News — Erol Otus

L1: The Secret of Bone Hill and how TSR spent its $ in 1981

AD&D Modules Bill Willingham Erol Otus TSR

Today I’m going to take a look at the TSR module L1 The Secret of Bone Hill. I once had an opportunity to meet writer Lenard Lakofka for breakfast and discussed a bit of his Lendore Isles series [those being all his L modules] which was pretty entertaining over coffee.He confided in me that TSR had paid him and astounding $11,000 for the The Secret of Bone Hill, a module that didn’t go over well with the editors and was a struggle to even put out. Still, whatever the problems in production, I think it just showed how INSANE TSR...

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Riding with my boy Tamoachan

AD&D Modules David LaForce David Sutherland III Erol Otus TSR

Tamoachan… even the name can give one shivers, and adding it to the complete title of C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan gives you an instant classic. This ‘deluxe set’ module, with over 16 illustrations in a separate players pack, was written by Harold Johnson & Jeff R. Leason back in 1980. It is for levels 5-7 and pits a party against a Mesoamerican threat that not only educates by also inspires, as it did with my creation of Taux for Tales of the Emerald Serpent two decades later.The cover art here is done by Erol Otus, with back cover...

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A revisit of A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords

AD&D Modules Bill Willingham Erol Otus Jeff Dee TSR

Please remember to go to Black Gate and take a look at my 'Top 10 RPG Artists' article if you get the chance.  You can find it here!   Now to the other good stuff!  Produced in 1981, the TSR classic A series module A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords highlights some of the greatest artwork collected from the famous TSR ‘First Four’ [Jeff Dee, Erol Otus, Bill Willingham, and Jim Roslof]. This rather light 28 page module is the 3rd on a four part series and for AD&D 1E characters level 4-7. It was written by...

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X2: Castle Amber (Chateau d'Amberville)... hold on, is this module French!?

AD&D Modules Erol Otus Harry Quinn Jim Holloway Jim Roslof TSR

Today I’m going to take a look at the artwork from TSR’s X2: Castle Amber (Chateau d’Amberville). Now I’ve only played this module once, back in probably 1987 in my little room upstairs at my mom’s house with my old DM Mark and his neighbors Aaron and Jay. Truly, I don’t remember too much about the adventure save that it was one of the first ones where I ever ran one of my most powerful characters of all time, the eventual Hierophant of Cabal, Belmarillian the Watcher.There is a room [spoilers follow] in which characters are beset by mysterious dreams,...

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D3: Vault of the Drow... yeah, it's really as cool as it sounds

AD&D Modules David LaForce Erol Otus Jeff Dee TSR

Ok, so today is a ‘big one’.  Perhaps not as big as they get, but certainly in the upper echelon of what makes a classic TSR module. D3: Vault of the Drow was written by Gary Gygax sometime around 1978 and finally released in this particular version in 1980.  It is a pretty cool piece of work, although really more of a stopgap [much like D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth] between Against the Giants and Queen of the Demonweb Pits.  Coming in at a rather standard 28 pages, Vault is a smooth running exploration adventure that leaves...

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