Monday, May 18, 2015

Module Project on Hold


I must admit that the project was a bit more ambitious than I anticipated, so I'm gonna put it on hold for now.  When I get a bit more time, I'll revisit.

Thanks to everyone who took an interest in it!!!  I enjoyed making the maps, and I appreciate everyone who helped me create my own hex style map with symbols and colors and other ideas.

I am not gonna abandon my map making, in fact, I hope to do a bit more, but on a smaller scale for the time being.  If anyone does want a map in my hex style, let me know, and we'll see what we can work out (not a solicitation for commissions, I'm have no plans to charge unless something odd happens).

I will continue to use this blog and refocus it in a more general setting.

thx again,

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1E AD&D Combat

A buddy of mine wrote this up for a campaign he is running.  Thought it was pretty good, so I thought I would share.

Just as a refresher in case there were any questions about how 1e AD&D combat works:
  • Combat is done in 1 minute Combat Rounds (10 Combat Rounds = Turn)  
  • Each Combat Round is broken up into 10 - 6 second segments (Initiative) 
  • You determine who gets to act first (or simultaneous) based on the segment of your d10 initiative roll
During a typical combat round you are attacking with your sword, parrying, shield bashing, punching, kicking...etc.  A lot of stuff is happening in a minute of combat!

All of this action is summed up at the end of the round with a damage roll - depending upon if you were successful that round (i.e. rolled a successful To Hit on d20).  

Points of damage are not all blood loss, but more of a cumulative wearing effect on your opponent until they are at zero.  When a monster reaches zero hit points, they are 'dead'. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

B8 - Journey to the Rock

Code       Title                                 Level     Author                 Year
B8           Journey to The Rock          1-3         Michael Malone     1984

About Michael Malone:

Well, I normally use Wiki for most of my info.  When I followed the link from "The List of Dungeons and Dragons Modules,"  I took me to Michael Malone, a soap opera actor.  The only thing I could find about our Michael Malone is that he wrote B8 and worked on "In Search of Adventure"  If anyone does have any additional info, send me the info at, or just post a comment on the blog.

Misc Info:

Wendy J. Rose reviewed the module in Imagine magazine, giving it a positive review. She felt that the plot was sound if unoriginal and that the module was noteworthy as, unusually, almost all the action takes place outdoors. According to Rose there are plenty of good opportunities for roleplaying, it is not just "hack-and-slay" and the module contains several interesting new monsters. However, she also criticized a number of things: the quality of production is "rough in places", space is wasted by repetition of rules and the English is "stilted". The gamemaster has to be very familiar with the module, according to Rose, but she noted that it compares favorably with the others of the B series and is a "good buy".

Module Excerpt:  (Background)

Thousands of years ago, Tuma was a city of wealth and glory, and its people lived by a code of wisdom, honor, justice, and peace. This city of Law roused envy and hatred in the hearts of those who followed the ways of Chaos. Many times evil armies attempted to destroy Tuma, but its defenders were always victorious. Finally, the enemies of Tuma used powerful evil sorceries to remove the inhabitants of Tuma to another plane of existence, where they are still trapped. In time, they were able to banish the city itself. 

Over the centuries, Tuma became a forgotten city, the subject of superstition and whispererd leg- ends. Only one man knows its true story- Lirdrium Arkayz. Arkayz was once part of the ruling council of the city of Tuma. During the final defense of the city, the council decided that two members of the council would go into hiding, so that if the city fell, the two hidden members could continue the fight. Arkayz was one of the two, but he was not allowed to know the identity of the other, so that he could not betray his colleague if captured. The council created a magical talisman which would give the chosen ones the power they neeeded to fight evil. The talisman was in two parts that had to be joined for its magic to be used. The talisman was the way the chosen ones would recognize each other, for no impostor would be able to use the magic of the amulet. The amulet also kept the chosen ones from aging. Arkayz’ half was hidden in the Hall of The Rock. 

