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Road to Danger (2e)
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Road to Danger (2e)

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The road to adventure is fraught with danger. Travel swiftly, and guard yourselves well.

For a group of unsung heroes, the challenge begins with six adventures originally presented in Dungeon Adventures magazine:

  • Grakhirt's Lair by John Nephew: The villain responsible for the bloody battle at Nolivari remains at large. Catch him before he attacks again.
  • Trouble At Grag's by Grant and David Boucher: When a crime wave threatens the town of Dagger Rock, a half-ogre innkeeper calls upon brave heroes to find the culprits.
  • The Stolen Power by Robert Kelk: The priests of Highland need help to catch a thief and recover a book of infinite spells from his wilderness retreat.
  • The Matchmakers by Patricia Nead Elrod: A love affair torn by treachery threatens to plunge the city of Povero into civil war.
  • Roarwater Caves by Willie Walsh: A xvart shaman needs brave heroes to attack his own lair, but are the perils worth the reward?
  • The Inheritance by Paul Culotta: A keep on the edge of civilization has fallen to the ruthless Lostafinga tribe. Remove the threat, and claim the castle as your prize!

Road to Danger is a collection of low-level adventures for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. Each adventure stands alone, but any or all of them can be inserted easily into an ongoing AD&D campaign designed to challenge low-level characters and prepare them for even greater dangers down the road!

Product History

"Road to Danger: From the Pages of Dungeon Magazine" (1998), edited by Christopher Perkins, is a collection of six low-level adventures. It was published in August 1998.

About the Cover. What's on the road to Danger? Dragons.

Origins (I): Another Generic. In the mid to late '90s, D&D's generic adventure line was subsumed by larger brands such as Monstrous Arcana (1996-1998), the Tomes (1996-1999), and the new RPGA adventures (1997-1999). Now Wizards was back with "Road to Danger" (1998), the first unbranded generic adventure since "The Gates of Firestorm Peak" (1996). Well, except for the fact that "Road to Danger" would be the first of two adventures carrying the "Dungeon Magazine" brand.

"Road to Danger" was also somewhat similar to the RPGA adventures that Wizards had recently begun producing: it was a return to the classic days of the game, with none of the reprinted adventures dating to later than 1990.

Origins (II): From the Pages of Dungeon Magazine. Dungeon magazine was created by Kim Mohan, who had been the editor-in-chief of Dragon magazine in the early '80s before he left TSR to join Gary Gygax at the short-lived New Infinities Productions. By the time Dungeon #1 (September/October 1986), the editor was officially Roger E. Moore.

Moore announced that DungeonOriental Adventures modules, solo quests, tournament designs, Battlesystem systems, and more."

In the 12 years that followed, 69 bi-monthly issues of Dungeon magazine focused mostly on generic AD&D adventures and mostly on low-to-mid level. Other settings had received some attention, with the promised Oriental Adventures adventures being the most prolific.

Dungeon #69 (July/August 1998) was the current issue when Road to Danger was published. The editor at the time was Christopher Perkins and he was just beginning Dungeon's first ever adventure path, "The Mere of Dead Man", with "Slave Vats of the Yuan-Ti", by Jason Kuhl. Not only was the five-part adventure Dungeon's first campaign, but it was their first extended visit to the Forgotten Realms, which had been home to just 14 adventures in the magazine's first 12 years of publication.

So, Dungeon was changing; "Road to Danger" helped to give attention to the changing magazine.

Origins (III): The Six Adventures. "Grakhirt's Lair" by John Nephew is drawn from Dungeon #1 (September/October 1986). It would later warrant a sequel, "Mountain Sanctuary" in Dungeon #8 (November/December 1987), which doesn't appear here. This was Nephew's second professional RPG work, following "The Ecology of the Pernicon" in Dragon #108 (April 1986). He'd go on to quite an illustrious career as the founder of Atlas Games.

"Trouble at Grog's" by Grant & David Boucher appeared in Dungeon #4 (March/April 1987). It was an issue that also featured one of the famous Fluffy adventures, "Fluffy Goes to Heck". Years later, Dungeon #200 (March 2012) remembered "Grog's" as the adventure with "a sympathetic half-ogre." The Bouchers had both debuted as D&D writers in Dungeon #1; Grant would contribute to several books for TSR and West End Games in the late '80s and early '90s.

"The Stolen Power" by Robert Kelk was published in Dungeon #5 (May/June 1987). By this time Roger Moore said that Dungeon was being "flooded" with submissions. Kelek would return for the occasional Dungeon adventure, but unlike John Nephew and Grant Boucher, he wouldn't move on to full supplements.

"The Matchmakers" by Patricia Nead Elrod was from Dungeon #7 (September/October 1987), the same issue that saw the conclusion of one of Dungeon's most famous scenarios: the two-part "Tortles of the Purple Sage", which was one of the earliest looks at the Savage Coast. It was also the beginning of Dungeon's second year of publication, and the first issue that was sent out to bookstores and hobby stores. Elrod was another author who focused his attention on magazine RPG work, though she later wrote a few novels for the Ravenloft line and her own successful Vampire Files novels (1990-2009).

"Roarwater Caves" by Willie Walsh appeared over a year later in Dungeon #15 (January/February 1989). By this time, former assistant editor Barbara G. Young had taken over the helm of Dungeon. The official changeover was in Dungeon #9 (January/February 1988), but at the time Young said she'd already "had the major responsibilities for producing Dungeon Adventures for the last several issues." As for Walsh, the Irish author was one of Dungeon's most prolific contributors in its first decade, writing over twenty adventures from Dungeon #2 (November/December 1986) through Dungeon #60 (July/August 1996). His adventures were offered marked by humor and by Irish lore.

"The Inheritance" by Paul F. Culotta was the lead adventure in Dungeon #26 (November/December 1990). By this point, editor Young was investigating whether she could expand Dungeon to other TSR games. A Marvel Super Heroes adventure had appeared in the previous issue, while this one include a scenario for the Top Secret/SI game. Unfortunately, the experiment would immediately fizzle out. There would be no more non-D&D adventures until Perkins experimented with Alternity support in Dungeon #68 (May/June 1998). As for Culotta, he'd author a number of Dragon and Dungeon articles over the years and also would write HHQ8: "Cleric's Challenge II" (1995).

Adventure Styles. The Road to Danger scenarios are all for low-level characters, and thus could be used for introductory play. Given their origin in the '80s, it's unsurprising that most of them are also various sorts of locale-based sandboxes, including dungeon crawls, keep assaults, and wilderness wanders. The Romeo & Juliet inspired "Matchmakers" is probably the most innovative, because it provides the playes with a goal (kidnap Juliet) and a sandbox (the city). Similarly, "Trouble at Grog's" details an investigation in an urban sandbox.

Among the tropes found in these adventures are "You meet in a bar" and the good 'ole "MacGuffin quest".

About the Creators. Christopher Perkins wrote "Wards of Witching Ways" for Dungeon #11 (May/June 1988) as Christopher Zarathrustra. He was the editor of Dungeon starting with #65 (November/December 1997).

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 shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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64
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1.0
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TSR 11376
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on August 01, 2017.