by Nicholas HM Caldwell
was an unexpected addition to my role-playing collection, being a Christmas
present rather than a deliberate purchase on my part. Whilst I began my
role-playing career with Basic
I've never played, nor do I own,
or any of its supplemental material. So I read TSR
from the perspective of an outsider, rather than as an aficionado of the
system and the published world settings, and that is the context of the
is an Adventurer's Guild Anthology, comprising seven different scenarios
for seven different settings. Each scenario has references to which existing
publications should be consulted, background to the adventure, maps, site
descriptions, NPC statistics, as well as the shaded paragraphs to be read
out to the players. Remember them?
of the Dragon Oracle" is a fairly straightforward adventure set in the
Forgotten Realms. The village of Volkumburgh is beginning to suffer depredations
from an unknown source. Fortunately help is at hand in the form of the
player-characters. A short but dangerous trek will see the player-characters
arriving at a newly established dragon cult temple. A competent and relatively
cautious group should be able to flush the cult members from the temple
precincts without major difficulty. Any overconfidence is likely to be
seriously dented by the threat posed by the undead servitors of the cult!
A good scenario for an evening's entertainment which could be linked into
a longer campaign.
of the Pick-Axe" is a stand-alone adventure set in Greyhawk. A dwarven
clan hires the party to help them recover an artifact (The Pick-Axe) from
an abandoned mine, now infested with undead. The party's dwarf guide will
be killed off early in the scenario, forcing the player-characters to
struggle against the horrors and the deadly traps of the Azak-Zil mines.
Success will require caution and stealth rather than brute force and ignorance,
especially since they will not have a description of the Pick-Axe. Indeed
there is an optional section to the scenario where the party can go head
to head against the undead hordes (and likely get themselves killed).
This scenario would make a useful interlude between story arcs in a full
Feud" uses The
supplement for Monstrous
A group of strangers hires the party to join them in wiping out the remnants
of a city of Mind Flayers, monsters reminiscent of certain Cthuloid horrors.
If the party accept the offer, they will be teleported into an underground
cavern system. From there, it's a relatively direct jaunt through the
tunnels to the refuge of the mind flayers and battle royal, pausing only
briefly to eliminate other nightmarish threats en route. An average dungeon-bashing
scenario that will satisfy players' hack-and-slash cravings
Manxome Foe" is an adventure set in the Planescape multiverse, and is
without doubt the most quirky of the seven scenarios. The player-characters
are persuaded or coerced into helping to slay the jabberwock which has
been frightening the villagers of Brillig on the plane of Bytopia. As
you might guess, this provides an opportunity to meet the Slithy Toves
and the Borogoves, defeat the Jub-Jub Bird, and travel through the Tulgey
Wood. Definitely an excuse for a very light-hearted session!
Heart's Final Beat" is a much more serious scenario set in Ravenloft.
A messenger carrying an important message regarding an evil artifact (the
Key to the Abyss) has failed to return from a Guardian stronghold. Fearing
that the worst has happened, the party is sent to investigate the monk's
disappearance. On arrival, they discover that the stronghold has been
invaded by vile undead. The rest of the scenario is a desperate race against
time to prevent the Key to the Abyss being used to summon fiendish forces
from the netherworld. Stylishly dark and grim, this scenario is definitely
the most atmospheric in the collection.
previous five adventures have all employed the AD&D
system. The sixth scenario, "Leviathan's Deep", uses the SAGA system and
is set in Dragonlance : Fifth Age. The people of Port Balifor are desperate
to relocate their city away from the periodic depredations of Malystryx
the Red Dragon. The scenario opens with the party on a fishing vessel
bound for the accursed waters of Leviathan's Deep. There is action aplenty
with attempted mutiny, storms, underwater exploration and the attack of
a sea dragon to contend with. A good scenario which could provide a suitable
springboard for further nautical adventures in the Dragonlance world.
final scenario, "Folds in the Tapestry", is for the Alternity
science-fiction game. The recently established colony of New Mojave has
come under attack by aliens, dubbed "Rugs" by the settlers. The player-characters
are from a governmental agency, and have orders to verify the existence
and nature of the threat to the colony. The former task will be made simple
by a Rug ambush between the landing field and the colony compound. The
latter task will require questioning the settlers and tracking the Rugs
to their base. With a little luck and an understanding of Rug motivations,
the player-characters will have a sporting chance of retaining
New Mojave as a human colony ... an interesting and well-written scenario.
this anthology provides a collection of entertaining scenarios to suit
most gaming groups' tastes. To make most use of TSR
having access to an extensive AD&D
library is desirable. With some work, referees of other game systems could
convert the scenarios into alternative rule mechanics and transplant them
into other settings. For myself, I plan to use some of the scenarios to
& Dragons (3rd Edition)
when the latter is released.
is published by Wizards of the Coast. Their contact details are as follows:
Wizards of the Coast
P.O. Box 707
Renton, WA 98057-0707
can buy this product through our affiliate GreatGames in the UK. Click
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