Friday, December 30, 2011
S2 White Plume Mountain, Wild Magic 5
White Plume Mountain is one of what I would call the iconic modules of first edition AD&D. If you played AD&D back when this was released you most likely played this and even if you started earlier or later in first edition and even into second edition there is a good chance you played in or ran this.
Sorry for a mini spoiler but there are not many who have not heard of Wave, Whelm and Blackrazor. I wonder how many characters were destroyed by Blackrazor? I think Whelm is a much better and usable weapon though who did not want to wield a replica of Stormbringer just once.
The version I am writing about today displays the sword on the back. It also features the image I use for my Blogger avatar on page 13. This was the second printing and I actually prefer this one for the additional four pages since it is all added art. Other than the Willingham "halfling" the Jeff Dee and Jim Roslof art without a doubt add to the module as does the Otus map.
Grognardia did a great post on the top 30 modules as ranked in Dungeon magazine. He stated that he thought that this module deserved to be on the list but did not perhaps deserve a top 10 location. Rankings like this are very subjective but I might tend to agree. There are other modules on that list that I would rank higher (iconic does not always mean amongst the best) most notably Castle Amber and The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. His concern was that it was too game-y and I can understand that. It does seem created as an adventure and not something that would occur in a real fantasy world....I am going to stop now as I am waxing into Superman could beat Thor area!
The module was written by Lawrence Schick who I think has a fair knowledge of gaming material having written what is most likely still the definitive guide to RPGs in Heroic Worlds. I find it funny that Heroic Worlds calls S2 a "classic crawl through a tricky dungeon". Not that it is not exactly that but I wonder how I would rate the things I do or write. I wonder if he wrote that or asked someone else to summarize it?
In the end this is a module that anyone who likes D&D or AD&D or even the OSR should have. It is a very good if not great module with the added value of providing a glimpse into the early days of the hobby. There are three printings of the module so it should be fairly inexpensive to pick up. As I said I prefer this printing, for the additional art, but I am not sure if the collectors edition reprint has the new art or not.
This module contains background information, referee's notes, player aids, a complete map level, a cutaway view of the mountain compiles, and more than 15 pieces of art for both DM and player. White Plume Mountain is from the special ("S") series; like others in the series, it is meant to stand alone on its own and is a complete Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure. The recommended number of players is four to ten, with levels ranging from fifth to tenth.
Wild Magic 5
Area of Effect: Special
Casting Time: Special
Saving Throw: Special
With the casting of this spell the magic user is able to simulate the casting of any fifth or lower level spell. The spell will work best if it is a spell that the caster knows though this is not a requirement.
When this spell is used the caster will be able to use any fifth or lower level magic spell even it is is not one that they memorized or even know. If they have it in their spellbook the spell will go off without problem.
Spells that are not in their spellbook will be trickier. If they have seen the spell cast there is a 50/50 chance that it will work. If the spell fails then there is another 50/50 chance of things happening. It is possible that the spell will just out and out fail. The other is that it works but in reverse and in a negative way for the caster, possibly even affecting them.
The caster can even use this to try and create some new magical effect. The DM may choose not to allow this. If they do then they will need to impose strict limits on its use.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of 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.
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