Saturday, April 20, 2024

CM3: Sabre River

CM3 "Sabre River" (1984) by Douglas Niles and Bruce Nesmith is a D&D adventure for character levels 18-22, set in the region of Norwold.

CM3 "Sabre River" (1984) by Douglas Niles and Bruce Nesmith.  Cover illustration depicting Incendiarous, a huge red dragon, by Keith Parkinson.

The PCs must solve the mystery behind the curse of Sabre River, or coloniztion of Norwold is doomed.

Many of the powerful new monsters described in the D&D Companion Set are used.

Design Team:

Douglas Niles worked on the War Machine rules with Garry Spiegle for the D&D Companion Set, also writing CM1 "Test of the Warlords" (1984).

Bruce Nesmith wrote X7 "The War Rafts of Kron" (1984) and the mini-adventure "The Spindle of Heaven" included with AC7 "Master Player Screen" (1985).

The cover illustration is by Keith Parkinson, with interior art contributed by Doug Watson and Steve Bisset.  Cartography is by Dave "Diesel" LaForce.

The Curse:

A curse has gripped the land, affecting crops, animals, and people in relation to different phases of the moon.
Ages ago a general of Alphatia bravely fought many battles in this land. But supplies were slow in coming from his homeland and often he fought just to survive.  His final battle was on the banks of this very river, where he was overwhelmed by the savages and their tribal shaman.

At the end, feeling betrayed and angry, he stood alone on the river bank. Raising his magic sabre he called down a curse, saying, "Let this land remain a savage and uncivilized wilderness for seven times seven centuries!"
The Seer, CM3 "Sabre River"

CM1 "Test of the Warlords" made reference to the prior colonization of Norwold.

King Ericall's palace is built on the ruins of an ancient fortress, and the PCs discover the forgotten remains of the city of Alinor, Prince of Alphia.

Encounter Settings:

Fergus the Justifier, Claransa the Seer, and Geoffrey of Heldann take on a huge black dragon within the Black Cavern, beneath the Isle of the Seer.  Illustration by Doug Watson.

There are three major encounter settings, each featuring a high-level dungeon:

The Isle of the Seer - a cryptic seer holds the key to breaking the curse

The Tower of Terror - a dungeon built within the shaft of an active volcano

The Heart of the River - the ancient ruins of an Alphatian summer palace

Unarmed Combat:

There is a scenario involving dozens of charmed villagers who wrestle and attempt to pin the PCs.

New Monster:

Sabreclaw - created in "wings” of 1-20 individuals


A carrion crawler will not rush directly at a source of fire.

Niles' Crones of Crystykk (from CM1) make a return appearance.

Nesmith's undersea boat (from X7) is re-used.

Prerolled Characters:

The prerolled characters from CM1 and CM2 are included (another 2 levels higher):

Fergus the Justifier (F20) a wandering fighter from the Kingdom of Vestland
Geoffrey of Heldann (C20) a wandering cleric from the Heldann Freeholds
Weston the Tall (T20) a wandering thief (a "rogue")
Quillan Elm Grower (E10; attack rank G) an elf from the Forest of Alfheim
Brogahn of the Steppes (F20) a wandering fighter from the Ethengar Khanate
Claransa the Seer (M20) a wandering magic-user (a "magus") from Specularum

Two additional characters are included:

Grotto the Tall (D12; attack rank F) a wandering dwarf
Glinda Nimblefingers (H8; attack rank E) a halfling from Leeha

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