Adventurer's Guild Modules
Please also see the attached Adventurer's Guild Index.
In early 1998, TSR began releasing Adventurer's Guild modules to retailers. The goal of the Adventurer’s Guild program was to get people playing ‘prequel’ adventures to upcoming products. These new adventures would be played in game stores across the country to build interest in the new series of products due out. Each adventure was original, but tied into a specific product in some fashion. Most of the adventures supported AD&D 2nd Edition, but there were quite a few put out for both the SAGA and Alternity systems. These new adventures were only available to retailers.
The modules were released in "series" of modules, with a new series available every 3 to 4 months (from January 1998 to April 2000). Any retailer who had signed up with the Adventurer's Guild program would be eligible to purchase a series; each series cost around $25 (except for the last four series, which were distributed electronically via e-mail). After paying, the retailer would be sent that particular series along with various scoring sheets and RPGA sign-up pads. Also, various prizes were sent, such as dice bags, T-shirts, and art prints. These were intended for the top players of the session. Starting with the third series and continuing through the sixth series, an additional set of adventures was available (for a $25 fee, of course); these were Living City adventures and were only available in this form through the Adventurer’s Guild. During the fifth and sixth series, a retailer actually had to specifically ask for this supplement instead of TSR offering it.
Additionally, around series six or seven, TSR started a scoring system. If a retailer ran an adventure in his/her store and sent in the scores of the players, they would earn points. These points let them purchase Living City adventures from the RPGA. What adventures they received from this system and how much they cost is currently unknown, though we believe the modules offered were simply LC1 through LC4.
Print runs on these adventures are difficult to get exact numbers on. Starting with Polyhedron #129 and continuing through #142, all of the participating stores in the Adventurer's Guild program were listed on the back of the issue. According to Scott Magner, the TSR manager of the Adventurer's Guild program, TSR only printed enough copies to mail out to the stores who paid for them. On an even more difficult note, there is certainly no way to determine how many of those retailers even bothered to purchase the Living City supplemental adventures that were available as well. Suffice to say, those are even more rare than the standard Adventurer’s Guild modules.
The following table is from a quick count of the stores listed on the back of Polyhedron issues #129 to #142:
Most of the series came with an Instruction Booklet telling you about the program, how to run and score the adventures, and how to send in all the information. All of the Instruction Books are all very much alike, with only slight differences setting them apart.
The modules themselves are nearly identical in appearance. They are all 16 pages, and most are saddle-stitched; there were a few that were stapled twice along the left spine. In short, most of the Adventurer’s Guild modules look similar to the Jade Hare, without the color cover.
In 1999, TSR publicly released the TSR Jam, which was a 64-page compilation of seven of the Adventurer's Guild modules: Vale of the Dragon Oracle and Leviathan's Deep (from Series One), Return of the Pick-Axe, Blood Feud, Folds in the Tapestry, and Manxome Foe (from Series Two), and Heart's Final Beat (from Series Three).
We've only seen a few of these modules sold on eBay, so we hesitate to try and establish any sort of estimated value for them. We've given our best guess as to their rarity -- they are very rare -- now you be the judge.