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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:12 pm 
 

You know, A1 is not that great.  Running it OD&D style, those Aspis are pretty goddamn beefy, too.  But, it's a little ... linear, boring, whatever.  I thought I was going to run through the entire series, but I think I'll just let the party wander off to do something else after this is finally over...



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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:32 pm 
 

Agreed, I was never a BIG fan of the A series myself.  Something about slaves didn't jive with my image of fantasy/medieval worlds.  Fire up the D series, or L1, or the U series, or C series......lots 'o choices!

  


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:41 pm 
 

Well the A series was written for AD&D not OD&D so the monsters being seemingly overpower by OD&D standards makes sense.  Any other AD&D module would be the exact same way.

I would like to also say that the A series and A1 in particular is one of my all time favorites....


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:19 pm 
 

beermotor wrote:You know, A1 is not that great.  Running it OD&D style, those Aspis are pretty goddamn beefy, too.  But, it's a little ... linear, boring, whatever.  I thought I was going to run through the entire series, but I think I'll just let the party wander off to do something else after this is finally over...


As written, the adventure is a little raildroady...that comes from being part of a tournament...but I think the module series really hits it's stride starting with A2. Try to shake it up a bit for the rest of the series, I think I'll work if you add your own bits.  I can say I was a huge fan of the entire series, but in my 30 years of gaming A4 and the escape from the island was one of the most absolutely exciting gaming sessions my old group ever ran though!

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:33 pm 
 

I think it depends how you start A1. If you go with the intro given, then it can be very railroaded, but if you use some other means, and have the party "introduced" to the slavers through their own means.... well, hell yeah! Some modules weren't really intended for campaign play, other than to be used sporadically. A1-4 is like that, unless you're using Scourge of the Slavelords.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:04 pm 
 

I've always been very partial to A1, but I've also developed a lot of additional encounters/material for it by detailing surrounding buildings in Highport, expanding the sewers to connect to such, and otherwise building on the outline of what's presented in the scenario.  

A1-4 does this a little, as does the later 2e adventure Slavers, but neither to my satisfaction (he says with a "harrumph" :D ).  

I've also run A1-4 as tourneys, using the tourney PCs, etc., and that was quite fun as well, even with the more linear structure to the encounters.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:11 pm 
 

Please remember that all four were written as GenCon 1980 tourney scenarios. We fluffed them afterward for sale as modules.

Any GenCon final is bound to be interesting. It's late Saturday or Sunday morning; everyone's nearly exhausted from 3 days of partying & gaming, and any final event can represent the climax of the con for many players.

Some of my finals have involved the 3-level killer dungeon of Doc's Island (Egg of the Phoenix), the djinn on their home plane (DQR7P), and the caverns of the Moon (Needle).

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:36 am 
 

The specific problem with the A series is they are tournament adventures, but set in 'living' situations.

Tournament-ness isnt such an issue for a conventional dungeons of traps and independent monsters. It makes sense for each room to be a separate challenge. And for there to a be limited paths through the scenario.

However for A1-3 I want to have a sense that the slave pits, the stockade, and the city are real places with intelligent guards who can react to attack...and which the PCs can approach in many ways.
For me, the "fluffing" didnt go nearly far enough.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:15 am 
 

For my players, the series was ideal because they needed to be railroaded.  Otherwise they'd wander off on their own raping towns and pillaging women.

I also liked A4 where the PCs start off mother naked and in the dark.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:30 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:For my players, the series was ideal because they needed to be railroaded.  Otherwise they'd wander off on their own raping towns and pillaging women.

I also liked A4 where the PCs start off mother naked and in the dark.


Anyone remember the back cover to A4?  Where the helpless priest is trying to fend off a vampire with a crap wooden cross?  The scene that never occurs in the module itself?  My players were shitting solid bricks looking at that (I always set the module cover up as a sort of sight barrier, along with the DM screen).  The priest character got a wooden holy symbol slapped into shape PDQ after they looked at that....while the rest of the party quickly made stakes out of rocks, driftwood, whatever they could find.
  Anyway, whoever thought of putting that picture on the back cover, GENIUS!!!  :D

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:57 pm 
 

Yeah we did L1-2, those were fun.  A1 is OK, I don't mean to slag it.  I had planned on doing A1-4 then T1-4, and then GDQ.  But I might just go to T1-4 after A1... have to see what my players think, but thus far they aren't particularly into the slaves thing.  Go figure, a party full of chaotics not caring much! :)



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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:34 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
Anyone remember the back cover to A4?  Where the helpless priest is trying to fend off a vampire with a crap wooden cross?  The scene that never occurs in the module itself?  My players were shitting solid bricks looking at that (I always set the module cover up as a sort of sight barrier, along with the DM screen).  The priest character got a wooden holy symbol slapped into shape PDQ after they looked at that....while the rest of the party quickly made stakes out of rocks, driftwood, whatever they could find.
  Anyway, whoever thought of putting that picture on the back cover, GENIUS!!!  :D

Mike B.


