Barely one day's march from Kelven, the uncharted tracts of the Dymrak forest conceal horrors enough to freeze the blood of civilized folk. Those who have ventured there tell how death comes quick to the unwary - for the woods at night are far worse than any dungeon.
But you are adventurers, veterans of many battles, and the call of the will is strong. Will you answer the call, or are you afraid of the dark terrors of the night?
This campaign adventure is for characters just beginning Expert play (levels 2-4) and hurls them into the exciting outdoor world which awaits in the Expert rulebook.
With a 64-page booklet, 2 double-panel covers, and complete scans of the orioginal double-sided mapsheet, this super-module provides all you need for epic wilderness and dungeon adventuring. Journey across the Grand Duchy of Karameikos in a desperate race against time and the forces of evil.
Please note that the die-cut counters are not included in this PDF.
B10: Night’s Dark Terror (1986), by the TSR UK crew of Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris, and Phil Gallagher, was the tenth adventure produced for the D&D Basic Set (1981). It was also a return to basics after the home office in Wisconsin had stopped producing new Basic Set adventures in 1985. It was published in February 1986.
A New Sort of Introduction. TSR had previously produced introductory modules as B1 through B4. However, "Night's Dark Terror" offered up a new sort of introduction: a beginning adventure for the D&D Expert Set (1981, 1983). It introduces players to the wilderness in a very carefully managed way with a strong motive behind their explorations (finding a lost person). Meanwhile, the GM is given lots of tools to help him out, such as a pre-generated listing of weather for a few months of time. This was TSR's second transition adventure of this sort, following X10: "Red Arrow, Black Shield" (1985), which introduced players to the warfare and politics of the D&D Companion Set (1984).
The introductory nature of the adventure also shows up toward the end, where the last major encounter area is lightly sketched out, giving the GM lots of opportunity to make it his or her own. After that, there's a list of additional story ideas that the GM can use to extend the adventure. The technique is much like that of B4: "The Lost City" (1982), which also gives the GM more and more freedom the deeper he gets into the adventure.
To highlight this unique new introduction, the TSR UK office wanted to code the adventure "B/X1," making it clear that it was a transition from Basic to Expert. The home office demurred, though, so the adventure went out as "B10" in the US and was stickered as "B/X1" in the UK. The "B/X1" copies of the module are much rarer (though an original printing of the adventure is pretty expensive on the secondary markets in any form).
A Unique Combination of Elements. To date, most wilderness adventures had either been largely freeform hex crawls, like X1: "The Isle of Dread" (1981), or else tight railroads, like N2: "The Forest Oracle" (1984). Instead, B10 deftly combines fixed locales and ongoing events with a multi-episodic structure. The result allows for a lot of sandbox play while still supporting a strong narrative - a very difficult mix in roleplaying adventures and one that's seldom been matched.
Expanding the Known World. "Night's Dark Terror" marks the start of the second wave of Known World creativity, following the period from 1981-1986 when it was primarily the vision of Zeb Cook. It was also the third great touchstone for the setting, following its introduction in the D&D Expert Set and its unification in X10: "Red Arrow, Black Shield".
The adventure details many of the wildlands of the Grand Duchy of Karamekios and also introduces new peoples such as the ancient Hutaakans and the Iron Ring slavers. It extensively describes several major locations, such as the city of Threshold. A magic tapestry of the lands that appears within the adventure really helps to define B10 as the gazetteer for this part of the Known World. No surprise, then, that this module was the major source for GAZ1: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (1987), which got the second wave of Known World publication really going.
About the Creators. TSR UK's magazine, Imagine, was shut down in October 1985 by TSR as part of the era's cost cutting. If anything, the result was an invigorated TSR UK office, who put out a flurry of modules in 1986 scattered across multiple TSR lines. "Night's Dark Terror" was the first of these.
Authors Bambra and Gallagher both left TSR UK to work for Games Workshop in 1986, where they coauthored Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1986). Ironically, they brought a little bit of "Terror" with them: A map of Sukiskyn from B10 reappears in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay as "Map 7: Typical Farmstead."
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.