Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: XL1 Quest for the Heartstone (D&D Expert Set)

Module XL1 Quest for the Heartstone is an adventure for the D&D Expert set, Mentzer/BECMI version.

Let's be honest and upfront right away.  This is not a great module.   The adventure is widely described as being akin to everyone's first module.  The adventure is your basic "retrieve an item at the end of a dungeon crawl" fare.

The real reason behind this module are the toys.  Specifically the LJN/AD&D toy line.

In fact you can pretty find an entry for every monster in the toy line, save for Tiamat herself.

Now I am not sure if the module was designed to sell toys (not likely since the markets seemed different to me) or rather as way to bridge the lines.  There are references in the module n which toy to use for the encounter and to tell you the truth, it sounds kind of fun.

Reviewing the module again in this light, as an excuse to use the toy line, it actually dawns on me that it would be a blast with the right group.

It should also be said that this module includes the stats for many of the favorite npcs/figures such as Warduke, Kalek and Strongheart, plus a few I didn't even know about.

So viewing the module in this light, is could be quite fun despite it's short comings.


Tom Doolan said...

Interesting. I never knew about the toyline. I have a copy of this that I inherited yeas ago, but have never even read through it. I looked at it a couple of months and put in the "possibility" stack of modules I am thinking of running my 10-year old and her mom through.

Anthony N. Emmel said...

I enjoy. Stats for Warduke as a PC! :)

Guy Fullerton said...

I've only barely run this (and that was back in the day), but based on a recent reading: It's a good module. Something of a hidden gem. Look past the LJN character stats (Strongheart et al. aren't actually relevant to the module itself) and look past the forced "save the kingdom" hook:

It's a good adventure site.

The main location is complex and interesting, with puzzles & devices to figure out, multiple paths through & around, different factions to interact with, and plenty of combat/danger potential.

There's a big obvious hook you can use, and there's a number of less obvious ones alluded to by the module.

It's on my list of places that the PCs can hear about, through rumors, or when they (for example) consult a sage to locate some kind of item that happens to be similar to one of the heartstone's powers.