With one of my gaming groups we are playing the anthology B1-9 In Search of Adventure (1987), which I played as kid using the Red Box then with my dad as the GM. Now I have returned to these old books – though I never left the setting Mystara – with a group where many are experienced players, but few have played these oldies. However, we are playing them using the 4th ed.-rules, and having quite a lot of fun with that.
First we played The Clearing of Castle Caldwell, and then we skipped The Dungeons of Terror, and then we turned to Rahasia. From Wikipedia I have gathered, that the scenario – B7 Rahasia – was published in 1984, and was compiled from two earlier scenarios of which one was written as far back as 1979. That is a long time ago.
Elves, Witches, and Teleporters
Rahasia is an interesting adventure, as the characters are asked to help an elven village, whose local temple has been taken over by the evil Rahib, who has ensorcelled the Elven disciples, The Siswa, and as the adventurers begin exploring, they discover, that the temple is build into a mountain, and that the mountain is placed on top of an old tower in a battle between three witches and a powerful wizard in olden times. The witches are once again active working with The Rahib and planning to return to the world of the living and seizing the powerful magics in the tower underneath the mountain.
That is all fine and dandy, but it does seem a bit strange, that The Rahib, who has enchanted all the elven disciples is but a third level cleric, and the witches, who flung the mountain on top of the mountain, are third level spell casters, when they are gathered and at their most powerful. During the conversion from Basic D&D to 4th ed. I simply chose opponents of the same level as the PC’s and then played on from there.
One thing that makes Rahasia great is the tricky dungeon, that posses some delightfully annoying teleporters, thus making the dungeon rather difficult to navigate, and later the players not only have to navigate the six dungeon-levels, they also have to solve the mystery of the witches and discover the ancient mystery of the temple and the tower. This scenario is more than kicking in doors and stealing loot, and that makes Rahasia a worthwhile module to play.
It does have its weaknesses, such as the back story is spread out and detailed only in tiny bits here and there, so the GM will have to piece the full story together himself, but this also applies to certain reactions of the monsters, for instance an encounter with a group of bandits, implies from the behavior of the bandits, that they assume, that the PCs are disguised as they explore the dungeon, but it is no where stated in the text, that they assume this. The GM have to guess this, as he reads the encounter with the bandits.
The players failed the scenario, however, as one were turned into a platinum statue, another was possessed by a witch and a third got lost in the dungeon due to being pushed through a teleporter (which is a real hazard with the many push and slide powers in D&D 4th ed.), and the remaining to characters retreated. Instead of returning with a new party, we decided to pick the next module.
Next up is B4 The Lost City of which the first half is printed in B1-9, but I also own the original scenario, so we can play the full length version, if we desire so. A new party is about to be gathered, and as they travel from Selenica in Darokin to Kirkuk in Ylaruam, they are lost in the desert, when they discover strange ruins – and their strange inhabitants. It is going to be fun.