Fez III: Angry Wizard (1984)

One of the things I dearly love about Role Aids is its willingness to repurpose art from previously published fantasy novels. Fez III: Angry Wizard (1984) represents the lofty pinnacle of this practice by using David B. Mattingly’s cover painting from Barbara Hambly’s novel The Time of the Dark (1982), which is possibly the best painting of a wizard ever put to canvas. The interiors, by Susanna Griffin, are less grand, but truly, not everything in the sky can be the sun.

So, last time, the players helped bind Mephistopheles into a thousand years of servitude to Fez, mostly in order for the time traveling wizard to find out the location of a blue diamond that looms large in a prophecy. Nevermind that they players already used the blue diamond to fulfill the prophecy and defeat the dragon Scarsnout in the first module — time travel has no patience for your pathetic embrace of linearity.

Instead of the old amnesia trick, this time the pre-generated characters are sent 300 years into the future and turned into monsters at the start of the game. In order to get back to normal, they have to find the diamond and somehow get back to Fez. The initial part of the adventure concerns navigating the massive, puzzle- and monster -filled pyramid. Free from that, the players must find the diamond in a town beset by plague. Once a number of puzzles are figured out and the gem retrieved, the robot Warrior can be found in the caverns under the town, at which point he’ll teleport the group back to Fez.

This one is more straightforward than the last and I can’t tell if it’s for better or worse. I should mention that these are all expanded tournament modules, so while they do have more developed plots, they are still all over the place by design. I am not coming in hoping for Castle Ravenloft, but I do kind of prefer the more formal riddling of the previous module.

That’s enough Fez for now. We’ll look at the second Fez trilogy, which charts the fallout from the first, next month.

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