One of the classic Dungeons & Dragons adventures

The Isle of Dread - David Zeb Cook, Tom Moldvay

This is one of those early modules that is not constructed with a plot, or I don't think it is constructed with a plot. It could be, but it has been quite a while since I have read it, and considering that it is probably sitting at the bottom of a box (carefully stored mind you, since this module is now a collector's item) I don't have ready access to it to see if there is actually a plot. On a side note, I sort of wonder why I collect these things, because it is unlikely that I am going to use it again (if I have ever used it in the first place that is), and I do sort of question whether I can get any value out of it, and even then, sitting in a box (in good condition mind you) does not necessarily mean that it is growing in value. Hey, I could have a first edition copy of Frankenstein, but if nobody wants it, or nobody wants to pay the going price of it, then what good is it anyway.

So, this module is set on an island, but I can't quite remember why you go to this island. It could be the reason why most people go to islands, and that is to find buried treasure, but I don't actually remember there being a map with some 'X' marked on it. I do remember playing a Neverwinter Nights version of this module, but it was so incredibly hard, particularly when you went toe to toe with a bear (not to mention the dinosaurs that also wonder around the island) that I never go to0 far in it, and decided to move on to the next constructed game.

Anyway, as with some of these older modules, they were good because they enable you to create the your own plots. This module was the first in the 'X' series, which was a code for the expert system. The basic system only dealt with characters from first to third level, but the expert system I believed went up to level nine (I think, but once again I do not have it readily at hand to check). However the catch is that dinosaurs should be a lot more powerful than players at this level, and in all honesty, even if you are a mage with a fireball, a Tyrannosaurus Rex is still going to shrug that off and then proceed to tear you a new one. Mind you (and this is one of the things that I liked about third edition) a tiger and a bear would also likely tear you a new one as well.

I guess the expert system was expanding the world as well, and this particular module provided you with a larger map of the region, and I even think it have a few little comments about the countries that were about. However, the main focus was on the island, which, mind you, was so far away that you would need a proper sailing ship to get there. This was not the type of voyage that you would use a coaster for (and I sort of wonder how the players at this level, which wasn't that high, could possibly get their hands on a proper sailing ship, and a crew – consider this, a couple of young punks rocking up at the docks and asking 'say, anybody going to the Isle of Dread?').