Guest Writer: Johnny “Danger” Morris
Dungeon Magazine was an excellent resource for DM’s on a budget. You could get several adventures that could easily be dropped into your campaign world for the adventurers to stumble upon. Issue #39, published for January/February 1992 contains 7 adventures ranging in character level from 0-10 including one set in the Spelljammer setting.
Adventure #1, Below Vulture Point by Jeff Fairbourne, is a very nice little starting adventure for 6-9 characters of 0-1 level. It finds the adventurers out to stop an Urd named Dorug who has taken command of a band of kobolds and trained giant vultures to attack townsfolk traveling on a treacherous road. There are given a couple choices of random encounters that could happen on the road, in addition to 13 well thought out rooms in the cave of Vulture Point.
Adventure #2, Flowfire by Steve Kurtz, is the one set in the Spelljammer setting. It is a series of mini adventures for a party of 5-9 level characters who have a Spelljamming vessel. The random encounters range from the party finding a derelict vessel floating out in space (is it abandoned or merely “playing dead”?) to a Space Whale sighting to Flow Pirates with a special crew member for an unexpected surprise. All of these encounters sound like a perfect Spelljammer campaign to fill up that travel time through the vastness of space.
Adventure #3, The Last of the Iron House by Jasper Jones, is designed for 3-5 characters of levels 2-4. In this adventure a robber band of dwarves operating out of a cave have teamed with a few sahuagin priestesses to frame a local as the leader of the robber band. The PC’s are hired to clear the locals name and stop the dwarven bandits from harassing locals. The creatively designed cavern is based on caves the author saw in Mexico. Deep in the cave is an underground opening to the ocean where the dwarves and sahuagin communicate. Very imaginative and should prove to be an interesting adventure.
Adventure #4, The Fountain of Health by Ann Dupuis, is a D&D adventure using the Rules Cyclopedia, so it may require some tweaking if you use AD&D or your favorite retro-clone. It is designed for 4-6 1st level characters. Years ago a temple was built around a fountain whose waters could heal the sick, diseased, and blind. A warlord coveted this water and sent a stone golem to destroy the temple when the priests refused to give him use of its healing waters for his army. Many years have passed and now the temple ruins have been occupied by monsters. The temple ruins are a nice 22 room set up for the PC’s to explore. This adventure would be a nice start to a new campaign easing 1st level adventurers into exploring.
Adventure #5, The Fire Giant’s Daughter by Wolfgang Baur, is designed for 2-4 characters of levels 8-10. This adventure is set in wintertime and is based in a Viking Mythic Europe setting, however it could just as easily be dropped into your campaign world during winter. At a winter gathering called an Althing, a skald comes telling a story of a 12′ tall female ghost near the hot springs who used magic to call him to her but he broke free at the last moment. He warns that the ghost will steal the soul of anyone she catches. Are your adventurers brave enough to stop the ghost or will they show cowardice in front of the some viking warriors? This is an interesting adventure with some unique Rune Magic involved in some of the action.
Adventure #6, The Ulrich Monastery by Peter Aberg, is designed for 1 PC of level 5-6, preferably a cleric with a divination sphere of influence. This adventure is perfect for if a Cleric party member has to make atonement for upsetting their deity. Upon arrival at the Monastery, the PC will find all the clerics have been slain in a gruesome Yeti attack. Arriving near dusk, the PC will have to stay the night and survive a Yeti attack on their own. This is a good solo adventure and has some character building opportunities.
Adventure #7, Legerdemain by Matthew Michael Patrick Schutt, is designed for 3-5 characters of levels 4-7. This is a city adventure and takes place in a theater. The adventurers must halt the criminal activities of a mysterious malefactor who uses the theater as a battleground. This adventure is much more roleplay and less hack and slash. The well designed Legerdemain Theater begs to be used in further adventures. It is laid out with 54 rooms with excellent descriptions and could be a place the adventures come to see shows in the future or anything else you can think of to happen in a theater; Phantom of the Opera maybe? This is a great adventure for a more civilized adventuring party.
After just about every mini-module in Dungeon magazine, they include further adventure hooks for a DM to use to flesh out the adventure and to help fit it into their campaign world. The hooks are good springboards for DM imagination and can be mined for additional adventures that the DM will have to design on their own. In all, getting seven adventures for the price of one magazine is a price point that is very hard to ignore for the cost conscious DM. These adventures can be dropped into your campaign world where ever the DM sees fit or can even just be used as one shots if your regular group is missing a player or two for the normal campaign.