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The Standing Stone (2001) is a 32-page adventure module written for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition by John D. Rateliff. It is intended for 7th-level characters.

It is the fourth work in a series of eight linked modules unofficially referred to as the Sunless Citadel adventure path. It consists of The Sunless Citadel (2000), The Forge of Fury (2000), The Speaker in Dreams (2001), The Standing Stone (2001), Heart of Nightfang Spire (2001), Deep Horizon (2001), Lord of the Iron Fortress (2002), and Bastion of Broken Souls (2002).

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

Plot

Background

Centuries ago, the red dragon Ashardalon attacked and destroyed a druidic community built around an even more ancient druidic stone circle. The sole survivor, the druid Dydd the Wise, transformed forest animals into humans to resettle the region, carving the necessary spells into the stone circle in case this magic was ever needed again.

Recently, the tiefling sorcerer Dyson used this magic to replace all the inhabitants of a nearby village with animals transformed into human form, with goals of beginning a demonic invasion. However, he is now haunted by past victims of his plot: the ghost of a paladin who opposed him, and a tribe of grugach elves who have declared war on all humans.

Synopsis

The local villagers request the aid of the player characters to deal with a ghostly horseman who has been killed unarmed peasants in the area. At the same time, the local wild elves prove impossible to negotiate with, and pose a threat. The tiefling Dyson seeks the player characters as unwitting patsies to deal with these problems.

At the same time, he tries to distract the party by leading them to an unrelated ancient barrow full of treasure and undead. Dyson's plan is to disguise the true nature of his activities until the player characters leave for their next adventure.

Development and release

The Standing Stone was written by John D. Rateliff, with art by Jeff Easley and Dennis Cramer.

It was released as a 32-page paperback in April 2001, for the price of US$9.95.[1]

On January 22, 2013, The Standing Stone was given a digital re-release at DriveThruRPG, and as of November 2020 was rated an electrum best seller at the site.[2]

Reception and influence

Influence on other works

The Standing Stone fourth in a series of eight adventure modules: The Sunless Citadel (2000), The Forge of Fury (2000), The Speaker in Dreams (2001), The Standing Stone (2001), Heart of Nightfang Spire (2001), Deep Horizon (2001), Lord of the Iron Fortress (2002), and Bastion of Broken Souls (2002). The concept of a series of linked adventure modules taking a character from level 1 to 20 would be come to be known as an "adventure path", a term first used by James Wyatt to describe this series in an interview in Dragon #281 (Mar 2001). Dungeon Magazine went on to publish its own adventure paths beginning in Dungeon #97 (Mar/Apr 2003). Following Dungeon's closure in 2007, adventure paths formed a core feature of Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder product line, which at one point surpassed Dungeons & Dragons in sales.

Critical reception

Kevin Kulp described that The Speaker in Dreams received mixed reception at the time due to its unorthodox event-based flow chart structure. It required preparation on the DM's part in order to be run well, and appealed more to players who enjoyed solving mysteries than those who enjoyed combat.[2]

Links

References

  1. Standing Stone, The. Wizards.com.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Standing Stone (3e). Dungeon Masters Guild.
Sunless Citadel series
The Sunless CitadelThe Forge of FuryThe Speaker in DreamsThe Standing StoneHeart of Nightfang SpireDeep HorizonLord of the Iron FortressBastion of Broken Souls
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 (Dungeons & Dragons 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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