I recently discovered I still had Unlimited Adventures on the hard drive of my resurrected PC (her name is Elaine in case you’re wondering, and yes, she is named after the love interest from The Secret of Monkey Island). I was kind of hankering to play an old Gold Box game, and UA was always my favorite, simply because of all the content that’s out there for it.
In case you’re a youngster who doesn’t know what UA is, it’s basically an editor of SSI’s Gold Box engine, allowing users to create their own modules for others to play through. Although the huge file archive of modules is no longer updated (I fear the community is near-dead), The UA File Archive has a ridiculous amount to download and play through, enough to keep a potential player occupied for years probably. It’s not just AD&D modules available though, players have created westerns, sci-fi, and superhero modules by performing mild (and non-harmful) hacks to the editor. I remember playing through a module based on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book (before the marketing machine took over and turned it into a little kid property).
I’m currently playing through a conversion of the Night Below campaign, a 2nd edition resource I actually have, but have never once played through or ran. It’s designed to take your characters up from level 1 to level 13 or so, on an ‘epic’ campaign filled with tons of sub-quests and riches. It’s been a lot of fun, despite the fact that I can’t figure out how to turn my internal PC speakers off to mute the horrible sound effects. Sadly, because the game is on our other PC, I cannot provide any screenshots of my own game, but here’s a generic shot of UA to give an idea.
Here’s my current party of six, I know you’re interested.
- Gunther – lvl 4 dwarf male fighter (currently using a Flail +1 and plate mail)
- Mustafa – lvl 3 human male fighter (currently using a composite long bow and elfin chain because he keeps getting knocked unconscious in melee and thus losing his XP, the goof)
- Lady Serena – lvl 4 human female cleric (currently using a Mace +2 with chain mail +1)
- Dodgy Bob – lvl 5 gnome male thief (currently using a regular short sword and sling, but he’s got a great DEX score)
- Elroy – lvl 2 human male magic-user (currently using a dagger and darts and getting knocked out in EVERY SINGLE FIGHT… he can’t even get a Sleep spell off at the moment)
- Devon – lvl 5 half-elf female ranger (currently switching between her bow and a long sword, she’s pretty stout)
I also picked up this NPC druid named Oleanne. She’s totally fucking useless. Her AI is worse than a single enemy goblin with 2 hit points. She’ll cast Dispel Magic at a bandit leader in the middle of battle for instance… yeah, that’ll help.
I would say this conversion of Night Below for UA is as good as a few of the commercial Gold Box games (at least on par with the Savage Frontier games), and much, MUCH better than the Dragonlance series released under the Gold Box. Maybe better than the two Buck Rogers games too, but then again, I was never into that all that much. For my money, the real dark horse of the Gold Box series was the Neverwinter Nights game, but damn near everybody hated AD&D on AOL, unfortunately.
If you’re interested in UA, well, just do a web search *coughAbandoniacough*. The game is abandonware by now, so if you know where to find it, it’s probably legal to download in your country. There’s also another game released for free called Dungeon Craft, which is supposed to be a more modern update that mimics the original game with better graphics and sound. I can’t really comment on this project, because I’ve never messed with it, but there’s the link if you wish to explore it.