Beggars Review: Trial by Fire; for use with AD&D Rules
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:11 am 
 

Trial by Fire
By Mike Wilson
Judges Guild Stock # 650, 32 pages, 1981
Approved for use with AD&D

This is an introductory adventure created for use with the AD&D Rules.

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A good scenario and adventure module for beginning DMs and beginning Players, but still fun enough for even jaded RPGers to enjoy.

Basically a one-level dungeon with 37 fully detailed rooms.
The module is set up so that the DM needs only a short time to get ready for play.
The book even provides five 1st level Pre-Generated Characters to use with supplies provided, but you can use your own PCs as long as they are starting level.

A cleric would be helpful to cure wounds, and perhaps turn undead if needed.
At least one thief should be in the group, and even better two or more thieves; especially if multi-classed as fighters.
I also recommend at least a couple of Elves (to help find the MANY Secret Doors).
Several sturdy (and strong) fighters would also help (as always).

Beggars Note: A lot of the treasures in this adventure are bulky and/or heavy.
For more realism; the DM should probably look up and pay close attention to the AD&D encumbrance rules.
Large adventure parties and Higher level PCs would find this one too easy and would probably have no fun.

Background:
An ancient secret fortress was built on the border to the west at a time when the kingdom was at war with a neighboring barbarian nation.
The fortress was built and was used for several years with great success as a base for raiding parties into the barbarian lands.
Eventually the barbarians learned of it and made plans to destroy the place.
The commander got wind of those plans and caused the hidden fortress to be abandoned and sealed shut so as not to allow the barbarians to find and capture it intact.
The garrisons entire squad was killed in the ensuing battle, and the barbarians eventually gave up on finding the fortress.

Now the barbarians have retreated and rumors of the secret fortress have been coming forward.

Monsters:
A few undead (skeletons/Ghouls) and a bunch of regular low level humanoids and critters. (Stirges/Orcs/Kobolds/Goblins, etc.)
There is also a wondering monsters table provided.

Secret doors/Traps: more than 15 secret doors, and the normal run of the mill pit traps and other simple traps, including a few locked treasure chest traps (poison needle, gas).
There are also secreted alcoves and panels that will contain treasures.

Puzzles: One room (20-Pillared Hall) will be especially frustrating for players with little or no imagination.
A row of six pillars must be turned, with all 6 moving at the same time for a secret room to be opened and only the one who turned the 1st pillar can hope to move any others.
This requires some thinking on the players part and a little luck; and there is a clue in another part of the dungeon to solve this rooms puzzle.
The secret room contains several one use healing potions and a small amount of coin.
There are other head scratchers in this adventure as well.

I have not yet run this one, but it looks like it could easily be completed in one gaming session; especially if played by experienced players and run by a DM with some experience.

This module can be found any day on e-Bay for well under $10 and with some luck, you should be able to spend slightly under that including shipping (domestic).
The Beggar recommends this one for beginning players and DMs.
I would also recommend tying this one in with Corsairs of Tallibar (Same author...).
With the thought to run this one first, then the Corsairs module.
Please read my review for that adventure here:

http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12360


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

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Last edited by Gnat the Beggar on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:43 pm 
 

Thanks for the review, Gnat.

The room with the door requiring turning the pillars reminds me of the room in the Holmes Sample Dungeon with doors that only open if the statue is turned in the correct direction. Along with the similarities with Corsairs of Tallibar, I am wondering if this author started with Holmes Basic.

Interesting how they colored all of the secret rooms red, so you can spot them right away. I haven't seen that before.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:02 am 
 

I like the red colored Secret Rooms and Pit Traps too; However, not all the secret doors are highlighted red.
Most of the secret doors are simply marked with an "S"...
Of course that is a Judges Map.

Most of the monetary and magical wealth of the fortress requires finding and opening hidden and/or locked chests, and finding and removing traps from secret doors which hide a large portion of the treasure.
Which is one reason I would recommend more than one thief and more than one Elf for this one.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:16 am 
 

Sirges, orcs, kobolds, goblins.....?

What, no gnolls?

Note the running gnoll in the picture background.  I believe the artist is Siembieda...and that's his distinctive running pose.  It looks like that gnoll is either rounding the corner in the 300 meter hurdles or is posing for a football card photo.  (And where'd he get those tights?   8O )


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  
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