The enemies of Tuma could not destroy the talisman, but they cast a spell that made it impossible for anyone from Tuma to recover it from its hiding place. Arkayz has hired adventurers to get the talisman for him, but all have failed. Although he is a just and honorable man, Arkayz never reveals the nature of the talisman or his own true identity, unless absolutely necessary. As far as anyone else is concerned, Arkayz is a wise and eccentric wizard who long ago gave up adventuring to study philosophy and write poetry. If the player characters reach the Hall of The Rock, the magic that prevents Arkayz from entering The Rock will be broken. He can then recover the talisman even if the player characters do not. If the player characters succeed in their mission, Arkayz will at last have a chance to free his people. Once his part of the talisman is recovered, Arkayz will know how to find his hidden colleague, and Arkayz and his colleague will work together to save the people of Tuma. Although the talisman of Lirdrium Arkayz has considerable magical power, it is not an item that player characters will be able to use; the talisman was made for Arkayz alone. The talisman will be important to the adventure, however, if the party reaches The Hall of The Rock. Further information about the talisman is given in PART 6.

What we know:

There is a place called the Hall of The Rock.

I've cheated a bit and read into the module.  It is a wilderness module, and there are three ways to get to the Rock.

It's a pretty easy map.  since there is only 1 place, and it's a wilderness campaign I don't have to add much to the map.  I have added a town to give the players a start place on their quest.

                                                               Link to file: B1 - B8

Friday, February 13, 2015

B7 - Rahasia

Code       Title                                             Level     Author                                        Year
B7           Rahasia                                        1-3         Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman    1983

About Tracy Hickman:

Together, Tracy and Laura wrote the original versions of the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh, publishing them privately. Pharaoh was originally published by DayStar West Media in 1980. In 1981, Tracy entered into a business arrangement to produce an arcade immersion game, but his associate disappeared, leaving the Hickmans with $30,000 in debts. Destitute and desperate, Tracy approached TSR with the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh, "literally so that I could buy shoes for my children". TSR bought the modules, but wanted to hire Tracy as well. Tracy recalls, "They said it would be easier to publish my adventures if I was part of the company. So, we made the move from Utah to Wisconsin. It was a terrifying experience. We had no money. My parents begged us not to venture into such foreign territory to pursue such a bizarre career. My father wrote that there was a secure job as a fry cook in Flagstaff (where my parents were living), and he pleaded with me to come take it."
When Tracy and Laura Hickman came to TSR, they brought Pharaoh with them. It was published as the first part of TSR's Desert of Desolation series (1982-1983). I6 Ravenloft (1983) was also written by Tracy and Laura Hickman. Tracy Hickman also wrote two supplements for TSR's Gangbusters role-playing game.


As he was traveling from Utah to Wisconsin to join TSR, Hickman conceived the idea for a setting to make dragons fearsome once more. At TSR he found other creators who were interested in his project which was called "Project Overlord". Harold Johnsonbecame the project's biggest promoter to upper management and convinced Hickman to expand his initial idea of a three-adventure trilogy. Soon after, TSR management announced its intention to develop his series of dragon-based role-playing adventures. ]Hickman's proposal resulted in the Dragonlance Chronicles, which led to his association with Margaret WeisJean Black, the managing editor of TSR's book department, picked Hickman and Weis to write Dragons of Autumn Twilight and the rest of theDragonlance Chronicles series. This was the first project TSR had undertaken that would include adult novels as well as games, calendars, and other spin-off products. The original Dragonlance team was formed under Hickman's leadership. "Project Overlord" began as a novel and three modules, and beginning in 1984 grew into the first Dragonlance trilogy (by Weis and Hickman) and 15 companion modules. After Dragonlance Chronicles, Hickman and Weis wrote the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, which was published in 1986. By 1987, the Dragonlance project had sold two million books and a half million adventure modules.

About Laura Hickman:

Tracy and Laura wrote the original versions of the modules Rahasia and Pharaoh together, and privately published them. The Hickmans published Pharaoh through DayStar West Media in 1980. Tracy went into business, but his associate left the Hickmans with $30,000 in bad checks to cover. Driven into bankruptcy, Tracy sent Rahasia and Pharaoh to TSR, "literally so that I could buy shoes for my children". TSR wanted the modules, but hired Tracy as well: “They said it would be easier to publish my adventures if I was part of the company. So, we made the move from Utah to Wisconsin." The Hickmans also designed I6: Ravenloft (1983) for TSR.
Laura was the co-creator of Dragonlance (with her husband, Tracy Hickman) and was the inspiration for Laurana Kanan.

