Thursday, November 24, 2016

Free OSR Adventure Series G4-9 by RC Pinnell For OSRIC or AD&D 1st Edition Campaigns

So over at Tankar's Tavern I stumbled across the G-4 through 9 series by RC Pinenell whose work from Dragon's foot I covered the other day. Now he's released his continuation of the infamous and iconic Giant series of AD&D 1st edition modules and he nails the classic look, setting, feel, and thunder of these old school adventures.
Note that these are very nasty, dangerous, and potentially lethal set of modules with some sharp and twisted turns in them. The author has done a killer job of capturing the G1 thru G3 series in spades. But if your unfamiliar with these classics let me aquatint you with them.

What is the G1-3 series? 
A giant with a club, a bearded giant with an axe, and a blue-skinned giant beat a helpless warrior.

According to Wiki: 
Against the Giants is an adventure module written by Gary Gygax and published by TSR in 1981 for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game. It combines the G series of modules previously published in 1978: Steading of the Hill Giant ChiefGlacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, and Hall of the Fire Giant King. All three were produced for use with the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. In 1999, to recognize the 25th anniversary of TSR, the company released an updated version, Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff. Later in 1999, Wizards of the Coastpublished a novelization of Against the Giants by Ru Emerson.
The plot of each of the three original modules focuses on a particular type of evil giant. Each can be played as a standalone adventure, or as a series. In Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, a tribe of hill giants have been raiding lands occupied by humans, and the humans hire the player characters to defeat them. Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl pits the player characters against the evil Jarl of the frost giants. Hall of the Fire Giant King concludes the series, this time against a group of fire giants. The first two modules disclose the existence of a secret force behind the giants, which in the third module is revealed to be evil drow elves. The plot involving the drow continues in four additional modules printed between 1978 and 1980.
The plot breakdown from G1-3 goes something like this according to Wiki: 

Each of the original three modules is a dungeon crawl. The player characters focus on battling hill giants, frost giants, and fire giants, three of the original evil giant types used in Dungeons & Dragons.

G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

The module begins with a prologue explaining that giants of different types have been raiding lands occupied by humans. Angered by this, the human rulers hire a group of adventurers (the player characters) to "punish the miscreant giants." The players' party is informed that they must defeat the giants, or have their heads placed on the chopping block. The human nobles equip the party with weapons and horses, along with a guide and a map that shows the location of the hill giants. The players are informed that the hill giants are led by Nosnra, a sly hill giant chieftain who loves to set up ambushes; there is an unknown force binding together different giant groups. The player characters are informed that they may keep any spoils they find, but must return at once if they determine what "sinister hand" is behind the alliance.
The bulk of the adventure takes place in two locations: the upper level fortress of the hill giants' lair, and the dungeon level beneath it.[1] In the upper level there are halls, barracks and common rooms. These rooms house Chief Nosnra and other hill giants, ogres, and servants. The dungeon level consists of slave quarters, torture chambers, and caverns. These house troglodytesbugbears, and carrion crawlers. The majority of the treasure can be found by searching the dungeons. The chief's treasure room contains a map of the glacial rift from Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, and a magic chain that automatically transports the party there.[2]

G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl

This module starts in one of two ways. If the players have finished Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, they have been transported to the glacial rift via the magic chain. They will know that they are searching for some force behind the giant alliance. If the players are starting with Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, then they have been hired by nobles to destroy the frost giants. Either way, a safe, hidden cave is easily found for a base of operations.
As in Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, the bulk of this adventure takes place in two locations: an upper area consisting of caves and the rift floor, and a lower area consisting of natural caverns. In the upper area there are ice caves, barracks, and a dome of ice. These are inhabited by yeti, frost giants, ogres, and winter wolves. The dome of ice houses a remorhaz. In the lower area there are caverns that house the servants, serve as a prison, and contain the Jarl Grugnur and emissaries who have come to meet with him. The main inhabitants are frost giants and ogres. The prison contains an attractive storm giantess. There are also polar bears; pets of the jarl. After defeating the jarl, the adventurers have a chance to pull an iron lever which will transport them near to Snurre's hall from Hall of the Fire Giant King.[3]

G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King

If it is played as a continuation of the first two modules, the players know that they are searching for the force behind the giant's alliance, otherwise they have been hired by nobles to destroy the fire giants. This module is twice as long as the previous two: sixteen pages instead of eight. Unlike the two previous modules where the giant's complex consists of two levels, the fire giant hall contains three levels. The giants live in a hot, smoky barren area made of rock; as in the previous module, the party is able to find a safe location for forays against the giants. The leader of the fire giants is King Snurre Iron Belly, and his hall is made of obsidian and natural caverns.
The first (top) level includes the queen's rooms, barracks, and kennels. Creatures encountered here include fire giants, gnolls, and in the kennels, hell hounds. The second level is also made of obsidian rocks and natural caverns. It houses chambers of spiritual interest to the fire giants. There is a hall that houses the dead fire giant kings, and rooms for worship. There are also rooms that contain drow clerics. This is where the party learns that the drow are behind the giant alliance, led byEclavdra, a high level drow fighter/cleric. The third level consists of natural caverns and contains a great treasure guarded by a red dragon. There are also more fire giants and drow; to exterminate the fire giants, the adventurers must penetrate deep into the active volcano where they live. If the DM wishes, there is a tunnel that leads deep into the earth; to the home of the drow. This allows the adventure to be continued in Descent into the Depths of the Earth.[4]
Find out more about these modules right HERE

Does the G4 - 9 Series
Live up To Its Predecessors?

In a word, yes very much so.

Everything from font, text, story line, setting, etc. is brought into focus and given a really well done treatment. And their very consistent in how and what they do with it. The modules are solid pieces of OSR adventures completely compatible with AD&D 1st edition or OSRIC.
The maps are especially nice and very much in the spirit of the old while actually being readable. The script and font is spot on and very nice.
Make no mistake these are nasty business for PC's and really well crafted adventures. The monster encounters, treasures, etc during encounters is like something from TSR and highly playable from the get go.
When taken as an over all scheme these modules hit all of the high points of the original set and continue right out of the gate into a fully blown campaign of a dark and sinister vein. The rest of giant kind taking center stage right at the fore front of all of the events  and the PC's moved right into the middle of things.
Treasure, encounters, monsters, and even dungeon locations are very well done but they all have the potential for TPK if the players are not careful in their adventure choices. But this is exactly as it should be. This isn't a light weight set of modules but a grand adventure in the best of styles.
This series of modules has everything that DM could want to pick up and run from the Against The Giant series with a fully fleshed out run of danger, monster killing action, treasure, and even more. Do yourself a favor if your into AD&D or OSRIC and grab these today!

Go over to Tankar's Tavern For These HERE

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