Excerpts Archive | 3/7/2013
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Dungeons of Dread: White Plume Mountain
Dungeons of Dread Excerpts

"Welcome to Dungeons of Dread, the archival collection of adventure modules S1 through S4. All four of these scenarios are durable fan favorites that have stood the test of time, albeit for very different reasons…."

So begins Lawrence Schick's foreword to Dungeons of Dread, the S Series Classic Adventure Compilation. He goes on to introduce the second adventure in the series:

"Module S2, my own White Plume Mountain, wasn’t written to be published. I wrote it as a submission to persuade Gary that he ought to hire me as an RPG designer. Mission accomplished: Gary offered me a job, and also, to my surprise, offered to publish White Plume Mountain exactly as written. Gratifying, of course, but also a little embarrassing, since the adventure was really just a sampler of clever ideas that were never fully fleshed out. Its central conceit, a “funhouse” dungeon full of tricky obstacles designed to challenge adventurers for the amusement of a mad wizard, was already a cliché even at that date. And I was all too aware that the artifact/weapon Blackrazor, included to show I could adapt ideas from other media to AD&D, was a descendant of Elric’s Stormbringer. But unlike Tomb of Horrors, the challenges in White Plume Mountain were designed to make players think, work together as a party, and ultimately win through and feel successful. Players liked that."

In today's preview, we look at the introduction to White Plume Mountain, including Keraptis' message to the players and important notes for the Dungeon Master:

Thirteen hundred years ago, the wizard Keraptis was searching for a suitable haven where he could indulge his eccentricities without fear of interference. He visited White Plume Mountain, going closer than most dared to, and discovered the system of old lava-tubes that riddle the cone and the underlying strata. With a little alteration, he thought, these would be perfect for his purposes. The area already had a bad reputation, and he could think of a few ways to make it worse. So, taking with him his fanatically loyal company of renegade gnomes, he disappeared below White Plume Mountain and vanished from the knowledge of men. . .

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