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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Sunless Citadel series|
|The Sunless Citadel • The Forge of Fury • The Speaker in Dreams • The Standing Stone • Heart of Nightfang Spire • Deep Horizon • Lord of the Iron Fortress • Bastion of Broken Souls|
|Dungeons & Dragons 3.0|
|Player's Handbook • Dungeon Master's Guide • Monster Manual • Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game|
|Arms and Equipment Guide • Book of Challenges • Book of Vile Darkness • Defenders of the Faith • Deities and Demigods • Enemies and Allies • Epic Level Handbook • Fiend Folio • Ghostwalk • Hero Builder's Guidebook • Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (Dungeons & Dragons Gazetteer) • Manual of the Planes • Masters of the Wild • Monster Manual II • Oriental Adventures • Psionics Handbook • Savage Species • Song and Silence • Stronghold Builder's Guidebook • Sword and Fist • Tome and Blood|
|The Sunless Citadel • The Forge of Fury • The Fright at Tristor • The Speaker in Dreams • The Standing Stone • Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil • Heart of Nightfang Spire • Deep Horizon • Lord of the Iron Fortress • Bastion of Broken Souls • City of the Spider Queen|