Publication:Scourge of the Slave Lords
This text is quoted from promotion material. Text and images are copyrighted by the original publisher.
The A3 module finishes with the player characters as captives of the Slave Lords, and they begin module A4 in the same condition. The module starts with the party trapped, without any gear, deep beneath a volcanic island. The Slave Lords have captured them, and have left them in this dark cave system to die when a volcanic eruption destroys the entire island. Through a series of incidents they quickly find themselves free but completely bereft of equipment and spells.
The final scenario plays out as a massive earthquake threatens to bring down the tunnels around the group, and they must exit the caverns within four hours or perish in the ensuing collapse. The labyrinth is a difficult test for characters without equipment and spells, and challenges the players' wits and role-playing ability rather than focusing on traditional combat.
Once the players emerge from the caverns, they face the final test of escaping the island itself, which can be accomplished by attacking the surviving Slave Lords, escaping via a different boat, or possibly by swimming.
Publication history The A series of modules was created for tournament use at Gen Con XIII in 1980, as the AD&D Open Tournament. The first two modules, and the first part of the third module serves as the tournament's first round, while the second part of the third module was the semifinal and the fourth module was the final round. The modules were then expanded and published to facilitate campaign play; the original areas from the tournament are clearly marked on the maps and in the related text, and a scoring system is included for those interested in recreating the competition. Slave Pits of the Undercity, for example, contains both characters that had been tested in tournament play and a tournament scoring system. The first module was published in 1980, and the other three were published in 1981.
The omnibus A1–4 supermodule was published in 1986 as a 128-page book with a sixteen-page map booklet and a cover by Jeff Easley, and was slightly revised for play by higher level characters in order for it to be used as a continuation adventure for campaigns beginning with supermodule T1–4 The Temple of Elemental Evil. The overall campaign could then be continued into the GDQ1–7 supermodule Queen of the Spiders. Design contributors to the revision (including the original module designers) were David Cook, Allen Hammack, Harold Johnson, Tom Moldvay, Lawrence Schick, and Edward Carmien. Cook did the revision, and editing was by Johnson, Jon Pickens, Brian Pitzer, Edward G. Sollers, Stephen D. Sullivan, and Steve Winter.
In 2000, Wizards of the Coast released Slavers, a sequel adventure for 2nd edition AD&D rules. The sequel is also set in Greyhawk, and takes place ten years after the conclusion of the events in A1–4.
In 2002, Kenzer and Company published a HackMaster module based on Scourge of the Slavelords, named Smackdown the Slavers.
All four modules of the A-series were included as part of the Against the Slave Lords hardcover collection, released on June 18, 2013. Also included is an all-new fifth adventure -- A0: Danger at Darkshelf Quarry. The hardcover includes a foreword written by each of the four surviving designers of the original modules. David Cook writes: "In the early days of TSR, we were still feeling things out, learning what we could and couldn't do. It was in a previous GEN CON Game Fair that we had heard murmurs that the AD&D tournament needed some work. We hadn't realized until then how much the tournament could be, should be, a showcase event. The players who came to Wisconsin deserved a deliberately crafted experience, something that could show TSR and AD&D in the best possible way." Harold Johnson writes: "Our goal was to provide a model for a new type of adventure that encouraged DMs to use strategy to challenge the players to think. Up to this point, adventures presented monsters that attacked and fought to the death. We wanted to show that even weak monsters could be dangerous when played intelligently." Allen Hammack writes: "Some people have asked about names in the modules. Yes, I have fun with words. Combining Latin and Greek, pulling player and character names from my campaign, and twisting the results so they sounded right when I heard them—all were in the bag of tricks. "Suderham," for example, combined elements that to me meant "south home" (a nod to my Alabama roots), and was also a tip of the hat to my artist friend, the late, great Dave Sutherland. 'Ayares the Cutpurse' reflected my long-standing annoyance with the Internal Revenue Service." Lawrence Schick writes that he was inspired by an idea from Harold Johnson: "In his campaign one night, Harold had our characters get captured, whereupon he took away all our stuff and threw us in a dungeon. The challenge: escape without relying on all our carefully hoarded adventuring gear. Were our characters people with skills and brains, or were they really just lists of equipment?"
The original TSR product codes for modules A1, A2, A3 and A4 are 9039, 9040, 9041, and 9042 respectively.
|Author||David Cook +, Allen Hammack +, Harold Johnson +, Tom Moldvay +, Lawrence Schick + and Edward Carmien +|
|Item Code||9167 +|
|Publication Date||1986 +|
|System||Dungeons and Dragons 1e +|
|Title||Scourge of the Slave Lords +|