Wrath of the Immortals (1992)

Lest you think that Challenger D&D is less weird than BECMI because the Rules Cyclopedia left out the Immortal Rules box set, well, here’s Wrath of the Immortals (1992), the Challenger version of the Immortal Rules box set.

The core philosophy of Mentzer’s rules remains largely intact, though much smoothed smoothing and developing. For instance, the new version pitches the idea that there are a limited number of Immortals (they used to be limited to experience levels). The entire process of becoming an immortal is less onerous and there are more options for immortal characters once they achieve it. In a lot of ways, immortality is the equivalent of a videogame’s New Game Plus — you’re going to be doing the same thing with the same systems at a different level of difficulty. And also you can create stuff, like demi-planes and intelligent life. You know, no biggie. I still suspect that no one ever seriously played an Immortals campaign.

This is sort of supported by the fact that the actual campaign frame that is included in the box is one for regular characters (though it should encompass their entire careers and leave them on the threshold of immortality). The events of this campaign, The Immortal’s Fury, are divisive as they reap major changes to the Known World. This rightly annoyed folks who invested in the 15-volume Gazetteer series that detailed the world as it was. But any time you’re going to blow up a beloved world, folks are going to be annoyed (and this is literal — there is a meteor impact that knocks a whole continent into the Hollow World). I will say that I like both states of the Known World, the classic version and Mystara, but I am not really a fan of how Wrath of the Immortals goes about the transition. That’s pretty par for TSR’s track record though.

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