ST1: Up the Garden Path
It’s been a very long time — over a year — since we had a fund raiser for the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund (which helps pay down the huge bills associated with my wife’s cancer treatments from 2007-2008). I’ve been asked several times when we were going to have another. The problem has been a lack of items to give away. As of yesterday’s mail, this is no longer a problem. I received a package from a Microlite74 GM in Belfast containing a very nice copy of a rare D&D module from the UK: ST1 – Up the Garden Path.
If you are like me, you’ve never heard of this module. It is a special module written by Graeme Morris and Mike Brunton produced by TSR UK and sold at the 1986 National Garden Festival and the 1986 Games Day convention. From glancing through it, all I can say is it is one of the strangest D&D modules I’ve even seen. It is set in a pocket dimension that looks like the grounds where the 1986 National Garden Festival was held (at Stoke on Trent for those more familiar with the UK than I am). The adventure itself reminds me of Gygax’s Dungeonland adventure — very whimsical and humorous (in a British way). The adventure is for 5-8 characters of levels ranging from 4 to 7. I’m not sure I’d run it, but then I never had much luck with Dungeonland.
From the back cover:
The day has been long and hard and, as night falls, you gratefully surrender to the soft, silent blackness of well-earned sleep.
Then the dream comes.
You are seated on a throne in a cavern where the sun has never shone; where no voice has ever spoken. Yet you are not alone. Through the darkness, silent figures are moving. Blacker than black… formless yet menacing… advancing towards you from every side….
You feel their touch; icy claws plucking at your skin and hair, lifting the throne and carrying you helpless on a journey from darkness into further darkness, from silence into deeper silence. You scream, and a million anguished, reedy voices answer your call.
Suddenly you awake…
…and the dream is real.
This adventure is for use with the Dungeons & Dragons Expert and Basic rules sets. Both of these are needed to use the information in Up the Garden Path. Experienced Dungeon Masters of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game should have no difficulty in adapting this adventure to the AD&D game system.
I’d like to thank Ryan for sending me one of the three copies(!!) he found over the summer as gives me a nice item to base a Cancer Fund Drive around. As most readers know, my wife is recovering from oral cancer (with her next CT scan coming up in early November) and that I worked on the original Microlite74 as way to cope during her recovery from 6 weeks of radiation treatment in 2008. We are some of the 40 to 50 million people in the US who do not have health insurance and do not qualify for government aid as we live in Texas and have no children. The cancer treatments and related expenses have cost over $120,000 so far. While almost three-quarters of this has been absorbed by hospital foundations or paid by previous fund drives, monthly payments by us, and the like, we still owe quite a bit. Our last fund drive was in July of 2010, but we’ve now accumulated enough old school items to hold another.
[Fund Drive Stuff Removed instead of deleting the entire post as I have with most fund drive announcements to keep the description of ST1 available — RSS, 1 March 2022]