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C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness (1e)
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C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness (1e)

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A shadow from the past, the Ghost Tower of Inverness has loomed ever larger in the mind of the great Seer of Urnst. Now he has convinced the Duke that an expedition should be organized to go to the ancient keep and recover its greatest treasure - the fabled Soul Gem.

The module was originally written for the Official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Game Tournament at Wintercon VIII, held in Detroit in November of 1979. It is the second in the Competition Series - adventures that were used in official tournaments. This adventure contains a challenging setting, a scouring system and characters specially prepared for the adventure. It may thus be used for competition among players (or groups of players), or as a non-scored adventure included in an ongoing campaign. Also included within are background information, referee's maps and notes, encounter descriptions for players, and a background scenario linked to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting.

Product History

"The Ghost Tower of Inverness" (1980), by Allen Hammack, was the second adventure in the competition (C-) series. It was published in 1980.

Sources? When most people hear the name Inverness, they think of the real-life county of Inverness in Scotland. It has plenty of ghostly towers, most notably in Cawdor Castle. However, Alabama native Allen Hammack was probably instead referring to the Inverness neighborhood in Birmingham. There was also an Inverness in Hammack's own campaign world, and that's where this adventure sprang from before it was transplanted to Greyhawk.

Tournament Beginnings. The story of "Ghost Tower" is very similar to the story of C1: "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" (1980). It was run as the AD&D tournament at Wintercon VIII (1979) and afterward was sold to con-goers in a limited edition run of 300 copies. That short run was labeled "Collector's Edition II," presumably following the "Collector's Edition" of the "Tamoachan" adventure. C2 was released to the wider public the next year, in 1980.

Also like its predecessor, "Ghost Tower" was one of the first adventures to show how a tournament was run. It includes pre-generated characters, rules for scoring tournament play, and a handful of visual aids which were again some of the earliest player handouts in the industry.

Recurring Tropes. James Maliszewski calls C2 a "funhouse dungeon," which is more about spectacular, weird, and crazy encounters than about a dungeon ecology that actually works. Module S2: "White Plume Mountain" (1979) is a previous example of the same approach.

Future History. The RPGA returned to Inverness in 3e with their Living Greyhawk core special adventure, "Return to the Ghost Tower" (2003). D&D Encounters also mined the rich ground with their fourth season, "March of the Phantom Brigade" (2011). Therein, the Ghost Tower of Inverness was just one of several Ghost Towers to be found in the Nentir Valley.

About the Creators. Allan Hammack was a designer and editor at TSR in the late 70s and early 80s. "Ghost Tower" was his first published work outside of Dragon magazine. He'd next write another tournament adventure, A3: "Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords" (1981), as part of TSR's group-written Slave Lords tourney at GenCon XIII (1980).

About the Product Historian

This history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, 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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July 4th, 2014
Worth owning for 1'st ed enthusiasts and Greyhawk completists. It's set in the Duchy of Urnst, and the shadow instigator, "The Seer" played a large part in the backstory of the unfinished "Absolute Power" series by Erik Mona in the Living Greyhawk scenari [...]
May 28th, 2004
This is pretty much a straight forward dungeon adventure with a lot of traps and some tough fights thrown in for good measure. It is a pretty good module for mining ideas. The quality of the scan is OK. It has some grey, but it is not that bad. It [...]
October 11th, 2003
I recalled this being an excellent adventure. With hindsight it is showing its age, but still has an intriguing central theme, the ghost tower itself. [...]
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TSR 9038
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File Last Updated:
January 23, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.