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The Fright at Tristor (3e)
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The Fright at Tristor (3e)

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We die for The Watcher!
Orcish barbarians harry the northern trade routes through the cold north of the Theocracy of the Pale, serving a mysterious lord known only as The Watcher. Plagued by a series of bizarre animal mutations, the terrorized folk of the village of Tristor turn to adventurers to help them where hunters, vigilantes, and soldiers could not. Someone, or some thing, is sending a message to Tristor, and all fear the inevitable - when the gruesome murderer claims its first human victim.
This classic tournament adventure has been revised and updated for use in the RPGA Network's exciting LIVING GREYHAWK campaign.
Product History

"The Fright at Tristor" (2000) is a Living Greyhawk adventure published solely for RPGA Network Guild-Level members. This classic convention tournament for 1st-level adventurers was updated and optimized for the 3rd edition Living Greyhawk campaign, making it a natural for new players getting back into D&D with the advent of the 3e rules.
In the investigation-focused adventure, the town of Tristor is being stalked by something horrific that's trying to send the town a message through a series of bizarre animal mutilations. It's up to the heroes to intervene before the first townsfolk dies to the gruesome murderer. Here's a hint: It's a good thing the adventurers arrive when they do, because that day isn't far away at all.

Politics Get Personal. "Fright at Tristor" does a good job of placing its town in the middle of a tricky political situation, one that influences events from a distance without ever taking center stage. Northern barbarians have begun to raid as the local soldiers battle elsewhere; Tristor is vulnerable, and its people live in constant fear of invaders from whom their government may be unable (or unwilling) to protect them. Bounty hunters and vigilantes now make the town their home, hoping to make a few coins while solving the mystery of the animal mutilations. Perhaps most importantly, racial and class prejudices continue to affect the locals' interactions on an everyday basis.
Interestingly, the root of the town's current problems lie in its own history and past. We'll avoid too many spoilers, but the problems in Tristor stem from an unusual and highly understandable source. Sympathetic villains are few and far between in D&D adventures, so it's a delight to see one as well written as you'll find in "The Fright at Tristor."
Site-Based Investigation. A clever, cautious villain requires an investigative approach, and it's up to the heroes to talk to townsfolk and slowly piece together what is happening in Tristor. The adventure does a fine job of detailing all of Tristor, its environs, and the surrounding area. As the heroes accumulate clues, the site-based encounters provide a mounting sense of dread and threat.

This is an adventure that has aged extremely well. It'd be simple to convert to other game systems, since the focus is as much on investigation as it is on combat, and the central story remains gripping without having been turned into a parody of itself over time. If you're looking for a good, moody adventure to lead off your new D&D Next campaign, you've found a good option here.
About the Creators. Keith Polster is a longtime Greyhawk fan, having written multiple adventures for Living Greyhawk and the RPGA. His work has appeared in Dragon and Polyhedron and includes the adventures "The Legacy" and "River Rats."

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Reviews (2)
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February 5th, 2016
I loved the adventure. Granted, I am a noob (both as a player and as a DM) but I thought this was a fantastic story. Yes, it is a campaign for level one characters, but it is by no means a cakewalk. The primary antagonist is very unique, powerful, and [...]
December 23rd, 2015
This adventure was created as part of the Living Greyhawk campaign, but it can be played as is with no modification, or with very small adjustments should you want to play it using different rules than 3rd edition rules. The premise of the adven [...]
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File Last Updated:
February 15, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on September 17, 2013.