* 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 party, dripping-wet but refreshed from our explorations of Castle Kraal (game41), was approached and put in touch with a concerned party, including one of a group of exotic new neighbours - intrigued and with the rogue in our party anxious to test his newly-acquired skills that he'd burnished in our last outing, we immediately offered our assistance...
Ray hits the ground running here, making exceptional use of the module's story and setting by coupling it with some of Hans' great themed graphics, lifting the material that much higher. The power of parsed descriptions and other... means he makes use of... add to the dangerous ambience and immediacy.
Alas for plots for what are we to do but untangle them? A fine find was found, adding to our futures, and by the surprise culmination we were already fairly certain of the outcome.
spoiler: upon rescuing a certain personage and defeating her captor... and confronting the force behind the fort's takeover... we learned the reasons behind the attack... only to confront the person who was really pulling the strings... too bad he thought he could send us forth to rid himself of the competition and not return ready for exactly what we found! Our paladin will make good use of that magical katana, as well.
A terrific example of Ray's Realm-version of a conversion, and with great art to boot. All of our party managed to make level 2 (and our Thief's 3rd Thief level) mid-adventure by this point... I [R]emoved each pc and copy-pasted them into the save directory of the next adventure, carrying on