|Desert of Desolation Series (I3 - I5)||
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Another highly-popular series of modules for Advanced D&D, set in a fantastical desert Egypt.
The entire series was later combined into supermodule I3-5 Desert of Desolation.
Pharaoh was first printed as part of the "Night Ventures" series by Daystar West Media (a privately-owned company of authors Tracy and Laura Hickman). It was later purchased by TSR and modified into I3 Pharaoh.
Contributor Adam Shultz writes: "Daystar West's introduction is exclusively Amun-re's dream-like chant that the adventuring party hears as they traverse the desert. This chant appears later in the TSR version (page 9). Daystar's and TSR's chant sequence have all the same elements but Daystar's is about 10 times longer. It's like reading a book! As a whole, the TSR version spends more time developing the characters through wilderness adventuring (in the desert). I think the Daystar West version assumes these details are handled on the gaming table. Another difference to keep in mind is the concept of the 'Night Ventures' line; Daystar West intended for the adventure to be played out in a single evening session, and this translated to keeping the adventure within the tomb itself."
I3, I4, and I5 each come with a double cover (module booklet nested inside two covers of maps). Thanks to Eric Pass for this info.
Some astute collectors have noticed that the band across the top varies from a yellowish to a deeper orange color, and often varies slightly in size. This happens to be true of all TSR modules -- it does indicate a different printing (sometimes the inks used from print to print were not a perfect match, and sometimes the module was "cut" differently, leaving a larger border at the top or bottom). However, such differences are often difficult to discern (even when several of the same modules are laid side-by-side), and attempting to put any sort of sequence together based on these differences would be futile (and fairly pointless).
It is possible that fewer than 20 copies of Pharaoh (Daystar West) remain in existence.
The Second printing of I4 Oasis of the White Palm, with the header intact, is fairly rare. SW condition assumes the header is present. The Estimated Value on this print is highly subjective, since only recently have we realized its rarity.
Pharaoh (Daystar West)