THE DEMONWEB PITS? The Expedition to the Demonweb Pits campaign adventure is designed to begin with four to six 9th-level DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®. The Queen of the Demonweb Pits represents the conclusion of the Giants and Drow collection of modules, all of which have been previously. Like a monstrous spiderweb spun across the very fabric of the planes, the plane known as the Demonweb Pits is formed of interwoven strands of planar matter.
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I agree with all your comments. Personally I ran Q1 for a party around 22nd level 1e and they had a good challenging time of it, but killed Lolth in the end. Does anyone know anything about Gary’s envisioned ending to the sequence?
Expedition to the Demonweb Pits – Wikipedia
I’ve heard something about the Sunless Sea, but not much else. I did play Q1, have fond memories of it, and my PCs did kill Lolth coming down to one particular d6 roll. The one thing that bothers me in retrospect is how the PCs would ever know about the intertwined levels in the first place. Spider form aside, there’s no reason why Lolth has to take the spider motif to a gimmicky degree. At least not anymore than Demogorgon has to surround himself with killer baboons. Just some devil’s advocate there.
I was always the GM for my group, and so never got to play in any of these “classic” modules. It’s still a daydream of mine to actually play this series Giants-Drow-Lolth and the Slavers series. I don’t know, I’ve always found the thought of a spider filled layer of the Abyss to be an absolutely terrifying thought. But that could just be the aracnaphobia talking. Out of the entire module, I’ve always felt that the real gem of it was the portals to alternate Prime Material worlds.
That, right there, was genius, and still inspires me tremendously. Especially the dwarves at war. I should turn in my gun and badge. That was my favorite portion, too; it had the feel of Moorcock’s Million Spheres setting to it, at least for me.
I get the impression that Planescape had much of its inspiration in this module. Interesting that one of the most well-regarded settings may have srpang from a scenario that was not so well-loved. One of the things that I found interesting about the module was that it truly did present the gods in a different light.
Here’s a god in her home plane and you can actually destroy her. I always loved imagining what might happen in that vacuum. In my humble opinion gods should either be a nebulous ideal, or they should be very mortal.
The middle ground just never sat well with me. This module presented one end of the spectrum that came to define my treatment of pantheons thereafter. I’ll always look upon this adventure with much fondness. I always got the impression that Planescape was largely inspired by the Manual of the Planes with a few unique elements thrown in here and there.
But then again, it might be splitting hairs at this point. Demonweb turned out to be an experience Demnoweb had many times in my demonwev life – a module that came nowhere near the hype. Something like this demanded to be well thought out, with encounters that friggin’ made sense on a whole. It’s a God’s lair, for Chrissake!
Lycanthropes are something that, to me, are supernatural things so tied to the material world and plane that their existance on a Godly place is just ridiculous. Undead also don’t seem right except on the material world, or the plane of a death god. They could not come up with more original stuff for this far flung dimension than just the typical dungeon fare?
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A giant mechanical spider is the pitw they can come up with for edmonweb cosmic place? Sounds more like a modern Hollywood take on things. Maybe having had it been a gigantic living spider I would be “now you are demonweg Or Lolth is the only being blessed with robotic technology? Pitz get me wrong, my copy was great bathroom reading like most of my unused gaming stuffbut the product as an example of what the big boys think was a great interdimensional adventure was kind of insulting to me, even the young idiot that I was.
I think these guys should have read more ‘s Doctor Strange. Q1 remains my favorite module of all time. Second, I loved the idea of a demonqeb dungeon that then had gateways to “Other Worlds” a la Narnia. Also something about Lolth in a giant mechanical and yet magical spider was strangely seductive.
I could not relate to demoneb G-D series other than Vault of the Drow, which I took to be a large exercise in Machivellian politics. Of the players compromising their souls to defeat the Drow by aligning one House against another House. All the time whilst our poor female Elf Magic User was being slowly tortured to death.
I believe DCS was really a cartographer, rather than an artist, which is why the map is so cool. We always had a good time with this adventure and I used to look at p. One idea that never, ever occurred to me is what happens to the Demonwebs after Lloth is slain. That now sounds like a more interesting adventure to me than killing her. Perhaps this is a silly notion, but I had an idea about potential consequences of slaying Lloth: When the PCs return to material plane do they find all spiders species snuffed out of existence?
