[Let's Read] M1 Blizzard Pass

Koren n'Rhys

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Blizzard Pass
Invisible Ink Module M1
By David Cook

A Solo Adventure for Thieves Levels 1-3 or Group Play Level 1-3
Published by TSR in 1983, for Basic D&D



To my knowledge, M1 was the first attempt by TSR at a solo adventure. It uses a popular gimmick of the time where portions of text are written in a special invisible ink which doesn’t become legible until you scribble over it with a special pen which reacts with printed characters and makes them visible. as such, it’s a one time use product since after you’ve done so… well, you know what those hidden entries say! Not much replayability there, unfortunately. This was used in just one more module by TSR, M2: Maze of the Riddling Minotaur before being abandoned in favor of a new style which was used in BSOLO: Ghost of Lion Castle, XSOLO: Lathan’s Gold and XS2: Thunderdelve Mountain.

This Let’s Read (or rather Let’s Play) was inspired by a comment in the current [Let’s Read] The Known World/Mystara thread where this module was mentioned, as well as a previous solo module Let’s Read by JoeNotCharles (XS2 - Thunderdelve Mountain) which I had followed and enjoyed. We’ll play through the module together, as I use the input of others in the thread to help decide how we proceed through the adventure. It should be fun!

PART 1: INTRODUCTION
Briefly outlines how the module is laid out, with the bulk of the product being the invisible ink solo adventure, with a more standard group-play version at the end. It notes that they changed it enough that you can’t ruin the solo play by reading the group version in advance.

How to Play the Solo Adventure
This section describes how the solo player is supposed to run this adventure for himself using the numbered entries, a portion of which are written in the invisible ink. Essentially it plays out in a “choose your own adventure” format - read an entry and choose from two or three possibilities for your next action. Even this “how to play” section has a few entries in the invisible ink to be sure you see and understand how it all works.

The Character
Here we’re told that this adventure is intended for a single character - a thief, between 1st and 3rd level. A pre-rolled character is provided (with no name, so you can name him yourself!) in the back of the module, but we’re also given some guidelines should you choose to roll your own. They suggest no magic items or missile weapons, basic equipment taken from the listing in the Basic book only, and higher than average hit points are recommended. For our first foray into Blizzard Pass, I’ll be using the pre-rolled thief provided in the mod, who we’ll refer to as The Real Slim Shady. Just because.

Spoiler: Show

Thief 1
HP: 7/7
AC: 6 (Leather + DEX Modifier)
Movement: 120’ (40’)

STRENGTH: 9
INTELLIGENCE: 11
WISDOM: 10
DEXTERITY: 15 (+1 To Hit (Missile), -1 AC, +1 Initiative)
CONSTITUTION: 18 (+3 Hit Points)
CHARISMA: 8 (-1 Reaction)

To Hit Rolls Needed:
AC: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Roll: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Saving Throws:
Poison or Death Ray: 13
Magic Wand: 14
Turn to Stone or Paralysis: 13
Dragon Breath: 16
Spells or Magic Staff: 15

Special Skills:
Open Locks: 15%
Find or Remove Traps: 10%
Pick Pockets: 20%
Move Silently: 20%
Climb Sheer Surfaces: 87%
Hide in Shadows: 10%
Hear Noise: 1-2
Backstab: +4 to hit, double damage

Equipment:
Sword
Leather Armor
Backpack
50’ Rope
Thieves’ Tools
Tinder Box
6 Torches
Wine Skin with Wine


Guidelines and Tips for Playing the Solo Adventure
Next up we have some advice for playing through the adventure. Mostly about not cheating since it will ruin the fun, and also to man up and accept what happens as a result of your decisions.

1. This adventure is a dangerous one, so do not take any decision lightly. You will never know when your next decision means the difference between life and death.

2. Resist the temptation to alter die rolls, for any role-playing game will lose all its excitement and challenge if the players use only the best die rolls.

