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White Plume Mountain

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A remorseless ranger. A sentient hell hound pelt with a penchant for pyromania. An irksome pixie who sells intrigue and information. Three companions who find themselves trapped in a city filled with warring priestly factions, devious machinations, and an angry fiend. To save the city, they must find three weapons of power, which lie in the most trap-laden, monster-infeste A remorseless ranger. A sentient hell hound pelt with a penchant for pyromania. An irksome pixie who sells intrigue and information. Three companions who find themselves trapped in a city filled with warring priestly factions, devious machinations, and an angry fiend. To save the city, they must find three weapons of power, which lie in the most trap-laden, monster-infested place this side of Acererak's tomb: White Plume Mountain.


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A remorseless ranger. A sentient hell hound pelt with a penchant for pyromania. An irksome pixie who sells intrigue and information. Three companions who find themselves trapped in a city filled with warring priestly factions, devious machinations, and an angry fiend. To save the city, they must find three weapons of power, which lie in the most trap-laden, monster-infeste A remorseless ranger. A sentient hell hound pelt with a penchant for pyromania. An irksome pixie who sells intrigue and information. Three companions who find themselves trapped in a city filled with warring priestly factions, devious machinations, and an angry fiend. To save the city, they must find three weapons of power, which lie in the most trap-laden, monster-infested place this side of Acererak's tomb: White Plume Mountain.

30 review for White Plume Mountain

  1. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    I question the wisdom of leading with a heavy dose of Polk the teamster--odious comic relief extraordinaire and "Worst Co-Worker Imaginable" award winner--followed by an unleavened exposure to Escalla the faerie, who has her own personality problems. The existence of the novel is an interesting problem: the plot of the original Dungeons and Dragons adventure product was pure lunacy. Kidd had to either invent or import some heavy rework to the background and events, providing rationale beyond the I question the wisdom of leading with a heavy dose of Polk the teamster--odious comic relief extraordinaire and "Worst Co-Worker Imaginable" award winner--followed by an unleavened exposure to Escalla the faerie, who has her own personality problems. The existence of the novel is an interesting problem: the plot of the original Dungeons and Dragons adventure product was pure lunacy. Kidd had to either invent or import some heavy rework to the background and events, providing rationale beyond the standard "a crazy wizard did it because he's crazy and also a wizard, now here's some clever traps and a bunch of monsters that somehow all live together". Spoiler: crazy wizards still involved. The result holds together pretty well. Kidd doesn't take things entirely seriously, and this plays well into the monster funhouse theme. There are moments that dig into the entire concept of dungeon delving--poking fun at the ten foot poles, spiked doors, mirrors, string, ropes, and the other endless tchotchkes that adventurers supposedly lug around. The slapstick is where it wears thin, especially--and this must be a Kidd thing--as certain women lose their clothing for comic effect. The dungeon crawl doesn't actually start until about page 180, which for this book and this dungeon felt about right. The rest is prelude and political machinations and background and mystery-solving.

  2. 5 out of 5

    P. Aaron Potter

    This is a worthy companion to the classic dungeon crawl of the same name. For many of us who grew up in the eighties, WPM deferred only to Tomb of Horrors as a classic meat-grinder of a dungeon, designed with that typical Gygaxian illogic which meant there was no particular rhyme or reason to how the challenges fit together. But woe betide the party of adventurers who paused to question the coherence of the dungeon with silly concerns like "how do these monsters eat?" That way lay certain death. This is a worthy companion to the classic dungeon crawl of the same name. For many of us who grew up in the eighties, WPM deferred only to Tomb of Horrors as a classic meat-grinder of a dungeon, designed with that typical Gygaxian illogic which meant there was no particular rhyme or reason to how the challenges fit together. But woe betide the party of adventurers who paused to question the coherence of the dungeon with silly concerns like "how do these monsters eat?" That way lay certain death. No, with a puzzle-n-monster-fest like White Plume Mountain, you just rolled from room to room, conquering each riddle or trap as an individual challenge, and logic be damned. What Kidd does here is provide a rationale for that irrational design, and so manages to one-up the original. The titular dungeon is an illogical mess, it turns out, because it is meant to be so, designed as a kind of crucible to weed out the week and inflexible of mind, so that the few survivor can be...ah, but I won't spoil it. Suffice to say that Kidd turns all the classic 'bits' in WPM to his ends, with a result halfway between TV's "WipeOut" and the best Disney ride you ever went on. As a bonus,Kidd's characters are compelling, with fairly nuanced motives. This is something of a rarity for the word-and-sorcery quest sub-genre, which generally relies on stock characters like The Stalwart Knight and the Stoic Ranger and the Plucky Naive Sorceress. Instead here we get a wannabe-cynic who can't hide his actual heart of gold, a thieving sprite with a foul mouth, and a pyromaniac blanket made out of hellhound hide. Tropes, they ain't. If there's a tiny complaint I had, it's that it takes just over half the book to get to the titular dungeon, but that's because Kidd needs to set up the rationale for that part of the story, so I recognize the narratological necessity. The characters are engaging enough that I excuse that structural decision, and would be willing to seek out another work featuring the same cast.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Obrigewitsch

