More on ST1: Up the Garden Path (1986 TSR UK module)

I’ve been asked to describe the ST1: Up the Garden Path adventure as “most people will never see it as only one person can win the copy.” That’s a fair request, but the adventure is very hard to describe.

Quick Adventure Summary: ST1: Up the Garden Path is set in a very small pocket dimension sandbox full of weirdness. The PCs get dumped there and have to find their way out. There is a catch, of course. This pocket dimension should not be able to exist, but it does. Unfortunately, it is headed for a collision with the “real” universe the PCs come from. If it is allowed to do so, both this pocket dimension and the PC’s universe will cease to exist. The PCs travel from one area of silliness to another trying to find eight contradictions — things so contradictory that they stand out even in this weird dimension. Once they have located and collected these eight contradictions, they have to find the being who sustains this madhouse and present these contradictions to that being.

When they do so, the pocket dimension will go “poof!” and the PCs will find themselves back in their real universe — having just saved it from destruction. No one will believe that they saved the universe from destruction, of course. Fortunately, any items the PCs acquired in the pocket dimension and have with them when they confront the partial Quirk of Probability who sustains the pocket dimension will return with them to the real universe. However, “any object brought back into the PCs’ world will have a rather peculiar property. Whenever it is needed, looked for or even mentioned, there is a 2 in 6 chance that it is not actually there!”

Details: The adventure itself is a sandbox. There’s a number of well-described locations and inhabitants and the players are pretty much free to have their characters explore and interact as they will. Locations include:

1. Maypole Hill
2. Four different Railway Stations
3. The Spring
4. Ancient Ruins
5. Wishing Well
6. Harbour Village
7. The Rainbow
8.Stone Circle
9. Fort
10. Camera Obscura
11. The Cliff
12. Lakes
13. Shadow Palace of John Smith
14. Railway Station (Dimensional Portal where the PC arrive)
15. The Vinery
16. Sprite’s Spiral
17. High Watch
18. Small Lake
19. Abandoned Market
20. Lonely Wanderer Inn
23. Labyrinth
24. Dragon Bedding Display
25. Amphitheater
26. Rocky Valley
27. Compass
28. Arena
29. Arborinexorabilaneous’ Sanctury
30. Temple of Pra’aaps

The various railway stations are part of the Gnomish Short & Light Railway Company (“a triumph of gnomish engineering skill”). It a way to travel around the adventure, but not necessary quickly as the gnomes haven’t invented corridors in the rail cars yet, so the conductor has the move around on the outside of the train. Naturally he often falls off and the train has to stop so he can get back on. Other inhabitants include the members of the Round Earth Society who believe the pocket dimension is really round instead of flat, a mage called John “I ain’t really here” Smith who believes the Garden dimension doesn’t really exist at all, Oblivious the (drunk) spirit dragon, the Enceepeh tribe of gnolls and plains barbarians who live in what would be the parking lots of the real Garden, and many wandering inhabitants. The PCs real problems will come from the Cult of Pra’aaps. The cultists have a better idea than most Garden inhabitants as to what the Garden really is. However, they believe that when the Garden is destroyed their God will save them. Naturally they will not be happy that the PCs might interfere with this.

ST1: Up the Garden Path looks like it would be a fun, if silly, adventure to play through. It’s definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, however.

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Randall is the author and publisher of a number of old school games (Microlite74, Microlite81, BX Advanced, etc) through Randall's main job, however, is being caregiver for his MS-afflicted cancer survivor wife. You can support Randall with a donation to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund. Gates & Glamours RSS Feed

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Damn… that's the Holy Grail of adventure modules!