Biblyon Broadsides

Gods & Monsters news and old-school gaming notes.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

The Last Tractor? Beneath the Isle of Dread

Jerry Stratton, March 26, 2011

I thought I had found all of my complete adventures from the eighties for Tractor Feed Adventures, but I was browsing through The Isle of Dread a few weeks ago and several maps and sheets fell out. I’d remembered that I had written some sublevels for X1, but thought they were among the lost.

If you haven’t seen the Isle of Dread, it was a very evocative adventure; it came with the D&D Expert expansion set, and it pretty much made that set. I browse through the Expert rulebooks and don’t remember much about it, but I browse through Isle of Dread and all sorts of memories come back. It’s got two-thirds of everything I want in an adventure: dinosaurs and spiders1. And lizard-men, of course. Can’t have a Land of the Lost without lizard-men!

On page 26 of the Isle, in the key to the third level, it has a one-paragraph description of caverns:

This set of terraces leads to a series of natural caverns. These caverns are left unmapped so the DM can create his or her own special encounter areas. Many cave-dwelling creatures might live here, and there may be exits up to the plateau.

Perhaps my love of cavern maps2 springs from this: a great adventure in which I am co-writer of a series of volcanic caverns on an island of dinosaurs and exotic alien creatures!

Unfortunately, as usual for this era I don’t have any notes on what any of this actually means. A spectre who thinks he’s King? King of what? And why is there an indoctrination room? Indoctrination to what? Why is “altar” in scare quotes at the end? If it isn’t an altar, then what is it? There’s a statue of one of the creatures on level 6, “magical type”. In what way is it magical? Or does “magical type” refer to the creature it’s a statue of?

Lost in time, like tears in rain. Consider this an open thread.

  1. No skeletons. It really needs skeletons. No idea why I didn’t add any to the sublevels. Lots of inanimate skeletons down there.

  2. Much maligned among our group, I’m afraid. Normal mapping skills don’t keep you from getting lost in caverns.

  1. <- Comment on the Broadsheet
  2. Revised Lost Castle ->