Misc Info:

The original Rahasia was written by Laura Hickman, and was first published in 1979 by Daystar West Media as a thirty two page booklet. Daystar West Media was Tracy Hickman's private publishing company, and no more than 200 copies were ever printed.[citation needed] Rahasia was the first in the Night Ventures line of scenarios.
The Hickmans decided to privately publish the first two adventures they had designed together, Rahasia and Pharaoh, which gained them a reputation on a local level. However, disaster struck when Tracy went into business with an associate who went bad, leaving the Hickmans to cover $30,000 in bad checks. They were driven into bankruptcy, and Tracy decided to sell their modules to TSR, "literally so that I could buy shoes for my children". TSR decided not only to buy the modules, but hire Tracy as a game designer. He said of the event: "They said it would be easier to publish my adventures if I was part of the company. So, we made the move from Utah to Wisconsin."
Tracy and Laura Hickman rewrote Rahasia, which was published by TSR in 1983 as a sixteen page booklet with an outer folder, with the code RPGA1, and sold as a limited edition only to members of the RPGA. In 1984, TSR revised and compiled RPGA1Rahasia and the second tournament module RPGA2 Black Opal Eye, and published the combined adventure as B7 Rahasia, a thirty two page booklet with an outer folder, featuring cover art by Jeff Easley and interior art by Easley and Tim Truman.
This module was later featured in the compilation B1–B9 In Search of Adventure in 1987.

Module Excerpt:  (Background)

Deep in a lush, enchanted forest lies a pleasant elven village. For years, the whole village prospered. The people lived from the forest around their mountain village and temple. Four weeks ago, an evil human cleric, known only as “the Rahib,” broke into the temple. He was looking for a treasure, a young maiden’s dowry, rumored to be in the temple. Instead, he discovered a secret cavern under the temple. The cavern contains the ruins of an ancient wizard’s tower. While exploring the ruins, the Rahib discovered three witches whose spirits’ were trapped in statues. 
The witches, Karelena, Solorena, and Trilena, convinced the Rahib to help them escape. To escape, each witch must take over a maiden’s body, trapping the maiden’s spirit in the statue where the witch was. Using the witches’ knowledge, the Rahib magically charmed and enslaved the Siswa, the elven students, and teachers who lived in the temple.
Two nights ago, the Rahib and the charmed elves sneaked into the village and kidnapped two elven maidens, Sylva and Merisa. The Rahib freed Karelena and Solerena, trapping Sylva and Merisa’s spir- its. The Rahib has only to kidnap Rahasia, the most beautiful elven maiden, to free the last witch, Trilena. When they are all free and together, the three witches are each much more powerful than when alone. So, until Trilena is freed, Karelena and Solorena will not leave the tower ruins. After finding a letter, the PCs (player characters) go to the elven village and meet Rahasia, the most beautiful elven maiden. Her father and her betrothed both went to the temple, but never returned. 
The PCs must go to the temple and find Rahasia’s father and betrothed. Then they must find the cavern, release the imprisoned elven maidens and destroy the Rahib and the witches. The Siswa (elven students and teachers) who were charmed by the Rahib are not really responsible for their actions because they are magically controlled. Encourage your players to think of ways to get around the Siswa without killing them. The charm keeps them in a dream-like state, but it is possible to talk to them. The charm also changes their alignment to chaotic. When the Rahib and the witches are destroyed, the Siswa change back to normal. Until then, however, they follow the Rahib’s orders. 
When the PCs encounter the witches, remind the players that the witches are using the bodies of elven maidens. Encourage the players to think of ways of capturing and defeating the witches without inflicting physi- cal damage. If the PCs capture a Siswa or witch, give the PCs the appropriate experi- ence points. If they kill a Siswa or witch, sub- tract the experience points from the PCs! To capture, rather than kill, a Siswa or witch, the players must say they are trying to capture their opponent. Then, count all dam- age toward unconsciousness, rather than death. NPCs fall unconscious when their hit points reach zero. PCs should usually have enough time to tie up unconscious enemies before they wake up. PCs cannot capture non-living opponents and creatures such as the water weird (see New Monsters). 

