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The Apocalypse Stone is a 96-page adventure module for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition released in March 2000. It is intended for four to six players of level 15 or higher.

Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for an adventure module.

Official synopsis[]

The end times approach . . .

To everything there is a season. Every campaign has to come to an end sometime, so why not go out with a bang? The Apocalypse Stone is an epic adventure to challenge high-level characters, but beware—it will destroy your world.

This adventure has it all: gods and devils, plague and pestilence, rains of fire, and world-shattering conflicts. Here is an opportunity for PCs to display undreamt-of heroism . . . or fall to ultimate defeat.

The Apocalypse Stone is a tool for Dungeon Masters to present extremely challenging encounters for high-level parties, to wrap up a long-running campaign. . .or both.

This adventure can be used with your own game world or an ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® setting.

Content[]

The Apocalypse Stone is a rare adventure module which is intended to not only end a campaign, but to destroy the campaign world.

Backstory[]

According to legend, long before recorded history, the gods created an artifact known as the Stone of Corbinet, around which they constructed the known world. Each of the gods challenged their champions to be first to find the fortress which guarded the Stone, with the winner and their heirs granted the position of guardian forevermore. A hero named Pescheour, of no deity, was crowned King, and his heirs thereafter guarded the castle's secret.

The tradition continued for uncounted generations until one King Étain selected his younger son Alain to succeed him rather than the older son Garloth. After ten years dedicated to mastering profane magical arts, Garloth betrayed his brother, inflicting Alain with insanity and turning the castle's inhabitants into monsters. Now he seeks to recruit adventures—the party—to steal the Stone of Corbinet for himself.

Plot[]

Garloth manipulates the party with a series of planned encounters in order to deceive them as to the true nature of their task. He appears before them, posing as a divine avatar, in order have them steal the Stone of Corbinet as part of a fake divine trial.

Soon, the world begins to change. It is cut off from the multiverse, and it seems that the gods have turned their backs on the world. Clerics begin to lose their power, and the dead cannot be raised. By a stroke of fate, the archdevil Moloch is trapped in this world, who punishes the party by having their families turned into flesh golems.

An avatar of Justice appears, subjecting the party to an authentic divine trial. They must prove themselves worthy in a series of tests, and finally restore the Stone. However, the world has been seriously damaged, and may never recover. The gods, too, may be angry and demand retribution.

Development and release[]

Development[]

The book was written by Jason Carl and Chris Pramas. Art was provided by Todd Lockwood and Dennis Cramer.

Carl intended the work as a definitive campaign-ender, providing a radical conclusion to the end of a campaign.[1] The adventure module was intentionally designed to end an AD&D 2nd edition campaign world, in preparation for the upcoming release of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition later that year. According to Pramas:[2][3]

"The Apocalypse Stone was a late AD&D 2E release designed to blow up your campaign in anticipation of D&D 3E."
"The idea was that the world would end in a literal apocalypse or that the epic events would transform the world so that there was a story based reason the rules changes in 3E happened."

While the book does not mention D&D third edition explicitly, it does suggest it as the perfect excuse for a campaign which chooses "to use a different set of rules as its basis". It also ends the campaign with several specific changes matching third edition, including an increase in half-orc population, the discovery of metamagic, more powerful divine magic as the gods return, monasteries of monks originating as survivalists during the apocalypse, and an increase in barbarians in civilized lands due to unrest.

Release[]

The Apocalypse Stone was released by Wizards of the Coast in March 2000[1] for $16.95 US or $24.95 Canadian.

On May 30, 2017, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $7.99.

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

In 2016, Retro Gaming Magazine rated The Apocalype Stone #2 in its list of "Six Absurdly Difficult D&D Adventures (That Are Not ‘Tomb of Horrors’)".[4]

As of 2023, The Apocalypse Stone reached the rank of Electrum seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

The notion of a campaign-ending apocalypse at the end of a rules edition would be revisited in Elder Evils (2007), which appeared at the end of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 in Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition.

External links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Coming Attractions, Dragon #269 (Mar 2000), p.124-125.
  2. Tweet. August 11, 2021.
  3. Tweet. August 11, 2021
  4. Six Absurdly Difficult D&D Adventures (That Are Not ‘Tomb of Horrors’)
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition
Core rules
Player's HandbookDungeon Master Guide
Monstrous Compendium Volume OneMonstrous Compendium Volume TwoMonstrous Manual
First QuestIntroduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons GameThe Complete Starter SetDungeons & Dragons Adventure Game
Optional core rules
Player's Option: Combat & TacticsPlayer's Option: Skills & PowersPlayer's Option: Spells & Magic
Dungeon Master Option: High-Level CampaignsCampaign Option: Council of Wyrms
Supplement lines
Player's Handbook Rules SupplementDungeon Master's Guide Rules Supplement
Monstrous Compendium AppendixMonstrous Compendium Annual
Encyclopedia MagicaHistorical ReferenceThe Magic EncyclopediaMonstrous ArcanaPriest's Spell CompendiumWizard's Spell Compendium
Other supplements
Bastion of FaithBook of ArtifactsCastle SitesChronomancerCity SitesCollege of WizardryCountry SitesDen of ThievesDungeon Builder's GuidebookGuide to HellLegends & LoreRogues' GalleryShamanTome of MagicThe Vortex of Madness and Other Planar PerilsWarriors of HeavenWorld Builder's Guidebook
Adventures
The Apocalypse StoneAxe of the Dwarvish LordsCleric's Challenge (II) • The Dancing Hut of Baba YagaDestiny of KingsDie Vecna Die!Dragon MountainDungeons of DespairFighter's Challenge (II) • The Gates of Firestorm PeakA Hero's TaleLabyrinth of MadnessThe Lost Shrine of BundushaturMoonlight MadnessThe Murky DeepNight Below: An Underdark CampaignA Paladin in HellReturn to the Tomb of HorrorsReverse DungeonRoad to DangerThe Rod of Seven PartsThe Shattered CircleThe Silver KeySwamplightTale of the CometTales of EnchantmentTemple, Tower, & TombThief's Challenge (II) • TSR Jam 1999Wizard's Challenge (II)
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