"The storm-stuff is not matter as we know it, and beyond Immortal control," the Hierarch sighs, "I fear we are doomed."
It appeared only a few weeks ago — a swirling gray mass of incalculable size. And in its center, an eye. A humanoid eye. Now the storm threatens the very era of Immortal rule.
The growing maelstrom emits a message to the Hierarchs. But what does it mean? Can it help save this realm of existence? Is there time to save this realm?
This first Immortal adventure pits your party against the multiverse in a desperate struggle to find the essence of life. This adventure is nothing like you've ever played before.
An adventure for Immortal level characters
IM1: "The Immortal Storm" (1986), by Frank Mentzer, is the first Immortals Set adventure for Basic D&D. It was published in August 1986.
Origins (I): The Immortals. In June 1986, TSR published an entirely unprecedented rules set for Basic D&D: the Immortal Rules (1986), which was the capstone for Frank Mentzer's BECMI rule set (1983-1986). For the first time ever, D&D players were given the (official) opportunity to play the game as god-like beings.
Origins (II): What's In a Name? Frank Mentzer was the architect behind the entire BECMI Basic D&D rule set, but he'd never written an adventure for the line. This was in part because he was largely free from the tyranny of "smaller projects" during the BECMI years. However, after the completion of the Immortal Rules, Mentzer was handed a new assignment: the first Immortals adventure.
Mentzer was pleased to write an adventure that really showed how Immortals worked, but he was less pleased that the Marketing Department had already come up with a name and was publicizing it. Thus, Mentzer had to write an adventure that fit with the existing title: "The Immortal Storm".
Origins (III): A History of the Modern World. The last part of "The Immortal Storm" takes place on an outer plane where "the most advanced known technological society exists." It looks a lot like modern-day Earth.
The idea of visiting Earth dates back to Gary Gygax's original Greyhawk campaign, which included visits to the Wild West, World War II, and a modern city. One of the character, Don Kaye's Murlynd, brought modern technology back to Greyhawk, as readers learned in Dragon #71 (March 1983) and EX1: "Dungeonland" (1983).
Prior to "The Immortal Storm" the most notable published visit to the modern world was "The City Beyond the Gate", an extensive trip to London that appeared in Dragon #100 (August 1985). Now it was Frank Mentzer's turn to take on the topic. He did so with visits to New York and Chicago.
Adventure Tropes: An Immortal Adventure. "The Immortal Storm" is the first Immortals adventure, which means that Mentzer was given the chance to really define what an Immortal adventure was.
He presented many new tropes (and some old ones too):
Step 1: Imagine an Epic Scope. Here, a massive storm (with a big eye!) threatens the whole multiverse.
Step 2: Delegate. The major immortals ask the minor (player) immortals to take on the task.
Step 3: Fall Back on Traditional Tropes. Though it's an epic adventure, Mentzer falls back on a classic trope: a multi-part MacGuffin hunt. The players must put together five different items to save the multiverse.
Step 4: Travel the Planes. The Masters adventures tended to focus on other planes of existence, and that's even more the case here, as the players travel across outer planes and elemental planes alike.
Option: Strip Away Their Powers. If you want to annoy your immortals, strip away their powers just when things look the most dire (here, when they visit modern Earth).
Expanding D&D. "The Immortal Storm" is one of the few early D&D adventures to includes stats for modern technology. It's quite abstract, but there's some information on damage from guns and from vehicles.
Exploring the Spheres. The players get to take a magical mystery tour of Basic D&D's planes. In "The Immortal Storm", they'll visit: the elemental plane of fire, the home plane of the tonals, the home plane of the notions, and the elemental plane of earth before visiting the "outer plane" of modern-day Earth.
This trip really shows how the Basic D&D planes differ from the Great Wheel. The tonals and notions are both new creatures that debuted in the Immortal Rules, while the elemental planes feature the more humanistic elementals of the Basic D&D world.
Monsters of Note. Obviously, this is an adventure that focuses on notionals, tonals, and elementals. Both the fire and earth elemental planes also get nice encounter tables that include some interesting variations of the elementals.
NPCs of Note. The players are set on their task by the hierarchs of the five spheres. They are (for now): Solarios (Energy), Nyx (Entropy), Djea (Matter), Khoronos (Time), and Noumena (Thought).
About the Creators. Mentzer was the architect behind the BECMI D&D rules (1983-1986), but this was his only adventure for the line. This was also his last publication for TSR, as he was soon off to Gary Gygax's new company, New Infinities. His first adventure for them, "The Convert" (1987), would have the misfortune of becoming involved with legal action from 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 email@example.com.