I8: Ravager of Time (1986)

I8: Ravager of Time (1986) has a little Union Jack on the cover, which means it was produced in the UK. If you look inside, that’s pretty obvious if you’re at all familiar with the UK-series modules—this one is laid out similarly, with big art pieces and a flare for graphic design that is not really present in the US modules. The interiors are by Tim Sell and are a good deal darker (in tone and in form, lots of heavy line work) than US modules. Cover is Jeff Anderson, a name and style I don’t really recognize, but it’s really an excellent cover—bright colors, full of movement and narrative.

I generally like the UK adventures because they aren’t so dungeon obsessed as the American products. This one…doesn’t have a single dungeon? It’s all wilderness or city encounters (er, town, I guess). The players are drawn in because of a murder (complete with a trial!) and have to puzzle together what is really going on, a mystery that has an evil sorceress who feeds on youth (thus aging her victims) in order to stay…uh…I guess slightly less old. Though not technically a hag, she sure looks and acts like one, which makes this adventure, with its moorland and its sense of generational decay, feel like a Hammer horror film or maybe a folk horror jam. It isn’t, really, not quite, but the atmosphere there. It’s distinctly British in a way I am not sure any of the other UK modules match.

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