Friday, June 19, 2020

Black BASIC Dungeons & Dragons Thunder Rift Setting & A Trail of Murder - Campaign Commentary

"The Shady Dragon Inn is a set of pre-generated characters for use with the Dungeons & Dragons game. This player's aid comes in two parts: each character appears first in a section devoted to his or her character class. They appear again in the second section as members of a party. As a DM or as a player, you may use either or both sections; over a hundred characters await you!

Each character has a brief biography that will help you to create backgrounds for PCs or NPCs as needed. Also included is a rough physical description, and a list of items owned by each character.

The Shady Dragon Inn also contains the D&D statistics for those special characters who are presented by figures in the D&D and AD&D toy line, and provides a tavern setting from which players may start adventures or gather party members."0

Take a classic era TSR product & you can find some very interesting little tid bits in the hidden gems of another era. Take for instance 'AC1  The Shady Dragon Inn' by Carl Sargent filled with over 100 pregenerated NPC characters.. Now for quite while now I've been needing an NPC to help fill an NPC murder niche.
Before I continue this particular NPC is inspired by the fact its for Mike Stewart's Victorious rpg  And the fact that the Thunder Rift campaign setting for Black Basic Dungeons & Dragons has a lovely little adventure called Escape Thunder Rift which expertly places this setting in Mystara.

Thunder Rift on occasion crosses into the world of Fairyland in my 1870' alternative history version of New York City & also  'AC1  The Shady Dragon Inn' by Carl Sargent which quietly appears on a side alley in the city . This brings me to mad, evil, & highly dangerous NPC that crosses over from the inn into New York with murderous intent. My version of the Shady Dragon Inn is taken from The Vaults of Pandius here.. 
I'm speaking about Zarak the Evil Half-Orc Assassin whose going on a job. And if you think that he's not someone to wreck havoc think again. 

My use of Zarak is inspired by the pint sized assassin the BCC's exceptional '87 adaptation of 'Sherlock Holmes' 'The Sign of the Four'.  There's a cursed treasure from Mystara that's crossing hands & causing murders in my campaign. 

The 1892 cloth-bound cover of The Sign of Four after it was compiled as a single book

Someone's hired   to recover that treasure and now the bodies are starting to pile up. But no Venger isn't on the other end of Zarak. Instead someone far more personal to our player characters is.. My use of Thunder Rift isn't an accident because it goes all of the way back to '94 when I took the self contained book for a spin. Thunder Rift is small. .You've got self-contained little setting in a valley about thirty miles long. All of the familiar Basic Dungeons & Dragons monsters are in here including a dragon, elves, dwarves, goblins, & lots of human settlements.

The quality of the Thunder Rift's setting & adventures are exceptional. They make excellent OSR campaign adaptions & their not well known to the experienced & jaded AD&D or D&D players. They can be used in very unexpected ways to suit a dungeon master's taste. 

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