What we know:
We know here is an Elven Village in a mountain.
There is a cavern, temple, and broken wizards tower.  The language is kind of vague as to where the temple is.  I'm going to assume it's in town.  I am going to assume the cavern is outside of town.  The wizards tower is in the cavern, so nothing on the map will show.
We also know that there is a lush forest.

Note:  The Maps are getting larger, so I'm also going to provide a link, where you can download it, and open it up in a different program.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

B6 The Veiled Society

Code       Title                                             Level     Author               Year
B6           The veiled Society                         1-3        David Cook         1984

About David Cook:

See AC 2, AC 8.  Up until this point, he has written more modules than anyone else.

Misc Info:

Graham Staplehusrt reviewed this module for White Dwarf issue No. 63, giving it 9 out of 10 overall, and felt it had "all the hallmarks of a classic adventure" despite what he felt were the "useless" cutouts. Staplehurst felt that having the adventure set in Specularum "provides players with almost unparalleled opportunity for personal choice and freedom for action", calling the adventure "true rolegaming and high drama", adding that the characters "must make the decisions of a real-life adventurer—and suffer the consequences!" He observed that the adventure's possibilities are structured to be used by less experienced Dungeon Masters (DMs), but each situation is detailed enough to allow for a variety of outcomes. Staplehurst felt that the plot read too much like a crude detective story, and gave the players little motivation. This, he felt, leaves extra preparatory work for the DM, who may want to weave the city into their campaign and make use of existing character histories, for the scenario to work to its full potential.
In his review of B1-9 In Search of Adventure in Dragon magazine No. 128 (December 1987), Ken Rolston calls David "Zeb" Cook's The Veiled Society one of the "two exceptionally fine adventures" in the compilation, and "a rare example of a political and diplomatic adventure in an urban setting for low-level D&D game characters".
In his 1991 book Heroic WorldsLawrence Schick calls this adventure "more thought-provoking than your usual hack-and-slash Basic scenario".

Module Excerpt:  (Background):

The Veiled Society is an adventure that takes place in the city of Specularum. Player characters become involved in the power struggles of the city. The "Veiled Society" includes paper sculpture buildings which will introduce a three-dimensional element into your campaign. Cut out and build the paper sculptures found in the center of this book. Your players ' may then see what the city looks like and where events occur. Before playing the first encounter, read this introduction and the encounter carefully. It is not necessary for you to read the entire module before you play. The adventure will last many nights; read only those parts you will play in one session. 
The setting for this adventure is the City of Specularum (shown on the inset map). 
Specularum, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, is the most important city in the area. Specularum and the Duchy are ruled by Duke Stefan Karameikos the Third. Specularum is the Duke's home, and the trading center of his dukedom. About 5,000 people live in or very near the city. They are farmers, craftsmen, sailors, and traders.
The city is accessed by a port. The port is protected on the seaward side by two long breakwaters. A large river east of the city allows ships to carry cargos inland to other towns of the dukedom. 
The Duke has protected his city from attack by erecting a wall around it. The wall is dotted with 24 towers. His castle is located on a craggy hill that looms over the harbor entrance. In the city, the Duke keeps 500 soldiers ready for any emergency. The Duke also has an elite troop, the Elvenguard, who go on special missions and sometimes act as his bodyguard.  The entire Elvenguard often patrols the forest lands to the north. 
Just to the south of the city is the private estate of the Duke, managed by a loyal cousin. This land is mostly well-tended woods and gardens. It is surrounded by a low (15') wall. The Duke uses the estate as a summer palace and hunting preserve. Anyone found on the grounds is treated as a poacher. Poor workers and petty thieves live just outside the city walls. They work outlying farms and the Estate of Marilenev, a holding that surrounds the city. There is a street map of the city on the inside cover. This map shows only a few specific buildings. Use this map when the characters move around the city. Since the streets are narrow, muddy, and crowded, characters move at the normal dungeon rate. The MAP 1 SPECULARUM Specularum Woods Fields 1 hex='/2 mile encounters are keyed to specific streets.
As the adventure progresses, you may want to note information on the map — the location of an inn or the name of an armorer. The city has all standard services that the characters need; place the service businesses wherever you wish. The city is a crowded, noisy, unsanitary place. It is like the medieval cities of Germany and Italy. Reading about these cities will provide information useful in describing Specularum. The streets are very narrow, twisting, and dark. There is no sewage system, except for trenches in the centers of streets. Pigs, chickens, geese, and goats are not uncommon in the poorer sections of the city. Most buildings stand one or two stories. They are made of dried clay brick or mud and wattle, constructed on a wooden frame. A few buildings are made of stone or fired brick. Most businesses are on the ground floor, the owner living upstairs. Water is drawn from public wells, or from the river when the tide is flowing out. Crime and gangs are not uncommon. The gangs meet near the city walls and in the squalid sections late at night.

