Sunday, November 1, 2009

From the Attic: Favorite TSR Modules .

There are a couple of TSR Modules I used over and over again. This collection I consider my utility modules. TSR had plenty of other good modules but these have elements that allow them to be incorporated easily into my Majestic Wilderlands. In no paritcular order here they are.

Note: You can find a nice overview of all the AD&D era TSR/Judges Guild products here at the Acaeum.

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is one of the best low level modules put out by TSR. It locale of a haunted house and smuggler's cave underneath made it easily placed any where I needed it.

In general the UK series was "different" than the rest of the TSR Modules. I liked reading all of them however I only every ran two of them, Gauntlet and Sentinel. Typically I placed them in a mountain region along a pass or broad valley.

Ah the Village of Hommlet one of my all time favorite. The was the only module I took the time to convert fully into GURPS. I liked however every inhabitant was listed in the module. One thing I did in my conversion was add a little plot to the town itself.

The construction workers are having issues with the regular villagers who view them as "outsiders" who cause trouble. The construction workers live in a temporary settlement of mud and wattle huts near the castle.

Tension is mounting as the workers attempted to erect a tent to serve as a pub. The resulting protest from Ostler Gundigoot forced the Brewer not to sell any more kegs of beer and ale to the workers. One of the workers is currently in jail because he tried to steal a keg from the Brewer. Much of this is inflamed by the two Trader who are secretly evil agents.

Typically the way the events unfold when I run this are as follows

  1. The PC comes into Hommlet gets a room at the Welcome Wench
  2. That night a rock is thrown into their room shattering the window.
  3. The PC track down the kid and find out about the problem between the two groups
  4. They get interested and start talking to everyone to find out what really going on.
  5. They start seeing that the two Traders are way more involved than they should be and investigate them. Usually by breaking into their establishment.
  6. The workers for a mob intent on liberating the jailed worker
  7. Evidence in hand the PC expose the trader and help forge a compromise between the two sides.
  8. They interrogate the Traders finding out about the moathouse.
  9. Goto the moathouse and clear it out.
I don't use the Temple of Elemental Evil but instead tie it to the Slaver series.

The Destiny of Kings is another favorite of mine. I liked it because it was one of the few AD&D modules that was human centric. Basically revolving around a plot around the search for the missing heir to the kingdom of Dunador.

The Island of Castanamir isn't really about an island but rather it is about the crazy lair of a a fore named wizard. It is a puzzle dungeon and always liked running it. It for low level character as well.

First off this module, Against the Cult of the Reptile God, has a complete village, the Village of Orlane. Plus the associated adventure isn't bad either.

The classic puzzle dungeon is the Ghost Tower of Inverness. I probably ran this one several times too many.

Finally the Secret of the Slaver's Stockade. I used the hill fort several times when I DMed AD&D. Dressing it up with the whatever bad guys where the antagonists of the campaign. Unlike the Ghost Tower the players never really caught on to this.


Al said...

Great selections there, I remember doing a big minis panorama for the Battle at the end of Guantlet.

ze bulette said...

Barrier Peaks and Hommlet were always my favorites - I like what you did there with the construction workers quite a bit.

MJ Harnish said...

Salt Marsh is one of my very favorite modules, both from a player and GM standpoint since it's laden with story but open enough to take the group in a variety of directions. Hommlett is another one of those modules that can lead players in any number of directions depending on what they focus on (e.g., the events in the moathouse or what's going on in the town).

Gothridge Manor said...

Interesting selections. I remember D liking the Gauntlet module. Salt Marsh was always a good measure of how good a DM was. It was not meant to be run as a line them up and hack them down module. Those DMs who only knew that way, it showed a lot with this module.

letsdamage said...

All good choices! The UK series are my favorite D&D modules.

If you haven't already, and you get a chance, check out the Basic D&D module "Night's Dark Terror". It's hard to find, but worth it.

p-w-b said...

I can't read the title of the first module. Any hints? You mentioned the titles for most, but not all:
Is the Village of Orlane the title of that module? What about the Ghost Tower of Inverness?