An adventure into the heart of a volcano

White Plume Mountain (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module S2) - Lawrence Schick

This was one of the first Advanced Dungeons and Dragons modules that I owned, namely because it was cheap. As a 13 year old with very thrifty parents, it was the only module in the ship that I could actually afford. It is one of those strange things that when you are a kid you must have everything as soon as possible (such as Commodore 64 games) yet twenty years down the track you suddenly discover that you have all those wonderful things that you wanted when you were a kid and suddenly they are not all that wonderful anymore.
Not that this module isn't wonderful, it is, though fitting it into a campaign can be tricky, but still quite fun. The one thing I remember is the large picture/map at the beginning with all of the dangers that surround White Plume Mountain. The adventure itself is set in the mountain, however I always wanted the players to encounter that skeletal dragon, or the hut of Thizgizzard the witch. That is when the Dungeon Master's imagination comes into play. Mind you, it would be a number of years before Ed Greenwood would develop the Draco-lich, and since that time a number of people have developed the area that surrounds the mountain (though unfortunately I cannot provide you with a link to any specific site because I don't know of one off the top of my head, though I'm sure I can Google it, it is just that at this point in time I am way to lazy to do so).
I guess this is the module that all Dungeons and Dragons adventures should be. It has a myriad of monsters, devious traps, and three powerful weapons to collect at the end. From what I can remember (and it isn't that I don't have easy access to the module, though I believe it is currently sitting in a folder 700km away from me, in a plastic sleeve so that its condition does not deteriorate too much) is that there is not really one big bag guy, but there is one big bad sword (read Stormbringer) that I suspect the good characters that you are supposed to play shouldn't be taking and running off to slay people with (and I always wondered about the sword, considering it was evil, so if it was evil, why would the players want it, unless they were evil as well).
Look, I could go in and criticise some of the more outlandish aspects of this module, but I won't simply because it is a classic. The more modern modules where we try to make the adventures more realistic, and treat them more like strategy games where we have to infiltrate some enemy base, or go on a Tolkeinesque quest are all well and good, but to sacrifice the variety of strange and wondrous creatures, and Super-Mario type traps sort of takes some of the life out of the game as a whole.