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Moonlight Madness (2e)
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Moonlight Madness (2e)

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The moon rises, and you feel yourself start to change. Fur sprouts from your palms, your fingers turn to claws, and a howl rips from your throat. Your clothes shred and tear as your Other Self breaks free..

Moonlight Madness follows the exploits of six unlucky heroes trying to free themselves of the curse of lycanthropy while evading a full-scale werewolf hunt led by a crusading paladin and his doughty army. Hermits, sphinxes, dinosaurs, pixies, Amazons, bandits, and a friendly game of "Dwarfenball" are only a few of the challenges that stand between the heroes and the cure they seek. Will they reach the Hermitage on the Lake in time, or succumb to Moonlight Madness?

Product History

"Moonlight Madness" (1998), by Skip and Penny Williams, is a generic AD&D 2e adventure. It was published in February 1998.

About the Title. The adventure title, "Moonlight Madness", is pretty generic. In fact, it's the exact same name as an unreleased album by Barry Gibb and a video game for the Spectrum ZX, both of which date to 1986. And, that might not be a coincidence

Origins (I): From the Past. As it happens, 1986 is the same year that "Moonlight Madness" first appeared. It debuted as the two-round AD&D Masters Tournament for Gen Con 19 (1986), authored by Skip Williams and Penny Petticord — with their credits revealing that it was written before their marriage.

The ancient lineage of "Moonlight Madness" means that it was written in the same era as much earlier publications like WG9: "Gargoyle" (1989), WG10: "Child's Play" (1989), and WG11: "Puppets" (1989) — all of which originated as RPGA tournaments in the mid-to-late '80s. This similarity would show up in both the genre tropes and adventure style of "Moonlight Madness".

Origins (II): From the RPGA. So why was D&D reaching so far back into the past? It appears that Wizards wanted to highlight RPGA adventures in a way that TSR hadn't, because "Moonlight Madness" was one of the first adventures that they published that hadn't appeared on TSR's 1997 product schedule. Maybe they just wanted to give wider attention to a book that had originally been intended as an RPGA exclusive, or maybe updating an old RPGA adventure allowed Wizards to quickly bring a new adventure to market. Whatever the reasoning, "Moonlight Madness" marked the beginning of a wave of new mass-market RPGA adventures that would extended into 1999.

"Moonlight Madness" includes an ad for RPGA membership, which notes that members will receive the previous year's RPGA-exclusive adventure, "The Star of Kolhapur" (1997).

Expanding D&D: Lycanthropy. "Moonlight Madness" contains a few pages of alternate rules on lycanthropy: how the disease progresses and how characters "wolf out".

Genre Trope: Silliness. As was common in RPGA adventures of the '80s, there's a bit of silliness in this one, like a sphinx wearing a girdle of feminity who's awful at telling riddles and a jann with a service contract who's sick of people asking for wishes. These sorts of light jokes were somewhat outside the norm for published D&D adventures in the late '80s, and even moreso by the late '90s.

Adventure Styles: Episodic Encounters. Rather surprisingly, given its era of origin, "Moonlight Madness" is largely a game of episodic encounters, with the players moving from one to the next, in order.

Adventure Tropes: To Win You Must Lose. "Moonlight Madness" assumes the player characters are all lycanthropes. A typical adventure of the '90s would have included a heavy-handed introductory encounter that forced this upon the characters. Here, "Moonlight Madness" benefits from its tournament roots: it just lays this out as part of the starting conditions (and suggests that the GMs include encounters with lots of lycanthropes beforehand, if necessary).

Monsters of Note. "Moonlight Madness" includes a wolfwere and his wolves, but for the most part it's features the sort of mongrelized bestiary that was common in RPGA adventures of the '80s, including sphinxes, dinosaurs, and faerie dragons. There are a surprising number of leveled humans, but the PCs probably won't fight many of them.

About the Creators. Skip Williams is one of D&D's longest-running authors and Sages. Penny Petticord was the fourth Network Coordinator of the RPG, started in 1984.

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
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
48
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9568
File Size:
11.07 MB
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File Last Updated:
July 23, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on July 25, 2017.