Ruthless kidnappers have abducted the eight-year-old son of Reverend Judge Hykros Allumen, Ravens Bluff's reigning high priest of Tyr. You have been entrusted with the task of delivering the ransom--500,000 gp worth of platinum, magic, and jewels.
Can you see it safely past all the greedy bandits trying to intercept you and take the treasure for themselves? And if you do, can you trust the kidnappers to return the stolen child? A tale of trust, betrayal, and revenge.
This classic tournament has been revised for use with the new City of Ravens Bluff sourcebook. It is adaptable for use in any low-level, mid-level, or high-level campaign.
"Kidnapped" (1998), by Tom Prusa, is an adventure for the Living City of Ravens Bluff. It was published in August 1998.
Origins (I): Back to the Living City. TSR published the first four Living City adventures using the "LC" code, beginning with LC1: "Gateway to Ravens Bluff, the Living City" (1989) and ending with LC4: "Port of Ravens Bluff, the Living City" (1991). After that the popular city of Ravens Bluff primarily continued through tournament adventures and through articles in Polyhedron magazine (1981-2004).
Nonetheless, four more Living City supplements did appear, all of which were assigned "LC" codes that didn't actually appear on their covers. LC5: "A Player's Guide to the Living City Campaign" (1995, 1996) and LC6: "Procampur Expansion Packet" (1997) were both semi-professional releases available only to the RPGA. LC7: "The City of Ravens Bluff" (1998), was TSR's triumphant return to the setting, a massive, mass-market sourcebook overseen by Ed Greenwood himself. Though it appeared a few months earlier, "Kidnapped" is known by the code "LC8". It lay somewhere between the other late releases: fully professional but not easily available.
Origins (II): Modules for the Members. Starting in 1997, the RPGA began offering exclusive modules to its new members. The first of these was "The Star of Kolhapur" (1997). It was given to new members and made available for sale to other RPGA Members at the 1997 Gen Con Game Fair (1997). "Kidnapped" followed in this tradition as a new module available to members in 1998.
Though the print edition remains rare, the content of "Kidnapped" did not remain exclusive. It was one of many supplements that Wizards of the Coast released on their web site in 2002 (and laters on the DMsGuild web site in 2017).
Origins (III): Tournaments for the City. This wasn't necessarily the first time that RPGA members had seen "Kidnapped". That's because it had begun as an RPGA tournament before reappearing in module form. One of the previous "LC" supplement had also originated in this manner. LC3: "Night Watch in the The Living City" (1991) was a Living City adventure that had previously been run at Gen Con '90 (1990).
However, in 1990 and 1991, Living City adventures were still quite rare; TSR actually reprinted most of the early Living City adventures in a variety of forms. This became impossible as the Living City tournament scene exploded in the years afterward. There were a half-dozen Living City RPGA network adventures that appeared at 1992 conventions. Then a score debuted in 1993 and over thirty in 1994! The "Kidnapped" tournament was run at Contrary '94 (1994) in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Its publication is a rare insight into this later, more prolific era of Living City tournaments.
For its publication, "Kidnapped" was revised for use with the new "City of Ravens Bluff" book, which would appear just two months later.
Adventure Tropes. "Kidnapped" is a standard adventure for the '90s, featuring episodic encounters that the players will face in a set order. Each encounter is carefully laid out, including details on the event and then a list of possible consequences. The latter allows for player agency and some real investigation — both elements that were relatively rare in adventures of this sort.
"Kidnapped" also has two other unique elements:
- Each section awards experience points for a variety of important actions, which was a far cry from the monster-focused rewards of most D&D adventures.
- The adventure is laid out with low, medium, or high-level NPCs, allowing for parties at different levels to each face the adventure.
Exploring the Realms. As you'd expect, "Kidnapped" is focused on Ravens Bluff. However, the adventure is so episodic that it doesn't add much detail to the city (but the contemporary sourcebook did that just fine).
About the Creators. Prusa wrote FR16: "The Shining South" (1993) and contributed to a few other D&D books in the early '90s. "Kidnapped" appeared several years later, but of course the original tournament had been written at the same time as Prusa's other D&D contributions.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.