Wednesday, June 26, 2019

An Alternative Campaign Path For B10 Night's Dark Terror by Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris, & Phil Gallagher

"Barely one day's march from Kelven, the uncharted tracts of the Dymrak forest conceal horrors enough to freeze the blood of civilized folk. Those who have ventured there tell how death comes quick to the unwary - for the woods at night are far worse than any dungeon. 

But you are adventurers, veterans of many battles, and the call of the will is strong. Will you answer the call, or are you afraid of the dark terrors of the night?

This campaign adventure is for characters just beginning Expert play (levels 2-4) and hurls them into the exciting outdoor world which awaits in the Expert rulebook. "
B10 Night's Dark Terror by Jim BambraGraeme Morris, &  Phil Gallagher show cases everything that Mentzer's Expert Dungeons & Dragons set was meant to do. That is drown the PC's into a situation that will test the players to their limits. DM'ed correctly & this adventure could take the PC's into some solidly dangerous situations & could result in a TPK.

This module premiered in '86 & there's a unique history behind its publication; "B10: Night’s Dark Terror (1986), by the TSR UK crew of Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris, and Phil Gallagher, was the tenth adventure produced for the D&D Basic Set (1981). It was also a return to basics after the home office in Wisconsin had stopped producing new Basic Set adventures in 1985. It was published in February 1986."
B10: Night’s Dark Terror (1986), presents the wilderness as both foe & setting for a mid range party of adventurers & it does an excellent job of presenting the adventures with an 'edge of the  frontier' setting that reminds me of the best of Robert H Howard's "Beyond the Black River" The player's PC's are literally up to their necks in the depths of a hostile environment. They'll need to be fast, quick witted, & wily to survive the machinations of the module. The DM needs to pay attention to the contents of this adventure & yes I said contents; "With a 64-page booklet, 2 double-panel covers, and complete scans of the orioginal double-sided mapsheet, this super-module provides all you need for epic wilderness and dungeon adventuring." The journey across the Grand Duchy of Karameikos is a very dangerous one indeed for the players are going to need their wits about them. There are several instances where the updated fan made maps available from the Piazza are a must.  Created by 
Sarastro Magnifico
The module is basically an adventure tour of the campaign setting of the 
the Grand Duchy of Karameikos & the DM has to keep the action moving. Done correctly & this module goes like an 80's action movie. All of the while it show cases many of the advantages of Mentzer D&D Expert Rules highlights & really showcases the streamlining of the systems. 

But I want to bring up the 
Graeme Davis review of Night's Dark Terror from White Dwarf No. 78 from the B10 wiki entry

"Graeme Davis reviewed Night's Dark Terror for White Dwarf No. 78. Davis felt that the farmstead in the adventure's opening was nicely detailed, and that the counters to play out the action on the 25mm scale map for that location were a nice idea. He commented on the plot of the adventure, "There is enough here to keep the fastest-moving party going for some time, and a section of suggestions for further adventures can help the GM to open out a long-running campaign in the area."[2] Davis did note that the numbering system for wilderness locations was confusing, with an example where a location has one designation at one part in the module, and at a later point the location has a different designation which does not correspond with anything on the map. However, Davis felt that everything else in the module was written and laid out very well, and that the module would be a tremendous help for any game master learning the Expert rules"
This confusion with the wilderness locations on the maps has been corrected in that fan made maps from the Piazza by Sarastro Magnifico. The Dragon's foot site has a good thread of suggestions for running B10 as well.

 But now I've got an idea for slipping in B8: Journey to the Rock as a campaign shake up before continuing onto X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield By  Michael Dobson. Not only does this give the player's a more even adventure path but it gives them time to go up the levels needed to tackle some of the challenges seen in X10. 

Of course this is going to depend upon if they survive the horrors, weirdness, events, & weather of 'B10: Night’s Dark Terror (1986)'. Because B8: Journey to the Rock builds upon the foundations of B10: Night's Dark Terror's wilderness exportation in spades & aces.
There are several reasons to do this: 

  1. Using B8: Journey to the Rock with B10 Night's Dark Terror gives the module a frame work to build the campaign upon. 
  2. There could be a connection between B10's baddies & the wizard which gives the PC's more puzzles. 
  3. The deeper one goes with this there could be ties with X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield By  Michael Dobson's forces. 
  4. The campaign context makes the armies of the humanoids very dangerous especially if coupled with B2 Keep on the Borderlands. 
  5. The war depicted in this module, The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, has all of its moving parts & pieces in place. 
  6. The forces of  Karameikos, are going to need all of the outside help they can get that's where the PC's form the internal chain. 
  7. The wizard of B8 might have vital information to the cause of the PC's and done correctly this might spur them on. 
  8. The wilderness of both B10 & B8 could hide any number of mini dungeons & these are the perfect bits for any campaign side quests. 
  9. Be sure to take full advantage of the random encounter & weather tables when running these two modules. 
  10. The PC's could become military spies or assets for Karameikos,& the DM should take full advantage of this. 

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