I read this excellent post today about a "Dungeon" adventure that was very influential on me, Theshold of Evil:
How a Real Archmage Fights: Threshold of Evil and D&D’s Most Underrated Wizard
The article is full of spoilers for the adventure, but if you're not going to play this module as part of a very high-level AD&D campaign, you're probably okay reading it.
I learned a lot from that adventure, like:
- archmages don't fight fair.
- archmages sure don't just sit back and wait until you chop your way through low-level minions and single demons and dinky traps and then fight you. Oh no. They watch you from afar as you slog through their best defenses and Wish bad things upon you.
- archmages don't through their spare magic items into a treasury, they issue them to Simulacrums. And I finally saw what Simulacrum was really good for.
- archmages don't care if you think they are good, or evil. Or to quote one of my favorite all-time quotes from my favorite all-time fantasy author, "Ferocious mad-killer sorcerers do not whine because nobody likes them."
- archmages have henchmen and allies that are worthy of archmages.
- and seriously, archmages don't fight fair.
It's a brutally tough module; it's the brute force equivalent of Tomb of Horrors in a way. Oh sure, you won't have deathtrap rooms with "death with no saving throw," but you get direct enemy action from a powerful, powerful foe who doesn't take his enemies lightly, or use a flyswatter when a hammer is needed.
Fun, brutal stuff. I'm glad to read that someone went through it and ended up as my groups likely would have, had I been able to run that in AD&D.