    This is a fun action adventure fantasy story. I probably enjoyed it more because of the nostalgia it brought for someone growing up in the 80s and 90s.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Uri Kurlianchik

    The Punisher and Tinkerbell do a dungeon crawl. If you found the previous sentence awesome, you will enjoy this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dru

    Finally...this is the first of the 7 "module-to-novel" books to be really enjoyable. It being my third, I was worried they would all be bad, but no...the characters were very interesting and the story moved along nicely. It gets 4 stars and not 5 because it took well over half the novel to GET to White Plume Mountain. Minor spoilers: I loved that another two adventuring parties had entered already, as it gave the author a way to bypass some of the stupider parts of the module. The sphinx, Enid, w Finally...this is the first of the 7 "module-to-novel" books to be really enjoyable. It being my third, I was worried they would all be bad, but no...the characters were very interesting and the story moved along nicely. It gets 4 stars and not 5 because it took well over half the novel to GET to White Plume Mountain. Minor spoilers: I loved that another two adventuring parties had entered already, as it gave the author a way to bypass some of the stupider parts of the module. The sphinx, Enid, was done perfectly. The author did a great job poking fun at the ridiculousness of an ecologically non-sensical dungeon, while making it believable (describing monster feeding schedules, and forced enslavement of intelligent guard monsters). All in all, I'm glad to see Paul Kidd is going to be the author of two more upcoming novels in the series. I look forward to it. Unfortunately Ru Emerson is the author of my next book (Against the Giants), and her Keep on the Borderlands was a real stinker... Oh, and lest we forget: "Nobody touches the Faerie!" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm putting this footer on all 7 of my reviews of "Greyhawk Classics", for consistency. Note that I read them them in LEVEL ORDER, not publication order. I wanted an overall review of the series of 8 in one spot, so here ya go: 1) (6th published) Keep on the Borderlands - Levels 1-3 : 2 stars 2) (4th published) The Temple of Elemental Evil - Levels 1-3 : 3 stars 3) (2nd published) White Plume Mountain - Levels 5-10 : 4 stars 4) (1st published) Against the Giants - Levels 8-12 : 3 stars 5) (3rd published) Descent into the Depths of the Earth - Levels 9-14 : 4 stars 6) (5th published) Queen of the Demonweb Pits - Levels 10-14 : 3 stars 7) (7th published) Tomb of Horrors - Levels 10-14 : 3 stars ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  6. 5 out of 5

    Colin

    I got this from Audible as an audiobook; the narration was amazing and the writing was excellent. The story itself meanders a bit - the protagonists don't even arrive at the eponymous White Plume Mountain until halfway through the book. It was interesting to me to read a novel based on a classic D&D module (although more accurately, I believe this is based on the 2nd edition "Return to White Plume Mountain," not the original 1st edition module "White Plume Mountain"). I got this from Audible as an audiobook; the narration was amazing and the writing was excellent. The story itself meanders a bit - the protagonists don't even arrive at the eponymous White Plume Mountain until halfway through the book. It was interesting to me to read a novel based on a classic D&D module (although more accurately, I believe this is based on the 2nd edition "Return to White Plume Mountain," not the original 1st edition module "White Plume Mountain").

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rook & Raven

    This book only gets two stars because of nostalgia. The writing was terrible, the humor abominable. It felt like listening to a bunch of players going through the module, and not in a good way. I was intrigued at the possibility of checking out the other Greyhawk Classics as a means of revisiting a childhood full of classic D&D adventures, but after this book, no thanks!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nate Adams

    The story was really good, I thought the characters felt a little bland or cliche, but had some great encounter ideas for people playing d&d

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Stormborn

    This book wasn't down right awful, but its wasn't the sort of thing I enjoy reading. The books only redeeming quality is that is does have a diverse cast of characters with colorful personalities. This book was written, based of the White Plume Mountain module, which I never played, so perhaps that is the reason I may have not enjoyed this book as much as I could have. Escalla was pretty much the star of this book. The whole cast of characters in this book, are a bit casual about their life and de This book wasn't down right awful, but its wasn't the sort of thing I enjoy reading. The books only redeeming quality is that is does have a diverse cast of characters with colorful personalities. This book was written, based of the White Plume Mountain module, which I never played, so perhaps that is the reason I may have not enjoyed this book as much as I could have. Escalla was pretty much the star of this book. The whole cast of characters in this book, are a bit casual about their life and death circumstances and don't have any real depth to them. Rather than a serious book, this seemed more like a comedy adventure more than anything. If you're looking for a book with real depth, breath taking world building, and in-depth character stories, and significant character development...Then this book is NOT for you. The characters did not have a rich backstory, and although interesting, they had virtually no character development whatsoever. For this reason, I ended up daydreaming throughout this book, which made it difficult to finish. I ended up reading it so I could hurry up and move onto other books. If you're the type to enjoy action packed books for little story and a focus on kicking ass, and dungeon crawling then this book is one you'd enjoy. It's simply not what I typically want to read, but for what the book is, it actually is not down right awful. I just know this isn't the typical kind of story setting I would read, and as well I am not familiar with the Greyhawk setting to know if that may have impacted my opinion of the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Rosa

