Friday, February 24, 2023

OSR Commentary On O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1985), by Jim Bambra with Phil Gallagher For the BCEMI Dungeons & Dragons system & Your OSR or Old School Games

 "You are Erystelle of Dorneryll, famed elfin champion and magic-user. After years of adventuring, you have come home to the Emerlas?the hauntingly beautiful elfin woodland at the tip of Canolbarth forest. A place of legends and of peace."

"The journey has been long, but soon the winding forest track will bring you to Dorneryll, the majestic oak tree home of your childhood. Ahead, you glimpse a plume of smoke curling lazily into the sky. Dorneryll is close, and your mind floods with thoughts of home.

Suddenly, your reverie is shattered! The thin plume of smoke is gone, and in its place a column of red flame leaps high smoke the trees.

Dorneryll is under attack! Gripping your lance, you urge your mount into a gallop. Starbow surges forward; your war dogs close on her heels ". 

Let's get the obvious out of the way first folks and a quick history lesson;"O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1985), by Jim Bambra with Phil Gallagher, is the second "O" One-on-one adventure for the Basic D&D line. It was published in February 1985" And O2 ranks among some of my friend's favorite one on one adventures. Why?! Mathew on the Amazon O2 review from Feb 2009 sums it up nicely; "I have played through over forty modules in the D&D world. I rank Blade of Vengeance in the top five. I ran this module as a DM. My friend and I just wanted to kill a couple of hours with a one on one adventure. We both enjoyed this module so much that we purchased the rest of Jim Bambra's modules and my friend adopted the pregenerated character as his own. The rules are for the expert set, but I have always just used the storyline and converted the module to whatever format I wanted. This adventure has a rich background story, a linear but engaging storyline, reasonable and creative magic items, bits of mythology, and some tough combat. The adventure is almost Tolkien like. I have played most of the modules recommended by "darkseraphim" (he also reviewd this module)and I tend to agree with all of his reviews. Enjoy this module!" 
What makes O2 "Blade of Vengence" so damn awesome?! We Mathew Leivers sums it up best with his 2011 Amazon review when he says; "While it is written as a One-on-one adventure(one DM, one player) It would be easily be converted to handle an entire party. You'd probably want to enforce all elves who were related and from the starting town. I'm sure you could work in some other races if you considered them adopted children."  And we used the adopted children adventurers angle when my uncle adapted this module back in '86 for our party. We set O2 within Mystara's Alfheim. This made the campaign easily movable when it was time to move over to Greyhawk. 

Because of O2: "Blade of Vengeance" adaptablility this module is a prime canadiate to move over to Castle & Crusades quite easily. Take the adopted by the Elves gambit & suddenly your adventurers have reason to deal with the Elves & fall out. And for a Tolkein bent this is a great module to play one on one with your DM as the origin point for your rangers or other wilderness with the Elves familial tie types. This is especially true for a druid or pagan style adventurer. O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1985), by Jim Bambra with Phil Gallagher is a classic module & part of another era. And O2 is easily used with both classic & modern OSR retrclone resources. 

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