My Top 5 Classic Fantasy Adventures

20 Mar

My Top 5 Classic Fantasy (and Science Fiction!) Adventures

This topic is floating around at Gothridge Manor, where it was in turn copied from another….so I thought I would try my hand at it, too!

The #1 spot goes to the first module I ever owned; the one that came with my Holmes Basic set:
B1 In Search of the Unknown.

While not particularly spectacular by today’s standards, it taught the basics of dungeon stocking and it was pretty much the DM’s dungeon the way they wanted it. Lots of things got killed there, just because they existed!

Of course, at 12 years old, I HAD to place a dragon in there… after all, it was Dungeons & Dragons, right? (“YAY! We beat the dragon!” … uh huh!)
It is my favorite because it was the first dungeon that I was Dungeon Master over 🙂

#2 Judges Guild’s City State of the Invincible Overlord

Maybe this isn’t an “adventure” as in a one shot thing, but it was HUGE back then. I do not know how many times I have played in or run campaigns in the City State, because they were so many and so fun, they have blended into one. In all actuality, my first campaign I ever ran myself was set here. The Invincible Overlord was the only badass guy in the universe that could be Lawful Evil with Good tendencies 😉

Oh, and I cannot forget my Thief beating a sailor up at the wharf district, one of the roughest places in the city, then dumping him into a barrel of pickled fish as he was unconscious! That event my first night ever in The City! Every urban setting I run has some shades of CSIOL to it.

#3 Dave Hargrave’s Arduin Adventure – Death Heart

I was already a seasoned Arduin veteran by the time we hit this adventure in 1980. Rolling dice on the sidewalk at lunchtime with your High School buddies, dodging death rays, slaying demons and acquiring a magic book that contains virtually every known spell in the Arduin Multiverse is just what every teen should do!

I loved this module, not because I barely survived it, but because of a magic item I got from it had a 2% chance of malfunctioning every time I used it. It was not too long after I acquired this magic item from the Death Heart, that my character became obliterated. The unlucky numbers came up and he exploded in a glorious ball of malfunctioning arcane magic! A memorial was held by the other characters, as there was nothing to bury… the praises of my Thief were sung and then I rolled up another character. I could tell I was used to tough campaigns by then because, while I would miss my thief, I stoically rolled up another PC without batting an eye. Hargrave’s stuff was whimsical and weird… which is why I love it to this day!

#4 Traveller module 12 Secret of the Ancients

The degenerated reptilian Droyne are the Ancients! The secret is confirmed and old tech rediscovered… there is Time-Dimension travel and all sorts of weirdness. Not everyone liked this module and I must admit, my own homespun games were more adventurous, but I HAD to know if the ancestors of the Droyne were the ones that spread the sentient races across the galaxy… the conclusion was predictable, but finding out was fun! Now I could ply the star lanes with all of my questions answered and die peacefully even if I jumped a black hole or crashed into some desolate moon.

#5 The Oldenhaller Contract

Maybe not “classic”, but certainly different, this is a relative latecomer, from ’95. What I liked about this introductory adventure included in the original Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play book was its dark brutality. You learned very quickly that the motto of WFRP, “A grim world of perilous adventure” was no lie! The characters get mugged, end up in jail, meet cute sewer rats and talk to friendly cultists that would love nothing more than to see you fed to unknown gods. All-in-all, the Oldenhaller Contract is  a real nice way to get to know your new neighbors!

Well, there you have it, the adventures that shaped my earlier gaming.
Which ones of these have you enjoyed? What adventures top your list?

-Jeff
“DM Retro”

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2 Responses to “My Top 5 Classic Fantasy Adventures”

  1. A Paladin In Citadel March 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve got most of the Arduin Grimoires but none of the adventures. Not for lack of trying, but I just can’t bring myself to pay the prices they go for on eBay.

    • Retro RPG March 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Hit Emperor’s Choice!
      http://empcho.bizhosting.com/vaults_of_the_weaver.html
      The adventures are reprinted rather cheaply here!

      I own the original trilogy from back then and have ordered the others (still waiting, because they had a Christmas blowout sale)
      I am going to do some posts on Arduin in the future.

      P.S. Your blog is awesome!

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