What we know:

We know that there is the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
We know that capital is Specularum and that it is on the coast and on top of a hill.
We also know that there is a city that runs east and links some towns.
We know that there is a loyal cousin that lives on an estate with trees and farmland.

I've intentionally left a lot of Karameikos empty, knowing that there may be more to happen there.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

B5 - Horror on the Hill

Code       Title                                             Level     Author               Year
B5           Horror on the Hill                           1-3         Douglas Niles     1983

About Douglas Niles:

Niles produced several modules for the D&D game, including X3 Curse of XanathonB5 Horror on the HillCM1 Test of the Warlords, and H1 Bloodstone Pass, and Dragonlance modules DL2 Dragons of FlameDL6 Dragons of IceDL9 Dragons of Deceit, and DL11 Dragons of Glory. Niles is the designer of 1985's World War II: European Theatre of Operations, a grand strategic game. Niles worked on the Battlesystem Supplement, Star Frontiers modules SF4 Mission to Alcazzar and SFKH1 Dramune RunIndiana Jonesmodule IJ2 Raiders of the Lost Ark, the World War II Game, the Sirocco Strategy Game (with Zeb Cook), and the Endless Quest books EQ #26 Tarzan and the Well of Slaves and Super EQ #3 Escape From Castle Quarras for TSR. Tracy Hickman had gottenHarold JohnsonJeff GrubbCarl Smith, and Larry Elmore in on the idea of Dragonlance before Margaret Weis and Niles joined them.[4]:16 Niles authored the rulebook Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1986). Niles had been working on a trilogy of Celtic-themed novels for TSR, Ltd., which were modified to become the first Forgotten Realms books, beginning with Darkwalker on Moonshae (1987). Niles also co-authored The City of Greyhawk boxed set with Carl Sargent, for which he designed the 96-page bookletGreyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess. Niles and Paul Lidberg designed the board game A Line in the Sand (1991), which depicted the first US-Iraq War; it was one of the projects originating from TSR West, and was published the day the US bombing began thanks to Flint Dille's ability to convince the president of the company to make things move fast.

Misc Info:

 is an adventure module published by TSR, Inc. in 1983, for the Basic Rules of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Its product designation was TSR 9078. This 32-page book was designed by Douglas Niles, and features cover artwork by Jim Roslof. It is intended for beginning gamemasters and 5-10 player characters of level 1-3. The module contains around 20 encounters on the surface, a monastery, three dungeon levels and three new monsters.

Module Excerpt:  (Background)

Guido’s Fort. The end of the traders’ road. Perched along the banks of the mighty River Shrill, this isolated frontier settlement is the last stop on the caravan routes. The mile-wide river is all that separates the Fort from the shadowy bulk known only as “The Hill,” a land of nameless terrors and ancient legend. The fog-shrouded crests and densely wooded slopes of The Hill rise 400 feet, looming ominously over the tiny settlement. On clear days, The Hill’s rocky cliffs can be seen jutting from its bulky mass, but the view is usually obscured by gouts of steam that seem to rise from outlets on The Hill itself.

This mysterious mountain has long been rumored to shelter bands of vicious monsters. Only the awesome waters of the Shrill have prevented the monsters from invading the undergarrisoned fort. Several groups of brave and hardy adventurers have crossed the river to explore The Hill’s summits and face the wicked monsters, but none of these bands was ever heard from again. Now a new group of eager adventurers has met in one of the inns at Guido’s Fort. It is here that the adventurers discuss their own daring plans to explore the dangerous mountain.

