The Free City of Greyhawk beckons. Touted as the Gem of the Flanaess, it offers excitement and adventure in the form of magic to be learned, deals to be made, and streets to be explored. But wait - something else lurks here that threatens adventurers at every turn. Is someone following you - or is it your imagination? Why is your party receiving threats - you've been in town only a few days!
Something evil does lurk in Greyhawk. But before it can be eliminated, it must first be discovered. Can your party find it before it finds you?
Falcon's Revenge is the first of a three-part series of adventures for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons2nd Edition role-playing game, but it can also stand alone. Set in the famed city of Greyhawk, it gives adventurers a taste of life in the big city - with someone or something brewing trouble.
Falcon's Revenge is designed for five to seven characters of levels 5 to 7.
WGA1: "Falcon's Revenge" (1990), by Richard W. and Anne Brown, is the first adventure in the Greyhawk Falcon trilogy. It was published in March 1990.
Origins (I): Greyhawk Reborn. Roger E. Moore classifies all of the Greyhawk publications from 1986-1990 as the "second wave". They all followed Gary Gygax's departure from TSR, and they tended to be very uneven. Some books like WG7: Castle Greyhawk (1988) and WG9: "Gargoyle" were pure jokes. The other publications were unconnected and varied in quality considerably. The line was floundering.
However the waning days of the second wave saw a big turnaround. That began with The City of Greyhawk (1989), a massive boxed set detailing the most important city in Oerth; it would provide the basis for the Falcon trilogy (1990), which was largely set in that locale. Meanwhile, the rest of 1990's publications would also see Greyhawk's fortunes rising. They included a total of seven adventures, of which WGR1: Greyhawk Ruins (1990) and WGA4: Vecna Lives! (1990) are at least as notable as these Falcon scenarios.
It could have been a strong new foundation for the setting … if not for the decision to blow everything up and start anew, beginning in 1991.
Origins (II): Another Trilogy. Adventure trilogies were big at TSR in the first few years of AD&D 2e (1989-2000), beginning with the Realms' Avatar trilogy (1989) and Dragonlance's epic "DLE" trilogy (1989). The Falcon trilogy (1990) was Greyhawk's chance to join in the same — and would be the only Greyhawk adventure trilogy under TSR's leadership.
Origins (III): Another City of Mystery. D&D of course started out as a miniatures game, and many of the staff members of TSR in the '80s were still miniatures wargaming fans. That was probably the basis for TSR offering cardstock diorama kits in various supplements. The first of these were AC3: "3-D Dragon Tiles: The Kidnapping of Princess Arelina" (1984) and AC8: "3-D Dragon Tiles: The Revenge of Rusak" (1985) — both Basic D&D adventures that included fold-up cardstock dioramas. They focused on fold-up dungeons and fold-up wilderness details, respectively.
TSR brought that idea over to the AD&D line, and to the urban landscape, with FR8: Cities of Mystery (1989). Though it was labeled as a Forgotten Realms supplement, it was actually entirely generic. A 64-page book provided advice on creating cities, then a large set of cardstock buildings (and bases) could be used to build those cities in three dimensions.
The entire Falcon trilogy would build on Cities of Mystery. New cardstock buildings could be freely mixed with the ones from the original set to create even larger dioramas.
Adventure Tropes. Classic Greyhawk adventures called for dungeon crawls through wicked, devious, and trapped-filled lairs. The later "WG" adventures had gone down other routes, but they were so chaotic and mismatched, that it was obvious that they weren't setting a new style for Greyhawk's adventures.
The Falcon Trilogy offered the first chance to redefine Greyhawk's adventuring style … and the answer seemed to be matching what the rest of the D&D adventures were doing. That's to say that "Falcon's Revenge" is mostly an encounter-based episodic adventure. For the majority of the book, players are simply shunted from one encounter to another, as part of the larger story. GMs are even instructed as to what their players are allowed to do toward the end, based on whether they're continuing the adventure series.
There are, however a few dungeon crawls toward the end: a sewer crawl tbat the GM must make up on his own(!) and a fairly large-scale cult-complex crawl. Players may also be have a bit more agency in dealing with the Cult of Iuz, as they get a rather extensive description at the end.
Accessories of Note. The new cardstock buildings in "Falcon's Revenge" represent Shacktown, one of the poorest parts of the City of Greyhawk.
Exploring Greyhawk. "Falcon's Revenge" is set entirely in The City of Greyhawk, with special attention given to Shacktown. The time is now 580 CY.
NPCs of Note. Iuz is used as the big-bad at the heart of this adventure, though that's only through the machinations of his cult; similarly, St. Cuthbert appears in name only.
The more immediate foe is the Falcon (Iysix Ssloll), a spirit naga and the one-time leader of the cult of Iuz; however, she'll only be freed at the end of the scenario (if at all), meaning the next adventures will be the ones most focused on her.
Organizations of Note. The Cult of Iuz is extensively described, while the Church of St. Cuthbert gets tiny bit of attention.
About the Creators. Anne Brown began working at TSR as an editor in 1989, first on their magazines, then as part of their Game Division. She also authored a handful of books for TSR, of which the Falcon Trilogy was the first. Richard Brown, her husband, authored just these three books for TSR (though he's more recently written Living Greyhawk adventures for Wizards).
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.