ripvanwormer wrote:When N1 was published in 1982, Greyhawk was the D&D setting and every module was given a place there. N1 is explicitly placed on the border between the Gran March and Keoland, though the goddess mentioned in the adventure, Merikka, wasn't a preexisting part of the setting and didn't get mentioned in any other Greyhawk sourcebook until the publication of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer in 2000.
I saw something, fairly recently, about 5th Edition designers looking at previous D&D products and deciding which ones were well crafted and which ones didn't have a good fit to the setting. They were talking about Forgotten Realms there, but I think the same logic might have been applied to Living Greyhawk Gazetteer
, as it seems to get a lot of respect from people who prefer 2nd Edition and 1st Edition material to 3rd Edition material.
I did notice that N1 had an earlier logo and house-style. I don't actually own any D&D products with that super-old house style, and probably won't be able to afford to buy them until the PoD process gets to them.
ripvanwormer wrote:In 1982, Gary Gygax was forced to step down as CEO and sent to the West Coast to work on the D&D cartoon and try to get a D&D movie made. Greyhawk was Gary's world, and few others cared as much about it, so modules began to be more generic. By 1984, when N2 was published, Dragonlance was becoming a thing and Gygax was no longer overseeing the (A)D&D line. By 1986, when N3 was published, Gygax had been forced out of the company altogether and Greyhawk was marginalized. N4 was also published in 1986 and initially written as a generic adventure, though TSR soon purchased the Forgotten Realms from Ed Greenwood in the hope of having a new default setting not so closely tied to the now-departed Gygax and his vision, and the setting of N4 (the Korinn Archipelago) was retconned to be part of the world of Abeir-Toril. The sourcebook FR2 Moonshae placed the archipelago near the Moonshae Isles, themselves a new addition by TSR not part of Greenwood's original world.
I wonder if N2 was planned earlier...and delayed by the changes in TSR, or if somebody in TSR noticed that they had an orphan N1 product and decided to resurrect the concept to pull in more newbies. I've seen several "newbie D&D" products over there years that are supposed to get people to try out D&D. It seems to be something they do every so often. (I do wonder sometimes if BECMI was better at building in the "easy start for newbies" than AD&D and the following systems. Mind you, I heard that the entire Thunder Rift product line was a "newbie-friendly" BECMI product line.)
Is there anywhere in Krynn that N2 The Forest Oracle
would fit? It seems to be about druids. I don't remember much about druids in the DL novels I've read, but I think the 3e Dragonlance Campaign Setting
book suggests deities that druids can worship.
So N4 has been officially retronned into Forgotten Realms? I'll have to update that page on the Book-House. I do remember talk of the Moonshae Islands being imported into Forgotten Realms. (I'm not sure if someone said they were originally going to be a TSR UK campaign setting or if that was something else.) Was there a novel that got imported at the same time? Does that have a direct connection to N4 Treasure Hunt
ripvanwormer wrote:By 1987, when N5 was published, the Forgotten Realms was officially AD&D's default setting, so new modules were placed there and older modules like the Bloodstone series, the Kara-Tur adventures, and N4 were retconned to exist somewhere on Toril.
I did notice a second change in the branding. (That's actually what got me trying to find things. I saw the Forgotten Realms logo, but the Book-House page was not in the Forgotten Realms category - it is now.) N5 claims to be the first Forgotten Realms adventure, so I guess that N4 must have been retconned after N5 came out.
ripvanwormer wrote:The five modules in the N series don't have any connections in their characters or plots. The only thing they have in common is that they're all intended for lower-level characters. Both N4 and N5 are playable by 0-level characters, an idea that didn't make the jump to 2nd edition. The highest level module is N2, intended for levels 2-4. N1 is for characters of levels 1-3 and N3 is for characters of levels 1-4.
I remember seeing the 0-Level stuff in Greyhawk Adventures
(and then forgetting where I saw it and spending ages finding it again). I actually thought that was a really interesting idea. It's a shame they abandoned it. I would have liked to have seen this done for 3rd Edition. One of the criticisms of 3e was that people had to choose Skills and Feats. With 0-Level 3e characters, I presume they would just need to have 6 stats.
I presume that N4 and N5 need to have the monsters bumped up a bit to work with non-zero level PCs. That must make converting them to 2nd Edition or other editions slightly more complex than usual.
ripvanwormer wrote:N2 is set in the Greate Olde Woode and N3 is set in the Kingdom of Dunador. Neither setting to my knowledge has ever appeared anywhere else.
This is making me wonder how many "orphan adventures" D&D has and what mini-settings they use.