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B5 Horror on the Hill (Basic)

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Watermarked PDF
$6.00
$4.99

The end of the road. A lonely fort stands on the banks of a mighty river. It is here the hardy bands of adventurers gather to plan their conquests of The Hill, the hulking mass that looms over this tiny settlement.

The Hill is filled with monsters, they say, and an evil witch makes her home there. Still, no visitor to The Hill has ever returned to prove the rumors true or false. The thrill of discovery is too great to pass up, and only the river stands in the way. The adventurers' boat is waiting!

This adventure is designed for use with the D&D Basic Rules. A trip through the wilderness begins a unique challenge for the novice player and Dungeon Master.

Included in the module are 11 maps, 3 new monsters, and a complete set of pre-rolled characters.

Product History

"Horror on the Hill" (1983), by Douglas Niles, was published in 1983. It was the fifth Basic supplement published and the first one that wasn't introductory in nature. Though B5 is intended for characters of levels 1-3, there's no extra effort spent teaching players or gamemasters how to play the game - as had been the case for the first four Basic adventures.

New Trade Dress. "Horror on the Hill" was the first Basic supplement to use the new, upgraded D&D trade dress, recognizable by the diagonal banner at the left being replaced by a long banner across the top. That trade dress was actually a pretty big deal, because it resulted in adventures that looked more professional, especially in their graphic design and in the quality of their artwork.

Under the new trade dress, adventures also began making regular use of boxed text that was to be read to the players. "Palace of the Silver Princess" (1981) played with the idea, but this was the first time that it became a regular part of the Basic line.

A Hint of Wilderness. Before the D&D Expert Set (1981), Basic D&D adventures were almost entirely set in dungeons, caves, and ruined dwellings. The Expert Set opened up the possibility of wilderness adventuring. Thus here we have some outdoor encounters atop the hill - though most of the adventure is still set in dungeons and caves. (Players would have to wait until B8: "Journey to the Rock" [1984] for a full-scale wilderness adventure using the Basic Set.)

The Keep Konnection. B5 is quite similar in general nature to B2: "Keep on the Borderlands" (1980): It includes a home base out in the wilderness - here, Guido's Fort - and from there players can trek to monster-infested areas. We can speculate that this might have been a purposeful replacement, as TSR was releasing the third-edition Basic D&D set at the time, and thus B2 (which had been a staple of the first and second edition Basic D&D sets) was dropping out of print.

The biggest difference between "Horror" and the classic "Keep" is that Guido's Fort is given almost no detail, leaving the gamemaster to create any roleplaying opportunities for the home base itself. Of course, as some have suggested, you could just replace Guido's Fort with the Keep on the Borderlands!

About the Creators. Niles was doing a fair amount of Basic D&D writing in the early '80s. He authored X3: "Curse of Xanathon" (1982) the previous year, and would go on to design two different Companion Set (1984) adventures in 1984.

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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Customer avatar
Chuck P October 04, 2014 5:27 pm UTC
I have a copy of the compilation B1-9 In Search of Adventure. In that compilation, this module is called The Hobgoblin King. As I enjoy reading about the background on the modules, I was wondering if there is any information on the reason for the name change.
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Author(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
ISBN
0-88038-046-2
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9078
File Size:
11.4 MB
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File Last Updated:
January 28, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating