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

BWP

Explorer
Erik Mona said:

Ah. That explains why the writing style seemed oddly familiar. He was heavily involved in one of the worst RPGs I own, Pacesetter's Time Master. The sample adventure included in that game was not only heavily railroaded, it involved some of the most ludicrous events I've ever seen. (E.G., if the PCs successfully stop an assassination attempt on a noted WW1 general, he "rewards" them by giving each of them a tank in an upcoming assault! It's good to know that passing strangers were assigned valuable equipment, rather than, oh I don't know, trained personnel?)

TM is also the game where skills are, um, simplified. E.G., if you have "Pilot" skill, you can fly anything. Anything. Hot air balloon? Biplane? Jet interceptor? Space Shuttle? No problem, you're an expert at everything.

Add some fundamentally flawed concepts and you've got a mess of a game. This thread has helped me to understand the reason why these fundamental flaws were never noticed by the designers ....
 

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MrFilthyIke

First Post
Simplicity said:
A group of men head by. They are not tarrying or running. Nor are they singing. They don't seem to be making apple pies. As far as you can tell, they're not talking about sports. They neither have sombreros nor stilts. These men are not acrobats. They have no expression as they don't dally to the west.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Sounds like a Monthy sketch... :D
 

Anson Caralya

First Post
Thomas (AC 3 [full-plate]; MV 6'; HD 5+1; hp 4; #AT 1; Dmg 1-12 [katana]; % Lair 50%) has been trapped in a cave by an evil ogre that wants to marry his girlfriend. The ogre tried to put William to sleep, but it didn't work, so he trapped him so deep in the cave that nobody could ever find him or even hear him ask for help. Now Thomas is still there, and so he asks the PCs for help.

Can't stop laughing/crying... I think I hurt my spleen...

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*.

"% is liar" can be found in Best of Dragon #1, and if I'm interpreting the sub-head correctly, it's originally from The Strategic Review #3... making it an ancient reference indeed.
 

wingsandsword said:
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.

For what it's worth, in my time at TSR, things never worked this way. If there were 16 staff members, they were all working on individual projects, or in small teams of two or rarely, three. TSR did a lot of boneheaded things (and did indeed get driven into the ground) but the process of how products were designed wasn't one of them. Not understanding how the market actually worked was TSR's problem.

(It was common at various times in D&D's history to list everyone in the creative staff in the credits of a product. We did that, for example, in the 3E core books.)

But to return to topic, yeah, that's a clunker of a product. Not Spawn of Fashan bad, but bad. And I love the parody encounters. The lumberjack one in particluar made me laugh, as it reminded me of an old Planescape joke we used to have about how hard it was to start a PS adventure for publication. "A mysterious old man comes up to you in a tavern and says 'the multiverse needs saving! Here's 100 gp.'"
 

Anson Caralya said:
"% is liar" can be found in Best of Dragon #1, and if I'm interpreting the sub-head correctly, it's originally from The Strategic Review #3... making it an ancient reference indeed.

"% in liar" is a typo right out of OD&D, Monsters and Treasures. Ray Winninger has a great story about a campaign he played in in the old days that used % in Liar as the % chance that anything the creature says is a lie. However, that went for NPCs, too. Elves had a 25% chance, so the elf henchman they had with them lied 1/4 of the time, no matter what. So they'd go to town after leaving the dungeon to resupply and a player would ask the elf henchman if he needed any food.

The DM would roll dice, and the helpless elf who hadn't eaten in days would sigh, and say "no." So the PCs would go about their business, and the elf eventually starved to death.
 

Rystil Arden

First Post
However, that went for NPCs, too. Elves had a 25% chance, so the elf henchman they had with them lied 1/4 of the time, no matter what. So they'd go to town after leaving the dungeon to resupply and a player would ask the elf henchman if he needed any food.

The DM would roll dice, and the helpless elf who hadn't eaten in days would sigh, and say "no." So the PCs would go about their business, and the elf eventually starved to death.

Wow, that's funny--what an unlucky elf to keep rolling to lie when they asked him if he needed to eat. I still prefer the Minionions of Set, though :lol:
 

Bran Blackbyrd

Explorer
Simplicity said:
Hahahahah! That second one kills me!

A group of men head by. They are not tarrying or running. Nor are they singing. They don't seem to be making apple pies. As far as you can tell, they're not talking about sports. They neither have sombreros nor stilts. These men are not acrobats. They have no expression as they don't dally to the west.

I failed my save vs. laughter.
 

JeffB

Legend
Rystil Arden said:
......If they succeed, Thomas escape from the cave, and he will give them...... their choice of a potion of Teleport, an oil of Transmute Rock to Mud, or a potion of Phase Door

beautiful..... LMAO
 



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