The Saving Throw
Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk 09.21.2007
Saving Throw's review of Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk.

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Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
published by Wizards of the Coast reviewed by Martin Drury
224 pages, 2007, $34.95
Story 19
Enjoyability 17
Adaptability 12
Intelligibility 19
Solid Hit
Review Scoring

Twenty-seven years have passed since Mordenkainen, Robilar, Quij, Riggby, Tenser, Bigby and Neb Retnar released Iuz from the trap Zagig had used to capture him, only to fail in their plan to kill Iuz, once and for all. Iuz swore vengenance against those who came to kill him, but absorbed in rebuiling his kingdom, he was slow to strike, and eventually Riggby perished from natural causes. Now Riggby's body is being brought back to Greyhawk, and Iuz's forces are in place to bring the city to its knees once and for all. And so the story is set for a new adventure into the original setting from which Dungeons & Dragons was born.

Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk is set in the city of Greyhawk and its associated castle which once housed the great Zagig Yragerne before his ascendency, and features appearances by many of the iconic characters from the Greyhawk setting, such as Mordenkainen, Tenser, and the infamous Iuz. Successfully completing the adventure will bring the adventurers to the forefront of Greyhawk lore, earning praise from many, and the eternal hatred of numerous foes.

The book has six chapters, the first two of which serve to provide the Game Master with all the necessary background for running the adventure. The remaining four chapters cover the actual meat of the adventure itself, guiding the players through several areas of the city of Greyhawk itself, and also into the depths of the dungeons beneath Castle Greyhawk. Along with the main quest storyline, the adventure also includes 15 sidequests that are expertly crafted into the story.

Adapting this adventure to other settings than the core setting will require a lot of renaming, or at least re-assigning key relations between characters and the core dieties. Castle Greyhawk itself can be dropped relatively easily into other settings, and since the adventure contains itself within just a few sections of the city, these can easily be transposed on another large city without too much effort.

The skill with which the story is presented and the various side quests are tied into the main storyline is a tribute to the original Greyhawk and a testament to the writing talents of the three authors. If the players' characters survive all this trio have to throw at them, they are likely to view this as one of the best adventures. And if they fall victim to the traps and ecounters, they will join the thousands who have gone before them in alternately cursing and cheering the cleverness that proved their undoing.

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