I don't remember that, but then again, we drank a lot of beer back in the day.  Hell, my players might've done the very same thing and I just don't have the neurons left to recall.

Reacquiring copies of A1 thru A4 is one of my shorter term goals, BTW.  Luckily, there seem to be plenty of copies out there.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:07 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
Anyone remember the back cover to A4?  Where the helpless priest is trying to fend off a vampire with a crap wooden cross?  The scene that never occurs in the module itself?  My players were shitting solid bricks looking at that (I always set the module cover up as a sort of sight barrier, along with the DM screen).  The priest character got a wooden holy symbol slapped into shape PDQ after they looked at that....while the rest of the party quickly made stakes out of rocks, driftwood, whatever they could find.
  Anyway, whoever thought of putting that picture on the back cover, GENIUS!!!  :D

Mike B.


And...a nice change from module cover art that would essentially tell the players what to be ready for.

As a sarcastic comment I once named one of my own modules, The Tower of the Ancient Huge Red Dragon Who Actually Breathes Frost Watch Out the Prisoners are Vampires.

I wrote it in large letters on the cover.  It is about the same thing as the module art.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:08 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:Reacquiring copies of A1 thru A4 is one of my shorter term goals, BTW.  Luckily, there seem to be plenty of copies out there.


Ah...then we'll never lack for coasters!

Worst series of classic modules...easily the worst.


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:20 am 
 

i really liked the atmosphere of A1 -the sewer sections plus the slave pits made for a cool looking map. loved the aspis -one of the coolest monsters introduced in a module!

I was reallly surprised how detailed A2 was! I always thought the setting was pretty drab after A1 until i Dm'd it and read the whole thing through. Seems like there is more to this mod than any other single 1E mod-there is a ton of text filled with a lot of creativity!


A3 isn't really even a real module and is the reason so many people sour on the series as it's only real purpose is to set up A4!

A4 is one of the greatest modules ever made! It is a great conclusion to the series and really tests the mettle of the players true abilities! A4 makes it all worthwhile!


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:45 pm 
 

The A series is my favorite classic series.  A4 is a uniquely challenging module with the most exciting conclusion to any module series.  Even though the series shows its tournament roots at times, it has so many great ideas, encounters and confrontations that it rises above any of its limitations.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:23 pm 
 

I think I need to go back and read A4.


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:13 pm 
 

I really like the A series.

At school I dm'd a group from my year. We were a a failry clean cut group: sporty and/or geeks. Our games were great fun and sobre affairs

I also played ocasionally with a group from the year above. They were all into Sabbath/BOC/ACDC/Thin Lizzy etc. Their sessions were beer & smoke fuelled roller coasters.

As an experiment I ran A4 as a straight competition between the groups. I was quite surprised at just how comprehensively the cavalier beered up group slaughtered our meticulous intellectual players.

Since then the A series has always been a real favourite.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:48 pm 
 

Thenraine wrote:i really liked the atmosphere of A1 -the sewer sections plus the slave pits made for a cool looking map. loved the aspis -one of the coolest monsters introduced in a module!

I was reallly surprised how detailed A2 was! I always thought the setting was pretty drab after A1 until i Dm'd it and read the whole thing through. Seems like there is more to this mod than any other single 1E mod-there is a ton of text filled with a lot of creativity!


A3 isn't really even a real module and is the reason so many people sour on the series as it's only real purpose is to set up A4!

A4 is one of the greatest modules ever made! It is a great conclusion to the series and really tests the mettle of the players true abilities! A4 makes it all worthwhile!


I agree.  Or, perhaps more accurately, I agreed 20+ years ago.

Since I don't own them anymore, I guess I should reserve judgment until I reacquire them, but I do remember this series being among my favorite to DM.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:50 pm 
 

Something about slaves didn't jive with my image of fantasy/medieval worlds.


And the U series deals with "smugglers"?... for the first half anyways.

No one has mentioned the Doppleganger in A1, talk about an evening of good old-fashioned paranoia, even better than Ned in U1.

  
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