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The Haunted Tower (Basic)
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The Haunted Tower (Basic)

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The Haunted Tower game.

Contents:

  • The Fighters' Academy (16-page adventure module)
  • Tower of Evil (16-page adventure module)
  • Lair of the Vampire Lord (16-page adventure module)
  • Player handouts
  • 3 Maps
  • Cardstock counters
  • Cards
  • Cardstock tiles
  • 2 Dice (d6 and d10)

Product History

The Haunted Tower (1992), by Julia Martin, is the third and final adventure pack for The New Easy to Master Dungeons & Dragons Game (1991). It was published in September 1992.

About the Cover. The cover to The Haunted Tower (1992) is reused, as was the case with the earlier adventure packs. This one cam from the cover of CA2: "Swords of Deceit" (1986).

Origins: The Last Black Box. This was the last adventure pack supplement for the black-boxed New Easy to Master Dungeons & Dragons Game (1991). Like its predecessors it offers a board-game-like D&D experience, complete with dungeon mats and stand-up cardstock figures. The Haunted Tower is the same size as the original black box D&D game, but it has cyan sides.

Adventure Tropes. The black box D&D modules were mostly very simplistic dungeon crawls that dropped the characters straight into the dungeon — and that's what The Haunted Tower does, even ignoring the troublesomes Gloomfens that would have made the wilderness travel to the dungeon quite adventurous.

However, The Haunted Tower is the closest thing that Basic D&D ever had to a megadungeon. Granted, it's just 48 pages long, but in those pages it manages to cover nine levels of connected delves: three levels of an abandoned academy, five levels of towers, and one level of actual dungeon.

To account for this very large dungeon, The Haunted Tower includes rules for resting in between the three major sections.

Board Game Tropes. Once more, this adventure pack includes a board game that can be played with the components. This one is a pure co-op adventure game with all of the players struggling to explore the dungeon together. The exploratory chits are placed by the players; they get to see some, but not others.

Exploring Thunder Rift. Of all the boxed adventure packs, The Haunted Tower is the only one that feels like it's a truly integral part of the Thunder Rift, revealing the land like that best Thunder Rift adventures did.

That's because the dungeon of The Haunted Tower is the Fighter's Academy, the ruined home of the warriors who fought against the wizards in the long-ago battle that forms the cornerstone of Thunder Rift's backstory. It's located in the Gloomfens, another result of that war.

Monsters of Note. As one might guess, The Haunted Tower focuses on the undead. There's even a vampire at the end — a pretty high-level monster for black box D&D characters, who top out at fifth level, but this was in keeping with the black-box philosophy of giving players a complete (dungeon crawling) experience.

Future History. This was the last of the adventure packs, though support for black box D&D would continue in the form of another few Thunder Rift adventures, which were published through June 1993.

About the Creators. Prior to the publication of The Haunted Tower, Challenge magazine editor Martin had written a few books for GDW. This was her first for TSR.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Customer avatar
Christopher N August 16, 2017 1:35 am UTC
PURCHASER
This product is missing scans of: Back images of the character cards, map tokens card-stock sheet and the initial game set-up starter card.

(I have already submitted a complaint for this incomplete product.)
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
50
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 1081
File Size:
16.41 MB
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File Last Updated:
January 30, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on January 31, 2017.