An Adventure Per Year: The Immortal Storm (1986)

In my A Game Per Year project, my goal has been to read one roleplaying game corebook for every year they’ve been published. However, I soon started to feel that it was hard to decipher how the games were really meant to be played. For this reason, I decided to start a parallel project, An Adventure Per Year, to read one roleplaying adventure for each year they’ve been published.

The cover of The Immortal Storm

After I read the D&D set Immortals Rules I was left wondering what Immortal level play actually looked like. The adventure The Immortal Storm, published in the same year as the box, answers that question very well.

The characters are novice Immortals who are summoned by the Hierarchs for an important task: A mysterious storm is emerging from the Dimensional Vortex with a giant eye in the middle. To deal with it, the characters need to go on a series of fetch quests.

Each object the characters have to find is suitably conceptual. One example is “taste”. They’re in various dimensions, making it possible to showcase different sides of the Immortal level setting.

In terms of game design, the adventure is very puzzle-based, more so than anything I’ve seen before. There are logic and math puzzles and at times it feels like a D&D-flavored take on the Professor Layton series of games. Often the puzzles go together with the bizarre setting. For example, when the characters meet the tonals, creatures of sound, the puzzles are also thematically related.

The Immortal Storm is famous for one thing: It leads the characters to New York and Chicago in the present day. What’s more, they’re there to acquire a rare experimental perfume sample (!!!).

The New York of the adventure comes complete with an 80’s style street gang who attempt to rough up the characters in the subway. It’s depicted from the perspective of characters who are totally unfamiliar with the modern world and characters are assumed to stumble around a bit before they figure out how to deal with this unusual environment.

You may be wondering how it is possible for the characters to visit contemporary Earth when the Immortals Rules box clearly stated that the character’s own world was a pre-historic version of our world.

Glad you asked! Time travel is not involved. Rather, the world the characters visit in The Immortal Storm is a case of parallel evolution, an Outer Plane producing a very similar history and conditions as in the real world.

The Immortal Storm is very much a player-facing adventure. The puzzles and visiting our world are all elements that are meant to work on the player level, not the character level. The character is just a proxy the player uses to interact with the world.

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