Wednesday, September 12, 2012

X1 The Isle of Dread, a thing of beauty!

TSR's The Isle of Dread is probably the single adventure module I have played the most on a repeat basis as a kid. Getting the Expert Box Set for Dungeons & Dragons was an exciting moment, as the Basic Box was now a flattened mess and dice were missing. The novelty of the rule book was great for me as DM for it gave me ample opportunity to wax imaginative in search of great adventure ideas worthy of my players.

But what made the expert set from D&D truly exciting was the adventure module included; Dungeon Module X1 The Isle of Dread. Offered as an introduction to wilderness adventuring and a wider game world, it was the stabbing female warrior on the back cover which fueled more masturbatory  heroic wet dreams, for me, than any other piece of fantasy art I can remember.

I don't think I ever gave this red haired piece of dungeon meat a name. Just another adventurer soon to end up broken, bloodied, and dead. I yearned to save her from the perils of the island, the certain death that awaits. But the god of D&D demands blood and souls and X1 is no exception. Especially for the poorly equipped party.

I routinely penetrated the dense jungle after school with my friend Glenn with poorly equipped parties only to have them be devoured by the insatiable maw which is the Isle of Dread.

This is another old D&D module I would love to give the OpenQuest treatment. With multiple party failures using the original TSR system the Isle of Dread highlights the inherent problems with those old mechanics. The complex adventure problems presented in a dense jungle setting really call for out of the box thinking more diverse character concepts encourage.