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WGQ1 Patriots of Ulek (2e)
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WGQ1 Patriots of Ulek (2e)

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The Great War may be over, but the battles continue. Rumors and facts are often confused in the aftermath. Depending on who you listened to, Prinzfeld is either under attack or perfectly safe. Turrosh Mak is on his way, with hordes of orcs at his command—ridiculous, he would never attempt an invasion at this time.

Graf Twembly is being held hostage, and near death—no, he's just under the weather and hasn't felt like coming out of the castle lately. A dwarven prince has requested your party's aid in quelling the coming invasion (if there is on, of course). Do you take him at his honorable word, and gird yourselves for battle? Or do you listen to the street talk, and take the side of those who disbelieve the warmongering?

Most importantly of all: what if you make the wrong choice?

An adventure for 4-6 characters of levels 1-3

Product History

WGQ1: "Patriot of Ulek" (1992), by Anthony Pryor, is a World of Greyhawk adventure. It was published in March 1992.

About the Module Code. Presumably, "WGQ" stands for "World of Greyhawk Quest". However, WGQ1: "Patriots of Ulek" (1992) is the only module with that code. It followed the two "WGS" adventures from 1991 and preceded the one "WGM" adventure from 1993. Such was the craziness of TSR's module codes in the early '90s. They were good for one year only, expiring every December whether they'd been used or not.

Origins: After the Wars. WGQ1: "Patriot of Ulek" is the first Greyhawk module to follow the Oerth-shaking wargame, Greyhawk Wars (1991). It's also the first of three modules to be published before the updated setting was fully codified in From the Ashes (1992) and thus exists in a somewhat uncomfortable limbo.

As was often the case with later Greyhawk publications, TSR began this new line by revisiting the idea of an introductory adventure, hoping to bring new players into their oldest setting.

Adventure Styles: Locale-Based Adventures. "Patriots of Ulek" is a classic locale-based adventure. There's a hex crawl followed by a city crawl followed by a mansion crawl. It certainly sounds like it should be very open-ended and offer lots of player agency.

Adventure Styles: Boxed Text. However, "Patriots of Ulek" is also renowned for its reliance on boxed text. There's a ton of it. Page 3 contains a full page of boxed read-aloud text, detailing how the players meet with the Prince of Ulek, while the exploration of Prinzfeld on pages 10-13 also has some very large chunks of boxed text, constraining the players' actions at the various locales. There are also blocks of text on pages 27-29 describing the Defense of Prinzfeld; they have an interesting origin: they are an account of how the battle actually went in one of Pryor's playtests.

Author Anthony Pryor says, "I don't recall it being a hard-and-fast requirement, but since everyone else was doing it, we followed suit. It was an example of a good practice getting worn out by overuse and becoming a major tool in the 'railroad the players" arsenal.' So that's how you can have an open-ended crawl that isn't open ended at all.

Adventure Tropes: MacGuffin Quest — Save the Princess. "Patriots of Ulek" is a relatively traditional save-the-princess adventure, except the princess is the Graf of Prinzfeld. However this classic trope has a neat twist: it's presented to the players as a mystery. The players must determine why the Graf isn't sending the Prince of Ulek reinforcements. The fact that he's been taken hostage and needs rescue is something the players (hopefully) figure out along the way.

Warfare Tropes. "Patriots of Ulek" really takes the Greyhawk Wars seriously: it's an adventure all about war. It even has a mass-combat at the end, but it really abstracts it: describing the overall battle, then letting players fight in a single small-scale melee. As an alternative, however, "Patriots of Ulek" offers stats for the Battlesystem (1985, 1989) game.

Eras of Greyhawk: 585 CY. The "Year of Peace" saw the greatest battles between Ulek and the Pomarj.

Exploring Greyhawk: Ulek. This adventure is the only Greyhawk module to focus on the Principality of Ulek, one of three Ulek states, all located to the southwest of Greyhawk City, inland of the Wild Coast, between Keoland and The Pomarj. The adventure focuses on the province and city of Prinzfeld

About the Creators. Pryor started freelancing for TSR in the previous year. "Patriots of Ulek" was one of two Greyhawk books he wrote in 1992, the other being "WGR3: Rary the Traitor" (1992).

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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Product Information
Author(s)
Rule System(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9385
File Size:
10.45 MB
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File Last Updated:
July 01, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on July 11, 2017.