Monday, January 6, 2020

Using & Expanding UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave (1e) By Dave J. Browne, Tom Kirby, & Graeme Morris

Fleeing the rage that consumed their feuding families, Juliana and Orlando fled to the Cave of Echoes, where it is said every wish is granted. Two years have passed, and all attempts to return the lovers to their parents have failed, though some believe them lost in the enchanted garden beyond the cave.

Many are the rescuers who have entered that enchanted park; a few have returned after long absences, their minds and memories curiously disturbed. Now, the handsome reward offered for the return of the lovers has tempted you, but who knows what lies beyond the Crystal Cave?

For the better part of Holloween into 2020  now I've been dealing with a cold & sinus issue that has seriously kicked my ass. Not that it has in any way or shape cramped my style when it came to my gaming for 2020. The fact is that I've also been thinking of Rpg Pundit's Lion & Dragon as well as 
RPGPundit Presents: The Old School Companion 1 From Spectre Press. I've been thinking about adapting UK1: 'Beyond The Crystal Cave into a Dark Albion or Dark Europe setting using the Companion. 

UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave" (1983) is the first adventure in the "UK-series" of modules produced by TSR UK. It was released in 1983. The adventure is for PC's between the levels of 4-7. This is not an easy adventure to adapt to more modern OSR games or is it? The module actually seems far easier to marry to Lion & Dragon because of the star crossed lovers. The module is partially based on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet with a healthy dosage of the Tempest. Not at first this may not seem like a marriage suited to the Lion & Dragon Rpg.  

Let's pump the breaks here. The party made up from both worried family's retainers & adventurers working together to track down the where abouts of a pair of star crossed lovers who have fled into a enchanted garden of the ancient Elves?!
This module relies heavily on the Fiend Folio of monsters including a rare Yu Lung dragon! Echoes of this formula would be seen throughout U.K. TSR run of modules. But the Cave of Echoes has such potential even through this is a thinking man's module! Set 
UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave"  against the backdrop of the Rose War & suddenly things can get very complicated indeed. 

Juliana and Orlando as minor royals set's off all kinds of alarm bells at court because their disappearance could signal the fact that both families have been weakened by a loss of face against the tapestry of  'the War of the Roses'. The War of the Roses is for the very soul of the throne of England.Not only are the heirs of the families missing but the family's are distracted. This means that thier full attention to their duty to the crown is disconcerning to the other royals. Parties of adventurers are actually going to have to think their way out of UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave". 

This is where the 
UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave" shines & the 

RPGPundit Presents: The Old School Companion 1  shines because it allows the players take all of the hints dropped in U.K.1 & flesh them out. Family dynamics, double crosses, & more bring the facts into their game. 
 UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave"  is an excellent module to start a campaign with the party of adventurers becoming entrenched in three different royal family of means lives. The advantage is that the PC's have a duty to the plot of U.K.1 without getting rail roaded if the DM takes full control & advantage of the module.  UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave"  is a rare example of a campaign starter that might lead to ever greater glory or even an inquistor investigation of the dangerous Chaos influences hinted at in the module! 

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