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Quest for the Silver Sword (Basic)
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Quest for the Silver Sword (Basic)

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Evil magic is afoot!

On what should be the hottest day of the year, snow blankets the tiny village of Torlynn. The winter weather wreaks its havoc week after week, and the people of Torlynn are forced to abandon their homes. Only a few hardy souls remain in the village, one being Burgomaster Gustovan.

So far the burgomaster's plans to save his town have failed, and now he has but one chance left to save his people. Gustovan seeks the aid of a band of young adventurers. If they can uncover the force lurking in the ruins of Barrik's Keep and destroy the cause of the vile curse, all will be well again. If they fail, no one will be left alive in Torlynn to mourn them.

Quest for the Silver Sword is an introductory module designed for use with the new Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. A specially desgined Dungeon Master map makes this module easy to referee - even if you've just opened the package! This adventure is suited for a group of four to six characters of 2nd or 3rd level.

Product History

"Quest for the Silver Sword" (1992), by William W. Connors, is the first Thunder Rift adventure. It was published in January 1992.

Origins: Expanding the Black Box. In April 1991, TSR released The New Easy-to-Master Dungeons & Dragons Game (1991), an introductory D&D game better known as the black box. It was wildly successful, introducing many new players to the D&D game. So, TSR had to figure out how best to expand it. A series of black-boxed "adventure packs" (1992) were the most obvious expansions because they matched the style and contents of the original box. However, TSR also released some more traditional supplements, of which "Quest for the Silver Sword" (1992) was the first.

Graphic Tropes. The black box D&D came with a glossy dungeon mat and
stand-up cardboard figures for its characters and monsters. "Quest for the Silver Sword" attempts to replicate that experience, within the constraints of a saddle-stiched adventure module.

To start with, it actually contains two maps. A nice black & white overview gives descriptions of every room in the dungeon, Barrik's Keep. However, the most important map is a full-color fold-out map of the same, which is meant to be a huge battle mat for use during the game.

There also are new cardboard figures, though they have to be cut out of cardstock sheets.

Adventure Tropes. "Zanzer's Dungeon", the dungeon in the black box, was a pretty simple dungeon crawl. "Quest for the Silver Sword" continues that trope with "Barrik's Keep", another small dungeon. The players travel there to break a curse of ever-winter.

However, unlike Zanzer's Dungeon, the adventure of "Quest for the Silver Sword" includes a bit of context. Not only is there a backstory about ever-winter, but players get to learn a little bit about the town of Torlynn before they engage in their dungeon crawl.

Introducing Thunder Rift. "Quest for the Silver Sword" introduces the village of Torlynn and its Burgomaster, Gustovan. There's not yet any indication of a larger setting, but this adventure would soon be revealed as the first entrant in the Thunder Rift line.

About the Creators. Prior to 1992, Connors had worked on a few books for the original Basic D&D line, including GAZ11: "The Republic of Darokin" (1989) and GAZ14: "The Atruaghin Clans" (1991). "Quest for the Silver Sword" continued in the same vein.

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

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March 13th, 2012
A Thunder Rift adventure module for basic D&D includes a full color Battlemap for the dungeon [...]
September 5th, 2007
A very entertaining module. The creatures with specail attacks add to the players anxiety about failing their saving throws. And if the characters decide to capture the Boss creature, a special "after the adventure" beheading/celebration can [...]
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TSR 9342
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File Last Updated:
October 10, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on October 11, 2016.