Player characters can find transport across the river from any of the local Cishermen; but once on the far shore, the adventurers are on their own. They must thread their way through a dense woods, where every bend of the trail can conceal hideous peril. They encounter mysterious beings, such as the two “kindly” old ladies, who may offer the party their special brand of assistance. Or, the party may meet the soldiers of a hobgoblin king mustering his forces for an attack on Guido’s Fort. If they make their way through a ghoulish graveyard, the player characters discover an old monastery, long-abandoned by its builders. The monastery is now used as a headquarters for the hobgoblin band. A fountain in the monastery’s garden yields a magical drink whose effects may not always be good. 

Finally, the monastery yields entrance to a multilevel dungeon that is sure to challenge the players’ wits and skills. It is in this dungeon that the hobgoblin king himself must be confronted and defeated. But that is just the beginning! Just as the characters think their adventures are coming to a close, a hidden trap sends them to a staggering network of twisting corridors, all seemingly leading back to the same place. Once through, the characters must conquer the final obstacle - a young red dragon -before they can look upon the sun once more. The rumors have never been proven false. No one else has ever returned. Thc characters’ boat is waiting. The Hill is one of horror, to be sure. But for the strong and daring, it is a Hill of just rewards for deeds well done. The new adventurers are ready and willing to take their chances. So let the adventure begin! 


This one is a bit more complicated than B3.  With B3, I was able to just insert the location on the current map.  B4 adds some elements that aren't covered in the current map, so I'm going to have to retool it a bit.

What we know:

There is a fort known as Guido’s Fort at the end of a trade route it is one the banks of a river named Shrill.

The river separates the fort from a place called 'The Hill'.  It references it as a land, so it's more than just one hill.  

This hill dominates the view of the settlement.  Meaning they need to be close.

They have to cross a trail that leads through a dense forest.

There is an old monastery they may encounter.

The module is one of exploration, so the map needs to be of a size that lends itself to that.

!!!! If anyone is following along, I need some suggestions for scale.  Right now I am thinking between 30 and 50 miles. !!!!  Any ideas would be most welcome.

Not sure if I like how B5 turned out.  May modify

Thursday, February 5, 2015

B4 - The Lost City

Code       Title                                             Level     Author               Year
B4           The Lost City                                1-3        Tom Moldvay     1982

About Tom Moldvay:

See A2 - Secret of the Slavers' Stockade, B3 - Palace of the Silver Princess
Tom Moldvay seems to be fairly prolific in the early years of D&D

Misc Info:

 It was first published by TSR in 1982 and was designed as a stand-alone adventure for use with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. The working title for the module was "The Lost City of Cynidecia". Moldvay designed the module to give novice Dungeon Masters experience fleshing out adventures and is only partially complete. The module is described as a low-level scenario, in which the only hope of the player characters' survival can be found in a ruined city slowly rising out of the sands. The adventure is set inside a huge step pyramid, with the lower pyramid only sketched out and the city itself described with a list of the major areas and a map. The adventure’s main villain is Zargon, a giant one-eyed monster and his minions. The entire double pyramid, not including the city, contains over 100 rooms.

Module Excerpt:  (Background)

The Fall of Cynidicea 

Centuries ago, Cynidicea was the capital of a rich and fertile kingdom. Its people reclaimed much land from the desert, especially during the reign of King Alexander—the last and greatest king of Cynidicea. Upon King Alexander's death, a huge pyramid was raised in his honor. This pyramid was the largest and most important building in the city. 

The fall of Cynidicea began on the day that workers, digging under the great pyramid, chanced upon the lair of a strange monster called Zargon. Zargon was roughly humanoid in shape, though larger than most humans. In place of arms and legs it had twelve tentacles. Its head was that of a giant lizard, with a large black horn in the middle of its forehead.  

The new underground city was much smaller than the ancient capital, but it was safer because it was hidden beneath the desert sands. Above, drifting sands covered the original city, and Cynidicea was lost in the vastness of the desert. 


This module really doesn't have much geography, so it's pretty simple to add to the barbarian lands on the current map.

What we know:

A pyramid was built in a ruined city called Cynidicea.

The land used to be fertile, but now it is desert.

                                                              B1 - B4 Series Map