TSR Example from the worst TSR adventure module(s) ever published


First Post
FreeTheSlaves said:
Didn't someone write up some material with % "liar" instead of lair. Maybe it was just a minor fluff...

I believe that was the Arduin Grimoire (?) - the author had consistently misread % lair and therefore listed all his monsters with a percentage that the creature might *be a liar*.

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Jack of Shadows

First Post
Olgar Shiverstone said:
Can't ... breathe ... laughing ... too ... hard. Apparently, the river can detect magic, 'cause it never strips away a magic item!

See if you recognize these quotes from the campaign I love to hate:

Gee, I can't make/play my own character? Well, at least we get to read poetry ...

Lucky our characters all memorized the same poetry in school! At least we can go where we want ...

Never mind, I guess we're just going to area 44! (Never mind that area 44 is in the northeast of the map, and would immediately be cut off by armies advancing southward.) Ah, well, at least we can kill people and take their stuff:

Or not. I'd better hope my PC doesn't get written out of this script.

Ah good old Dragonlance, aka Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.



First Post
sad_genius said:
But I don't have any gold pieces! How can you take my gold if i have none!

Well, I guess your in debt to the river. Every time you gain gold, you must return to the river and pay off your debt. Seems only fair. :p


Rystil Arden said:
Ah yes, that reminds me of the way that several 2e modules actually managed to penalise you for having the highest Charisma by making the enemies specifically target "The PC with the highest Charisma" :D

Well, that's actually a sound tactical choice, given that pallies needed 17+ Cha.
Last edited:


I like this thread! Here's another encounter:

Encounter #19: Draconians On Parade.

As you walk down the trial, you see a group of creatures that appear to be half-human, half-dragon, playing drums. They are not singing. They are not joking. They are not tarrying. They are not drinking merlot. They are not wearing capes. They are not discussing what those numbers on Lost mean. Their faces are expressionless. Suddenly the leader stops, pulls out a map, looks at it, and says "Wait a minute, we were supposed to go to area 44! Wait a minute, this isn't even the right module! Oh crap!" You then notice that their drumsticks are swords.

Roll d6 to determine what the draconians (AC 2, HD 4, hp 3 each, Move 6/{15}/18, # of attacks 2, damage 1-4 (fly), In Lair 1000%) do next: 1-3 the draconians are surprised; 3-3 the party is surprised; 3-4 everyone is surprised, unless they're not; 3-5 the draconians read poetry; 3-6 a character loses their main weapon (e.g. monks lose their hands); 3 the DM gives up and decides to run Orc and Pie instead.

The draconians fight until everyone is dead. If the party wins, the leader gives them 100 gp. They can take the apples, gazebo, and pie.
The draconians fight until


lukelightning said:
I have a solution: Let's write our own encounters!

14. The Winter Wolf. As the party enters the clearing, they see a pile of apples. Read the description below:

The apples have no secret compartments. As the party approaches the apples, they hear a howl. A local winter wolf (AC 5; MV 18"; HD 5+1; hp 27 each; #AT 1; Dmg 1-8 [bite]; SA Surprise on 1-4, cold breath; SD immune to cold) has been collecting all the apples in the forest in order to lure prey to the clearing. If anyone takes an apple or gets too close or avoids the apples, the wolf leaps out of the pile and attacks. Roll 1d6 to determine surprise: 1-2: the party is surprised, 3-3, nobody is surprised, 3-5 the party is surprised, 6 the apples are surprised. The wolf once drank a potion of sleep, but is awake now because it is not near a pavilion. It will attempt to use its cold breath on anyone near the apples, or anyone not near the apples. After two rounds of combat wererats (AC 6; MV 12"; HD 3+1; hp 16 each; #AT 1; Dmg 1-8 [sword]; SA Surprise on 1-4; SD Hit only by silver or +1 or better magic weapons) will leap out of the secret door. Roll 1d6 for the sleep spells target.

After the party kills the wolf, they can take the apples and the golden statue of the dragon as well.

OK, that one finally got me, I laughed right out loud while sitting here at work.

Erik Mona


That's our boy Carl's resume.

Another howler is "Patriots of Ulek." Here's an excerpt from an old review I wrote of it:

"To begin, a good portion of the module takes place in the province of Prinzfield, as the players make their way from Ulek's capitol to the home of the province's governor, in the City of Rittersmarche. This encompasses a third of the module, and yet each encounter is written in "boxed text," allowing absolutely no PC interaction with the surroundings. For example, in one encounter the PCs enter a town, talk with the populace, meet the local mayor, eat a meal with him and leave, all without ever having made a decision for themselves. This is fine if modules are meant to simply be a showcase of the designer's writing talents, but since that is not the point, it is not fine, and Patriots of Ulek suffers deathly because of it."

I'm trapped at work, but if someone has this adventure handy, I think the boxed text described above would make for good discussion fodder.

Oh, and Needle is absolutely terrible. I mean mind-numbingly awful.


Simplicity said:
Why are there like sixteen "staff" people on the DL adventure credits? Damn.
How many people did TSR need to write an adventure?
I can only imagine because it makes accountability very hard.

If the module is a huge success, everybody gets resume padding and can share in the credit, claiming that they did most of the work themselves.

If the module is a huge failure, they can claim that it didn't reflect what they wanted, and the other people in the project changed/ignored/ruined your contributions and it wouldnt have been so bad if they'd been in charge.

Thus, they could crank out bad module after bad module, and blame could easily be transferred around, but if a good one were produced, everybody would suddenly look like they were a great designer. Dogbert would be proud.

Also, total inefficiency in doing things (16 staff people, to write an adventure) is a hallmark of TSR, and one of the things that drove them into the ground.

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