Monday, April 4, 2016

A to Z of Adventure! C is for Competition Modules

C is for Competition Modules.

The C series of modules were mostly unrelated in terms of story.  Unlike the D that I'll talk about tomorrow or the G later on, there was no over arching story to connect these.

What did connect them was this idea of "Competition" or official RPGA scoring included in each one.  Back in the day (say late 1970s) D&D was being played by thousands of people. It had yet to capture the market like it will in the 1980s, but there were still enough players then that variations were creeping into the rules.  Some people had Greyhawk, others used house rules and the burgeoning 3rd party market was making inroads.  The bottom line was that D&D was not always played the same from group to group.  I even remember this back in the day when I played.  This was part of the reason why Advanced D&D was created and so many more rules were added.

Competition play in the form of the A and C series were a logical outgrowth of that.

I have always enjoyed the C adventures, but never played them.

C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
This adventure is a call back to the popular "Ancient Temple" style adventures, but it also had some interesting psuedo-Mayan and Aztec elements to it that really gave it a different feel.  It was ranked #18 in the 30 Best D&D Adventures of all time by Dungeon Magazine.
For me I have always wanted to run this adventure as part a longer campaign using Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.  There is such a pulpy, almost "Raiders of the Lost Ark" feel to this adventure.  You can also read +Eric Fabiaschi's comments on it here.
I have to say this is one adventure I am most looking forward to running.

C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for this one.  I never ran it or played under AD&D, but I have had a copy for years.
According to the official records the "Inverness" was likely the town in Alabama rather than Scotland.  Growing up in Southern Illinois we always thought that is meant Inverness, Illinois.  We knew that Gary had grown up in Chicago and Lake Geneva was much closer to Inverness than we were.  Well as fate would have it I moved to Palatine, IL which is just next door to Inverness.  I can see it from where I am typing this now.  We have a "lighthouse" here, or rather a water tower painted like a lighthouse right on the border with Inverness.   So I ran a Doctor Who game once using this module and called it "The Ghost Tower of Inverness, IL."
I recently ran this one and have detailed here: Weekend Gaming: Ghost Tower of Inverness

C3 The Lost Island of Castanamir
This is an odd one of the bunch. I have never read, nor do I own it.  It is also for levels 1-4 as opposed to the 4 or 5 to 7 of all the other adventures.

C4 To Find a King and C5 The Bane of Llewellyn
These two modules are linked.  I never played these versions, but my DM was able to get ahold the RPGA versions that were played at Gen Con in 1983, so we were going to go through those, but other things came up.  I never bought them and I don't think I have ever read them either.

Not sure if I'll ever run those last three, but I should pick them up sometime.

C6 The Official RPGA Tournament Handbook is not really an adventure, but a handbook scoring.


Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I honestly never realised quite how detailed everything with D&D is - I am very much enjoying learning through your posts :)
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Jonathan Linneman said...

Very cool overview once again. I've never taken part in an RPG competition and have long been intrigued by what form adventures designed for it would take. I should check these out at some point.

LilyElement said...

A few of my friends play D&D, I didn't know all that much about it though! :)

Pun Isaac said...

I still don't know how I feel about competitive D&D, but this a good overview. I'm looking forward to seeing where this theme is going to take us as the month goes along.

JB said...

I've run C1 multiple times over the years, usually with tournament scenario (and at least once with the tournament characters). There are really some excellent bits to it that make it a standout.

I've never owned the orIginal C2, but did have the HackMaster version, which is both a hoot and incredibly deadly. The "soul gem" motif was (if I remember correctly) ripped off for the Dragon Lance CYOA book.

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

I am visiting Lake Geneva again this spring... I am still pissed there is really nothing there to commemorate D&D...

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
The Multicolored Diary

Anonymous said...

You just made me look for a used copy of C1. I'm not sure I will pull the trigger, but I'm tempted. :-)