I recently started taking a shine to some OSR RPG games Primarily Basic Fantasy RPG and Cairn this Blog is not so much about those games specifically but Finding something old that you like and making it new. I have a ton of old RPG Magazines and Supplements and came across The 1988 March-April issue of Dungeon magazine and remembered the fun my friends and I had playing an Adventure By Larry Church called the "Secrets of the Towers" I won't be a spoiler and talk about what we encountered in his adventure but to present it as really cool side adventure concept to insert into your campaign.
Basically, your Adventurers Discover or Stumble across an Ancient Tower in some remote part of your world it could be occupied by almost anything Bandits, Orcs some sort of beast using it as its lair, or Nothing at all. The Tower is been mostly Long forgotten and even those who may reside near it know nothing about its Origins or its lore. At the Uppermost level of the tower unbeknownst to the current residents is a set of runes carved on the walls. In addition to the runes, each of the walls has a magical Portal that is indistinguishable from the wall itself. Each of these Portals leads to another Tower in some other Far-flung and Remote place in your campaign world.
These Magical Portals can be detected by a magic spell or perhaps some research or discovered by accident. The Portals Can vary from being one-way portals, to two-way portals to inactive Portals that for one reason or another no longer work. The one-way portals present some interesting twists in the adventure. Imagine adventure parties trying to find their way back in the original article it said characters placing an appendage or going partially through would be stuck and only allowed to go forward but not return where they came from, this would definitely be some funny and twists to an adventure party.
In the Original Adventure from 1988, the Towers were five-sided and All looked the same other than the number of levels they had. Another twist that makes this adventure concept interesting is that the Towers were designed from an adventure perspective to be slowly discovered and explored over time so your party may discover one or two at the beginning when they were say 1st or 2nd level and would discover and explore more as they progressed in level and where ready to tackle them or gained new secrets and lore about the towers. The original adventure had 12 such towers but in reality, you could have as many as you like and shaped how you like. It also indicated when the party reached around the 7th to 8th level they discovered a tower that had a Crude Rune marked map indicating all the towers.
The Adventure can be intertwined within your campaign and offer neat plot twists and side quests, not only giving the ability of your players to travel to far-flung locations in your world or even perhaps other planes or worlds versus the party having a portable item that lets them do this willy nilly. It lets them have certain advantages without being overpowering. They have to travel to a specific tower and perhaps learn how to unlock the secrets.
So this is just an article about me sharing something Old I found that inspired me. As for making it new, I started creating the maps for these towers for my personal use and inspiration with the intent of weaving them into my world of Evermyst. I also have started making these maps available to my Game master level subscribers on my Ko-Fi page.
No matter whether you are an Old School D&D Grognard or a new age D&D5e/One D&D player or playing any sort of RPG. I hope there is some inspiration from this blast from the past I shared. I still have my issue of Dungeon Magazine #10 and that's how I got my inspiration but you can find the Dungeon Magazines in a PDF Archive form at this link Below.
Happy Adventures until next time.