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X13 Crown of Ancient Glory (Basic)

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All is not well in the kingdom of Vestland.

Not only is the king dead and the holy Sonora Crown missing, but the heir to the kingdom was lost at birth and no on knows where to find him. As if this wasn't bad enough, the forces of the Ethengar Khanate, never on the best of terms with Vestland, are now massing on the borders, hoping to take advantage of Vestland's plight. To complete the rosy picture, traitors from within also threaten to speed the downfall of the High Kingdom.

Sounds like a job for you. You must find the long-lost heir to the kingdom and recover the Sonora Crown, the mystical device without which a king cannot be crowned. Standing in your way are traitors and spies from within and invaders from without the kingdom of Vestland. Time is running out! Can you save Vestland from disaster?

This adventure is for use with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic, Expert, and Companion Rules. You must have these rule sets to play the adventure.

Product History

X13: "Crown of Ancient Glory" (1987), by Stephen Bourne, is the thirteenth and final Expert-level adventure for Basic D&D. It was published in December 1987.

Origins (I): X = X + 1. The Expert-level Basic D&D adventures ran for six and a half years, starting with the publication of X1: "The Isle of Dread" (1981). With their frequent focus on wilderness adventures, they were some of the most distinct adventures published for D&D in the '80s. However, X13: "Crown of Ancient Glory" (1987) marked their end.

More than that, "Crown of Ancient Glory" marked the end to an entire era of Basic D&D publication. The "B" Basic adventures would make a brief resurgence in 1989, but other than that the adventures coded "B", "X", "C", "M", and "I" ended with this adventure. Instead the future of the Basic D&D line lay with the the Gazetteers (1987-1991) that had begun earlier in the year. When adventures did return, they'd be more tightly connected to the Known World of the Gazetteers and would bear strange codes like "DDA" (1990-1991), "HWA" (1990-1991), and "HWQ" (1992).

Origins (II): Character Notes. X13: "Crown of Ancient Glory" has a surprising connection to X11: "Saga of the Shadow Lord" (1991), also by Stephen Bourne. They both share the same set of pregenerated player characters — except advanced by two levels in this new adventure, since it's for slightly higher level characters.

Within the context of the game world, it almost makes sense, as both adventures lie toward the north of the Known World.

Adventure Tropes: Not Your Average Wilderness Adventure. The later "X" adventures tended to move away from the wilderness-focus of the early series, and that's again the case with "Crown of Ancient Glory". Much like Bourne's previous "X" adventure, this one is a double-macguffin hunt, as players search first for a crown, then for an heir. The heart of the adventure is actually a series of no less than three fortress assaults, a pretty common variant of the dungeon crawl.

One of the most interesting aspects of "Crown of Ancient Glory" is that it claims to be an "Expert/Companion Game Adventures". It's not a bridge adventure like B10: "Night's Dark Terror" (1986), as it only runs levels 7-10. However its deep political basis might have been seen as an introduction for the domain-focused adventures of Companion-level play.

Exploring the Known World. "Crown of Ancient Glory" returns to Vestland, following on from X3: "Curse of Xanathon" (1982). With that said, there's not a lot of new detail on the land, other than political overview. Those political details are also somewhat troublesome because they describe a very feudal society where the rulers all have English titles, a bit of a variation from the looser, Viking society of GAZ7: "The Northern Reaches" (1988).

TSR settled the difference between this "X" adventure and the Gazetteers via their preferred method: they said that "Crown of Ancient Glory" must have taken place in a different time period. GAZ7: "The Northern Reaches" would claim that "Crown of Ancient Glory (X13), a D&D® Expert adventure set in Vestland, takes place a century and a half after the time period of this Gazetteer. Vestland has become progressively more modern and feudal, like the Grand Duchy of Karameikos". However, AC1010: Poor Wizard's Almanac & Book of Facts (1992) instead would say that Tenitar (Harald), the heir that the players can rescue here, was coronated in 986 AC. There's also discussion of a "Trollheim Homesteading Acts", which produced feudal titles for a few years before being rescinded in 1000 AC. This dating, which puts "Crown of Ancient Glory" in the recent past, seems to be the preferred canon.

Artifacts of Note. The eponymous Sorona Crown is one of the few artifacts of note in the Basic D&D line. However, two others also appear: the Harp of Spirit Restoration and the Throne of Transformation.

About the Creators. X13: "Crown of Ancient Glory" (1987) was Bourne's fourth and final book for TSR, following his work on X11: "Saga of the Shadow Lord" a year earlier.

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

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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Marco Filippo V October 12, 2018 4:38 am UTC
The scan quality is very poor, I'm afraid.
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This title was added to our catalog on March 11, 2022.