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The Fright at Tristor is a 32-page adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition released in 2000. It was initially released exclusively to RPGA guild-level members as part of the Living Greyhawk organized play campaign, with a much later digital release to the general public. It is suitable for 1st-level player characters.

Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for a Dungeons & Dragons product.

Official synopsis[]

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.

Plot[]

Background[]

The poverty-stricken hamlet of Tristor has been the subject of unexplained, gruesome animal mutilations in the past month. The region has been under martial law due to recent orc raids in the region, and conscription for the recent war has depleted the village of able-bodied men brave enough to investigate the this latest problem. The villagers turn to adventurers for help, offering a substantial reward.

Synopsis[]

The player characters rescue a farmer and his granddaughter from an owlbear, and are invited to stay the night at his farm. During the night they are attacked by orc scouts. Reaching the nearby village of Tristor, they learn about bear attacks on the town at a nearby farm, led by an exiled local named Reuven and a trained bear. Discovering an orc encampment in the area allows them to free prisoners whose information can lead then to Reuven and put an end to the attacks for good.

Development and release[]

Development[]

The book was written by Keith Polster, with additional design by Erik Mona. It used the standard formatting and livery of Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules of the era, including a full-color cover by Rebecca Guay and black and white interior illustrations by Matthew Mitchell. This full production value approach was not typical of RPGA adventure modules.

The final printer proofs were ready around the summer of 2000, while editor Erik Mona was working on the first Living Greyhawk Journal.[1]

Release[]

The module's release was scheduled for the year 2000 and is dated as such, but delays meant that many did not receive their copy until around January 2001. Polyhedron #145 (Dec 2000/Jan 2001) noted that copies were in the mail, while Living Greyhawk Journal #3 (Feb 2001) notes that most members should have received their copies by that date. Polyhedron #146 (Mar 2001) blamed the delays on the module's production as a Wizards of the Coast product, where it competed with the company's main production schedule.

The module included response forms to be returned to the RPGA with feedback. The RPGA was inundated with requests, and had to increase its estimate of a 2-week response time to 6-8 weeks. It continued to accept response forms until the end of 2001.[2] Processing the results from the module created over 500 man-hours of tedious work for RPGA staff.[1]

A re-release of The Fright at Tristor was announced in Living Greyhawk Journal #8, to be made available in May 2002, available for purchase to all RPGA members via the RPGA website. A new Living Greyhawk adventure certificate was issued allowing it to be played in the 2002 campaign year.[3] The re-release was scheduled for June 2002, but was delayed until the end of 2002, two years after its initial release. It was priced at US$9.95.[4] The re-issued module was given the code CORS2-01 and set during the 592 CY campaign year.

The module was released in digital format on DnDClassics on September 17, 2013. It was subsequently available on its successor Dungeon Masters Guild, and DriveThruRPG.[5] It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $4.99.

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

A Fright At Tristor was a huge success, with a third of all RPGA members playing the module.[1] Over 1,000 players had taken part in the adventure by the end of 2001.[6] However, in Polyhedron #146, RPGA manager David Wise noted that the adventure cost a lot to produce, and was one of the less prized benefits of RPGA membership. Producing it as a Wizards of the Coast product also led to delays as it competed with their main product line, and no future full-budget Living Greyhawk modules were produced.

Kevin Kulp described A Fright at Tristor as a module which has aged extremely well, as of 2013. He praised its site-based encounters generating a mountaing sense of dread, noted its good balance of investigation and combat, and recommended the module as easily converted to newer edition of the game.[5]

As of 2023, The Fright at Tristor reached the rank of Electrum seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

The Living Greyhawk module COR3-04 By Cunning and Forced Cause notes that the attitudes of the population of Tristor as described in this module are not typical for the Theocracy of the Pale. Living Greyhawk updates in Readying 591 CY (early 2002) described that the theocratic government of the Pale had established a re-education camp for heretics on the site of Tristor. The Sunndi module SND01-M01 Freedom of Speech by Pieter Sleijpen was written as a Sunndi regional introduction for The Fright at Tristor.

Environs of Waterdeep, the web enhancement to City of Splendors (1994), cited The Fright at Tristor as one of its sources; specifically the giant leeches found in the Mere of Dead Men.

External links[]

References[]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0
Core rules
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster ManualDungeons & Dragons Adventure Game
Supplements
Arms and Equipment GuideBook of ChallengesBook of Vile DarknessDefenders of the FaithDeities and DemigodsEnemies and AlliesEpic Level HandbookFiend FolioGhostwalkHero Builder's GuidebookLiving Greyhawk Gazetteer (Gazetteer) • Manual of the PlanesMasters of the WildMonster Manual IIOriental AdventuresPsionics HandbookSavage SpeciesSong and SilenceStronghold Builder's GuidebookSword and FistTome and Blood
Adventures
The Sunless CitadelThe Forge of FuryThe Fright at TristorThe Speaker in DreamsThe Standing StoneReturn to the Temple of Elemental EvilHeart of Nightfang SpireDeep HorizonLord of the Iron FortressBastion of Broken SoulsCity of the Spider Queen
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