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Friday, December 16, 2011

Sacnoth's B1

     I've previously mentioned Sacnoth's Scriptorium, the blog by John Rateliff, former TSR/WOTC employee who authored The Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, as well as independently writing the mighty History of the Hobbit. In a recent blog post he describes returning to AD&D 1st edition for the first time in some years, running B1 In Search of the Unknown with his own additions, such as a Decapus from B3:

"--a dining room, to which the unseen servants delivered the wh apparently had a decapus in it who attacked as soon as they entered. Here I did a switch. In its original appearance (in B3), PCs enter a room and see a group of men around a table attacking a woman with knives with apparent cannibalistic intent. But this is just an illusion, covering up the actual menace: a ten-tentacled monster who tries to gobble up the intruders. I decided to reverse that: in my dungeon, they saw the decapus, which here itself was an illusion hiding a room full of eight zombies. A secondary motive, besides creating a tough fight, was to throw off anyone who'd figured out which module we were playing (given that one of the players, Steve Winter, was already working for TSR about the time the adventure I was using was published back in '81), which was after all a classic. By throwing in an iconic monster from a different adventure, I thought it might muddy the waters -- and for those who hadn't played the old adventures it work just fine as a stand-on-its-own encounter"

See his entire post here:

And here's an interview with Rateliff (by Monte Cook) where he discusses his gaming history:


  1. Thanks for the link to the interview, Zach---I hadn't gotten around to digging for that yet :D


  2. Interesting that he reached for B1, despite the long-held grudge that it's not a "completed" adventure. The irony (and the beauty of it) is that he came up with something entirely original, which is what Carr intended to promote.

    He also carried out the suggestions in the original version for adaptation to AD&D by using the Monster Manual and incorporating more devious tricks and traps - sounds like it was really well done.

    (Now, if I could only get him to contribute his notes for a revision/expanded edition of the B1 campaign sourcebook...)