3. You should also resist the urge to read the rulebook when confronting unfamiliar situations. Much of the fun and excitement of a role-playing game comes from the sense of mystery it generates. If you destroy this sense of mystery by finding the answers to certain puzzles in the rulebook, you will destroy much of the fun of the module. For instance, when you meet a strange monster, use only your memory and wit to identify it. Do not try to discover the best method of flghtlng it by looking it up in the rulebook.

4. If your character dies in the course of the adventure, you may begin the adventure again, but you must roll up a new character. The character you were using in the solo adventure has died, and cannot be brought back to life. (No one will rescue the body and have it resurrected.)

5. If you are using a character from a regular game, be ready to accept that characters fate. It must be removed from the regular game if it is slain in this adventure!

6. No character may explore this dungeon more than once in an attempt to gain experience or treasure. Once a character has completed the module, it may not be used for further play in this adventure. (You may, however, use a different character to explore the areas al he dungeon you missed the first time.)

7. You should have fun. Try silly or unusual entries occasionally; they just might work! Of course, they might prove disastrous, too.

8. You will find it useful to make a noted each entry you read, in case you go to an entry that directs you back to the last entry read and you can't remember the number. This will also prove useful if you want to stop the adventure and return to it later.
PART 2: THE SOLO ADVENTURE
And that’s it for the introduction and directions. Now, it’s right into the solo adventure - let’s get started!
 

Koren n'Rhys

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1. You slip and slide around the icy corner, your lungs aching from the cold air. A low wall blocks your path, and you fall attempting to avoid the unexpected barrier. A dull pain flares In your shoulder as you strike the frozen ground.

"There's the cur!" a man snarls. The peasants have found you again.The crowd presses closer, their dark faces twisted with anger.

"Murderer!" cries an old lady.

"I was framed!" you gasp. The peasants will not listen, even though what you say is true.

"Kill the swine,” says a flat, even voice. The words are backed by the authority of the sheriff.

A man in front throws a fist-sized rock at you. Even though you try to dodge, the rock strikes your cheek. Your face is so cold you barely feel it strike, but a Iong trickle of blood soon runs down your face.

A man carrying a wooden club pushes through the crowd. You jump to your feet and kick the man in the stomach. Before he reacts. you turn around and scramble over the wall.

You find yourself in an alley leading to the town gate. The gate itself stands open several yards ahead.

You hear the peasants trying to climb over the wall. "Stop! Stop, murderer!" they cry.

You run toward the open gate. As you approach, a guard steps into the road. Ha hand rests on his sword.

“There's a murderer loose!" you shout. His mouth opens, but before he can say anything. you strike his jaw with your fist. His teeth snap together and his head flops back, He crashes to the icy ground.

As you run through the gate, a bowstring twangs and an arrow zips past your shoulder. Ahead, you see a stand of evergreen trees. You run full speed toward the trees, slipping and sliding along the icy road. The peasants howl and scream, following close behind.

You plunge into the stand of trees, snapping and tearing at the branches as you struggle through the deep snow. Soon, you hear the peasants yelling and screaming as they follow you into the forest.

After several minutes of struggle, you emerge from the trees. Much to your surprise, a merchant sledge travels along the edge of the forest. Without hesitating, you catch the back and pull yourself inside. You quickly burrow under its cargo of furs and cloth, hoping to hide until it carries you a safe distance from the village.

After several minutes of slow movement, the sledge stops. You hear many muffled, angry voices, but you cannot understand all of the conversation.

“Did…murderer escaped…attacked town guard!"

"No...simple merchants...caravan over the pass."

"Maybe ... search sledges."

You lie as still as possible, scarcely daring to breathe. Soon, the back of the sledge rattles and you hear someone pull the cover back.

You feel a man digging through the furs on top of the load, but he stops before reaching you. ''Only furs and carpets in here!" he says gruffly. He throws the furs back and the voices fade away. You allow a sigh to escape your lungs.

