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M2 Vengeance of Alphaks (Basic)
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M2 Vengeance of Alphaks (Basic)

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Centuries ago, the despotic Alphaks, ruler of Alphatia, was banished to another world. From his own sphere of entropy he learned to manipulate men, and now he seeks revenge against the human race.

The violtile region of Norwold, a perennial battleground between Thyatis and Alphatia, draws Alphaks's attention. The already existing frictions, small-time political players, and petty vengeances are the sparks Alphaks will use to ignite a huge war that will destroy mankind.

This is an adventure of politics and diplomacy, of treachery and treason. Only courageous and bold action can save Norwold from the horrors of war and liberate its people from oppression.

An adventure for character levels 28-32.

Product History

M2: "Vengeance of Alphaks" (1986), by Skip Williams, is the second Master-level adventure for Basic D&D. It was published in April 1986.

About the Module Code. "Vengeance of Alphaks" was the second TSR adventure to bear the module code "M2", the other being the Magic Marker adventure, M2: "Maze of the Riddling Minotaur" (1983). This was just one of two TSR adventures to reuse a module code (the other of course being "M1").

About the Cover. The cover shows the climatic moment of "Vengeance of Alphaks", as the players approach a flying castle. More importantly it debuts the pegataurs, the Known World's newest race.

Origins: More Mastery. Following the publication of the Basic D&D Master Rules (1985), TSR created the expected line of modules to supplement it. "Vengeance of Alphaks" was the second and a light sequel to M1: "Into the Maelstrom" (1985); after Alphaks' plots of revenge are foiled by the players in "Maelstrom", he seeks yet more revenge.

Adventure Tropes: A Master Adventure. The Master Rules never really defined what a Master-level adventure was, so "Vengeance of Alphaks" doubles down on the idea of Master-level play simply being super-D&D. So, there's more warfare and more dominion events, but also some super-high-level delves and even references to wilderness travel.

Metaplotting Along. "Vengeance of Alphaks" ups the conflict between Alphatia and Thyatis that had been simmering since CM1: "Test of the Warlords" (1984) by building on the warfare between Norwold and Qeodhar from M1: "Into the Maelstrom" (1986). Now, Alphatia and Thyatis are taking sides in this new war. Meanwhile, Norwold is starting to consider independence. The result is an important milestone in the Norwold metaplot that quietly ran across the "CM" and "M" adventures (1984-1987), back in an era before metaplot was well-known.

Exploring the Known World. "Vengeance of Alphaks" continues the Companion Rules' focus on Norwold, but as was frequently the case it's abstracted, with dangers affecting the player's dominion (wherever that might be). Though "Vengeance of Alphaks" contains one of the more extensive maps of Norwold, as well as great information on the overall political situation, to a large extent Norwold remains opaque.

There's perhaps a bit more detail on Alphatia, building on the extensive reveals from M1: "Into the Maelstrom". The flying castle actually belongs to them, so players (and GMs) can learn more about Alphatia's technology as well as its nobles (and even its larger plans).

Monsters of Note. The Known World's pegataurs debut here. This race of winged centaurs would become a player character race a few years down the road with the publication of PC2: "Top Ballista" (1989).

NPCs of Note. Alphaks makes a return in this adventure, to no one's great surprise (given the title). He largely works in the background, creating the tensions that are leading toward conflict between Alphatia and Thyatis. His super-villainous goal is no less than the destruction of the human race.

About the Creators. Williams was one of the earliest members of Gary Gygax's Greyhawk game and had been working with TSR since 1976, when he became a clerk at the Dungeon Hobby Shop. "Vengeance of Alphaks" was his first major design work, though he'd go on to become quite a prolific writer in the '90s and '00s, including design work on D&D 3e (2000).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons—a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Author(s)
Rule System(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9148
File Size:
7.71 MB
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File Last Updated:
September 05, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on September 06, 2016.