Astigar's Lair"

"Quest for the Fazzlewood" (December, 1978) by John and Laurie Van De Graaf.  Cover depicting an ogre seated beside a gong (the first encounter in the dungeon) illustrated by Gregg DeCesare.

The scenario was designed to be played by a single competitor using a thief pregen with a 30-minute time limit, in an attempt to better standardize tournament scoring.

John Van De Graaf, together with MDG chairman Paul Wood, is also known for the early D&D fanzine the Ryth Chronicle (1976-77), "a summary of adventures along the River Ryth", in which Wood played a magic-user named Fazzle.*

*see also D&D In the News (1976): Fazzle on the Ryth at "Playing at the World"

The Van De Graafs, along with other members of the Metro Detroit Gamers (including Wood), were acknowledged in the WinterCon V version of "The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth" (1976).

O1: The Gem and the Staff:

"Quest for the Fazzlewood" was later revised and expanded as part of module O1 "The Gem and the Staff" (1983), a "one-on-one" adventure designed to be run by a DM for a single player, using an 8th level thief pregen, "Eric the Bold".

The first adventure "Tormaq's Tower" is new, and involves the heist of a gem from a wizard's tower.  The second adventure "The Staff of Fazzlewood" is based on the map and encounters in "Quest for the Fazzlewood".

The player's background in the first adventure mentions an "Imperial Guard" and so I situated both adventures within the Empire of Thyatis (the wizards didn't seem high enough level to be Alphatian) when I ran these for my friends, back in the day.

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