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UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave (1e)

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Fleeing the rage that consumed their feuding families, Juliana and Orlando fled to the Cave of Echoes, where it is said every wish is granted. Two years have passed, and all attempts to return the lovers to their parents have failed, though some believe them lost in the enchanted garden beyond the cave.

Many are the rescuers who have entered that enchanted park; a few have returned after long absences, their minds and memories curiously disturbed. Now, the handsome reward offered for the return of the lovers has tempted you, but who knows what lies beyond the Crystal Cave?

For characters levels 4 through 7.

Product History
 
UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave" (1983) is the first adventure in the "UK-series" of modules produced by TSR UK. It was released in 1983.
 
Sources. "Crystal Cave" is based loosely on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Two lovers from feuding families have fled into a magical garden where they've fallen under an enchantment. It seems to allude to other Shakespearian plays such as The Tempest as well.
 
1983 was quite a year for literary adaptations at TSR, who published EX1: "Dungeonland" and EX2: "The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror", both based on Lewis Caroll's Alice stories.
 
Alternate Codes. According to The Acaeum, a variety of codes were considered for this module, including "U4" (as a sort of addendum connected to the UK series), "S5" (adding to the "special" series), and "F1" (for "foreign"). Eventually TSR settled on "UK1."
 
The "UK" code would then be used for seven adventures, published from 1983-85, though in later days TSR UK would also publish adventures for some of TSR's other module series (including a few different Basic D&D adventures).
 
A Non-Combat Adventure. "Crystal Cave" is a real rarity in any era of D&D production: It's an adventure where combat can be entirely avoided. Instead, successful players figure out puzzles and negotiate with a variety of forest creatures. To support this unusual style of play, the adventure notes that XP should be given out for successfully completing encounters, not just for fighting.
 
The UK Feel. Like the other UK adventures, UK1 is quite plot-heavy, something that was still a rarity at TSR - although the idea was coming into vogue, particularly through the Dragonlance adventures (1984-1986). There's also more use of the Fiend Folio (1981) than in most of the US-designed modules, including caryatid columns, firedrakes, a poltergeist, and a yu lung dragon.
 
Expanding Greyhawk. The original U-series adventures were set in an undeveloped area of Greyhawk on the southern coast of Keoland. "Crystal Cave" moves a little bit southwest, to an island near the Hold of the Sea Princes. However, that setting is pretty irrelevant, as the whole adventure takes place in a mystical garden. The adventure also introduces the "Old English Mythos" to Greyhawk, particularly in the form of the "Green Man."

Future History. This adventure acted as an inspiration for D&D Encounters Season 7: Beyond the Crystal Cave (2011-12). Sessions 2 and 3 of the season were drawn very directly from the module. Generally, the Encounters season downplayed combat and increased the importance of roleplaying and puzzle solving - much like the original adventures did.
 
About the Creators. TSR UK was growing and changing in 1983, as could also be seen with the publication of Imagine #1 (April 1983), the first issue of TSR UK's own Dragon-like magazine. Meanwhile, there was a changing of the guard going on in TSR UK's creative staff: Dave J. Browne, who had authored TSR UK's first three adventures, did his last work for "Crystal Cave." Simultaneously, this was the first published adventure by Graeme Morris, who would author the next several TSR UK adventures (sometimes with assistance from co-author Tom Kirby).
 
About the Product Historian
 
The 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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February 20th, 2013
The PDF scan for UK1 is top-notch. None of the problems that have affected some of the other early TSR module scans appear here. Every page is clean, centred and straight. Graphics are clear and well grey-balanced. The gatefold map is scanned [...]
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October 31st, 2005
one of the finest adventures put out by TSR. It's a very challenging adventure, since brawn won't work in most of it. I've always enjoyed this one. QUALITY: Excellent VALUE: Very Satisfied [...]
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Product Information
Copper seller
Artist(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
ISBN
0-88038-003-9
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9066
File Size:
16.83 MB
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Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
February 20, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on February 19, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating