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WG7: Castle Greyhawk (1988)

We’ve had some good luck with the WG-series modules so far, but with WG7: Castle Greyhawk (1988), the level of quality takes a steep dip and never really recovers.

Taken on its own merits, Castle Greyhawk is…fine? I don’t know what compelled the powers that be at TSR to produce a deluxe softcover adventure named after one of Dungeons & Dragons most mysterious and never-seen locales, and turn it into a farcical parody, but that’s exactly what it is. The humor is on par with the Dragon Magazine April Fool’s issues, which, I never liked those.

The parody mirrors the real thing: Ruined upper works above thirteen dungeon levels (though this treatment isn’t very sprawling and doesn’t have much in the way of sub-levels or pocket dimensions). I get why folks who waited years for the real thing were so annoyed when this came out (even setting the history aside, for what is maybe the first true megadungeon produced by TSR to be a farce is a bit eyerolly). I don’t buy conspiracy theories that this was some parting shot at Gygax or an intentional sullying of his TSR legacy, though. It’s just a stupid idea that got into print. There are a lot of those in TSR’s history.

The Keith Parkinson cover painting is nice, at least.

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