WG6: Isle of the Ape (1985)

Ever think to yourself that the lack of a giant ape in X1: The Isle of Dread was a real missed opportunity? Never fear, Gygax has you covered with WG6: Isle of the Ape (1985).

This is essentially a reenactment of King Kong in D&D form (for better and worse — as the cover implies, the module retains many of the film’s negative stereotypes [in fairness, this cover is an improvement on 1984’s X8: Drums on Fire Island]). Oonga is the name of the biggest and meanest of the apes, though several lesser gargantuan apes inhabit the isle. There is a giant wall, just like the film, and there are dinosaurs, including the magical tyrannosaurs rex that lives in a pool that is also a portal that leads to a region of the ethereal plan warped by the thoughts of an insane mage. Wait, that’s not in King Kong…

So, yea, the module is slightly weirder than the movie. The isle is actually a demi-plane that is accessed through Tenser’s castle (though originally the entrance was in Gygax’s Castle Greyhawk dungeons). The plane was created by the mad wizard Zagyg to safeguard an important magical weapon, which Tenser would like to retrieve so it can be used against Iggwilv in a looming confrontation. There’s a taste of that confrontation at the end, as the party needs to ferry the Crook of Rao through a battle between daemons and angels at the very end (the module is suggested for characters level 18 and above, the highest level Gygax ever wrote for and one of the highest for D&D ever). That’s the only taste players got of the looming confrontation between good and evil in Gygax’s Greyhawk, though, because WG6 is one of the last things he wrote before being forced out of the company.

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