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HHQ7 Thief's Challenge II: Beacon Point (2e)
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HHQ7 Thief's Challenge II: Beacon Point (2e)

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Looking for opportunity and fresh pickings, a rogue hops a ship for new lands, only to leap from the frying pan into the fire. The ship is attacked on the high seas by a band of blood-thirsty pirates, and the rogue washes up on the Isle of Beacon Point... right at the center of the pirates' sphere of influence. Can this single player character stay alive with no more than wits and hard-earned thieving skills, escape the island, and possibly even bring down the pirates?

"Thief's Challenge II: Beacon Point" is a special One-on-One Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for a Dungeon Master and one player character thief of levels 4 to 6. It is the seventh in a series of independent adventures focusing on an individual character of a specific class.


Product History

HHQ7: "Thief's Challenge II: Beacon Point" (1995), by Terry Amthor, was the seventh in a series of "Head-to-Head Quests" for AD&D. It was published in June 1995.

Continuing the One-on-One Adventures. "Beacon Point" continues the second sequence of one-on-one adventures for AD&D 2e. Like its predecessors, it allow one GM and one character to play together - to help the player catch up in levels. The generic setting of the island of Beacon Point helps to ensure that the adventure can be used with any setting.

Also like the other adventures in the second sequence of 2e one-on-one adventures, this one is for slightly higher-level characters. The actual book says levels 4-6, while Dragon reviewer Rick Swan says levels 6-8 might be more appropriate.

"Thief's Challenge II" does not actually use the "HHQ" code in its printed form, but it's widely accepted as the seventh member in the "HHQ" series. It's the only member of that series to use a subtitle, "Beacon Point."

A New Trade (Again). HHQ5: "Fighter's Challenge II" (1994) was one of the first TSR books to adopt the black-framed trade dress that would later be used for AD&D 2.5e, but it still retained the classic blue, white, and red 2e logo. "Thief's Challenge II" went the rest of the way, by changing that out for the plain red logo used by the 2.5e books. The new logo also no longer contains the phrase "second edition."

Adapting for Thief Play. One of the most interesting elements of "Thief's Challenge II" is that it faces the player rogue with a thief of a different sort: a pirate who purposefully wrecks ships to loot them. If the PC is a "good" rogue, he'll of course want to stop this dire treachery, but if he's an evil rogue, he might want to take over. It's fun either way!

Beyond that, the adventure focuses on thief-related plots, like robbing from pirates, making a jail break, and picking locks while breaking and entering. It also tries to help the rogue out in combat - once even sending some young boys to help fight a giant crab! Despite this, the adventures notes that a multiclass thief or one generated with a kit from PHBR2: The Complete Thief's Handbook (1989) might have an easier time of it.

Adventure Elements for the 90s. "Thief's Challenge II" is the sort of heavily plotted adventure that was common at TSR in the 90s. It includes a well-detailed background with several NPCs and a series of plot points that are the main driving force for the adventure. Though there are a few areas to explore, there are no dungeons of any sort to be seen - making it a pretty far stretch from TSR adventures of the 80s (and indeed from some of the other HHQ adventures).

About the Creators. Amthor is best known as the creator of Shadow World for Rolemaster, which he began working on some 15 years earlier with The Iron Wind (1980). "Thief's Challenge II" was written around the time that he was running Metropolis Ltd., the US publisher of Kult (1993).

"Thief's Challenge II" was Amthor's only work for TSR, and in fact is his only major RPG work beyond publications for ICE and Metropolis (and various related firms, including Amthor's own Eidolon Studios). Amthor says that it was initially difficult to get inspired about a generic adventure, and that he finds it much easier to write Shadow World and Space Master material. (Despite that initial difficulty, the adventure has received some good acclaim.)

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

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Kevin S March 23, 2016 9:39 am UTC
The scan here is pretty low quality, a few pages look crooked.
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File Last Updated:
August 26, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on August 27, 2013.