Advanced Search

HHQ3 Thief's Challenge (2e)
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

HHQ3 Thief's Challenge (2e)

Watermarked PDF

For years, trade and travel along the river Thadysh have been peaceful. Suddenly a masked renegade, known only as the Gullwing Bandit, has turned the waters of Thadysh into a pirate stream. Who is this bandit? What nefarious plot is he weaving? Not even the local thieve's guild has been able to unveil the truth.

"Thief's Challenge" is a special ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS adventure designed for a DUNGEON MASTER and one thief player character. It's a perfect break from group play, tailored to the character who's seeking some extra experience. Suited to clever beginners as well as more experienced rogues, "Thief's Challenge" lets a thief take full advantage of his special talents.

Can you unmask the Gullwing Bandit? The reward is great, but beware: adventure and danger await at every turn of the river!


Product History

HHQ3: "Thief's Challenge," by Troy Christensen, was the third in a series of "Head-to-Head Quests" for AD&D. It was published in February 1993.

Continuing the New One-on-One Adventures. "Thief's Challenge" continues the march through all the core AD&D second edition classes. Like its predecessors, it lets one player play his own PC (of the appropriate class) in a generic adventure that'll allow him to gain experience.

However, this head-to-head module also breaks new ground by breaking the HHQ series' links to the PHBR series. The previous two one-on-one adventures had each purposefully use materially from the appropriate Player's Handbook reference, but this adventure and its subsequent one, HHQ4, do not.

Adapting for Thief Play. Each of the HHQ adventures focuses on topics appropriate to the class in question. Christensen's editor had thus asked for a book that was "noir-ish" and "Raymond Chandler-ish." HHQ3 comes through on this request. As the adventure notes, it's "primarily a mystery, a story thick with finger-pointing and double-crosses."

HHQ3's cover text also states, "Combat and the acquisition of magical oddities are rare in this adventure." Like HHQ2: "Wizard's Challenge," this new adventure suggests the use of alternate experience point awards found on page 48 of the Dungeon Master's Guide (1989) to make up for the lack of fighting.

A Town Adventure. Each of the previous HHQ adventures described a community as a starting point for its adventure. "Thief's Challenge" takes a step further, setting almost its entire adventure in the city. It extensively describes the people of the town, gives some attention to its geography, then lists out "plot points" that might occur as players investigate the mystery of the "Gullwing bandit."

This sort of city-focused, investigation-driven mystery plot was rare even in the 90s, though there were a few predecessors, such as N1: "Against the Cult of the Reptile God" (1982) and L2: "The Assassin's Knot" (1983).

Out of the Dungeons! Like many second edition adventures of the 90s, "Thief's Challenge" is far removed from dungeons. The closest you come is the "Hideout of the Gullwing Bandit," which takes up just three pages plus a map (and forms the climax of the adventure).

About the Creators. Christensen was a freelance RPG writer whose most notable early work was a number of small-press RPGs: Phantasm Adventures (1980, 1987), Advanced Phantasm Adventures (1988), Bloodbath (1988), and Multiverse (1991 or 1992). Christensen published his games alternatively through his own T.C. International and through Dai Nippon Kaiga, a division of the Japanese game company Artbox that Christensen was introduced to while going to school in Japan.

At TSR, Christensen contributed to two of the early DMGR books: DMGR2: The Castle Guide (1990) and DMGR3: Arms and Equipment Guide (1991). "Thief's Challenge" was Christensen's only major work for AD&D; he asserts that he got the plumb assignment because he was "very persistent."

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, 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

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
Discussions (0)
May 12th, 2015
Pros: Great sandbox, very little railroading As advertised, well tailored to a single PC playing a thief (emphasizes skulking, larceny, and investigation) Great NPCs with motivations that match the tone of the story Cons: The "bad guy [...]
April 14th, 2015
A good module for a sneaky, burglar type character. Lots of intrigue and investigation rather than combat. Nice NPCs. Cannot work out what campaign setting these HHQs are supposed to be in, if any. Easily adaptable though. [...]
May 17th, 2013
This and the others in the HHQ series can be a great one on one introduction to RPG's. I am actually going to introduce my fiance to the hobby with it. :) She told me she wants to play a plumber for her first character. It's going to be a BLAST! :) [...]
Narrow Results
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Copper seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9420
File Size:
18.14 MB
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
April 29, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on April 30, 2013.