Thursday, April 14, 2016

A to Z of Adventure! L is for Lendore Isles

L is for Lendore Isles (and Len Lakofka).

I was a fan of Len Lakofka way back in the day when I first discovered his work in Dragon Magazine.

I think it was his articles on the Gods and Goddesses of the Suel Empire that read first. Especially the one on Wee Jas.  Or it could have been his article on the Death Master NPC.

But in any case it was his L series, the Lendore Isles, that most people know his work.

Module L1, The Secret of Bone Hill, is a classic for a number of reasons. First it was Lakofka's first foray into module writing. There is was plenty of background detailed in this module as well, a lot for what amounts to an introductory module.

The typical hack-n-slash or kick in the door plot is given over to what really amounts to a mystery.   The adventure section itself is actually only a small part of the adventure.

I also think it was that Bill Willingham cover.  I made character based on that magic user.

I got the chance to run my kids through this at Gen Con 2014 and we had a great time with it.
I had planned to run L2 Assassin's Knot, which is a great follow-up to L1, but time did not allow it.  By the time I had calculated all the XP the characters were ready for something else anyway.  Which is too bad, there is a great murder mystery in L2 that my youngest would have loved.

L3 Deep Dwarven Delve was completed at the same time as the first two adventures, somewhere around 1979, however it would not see publication til 1999 for the D&D Silver Anniversay Edition set.  I have never actually owned or even read this one. A fact that was lost on me till I started working on this post!  In fact the game it was written and published for, 1st Edition AD&D, was no longer in print and 3rd edition was on the very near horizon. Even the company, TSR, was no more having been bought by Wizards of the Coast.
(eta I checked and I did buy it on PDF at some point)

You would think that 20 years is enough to keep a guy out of the gaming biz. Well Len then released the next installments of the Lendore Isles adventures on the old-school gaming forum Dragons's Foot.

The next adventures were L4 Devilspawn and L5 The Kroten Adventures.
Plus material to support these adventures.

I have ready through these other adventures and I can't help but feel that they might work great for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. They have the same feel to me and think they would compliment each other very nicely.


JB said...

@ Tim:

While I have never played, read, or owned any of the L modules (I *think*...maybe the Assassins Knot was a free download from WotC a while back that I picked up?), I agree with you that Willingham cover for Bone Hill is iconic. It's one of this dynamic pictures that just stays in your mind. As a kid, I never bothered purchasing it (my own campaign had characters far too powerful for level 2-4 adventure), but I often lingered over the cover at the store. For some reason, I always assumed the dude being fried was an elf, though I'm not sure what gave me that impression.

Anyway...will have to pick these up some day. Good to know Len is still crafting adventures for his world!

Stelios V. Perdios said...

Alas...So many great adventures, so little time...

"Skelter" and "Zombire!" 'nuff said.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

The murder mystery sounds fun, like something you could really get your teeth into.
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)