What are the ramifications?
Will they work the same? Do they seek another deity? Or become victims of another god? Is it taken over by another god? Does it’s ecology change without Lloth’s life force?
Was it something else before her and does it revert back? I don’t believe he had one, at least not one he was happy with. That’s why Sutherland got the job to finish it, even though the end result was something Gary later claimed he didn’t dekonweb all that much. Vemonweb a very good point.
It’s a pity how rarely this seems to happen, though. This, frankly, is a dire state of affairs — leaving things in the hands of the editor or line director, to wrap pitz eventually, definitely leads to products that are of a lower standard than they need to be. Wednesday, February 4, Retrospective: Queen of the Demonweb Pits. Both these facts are important when looking back on this module and its impact.
His artwork laid the foundation for many of the artists who followed by establishing the look of iconic monsters, such as demons, pigs, and mind flayers. But apparently Sutherland had ambitions outside of illustration. He certainly wasn’t the first artist hoping to try his hand at writing and, unlike many, Gary Gygax gave Sutherland a chance. It’s worth noting that Dave Trampier also wished to break into game design, writing a game of monster battles called Titan, eventually published by Avalon Hill after TSR expressed no interest in it According to the preface to this pitz, Gygax had trouble coming up with a proper capstone to the Giants-Drow series of modules.
All his ideas were too similar to ones he was considering for the Temple of Elemental Evilso he rejected them. After Dave Sutherland showed him a twisting, intertwined dungeon he’d created based on the design of a eemonweb, Gygax suggested he write the module, using the pitts as the home plane of Lolth, demon queen of spiders.
The end result was a very uneven module, equal parts gold and dross.
GROGNARDIA: Retrospective: Queen of the Demonweb Pits
The central premise of the module — confronting Lolth on her home plane — remains a powerful and attractive one. Likewise, the design of the Demonweb itself is extraordinarily clever. It is certainly one of the more unusual dungeon designs I encountered back in the day and, even now, I think it holds up pretty well. This is a good case for allowing individuals with artistic sensibilities to draw maps in my opinion, because the Demonweb seems like an idea that only an artist would conceive.
The module’s encounters are quite a diverse lot, which I think is a good demlnweb, overall. Oddly, very few of them seem to include either demons or drow, which you would expect to find on the Abyssal plane that’s home to the demonic ruler of the dark elves. Instead, you get lots of chaotic and evil creatures — dragons, trolls, lycanthropes, undead — that don’t quite “fit” with the assumed theme of the place.
I remember as a kid finding the inhabitants of the Demonweb to be not quite what I was expecting, so I replaced many of them with demons and horrid spider-things and demnweb nasty stuff. Somehow, I didn’t find a black dragon to be appropriately “Lolth-y,” if you know what I mean. Of course, there’s something to be said for defying expectations. I’ve always been a fan of “pulling back the curtain” to show that the world as seen through the eyes of adventurers isn’t the whole story.
So, for example, Lolth’s having a giant, steam-powered, mechanical spider ship never bothered me the ddmonweb it bothered many people.
To me, it’s exactly the kind of bizarre turn that seems right when dealing with otherplanar beings, even demons perhaps especially demons. There shouldn’t be anything ordinary or predictable about their natures or behaviors. A key to portraying planar travel effectively is grandeur — the sense that one’s home world is just ptis tiny speck floating on a giant ocean and you’ve only just begun to plumb plts unknown depths.
Module Q1 actually does a decent job on this score and so set future planar adventures down the right path. On the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of the module’s many pages describing how differently spells dfmonweb magic items operate in the Demonweb. This smacks of overkill to me. I see the logic behind it and I endorse it in principle.
The Demonweb Pits
I simply found the specific implementation of it in Q1 to be more persnickety and detailed than suited me. Nothing slows down play than having to fumble through a module to see how a certain spell or item functions in the chaos of an Abyssal layer.
Something along the lines of generalized guidelines would have served me better back in the day; goodness knows that’s what Xemonweb would do if I ran the module now. One of the most praiseworthy things about Queen of the Demonweb Pits is that it’s open-ended, allowing the referee to use it however he wishes.
The presumption is that the PCs intend to confront — and slay — Lolth on her home plane, but the module supports more than just that one approach.