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Notes on The Dwarven Glory (Wee Warriors, 1977)

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The Dwarven Glory was one of the earliest professionally published standalone adventure module for D&D. Written by Pete and Judy Kerestan, it was published by Wee Warriors in 1977. The first edition was distributed by TSR for a brief time. While the product would be considered an amateur production today, in the early days of D&D, it was professional. It wasn't published as an adventure or a module -- those terms had not been "invented" yet. Instead it was called "Dungeon Master's Kit #2". It is, however, a much better product than Palace of the Vampire Queen, at least in some ways.

Here's the cover page of my copy.

And here is my transcription of the module description:





A presentation of the semi-abandoned dwarven caverns in the mountain chain on the island of Baylor.

Maps may be arranged in any order wished, giving a geomorphic playing area with up to 60 variations.

Fun things in the kit are:

* 7 caverns showing fixtures, contents of rooms, etc.

* Set of prefactored advisaries and treasures for each section

* Creature encounter sheet
The module background given doesn't make this adventure sound quite as exciting as Palace of the Vampire Princess, at least to me. (But then I've never liked dwarves.)
* * * BACKGROUND * * *

At one time the community of Dwarven Glory was a thriving and wealthy community. So wealthy, in fact, the the pround and strengthening heritage of Dwarf history was forgotten and the community was easy prey for Mortoc and his 10 Orc Tribes. But, although the Orcs conquered, they could not completely destroy Dwarven Glory, and there were parts of the caverns they did not even penetrate.

Now the caverns echo in the misty gloom, offering refuge to the forgotten and promise to the adventurer.
While the Dwarven community is broken, some dwarves still live in The Dwarven Glory and do many other creatures. There are four sheets of maps of the dungeon, six sheets of room descriptions keyed to the maps, a quick reference/creature encounter page, and a front and rear cover.

There are six sheets of room descriptions are a major improvement over the "descriptions in Palace of the Vampire Queen which presented extremely sketchy descriptions in a four column table: Room, Creatures Encountered, Max Damage, and Contents of Room. (See my Notes on Palace of the Vampire Queen post for examples. The Dwarven Glory is much more "modern" in its room descriptions. Here's an example room describtions from a section of The Dwarven Glory devoted to taverns.
Room #4

Dwarven Delite Ale House. 2 tables, 4 chairs, one bar, one chest (poison pin lock) 300 GP in chest. Female barmaid (14th level magicuser)(HP-41)(AC-7) wears hypnotic medalion (only works for her) that charms male party members to fight each other in jealous rage over her. She will instill in any female party members a feeling of insecurity and inferiority. No saving throw against medalion effects - works within sight. Magic user is neutral/evil.
As you can see, the room descriptions are much more complex than those in Palace of the Vampire Queen. I selected this room because it shows a major problem I have always had with The Dwarven Glory, the monsters were sometimes very powerful but because of the geomorphic nature of the dungeon "level" was fairly meaningless. This meant that players really had no way of knowing that they might be walking from a room that low level characters could handle to one that even fairly high level characters might have trouble with. To me, this is poor old school dungeon design. If you get the impression that I really don't like The Dwarven Glory, you would be correct. It just doesn't do anything for me.

My copy is a first edition as later editions had at least the room descriptions in a digest-sized booklet. If you are interested in all the variations between the editions of The Dwarven Glory, you will find this information on the Dungeon Masters Kits page at The Acaeum. I had hoped to include some more pictures of this relatively rare module, but our digital camera is loaned out and Windows 7 refused to talk to my scanner after I finally got a good cover scan.

Note: This module can be yours see below for more information on the Firecracker Cancer Fund Drive.

The Firecracker Cancer Fund Drive is on (through July 12th 16th). Every $10 donated gives you one chance to win a copy of Wee Warriors Palace of the Vampire Queen (the first D&D module published -- in 1976). Highest donors will also divide a huge list of other RPG items from the 1970s and early 1980s (including more rare publications). You can see the complete list of 10 items and read more about this fund drive in this post: OD&D Wee Warriors Goodies Available (For Cancer Fund Donors). This is in addition to the usual PDF downloads and other benefits of a donation to the RetrpoRoleplaying Cancer Fund. To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned Firecracker items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. Thank you!


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