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In Search of the Unknown is an adventure for Basic Dungeons & Dragons, for 3-6 players of levels 1-3.

In the 1978, Holmes Basic Boxed set release, the adventure is optionally set in Greyhawk and has the option of being placed in the Barony of Ratik, the Duchy of Tenh, or the Theocracy of the Pale(p.6). This is removed from later releases of the module.

This module was first released with the 1978 Holmes Basic Boxed set, although was copyrighted as 1979. It was later released independently.

Page numbers are from the 1978 Holmes Basic Boxed Set release, unless stated otherwise.

Blurb

"This package (a cover folder with maps and descriptive booklet within) forms a complete module for use with BASIC DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®. It is especially designed as an instructional aid for beginning Dungeon Masters and players, specifically created to enable new Dungeon Masters to initiate play with a minimum of preparaion. With only minor modifications, this module is also eminently suitable for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® as well. 

In addition to descriptive and situational material, this module also includes special informational sections giving: background history and legends, listings of possible monsters and treasures and how to place them, a list of adventuring characters, tips on various aspects of play for the Dungeon Master, and helpful advice for starting players."

The line "With only minor modifications, this module is also eminently suitable for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® as well." was removed from the later 'brown cover' printings.

Index

Art

  • Darlene: Adventurers vs Troglodytes (Backcover, 1981 Brown cover)
  • David A. Trampier: B&W Version of the cover(p.1, 1978 Mono cover)
  • David C. Sutherland III: B&W Version of the cover (p.1, 1978), Wingless Dragon (p.6, 1981 Brown cover), Illusionary Treasure (p.10), The Laboratory(p.11), Portcullis (p.13), Room of Pools(p.17), Pit Trap (p.20), Gaining Followers (p.27), Wizard vs Spider (p.29), Fighting Mummies (p.30), Adventurers (p.31), Quasqueton's Watchtower (Backcover).

While mummies are depicted on page 30, they are never suggested as a monster for DMs to use as a room encounter.

Characters

  • Erig, a friend of Rogahn who stayed in the stronghold as captain of the guard(p.16).
  • Marevack, advisor to Rogahn and Zelligar.(p.19)
  • Melissa, who was Rogahn's mistress and stayed in their stronghold(p.15).
  • Rogahn the Fearless, fighter (p.6). Rogahn may have slayed a brass dragon, as implied by a tapestry and trophy.(p.16) Rogahn alignment is suspected to be of an evil nature, supported by the stronghold's shrine having an evil looking idol(p.16).
  • Tuflor, an artist who did commissions for Rogahn and Zelligar.
  • Zelligar the Unknown, Magic User (p.6). Zelligar apparently had a interest in local history, botany, and meteorology(p.10). Zelligar's alignment is suspected to be of an evil nature, supported by the stronghold's shrine having an evil looking idol(p.16).

The module also has a long list of pregenerated characters that can either be used as PCs or as NPC followers and, as such, have a race, class and set of ability scores but no set level or given gender.

  • Clerics (All Human): Farned of the Great Church. Dohram, Servant of Saint Carmichael. The Mystical One. Mulgar the Merciful. Philgo. Tassit, Servant of Saint Cuthbert. Wilberd the Silent. Kracky he Hooded One. Grampal of the Secret Church. Nupo, Servant of The Bringer. Eggo of the Holy Brotherhood.(p.28)
  • Fighting Men: Humans- Brandon, Glendor the Fourth, Alho Rengate, Mohag the Wanderer, Norrin the Barbarian, Webberan of the Great North. Elves- Evro, Sho-Rembo. Dwarves- Zeffan, Krago of the Mountains. Halflings- Pendor, Lefto.(p.28)
  • Magic Users: Humans- Nickar, Shobaffum, Yor, Ralt Galther, Glom the Mighty, Trebbelos Boy Magician, Beska Miltar, Surfal. Elves- Presto, Mezlo, Fencig, Lappoy the Unexpected.(p.29)
  • Thieves: Humans- Bozomus, Laggamundo, Feggener the Quick, Drebb, Harg of the City Afar, Afton Borr. Elves- Estra Zo, Postue. Dwarves- Mezron, Sporragha. Halflings- Luven Lightfinger, Treddo.(p.30)

Creatures

This module left some monster encounters blank, to be filled in by the DM. This was one of the few Basic D&D modules that did so, along with the first printing of B3: The Silver Princess. This design was to encourage DMs to learn how to design encounters themselves. As such, this index can only cover the creatures that were given as examples.

  • Basilisk (p.16, dead)
  • Bat (p.23)
  • Bear (p.16, dead)
  • Beetle, Fire (p.13)
  • Carrion Crawler (p.25)
  • Cat, incorporeal (p.11)
  • Centipede, Giant (p.7,25)
  • Cockatrice (p.16, dead)
  • Dragon, Brass (p.16,dead)
  • Dwarf (p.8, 16, dead)
  • Ghoul (p.25)
  • Gnoll (p.25)
  • Gnome (p.25)
  • Goblin (p.21,25)
  • Hobgoblin (p.25)
  • Human (p.7,25)
  • Kobold (p.7,21,25)
  • Moose, Giant (p.16, dead)
  • Ochre Jelly (p.25)
  • Orc (p.7,21,25)
  • Ram (p.16, dead)
  • Rat, Giant (p.7,25)
  • Shrieker (p.25)
  • Skeleton (p.25)
  • Spider, Huge (p.21,25)
  • Spider, Large (p.25)
  • Stirge (p.25)
  • Tick, Giant (p.25)
  • Troglodyte (p.21,25)
  • Zombie (p.21,25)

Events

It is stated that Rogahn and Zelligar helped the 'people of the valley' against a horde of barbarians, then later pushed north to fight said barbarians. This would imply that Rogahn and Zelligar helped defend the Tenh or the Pale against the Suel Snow, Ice and Frost barbarians. This can be further supported by there being three barbarian tribes(p.16) but is also noted that the barbarians had curved swords which is not a known characteristic of the Suel barbarians(p.21). This event happened years(p.6) or decades(p.10) before the start of the module(p.6).

Locations

  • Caverns of Quasqueton, lair of Rogahn and Zelligar, crafted through magic, orc slaves(p.7) and labourers. The exact location of this stronghold is up to the DM, but is noted to be far from civilisation with miles of forested hills around it's surface entrance.(p.6)

Appendix

External Links: RPGGeek, RPG.net, Acaeum, Drivethrurpg, TSR Archive

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