B4: The Lost City is excellent fodder for the Goodman Games Original Adventure Reincarnated treatment. It is on its own a classic module, but one that is overshadowed somewhat (perhaps because it doesn’t bear Gygax’s byline), so a big old purple hardcover book is a nice way of raising the adventure’s profile. More than that, though, the original only details a sliver of a much larger area of exploration — there is a bit of desert wilderness, most of a pyramid that houses a ghastly secret and then there is some indication of a vast underground city. It is sketched briefly and ultimately left, along with a subterranean wilderness area, largely for the DM to fill out.

No more! Goodman Games finally did the heavy lifting and filled all that out so I don’t have to. I much prefer reading someone else’s lost city than having to make up my own! Seriously, this is practically its own thing. Of the 320 total pages, the reprint and supplemental material takes up just 57 pages. That’s a gigantic expansion. And it mostly works. The mysterious culture of the masked Cynidiceans helps sustain a desire (and in some cases, need) to explore the city. My one issue is that the expanse of the explorable region will likely get the attention of players AFTER dealing with the central mystery of the module, which seems slightly anticlimactic. There are some surprises, yet, but Zargon is so compelling I don’t like the idea of him playing second fiddle to a mind flayer.

Which brings me to another thing — the illustrations of Zargon here are fine, but I am honestly a tiny bit underwhelmed. Goodman regularly delivers over the top art and Zargon is one of the most over the top early D&D monsters. It’s not that I wanted better portraits of the false god, I just want moooooore. Two new ones in addition to Holloway’s original seems miserly.

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