At last, the sledge jerks and moves again. Soon. you are very drowsy, and allow the movement of the sledge to rock you to sleep.

When you awake. the caravan is still moving. You have no idea of how long you have slept. You are hungry, thirsty, and your muscles are cramped. By now, it must be late afternoon. Will you stay hidden until dusk (2), or jump out of the sledge now (3)?
So, what shall it be my friends?
 

Numanoid

#rocksteadyrollhard
Validated User
Muthafuckas try to pin a 187 on Shady, they gonna be hell to pay!

But best lay low til dusk for now, maybe work on some rhymes...
 
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Nerag

Cat Fragment
Validated User
Thieves in basic have only quick advancement going for them... keep hiding.
 

The Radioactivist

Registered User
Validated User
Love it!

'Cause I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady
All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating
So won't the real Slim Shady please hide low,
Please hide low, please hide low?"
 

Koren n'Rhys

Got your mirrorshades?
Validated User
As expected, Slim is going to keep a low profile then. Don't you love it when, all of a sudden, you have a character? :)

2. As it grows dark, you crawl from your hiding place and climb off the sledge. When your feet touch the snow, you feel a sharp jab in your back. "Ho, varlet!" says a rough voice. "Where'd you come from?" You turn and see two men mounted on ponies. They wear heavy furs and leather armor. One holds a lance level with your chest. The other, a grizzled fellow with a black beard says, "You'd better come along with us." Go to entry 4.
Alrighty then. Collared already. On to Entry 4...

4. The two guards march you alongside a caravan of sledges. You often sink into snow up to your knees, and bitter cold numbs your hands and face. All along the trail, sledge drivers whip their ponies and struggle to free stuck sledges.

Finally, you reach the front of the caravan. The drivers have already drawn several sledges into a small stand of evergreens to make camp. Several men stand huddled around a large campfire. As you approach, the black bearded rider says. "Master Visond, what new cargo do you now carry? He prods you into the center of the camp with his lance. A thin, fur-clothed man turns around and eyes you warily.

"What's this?" he asks.

The black bearded one swings off his mount and shoves you toward Visond. 'We caught this cur in your load." He claps his hands together over the fire and rubs them.

"Well, then," says Visond, “so you would take passage over Blizzard Pass in my caravan?”

"Shall we send him out to freeze, Master Visond?" asks the black bearded one anxiously.

"I would say it is he the villagers sought," says the other rider. This man's voice is gentle, yet strong. You study him closely for several seconds. The man is an elf!

"Aye," says the first rider. "Be careful, murderer, or I’ll do the villagers' job for them."

"No," Visond says, "we will not harm the stranger. I am short of workers. He will earn his passage as a sledge worker." Visond turns to you, "I trust you do not mind?"

That night,you help the others prepare camp, tend the animals. and cook dinner. After you finish eating, you curl up on a bed of old furs Visond gives you and pass a cold, restless night.

The caravan starts over the pass early the next morning. You struggle through the deep snow alongside the sledges, often stopping to heave and push the heavy vehicles through long, deep drifts of snow.

By afternoon, you are near the top of the pass,but the sky has grown dim with clouds. Visond halts the caravan and talks with Daras, the guide. Finally, he calls back, "We go on. Daras says the snow will not come before nightfall."

Within an hour, the sky turns stormy gray, and howling winds whip the powdery snow so fiercely you cannot see two feet. You grab the sledge and hold on, praying it does not leave you behind in this terrible blizzard.

The sledge soon stops, and a few other workers huddle near you. You crouch next to the sledge, listening to the winds wail and staring blankly into the curtain of falling snow. Eventually, you see the shadowy form of a man stumbling toward you through the driving snows. It's Visond!

"We're lost!" he cries to you. "Tie a rope to yourself and search ahead!" Will you agree (5) or refuse (6)?
What to do?

FYI, the wife and I are working on the kitchen remodel tomorrow, so not sure how quickly I can get back with the next entry. Might slow down over the weekend, but we'll see.
 
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