* This review follows the designer's advise to run the Thunder Rift series (along with game07: B10 Assault on Raven's Ruin) in a particular order.
* Party rolled: Human female Paladin LG, Dwarf male Cleric LN, Halfelf female Ranger CG, Gnome female Magic-User NN, Halfelf male Cleric/Magic-User CG, Halfling male Thief CN -- Ray's Realm allows such racial classing as part of the adventuring package and encourages his Realm players to mix in as many races and classes so as to enjoy the breadth and depth of any given adventure... so's I dids!
A word about the Thunder Rift modules: these adventures were created in 1992 (when some of us were youngers just starting to explore the game) and were meant to be a sandbox of sorts for DMs and players both new to the game. They allowed for a lot of modification and were interconnected only by threads, to be filled and fleshed out by the DM running things, adaptable to any of the gameworlds. As such, there is ample opportunity for Ray to put his Realmstamp upon them, which I am pleased to find to be the case. I didn't think I would recall as much as I did about the wilderness spread of the adventures, but it didn't affect my play of them in the least. Ray's done the project a fine service in his importation to the Realm, with custom music and graphics detailing each design individually. On to it, then!
Our first adventure saw us addressing the lorn and lonely Castle Kraal, half-sunk in a swamp and crumbling with history: the adventure was not at all what I had been expecting, after learning the backstory of the place, and so the reality was a pleasant surprise. My party of budding would-be heroes got to do some interesting adventuring, to be sure.
Ray's construction of the adventure, as others have noted prior, has not lost anything since his last project: there are great touches everywhere, including the menu advances he's done and the interesting events that the player can precipitate. A great introductory sampling of the Thunder Rift, the Realm, and Ray's FRUA voice.