One of the first D&D adventures with a plot

Palace of the Silver Princess - Tom Moldvay, Jean Wells

This was probably one the first Dungeons & Dragons modules that I got that actually had a plot. The two earlier basic modules seemed to be designed to have the dungeon master create a plot around the module, where as in this one the plot was incorporated into the module. The main difference in adding a plot to the module probably gave the module more of a limited use, whereas with the two previous modules you could have reused them again and again, with different stories each time.

The adventure involves a kingdom that has been frozen in time, however the source of this time freeze is a palace located in the middle of the kingdom and surprisingly you are able to actually get to this palace without having to step through the red glow. As it turns out an evil wizard and a white dragon hold this palace and the kingdom captive and the heroes must infiltrate the palace, defeat the wizard, and reverse the effects of this curse.

One of the things that I initially liked about this module was that the first part of the adventure, namely the gate house, was run like a choose your own adventure book, though this was initially designed to assist the dungeon master and the players understand how to play a Dungeon & Dragons game. Obviously a lot has changed since then as we can generally point to the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and their multitude of clones as an indication of how such a game should run. Obviously we also have computer games a well, and the style and complexity of these games have constantly changed and expended.

I find the concept of the valley frozen in time interesting. It seems to be an affront to progress and this is something that many people in this world wish we could do. We tend to find this phenomena out in the rural regions of even our most industrialised nations, but this is not surprising since cities tend to be the field from which most ideas arise due to the close proximity of many people which cause ideas to be shared a lot easier. However, life does tend to be of a slower pace out in the country, and people out there tend to fear change much more than they do in the city.

Then there is the idea of the status-quo, namely that the rich have become addicted to the lifestyle that they live and are reluctant to let it go. Luxuries are more than just luxuries but become necessities. As such many of them would wish to 'freeze-time' so as to prevent any untoward event change the position that they are in. It is funny that when you have people doing all of the house work for you you suddenly become incapable of performing housework yourself. In fact, it can be quite dangerous in that despite living in a meticulously clean house, people who don't know how to do housework quickly become used to living in a pig sty.

Well, this has nothing to do with the module, but then it probably has more to do with the idea of freezing time, and that is the idea that sort of spurred me off on this tangent. Fortunately Booklikes does allow us to go off on these tangents when writing commentaries on books, particularly since I don't really like the idea of writing reviews.