B1-9 In Search of Adventure
B1-9 In Search of Adventure Capsule Review by James Landry on 15/04/01
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)
Substance: 4 (Meaty)
The only way to run the original D&D modules. Adds roleplaying, plot, and meaning to a disparate group of modules and largely pulls it off.
Product: B1-9 In Search of Adventure
Author: Compiler Jeff Grubb
Line: Basci D&D
Page count: 160
Year published: 1987
Capsule Review by James Landry on 15/04/01
Genre tags: Fantasy
This is one in a series of reviews covering most of the Basic D&D sets and modules. I was digging through my old D&D materials before selling them, and decided to write reviews of them for people to know what is worthwhile and what should be avoided.
These reviews will contain spoilers, so avoid at your own risk. Of course, since these modules have been out for 17 years or so, maybe it is a little late for spoiler warnings.
In Search of Adventure
This is a super-module collecting the adventures B1 through B9 and linking them together through short interludes. Small changes to some adventures were made and parts of them sometimes left out. It came out in 1987, is 160 pages, and was put together by Jeff Grubb.
The adventures are printed all in the same font, but the order and writing is basically intact. The new monster statistics are at the end of the module, as are the maps on perforated sheets. The overall design works remarkably well.
It was designed to be used with GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos, which detailed the campaign area. Fortunately, they put enough information in this product that it stands alone well.
The adventures linked
The action starts in Threshold, but the PCs eventually travel all over the Duchy. There are three main tracks.
The first has the players cleaning out Caldwell's castle and the dungeons below (B9). Their fame spreads in Threshold and they are hired to retrieve something from the Rock (B8). After returning from the Rock, they may detour to the Caverns of Quasqueton (B1) before being captured by the forces of the Black Eagle Barony. They must escape the fort (B9) and warn Luln of an impending attack. The mistress of Luln repels the attack and sends a report to Specularum with the PCs. There they must expose the Veiled Society (B6).
The second arc has the players investigating the theft of a holy artifact by a lapsed cleric, Elwyn (B9). She had contacts with an evil temple farther north, so the PCs travel there to destroy it and its humanoid supporters in the Caves of Chaos (B2). The PCs receive a message from an Immortal and must save Haven, where they are instantly transported (B3). After Haven emerges from its spell, the PCs ride down-river and probably stay at Guido's Fort (B5). After they resume their journey, they eventually reach Specularum and are embroiled in the affairs of the Veiled Society (B6).
The third arc has the players traveling north to deliver a package to an elven maiden and give a message to a trader's partner in Selenica. Once in the elven village, they must save Rahasia from a terrible fate (B7). After reaching Selenica, they discover the partner has embarked on a trading expedition into the desert and follow him there. There they fall prey to a sandstorm and must take refuge in a Lost City (B4). They meet the contact in the desert by chance and he takes them to Specularum, where they meet the Veiled Society (B6).
What was changed?
I'll outline below what changes were made. The original adventures I have already discussed in previous reviews, so I'd encourage readers to refer back to those.
B1 - they just include the maps. This adventure can be played as a little side-trek, but the DM has to do all the work.
B2 - they only include the Caves of Chaos, and the objective is rechanneled into destroying an evil cult that Elwyn (of B9 fame) was working with.
B3 - The beginning is reworked, and the interlude justifies the adventure much more.
B4 - Only the five upper levels of the pyramid are described and maps provided.
B5 - Only the monastery and the lower levels are given.
B6 - A new map of Specularum is given which fits the ones in all other Karameikos products. Other than that the adventure is almost exactly the same.
B7 - The adventure is presented completely.
B8 - Only the middle of the three routes is given. The rest is the same.
B9 - In general, the adventure is presented as listed, except the princess kidnapping adventure (the worst of the five) is left out. Interestingly, they change the name of the being in Elwyn's Sanctuary from Namyats to Chardastes.
In general, this was a heroic and largely successful attempt to tie together the modules. Some of the interludes and changes make the modules better than when they were originally published. The main faults of the project come from not changing the published modules enough. With this product, you can actually create a pretty decent campaign. With GAZ1 and its source material, you can expand all the interludes, add more role-playing, and make it a good campaign. I would recommend this product if you are interested in starting a campaign in Karameikos and need some ideas for adventures. After these modules, you can nicely segue back into B10, one of the best D&D modules ever written.