"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Friday, June 3, 2011

X1 - The Isle of Dread, Cassandra's Spell Recollection

I am not sure if more people have been run through the Keep or the Isle. I strongly suspect the Isle but it would be a close call regardless. This has to rank as one of the more iconic modules from the early days of TSR. I know that this was #16 on the Dungeon "30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time". I know the list was flawed as it only included one non TSR product, albeit a great one, and it has some early 3.x clunkers but this they got right though to low IMHO.

The module is another one that is intended to aid a fledgling DM. This time it is with wilderness adventures. This takes now your third plus level adventures to sea and then to possibly their first wilderness adventure. This module is specifically said to be the first published wilderness adventure. This is our first introduction to the Known World which later becomes Mystara. Included in the module are 13 maps of isle and 16 new monsters. A special continent map, complete with background information, is also included.

The premise for this adventure is that a scroll describing a journey to a mysterious island and the treasures on the island including a great black pearl in the center of the island. The map does not contain many details other than the coastline because the crew was so depleted they could not fully explore the island. The players can do some legwork and find out who the writer was, their eventual fate and why they may not have returned.

The module serves the purpose of introducing players and the DM to wilderness adventures well. Cook and Moldvay make a point of throwing a laundry list of outdoor monsters into the module as well as adding some that become canon monsters in the later iterations of the game. The version I used is the later fourth printing. This one switches out some monsters and brings it more in line the Mentzer editions of the game. The story is all but the same though this version has what I feel is lower quality art. It also has some issues with the map that the DM may have troubles with. The module was later reprinted in Dungeon 114 and brought into line under the 3.x version of the game. The magazine did include a large poster map of the island and makes it worthwhile for that reason alone.

For reference the Top 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time, as ranked by Dungeon Magazine 116 are listed below. Grognardia did a write up on his feelings about this list and is worth reading.

   1. Queen of Spiders, 1986 (G1-3, D1-3, Q1)
   2. Ravenloft, 1983 (I6)
   3. Tomb of Horrors, 1978 (S1)
   4. The Temple of Elemental Evil, 1985 (T1-4)
   5. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, 1980 (S3)
   6. The Desert of Desolation, 1987 (I3-5)
   7. The Keep on the Borderlands, 1979 (B1)
   8. Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, 2001
   9. White Plume Mountain, 1979 (S2)
  10. Return to the Tomb of Horrors, 1998
  11. The Gates of Firestorm Peak, 1996
  12. The Forge of Fury, 2000
  13. Dwellers of the Forbidden City, 1981 (I1)
  14. Dead Gods, 1997
  15. Castle Amber, 1981 (X2)
  16. Isle of Dread, 1980 (X1)
  17. Ruins of Undermountain, 1991
  18. The Hidden Shrine of Tamochan, 1980 (C1)
  19. Against the Cult of the Reptile God, 1982 (N1)
  20. Scourge of the Slave Lords, 1986 (A1-4)
  21. Dark Tower, 1980 (from Judge’s Guild)
  22. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, 1982 (S4)
  23. The Forgotten Temple of Tharzidun, 1982 (WG4)
  24. City of the Spider Queen, 2002
  25. Dragons of Despair, 1984 (DL1)
  26. City of Skulls, 1993 (WGR6)
  27. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, 1981 (U1)
  28. The Lost City, 1982 (B4)
  29. The Assassin’s Knot, 1983 (L2)
  30. The Ghost Tower of Inverness, 1980 (C2)

Spell:

Cassandra's Spell Recollection


Level: Fifth
Range: None
Duration: Instantaneous
Ares Effect: Self
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Rounds
Saving Throw: None

Through use of this spell the magic user is able to recall any two spells of up to third level. The spells that are recalled must be ones that were previously memorized for that particular day. The recalled spells must also have already been cast for that particular day.

Use of this spell will not allow a greater number of spells to be memorized for a level than what would normally be allowed. If the caster does not have spells that can be be replaced by the recalled spells then the casting of this spell fails and it is lost.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

1 comment:

Marshall Smith said...

As a matter of possible interest, the Pathfinder adventure path Savage Tide is a return to the Isle of Dread. There are LOTS of call-outs to the original adventure.

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