Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review & Commentary on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - I13 Adventure Pack I For Your Old School Campaigns

"I13: Adventure Pack I (1987), by Scott Bennie, Anne Brown, Deborah Christian, Jennell Jaquays, Harold Johnson, Anne Gray McCready, Steve Perrin, Warren Spector, Rick Swan, Ray Winninger, and Allen Varney is the thirteenth intermediate-level adventure for the AD&D line. it was released in May 1987. "

Eighty seven was a bumper year for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, & 
I13: Adventure Pack I isn't a product that gets a lot of airtime in old school circles. That's fine because its about time that this adventure anthology gets its due.  I13: Adventure Pack I is a classic adventure anthology in the sense that it presents actual useable side quests that a DM can insert into their OSR or old school games. And it does it with style. Why?! Because this is an intermediate title in the 'I' line of adventures. 
These are specifically tailored adventures for mid level & middle of the road adventurers & these adventures follow specific categories that enable a DM to tailor the material to their home campaigns.

And if you don't think that 
I13: Adventure Pack I (1987) is a classic then think again the reviews over the years have borne this out; "In his review for Adventure Pack I for White Dwarf No. 92, Graeme Davis said, "I'm confused over why this product is called I13 rather than REF5; it certainly has more in common with the two Books of Lairs than with any of the Desert of Desolation adventures".[2] Of the adventures, he said that "some are thinly-disguised monster bashes, whilst others rely on thought and subtlety. Some look like Book of Lairs ideas which grew in the writing, and some are not so easily classified."[2]Davis concluded by noting that the adventures were designed to be used at any point in a game, and were generally long enough for a single evening of play. He added that the styles of the scenarios were so varied that they might not all suit a group's play style, but said, "However, even so I13 is worth a look if you play a lot of AD&D and like to have fill-in adventures handy."

Yeah your gonna see that word 'handy' a lot and it shows because this is the same style of review that 
Ken Rolston also gave  I13: Adventure Pack I ; "Ken Rolston briefly reviewed Adventure Pack I for Dragon magazine No. 129 (January 1988).[4] Rolston called it "a good collection of short, stand-alone AD&Dgame adventures by a number of established and promising designers".[4] He felt the plots, tones, and flavors of the adventures were particularly original and offbeat. His favorites were "Steaks" by Allen Varney ("a compact, charming, nicely staged gaming vignette with a clever central plot device") and "Terror in Skytumble Tor" by Paul Jaquays ("a sharp little adventure with clever plot devices and vivid NPCs in a derelict sky castle that is ponderously tumbling end-over-end toward the earth").[4] Rolston felt that while reading long modules could be rather dull, these short adventures were a good length. He considered them long enough to present an idea, but short enough to read straight through without getting bored, and "the varied tones — some light and clever, some earnest and heroic — make for a more pleasant reading experience".[4] He concluded that "the adventures here are comfortably conventional in their AD&D game feel, and can easily be slipped into a typical house campaign""

But is 
I13: Adventure Pack I  still useful today in the world of old school & OSR campaigns?! Yes it is for a number of reasons. First of all it works with OSRIC & easily translates over to Labyrinth Lord Advanced without any  issues.

So what's in I13: Adventure Pack I ? The fact is that the whole package reeks of old school AD&D within the middle period of the Eighties;" Adventure Pack I is a collection of eight scenarios and three mini-scenarios, including a mystery at a magical circus (written by Warren Spector), a war between assassins (written by Steve Perrin), and a mission to the spinning sky castle of a dying storm giant (written by Paul Jaquays).[1] The adventures average 8-10 pages in length, and are intended for character levels 4-10.[2]
The individual scenarios are titled "Blood and Laurels", "The Circus of Gandolfo", "The House of Long Knives", "The Lauros Road Bandits", "Reign of Triumph", "Scavenger Hunt", "Sharla's Zoo", "Steaks", "Terror in Skytumble Tor", "To Kill A Kraken" and "The Weird Woods of Baron Orchid"" 

Its the flexibility & sheer variety of adventures & slices of old school encounters that make I13: Adventure Pack I such a classic. Any of the retroclones or even the B/X  Dungeons & Dragons systems can benefit from this module anthology. I13: Adventure Pack I is a class act all of the way around & should be in any dungeon master's tool box. 

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