The dark jungle trees loom above you, and the scent of tropical blooms hangs heavy on the windless air. Overhead, brightly coloured birds wheel and dip through the branches. Swarming mosquitos buzz angrily as you raise a waterskin to your lips.
Still you push on, carefully following the riverbank and the fragment of your map. Those scraps of parchment came from this jungle - of that you are sure, for the carving around which they had been carelessly wrapped were the work of the local natives. Now you have left those peaceful craftsmen far behind and the map has led you to the uncharted territory of the murderous Atem.
Ahead, the river breaks into white water. These must be the rapids marked on the map. Reaching into your pouch, you draw out the fragments of the parchment, and once again you mind drifts ahead to your ultimate goal - the treasures promised at the journey's end. Riches! And hopefully an end to this stifling, humid jungle.
Can you unravel the map's mysteries and find your way to the promised treasure? Or will your dreams end only in death and an unmarked grave far from home! Only the bravest characters of levels 5-7 will live to discover that all that glitters is not gold, but much, much more!
UK6: "All That Glitters..." (1984), byt Jim Bambra, is the sixth UK-series adventure and the first one not written by Grame Morris (though he contributed to the storyline). It was published in late 1984.
Tournament Beginnings. The Acaeum reports "All That Glitters" was originally run at TSR UK's GamesFair 1982 as a tournament, so despite being the sixth one published, it was probably the first adventure written in the "UK" series.
An Overused Quote. TSR picked a pretty oft-used quote for this adventure's title. There had already been an "All That Glitters..." column in Pegasus magazine (1981-1983), and there would soon be an "All That Glitters" adventure (1987) for DC Heroes (1985). Yaquinto also used the quote extensively in their ads for Pirates and Plunder (1982).
The original Shakespearean quote, from The Merchant of Venice (1596-98) is actually, "all that glisters is not gold," with its archaic version of the word "glitters."
A Bit of Wilderness. The UK adventures offered a surprising amount of wilderness adventure: much more than the rest of the AD&D; adventures of the period. Much of "Glitters" is set in an underground tunnel system that's so big it might as well be wilderness, while the rest of the adventure is set in a wilderness that's explicitly laid out on hex maps, but which focuses on just a few major locations.
Notably, the UK adventures really varied the ways in which they detailed wilderness. UK1: "Beyond the Crystal Cave" (1983) was set in a small-scale garden; UK2: "The Sentinel" (1983), UK3: "The Gauntlet" (1984), and UK4: "When a Star Falls" (1984) all used episodic wilderness encounters of the sort most common in other AD&D adventures; while UK5: "Eye of the Serpent" (1984) introduced an entirely unique path-based wilderness system; and here, "All That Glitters..." reverts to the hex-based exploration most common in Expert D&D. You wouldn't find that much variety in other module series for either the mainstream AD&D line or in Expert D&D.
The Ever-Changing UK Style. There isn't really a common design style among the UK adventures; individual writers like Dave J. Browne and Graeme Morris offered up their own styles for the series of adventures they wrote.
Like many of the other UK authors, Jim Bambra knows how to tell a good story, with the settings of the underground wind walker's passage and the civilization beyond being both evocative and memorable. However, unlike Graeme Morris, who'd written the previous five UK adventures, Bambra offers up that story as the underlying foundation of a fairly standard D&D; adventure.
Like many of the previous UK adventures, there's strong use of Fiend Folio (1981) monsters here, including several fire drakes, legions of giant striders, a hellcat, some mephits, a few sandmen, a shadow demon, a skeleton warrior, and some vortices. Unlike most of the earlier UK adventures, though, this one doesn't use the Monster Manual 2 (1983), presumably because it was originally written before the release of that tome.
Expanding Greyhawk. As with all the later UK-series adventures, this one was originally released as a "generic" adventure with no setting. However, a majority of fans felt as though the adventure fit well into the northern Amedio jungle in Greyhawk, amidst the Hellfurnaces and the Sea of Dust. Years later, the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000) officially canonized "All That Glitters" as a Greyhawk adventure, though only by a very vague allusion; it described the Hek tribe found herein, but only by mentioning their habits without naming them.
About the Creators. Jim Bambra had long been associated with TSR UK as a playtester and reviewer. This was his second adventure for TSR UK, following the one-on-one adventure O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1984). As was typically the case at TSR UK, the rest of their star creative team is credited in this adventure, with Graeme Morris and Tom Kirby getting storyline credit alongside Bambra, while Phil Gallagher led the production team.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.