OSR Adventure Review: The Tomb of Gardag the Strange

The Tomb of Gardag the Strange is a short adventure written for the Labyrinth Lord system (a variant of the 1981 Basic & Expert D&D set edited by Tom Moldvay and Dave Cook). The adventure contains seven first-level pregenerated characters, so I presume that it’s a first-level adventure.

The adventurers are hired to discover the remains of an assassin from the tomb of the warlord he assassinated. It’s a small dungeon of 24 areas, populated by a number of monsters, tricks and traps, in a very old-school manner. Despite its simplicity, the actual contents of the dungeon are interesting and will prove for some entertaining play. The biggest balance issue is likely the inclusion of both a wight and wraith; have the party got weapons that can hurt them? If not, they may be in trouble!

One of the best features of the product is a table of 12 henchmen; each is given interesting background and personality traits. The map of the dungeon, which is hand-drawn, looks fantastic. Unfortunately, the formatting of the adventure occasionally leaves something to be desired; the monster stats are not always presented identically, and I’m not a fan of placing rules material in italics. The small amount of art in the product is effectively used.

Although not a tremendously ambitious adventure, The Tomb of Gardag the Strange contains some very nice touches and I find it quite charming. It might be a little too deadly for a novice party, especially if they have delusions of their own invincibility, but, nevertheless, it’s worth having a look at.

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