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Forest Maker (2e)
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Forest Maker (2e)

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Most adventurers know better than to listen to rumors. But when the rumors speak of a magical forest blooming deep in the burning stretch of the Alluvial Sand Wastes, even the most battle-hardened gladiator takes notice. A mysterious summons has gone out to the humans and demihumans of the Tyr region, luring them to the new forest and promising Athas' salvation. Now your characters have heard the call - but will they heed the Forest Maker, or seek to destroy her?

Designed for 4 to 6 characters of 11th to 13th level, Forest Maker brings player characters from the sun-baked streets of Tyr to the walled fortress of Altaruk and beyond. Forest Maker is a stand-alone adventure.

This latest in the Dark Sun series of adventures has be redesigned with standard-size booklets, one for the DM and one for the players. A third booklet provides a descriptive short story to set the tone of your adventure.

Note on the Print edition: The original three booklets have been combined into a single volume.

Product History

Forest Maker (1994), by John J. Terra, is the first standalone adventure for Dark Sun. It was published in April 1994.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. The Dark Sun line included two sequences of adventures. The "Freedom" series ran from 1991-1993, then the level-connected "DSM" series ran from 1993-1994. Each one topped out with an Epic adventure for levels 10-13.

With Forest Maker, TSR moved on to standalone adventures. There would be just one other, City by the Silt Sea (1994), before the Revised Campaign Setting (1995) led the line in a different direction. Forest Maker is also notable for being the highest level Dark Sun in the line, running levels 11-13.

Physically, Forest Maker is a transitional product. It maintains most of the formatting of the flip-book adventures: A GM's book contains carefully organized events, a player's book contains pictures and pregenerated characters, and a piece of fiction completes the package: "Claw of the Blue Mekillot", by J. Robert King. Unlike the flipbooks, the books in Forest Maker are standard sized.

Adventure Tropes. Forest Maker is an event-based travel adventure, with three small sandboxes in Tyr, Altaruk, and the Forest. The travel-based encounters are very typical of Dark Sun's flip books, driving the players from one staged encounter to another. The sandboxes are a bit more open than was typical for the line, and give players more opportunity to explore and make decisions for themselves.

However, the overall story of Forest Maker is definitely the plot-centric design that was common in the '90s. Certain events are designed to happen to matter what the players do; they largely define the adventure.

Expanding Athas. The adventure begins with a visit to Tyr, a popular locale in Dark Sun. According to Beyond the Prism Pentad (1995), this adventure was set in Free Year 7, making it a much-later return to the popular city. However, Forest Maker just details a fairly generic neighborhood, so it's not much of a chronological catchup.

The other settings are mostly new. The Trade Fortress of Altaruk had received a few paragraphs in Dark Sun (1991) and had been mentioned here and there, but this was its first spotlight. The Alluvial Sand Wastes had previously been visited in DSE1: Dragon's Crown (1993) and touched upon elsewhere, but this was of course a new vision of the place, complete with freshly grown forest.

About the Creators. Terra got his start as a "word mercenary" in the mid '80s and first wrote for some of TSR's anthology titles in 1988. By 1994 he was writing across the industry with other clients including FASA, Mayfair, and West End. This was his only contribution to the Dark Sun line.

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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September 13th, 2017
This is a review of the POD-copy of this adventure. I recently ordered a POD-copy of this book. While the Scan is generally really good, as is the adventure one decision (and misleading description of the product) damns this to a 2/5, instead of a 5/5. [...]
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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
80
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2430
File Size:
21.39 MB
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File Last Updated:
October 06, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on January 26, 2016.