Pommeville is a sleepy little town that seems like a good place to stay for the night. That is, until the town's dead rise from their graves and begin terrorizing the village! Ancient evil threatens to overwhelm the good folk of Pommeville unless someone can find a way to comfort the restless dead.
A lone, player character cleric will have to be clever, courageous, and more than a little lucky to solve the mystery and save Pommeville from the mindless zombies that threaten it!
"Cleric's Challenge" is a special ONE-ON-ONE ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS adventure designed for a DUNGEON MASTER and one player - perfect for very small playing groups, or for the player who wants his or her character to earn some extra experience.
HHQ4: "Cleric's Challenge" (1993), by L. Richard Baker III, is the fourth in the series of "Head-to-Head Quests" for AD&D and the last of the original sequence, which covered the cleric, fighter, thief, and wizard roles. It was published in October 1993.
Continuing the New One-on-One Adventures. "Cleric's Challenge" finishes the one-one-one adventures' walk through the core AD&D classes. Like its predecessors, it lets one player play his or her own PC (of the appropriate class) in a generic adventure that'll allow the PC to gain experience.
Adapting for Cleric Play. Each of the HHQ adventures focuses on topics appropriate to the class in question. For "Cleric's Challenge," that means an adventure heavy with undead. The introduction notes that other classes could play the adventure, but they'd probably need to be a couple of levels higher - showing how much clerics get to shine when they crank their undead turning up.
"Cleric's Challenge" also gives players the unique opportunity to bring on allies or other hirelings. The reader can decide whether this is a great way to supplement the classes that might be less combat-ready in a head-to-head adventure or if it's a bit of a cheat. (In either case, it's definitely not the methodology used for the Thief or Wizard Challenges.)
Adventure Elements for the 90s. Like all three of its predecessors, "Cleric's Challenge" is very much an exemplar of adventure design of the 90s - practically providing a checklist of things that PCs can do besides explore dungeons. You thus get a well-defined town, pages of allies, event-driven encounters (as zombies ravage the town), an investigation, and a wilderness trek.
There is a bit of a dungeon too, though. To be precise, about a quarter of the adventure is taken up with descriptions of a temple, which is a pretty good ratio for adventures of the era.
About the Creators. Baker joined TSR in 1991, so "Cleric's Challenge" was one of his earlier works. The same year it was published, Baker also produced supplements for Dark Sun, the Forgotten Realms, and Ravenloft. Baker would become more central to TSR's design team in the next couple of years as he worked on products like First Quest (1994), Birthright (1995), and the Player's Options (1995-96).
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.