No problem, that was a lot of fun! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Seems like everybody did, which was good.
Anyway, the stuff I redacted out of the middle of Joe's note all sounded pretty awesome. I guess it was just kind of a fluke that our party missed out on much of the module - this probably left with me an unfair impression of the scenario. As commenters to my last post pointed it it WAS a playtest after all.Thanks for the game report on your blog.
Regarding hack & slash: The adventure you played in, Citadel of the Emerald Sorcerer, has 28 encounter areas. You guys covered 5 of them. I ran the same adventure at the Anaheim Mini-Con, where we went for 4 hours and were nowhere near finishing! By [SPOILER REDACTED] the sorcerer (which, in two prior playtests, no one has done before), and then pursuing him directly to his lair, you guys made the adventure a LOT shorter. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, because in the other playtest sessions the group didn't get the satisfaction of finishing (which your group did get). I like adventures with options, and you guys clearly preferred [SPOILER REDACTED] versus the two northern doors from that chamber! But, as you mentioned, it felt a little more linear to you. Before publication, I might make it so [SPOILER REDACTED], to prevent things from playing out this way...I need to think on that.
The other playtest groups learned something of the sorcerer's secrets: [LOTS OF REALLY COOL SPOILERS REDACTED!]
Personally, I would say there's some precedent for hack-and-slash dungeons in Appendix N. Several stretches of Hiero's Journey, Sign of the Labrys, some of John Carter's escapades on Mars (especially the last book), several Conan stories (Red Nails immediately comes to mind, not to mention Tower of the Elephant... [SPOILER REDACTED]), a few of the Fafhrd & Gray Mouser stories, etc...
I plan to run other sessions in the future in San Diego and LA - I'll let you know and perhaps we can play other games as well.
The more I think about DCC the more I like it. I'm definitely looking forward to playing again!