Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Carl’s Dungeon of “Mazes of Xanth” 1978

"Mazes of Xanth" map detail
Somehow (because I am a particular sort of hoarder) I had a bunch of my friends dungeons from the late 70’s and early 80’s. This is one was created by Carl Kestor, who by the way was not really my friend, just a guy I played a few games with. The memory that bubbles to the surface about Carl is that his girlfriend would sit on his lap while he DMd. She ignored us completely. Occasionally they whispered and smooched, and when Carl had to look at one of us he had to crane his head to see past his girlfriend. I am quite sure I never asked or was told her name. I recall being mildly annoyed, in real life Carl had a “low charisma”. However, none of us could convince any girl to sit on our lap, let alone while playing a game synonymous with note taking and tedium. I raise my bag of off brand cheese puffs to you wherever you are now, Carl.

Cover page of "Mazes of Xanth"
Yes, I am older than dirt. Often I will say this to the yoots of today, thinking that I can impress them or more importantly get respect. Medication has removed this need, so I will not bore you or myself by trying to impress you with aged based credentials. Ahem.

Typical page of "Mazes of Xanth"
Look at Carl’s dungeon: It is instructive to note the sheer amount of characters carefully recorded on each page, all 16. I’m sure I didn’t write this amount in one whole year of high school, so this mass of carefully scrawled graphite is an achievement in its own right. So many words and so little actual detail in the rooms other than monster, stats and treasure. Kinda like a video game minus every scrap of enjoyment. Heed the the title itself, appropriated from a popular book series. Look at the map with its incomprehensible rooms and serpentine hallways specifically designed to discourage accurate mapping. Consider in 1978, this was considered a better alternative to the four broadcast channels on TV. And it was.
Here is a link to the whole thing:
More will be posted so “stay tuned”. That is all.

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