Over the last couple of days, folks have been celebrating just how many Picks of the Week I’ve posted over on ENWorld, for which I am grateful. Felt like today would be a good day to pick a classic D&D product, and Sabre River is one of the latest and greatest to get posted up on the digital shelves, featuring the writing and design skills of two of TSR’s best ever – Bruce Nesmith and Douglas Niles.
You are a guest of the count, one of your allies and the strongest man in the region. Your sojourn has been pleasant, a nice change after weeks of battle. Suddenly the courtyard below your window is filled with the noise of galloping horses. More guests?
You yawn as you look out. But these people arriving look more like tax collectors than guests. You decide to give your attention to something more interesting, like dinner.
Relax while you can, friend, because these new arrivals are about to lead you to a crimson sailor, a cozy Tower of Terror, and a river with an aching heart.
Sabre River includes a complete campaign setting, new NPCs, dungeon and wilderness encounters, and a mysterious story.
[Product History excerpts]
Exploring the Known World. “Sabre River” depicts (as you’d expect) the Sabre River, a long river in the lands of Norwold from CM1: “Test of the Warlords” (1984). Unfortunately the setup for the adventure also reveals its biggest problem: the River is assumed to be in the domain of a player, acting as a new domain-level problem for them … so the designers couldn’t explicitly define where the river fit in the lands of Norwold! Most fans have identified it as one of the two major rivers running south of the Alpha Peninsula, from the Wyrmsteeth Range to the Great Bay.
“Sabre River” also reveals additional historical information on Norwold. The adventure’s core problem is ultimately the result of a Alphatian invasion of Norwold that occurred sometime in the past.
NPCs of Note. The Crones of Crystykk, who debuted in CM1: “Test of the Warlords”, make a return visit here. They’re once more mysterious and cryptic.
Monsters of Note. “Sabre River” introduces one new monster, the Sabreclaw. It’s not a major D&D monster, as it’s only reappeared in various monster collections. Nonetheless, the sabreclaw is a notable addition to D&D lore because it’s a hive creatures that shares its hit points among a group — making it an early form of the swarms that became popular with the advent of D&D 3e (2000).