    Doing a major re-read of the 3 books. Probably some of my favourite all time confort reads, which i hadn't read in the longest time because i was half afraid they perished during a fire that happened 3 years ago. well they didn't die, and here i am reading them again. oh do i miss playing and it might be an influence of all the romance i read currently but i did notice a lot more gushy stuff than i remembered (not a bad thing mind you) Doing a major re-read of the 3 books. Probably some of my favourite all time confort reads, which i hadn't read in the longest time because i was half afraid they perished during a fire that happened 3 years ago. well they didn't die, and here i am reading them again. oh do i miss playing and it might be an influence of all the romance i read currently but i did notice a lot more gushy stuff than i remembered (not a bad thing mind you)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Meyer

    This book was rather enjoyable considering how put off i was by the first volume in the series. I enjoyed the interaction between the three main characters quite a bit. Hopefully the rest of the volumes will continue in this vein....

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sabra Snider

    Nothing groundbreaking or of literary genius, but very fun! I enjoyed every page.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Adams

    I should start off with the disclaimer that I have never played D&D in any form; I like fantasy stories and years ago, my husband (who was a gamer all through high school) was reading this trilogy, thought I might like it, and so I read it too. I liked it enough that probably a decade later, I went back and started it again. Because I have never played this (or any) module, I lacked the expectations and/or prejudices that reader-gamers may have had. From a strictly reader POV, this was a fun, act I should start off with the disclaimer that I have never played D&D in any form; I like fantasy stories and years ago, my husband (who was a gamer all through high school) was reading this trilogy, thought I might like it, and so I read it too. I liked it enough that probably a decade later, I went back and started it again. Because I have never played this (or any) module, I lacked the expectations and/or prejudices that reader-gamers may have had. From a strictly reader POV, this was a fun, action-packed read. The characters are entirely static - even at the end of the story, after weeks of peril and a series of near-death experiences, the characters are pretty much exactly as they were in the beginning - grim and somber, or flighty and sassy, or ridiculous and aggravating; nobody really changes, their party just gets bigger. There's no introspection, no back story, and very little change in their personal relationships with each other. There is just a touch of blooming romance, but it's not the focus of the story by any means; if you're looking for a book with great depth of character and personal development, this is not it. The writing is not amazing, but I didn't find it terrible either. Some of the humor and one-liners made by the characters are cringe-worthy cheesy, but I didn't feel like it was bad writing, just that it was meant to exaggerate the personalities of the characters. Now moving on to what I liked - everything else. I don't believe the book was written with the intent of delving into the inner workings of the human (fairy, hellhound, etc) heart and mind, nor was it written to be philosophical or teach us life lessons. It is meant to be an action story, and in that regard, it delivers. I didn't feel like it moved slowly at all - in fact, it seemed like in every chapter someone or something was being battled or blown up. Maybe it's because I don't play the game and therefore had no reference for comparison, but I found very little fault with the pacing or action sequences of the book. Also, from the perspective on someone who isn't familiar with all of the D&D creatures and worlds, the short descriptions of what these creatures were and what their powers were was very helpful. Overall, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I read it, whenever that was, and I definitely plan to go on and read the next two by Paul Kidd as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Based on the Dungeons and Dragons module White Plume Mountain, I got to relive the adventure I played as a youth. The Justicar, with the help of a faerie named Escalla and a teamster named Polk, are commissioned to go to White Plume Mountain and rid the world of a possible reincarnation of the wizard Keraptis, an evil sorcerer who died many years ago. The Justicar, whose real name is Evelyn, is a hearty ranger who simply wants justice. Escalla, a thieving faerie, is full of witticisms and humor. Based on the Dungeons and Dragons module White Plume Mountain, I got to relive the adventure I played as a youth. The Justicar, with the help of a faerie named Escalla and a teamster named Polk, are commissioned to go to White Plume Mountain and rid the world of a possible reincarnation of the wizard Keraptis, an evil sorcerer who died many years ago. The Justicar, whose real name is Evelyn, is a hearty ranger who simply wants justice. Escalla, a thieving faerie, is full of witticisms and humor. Polk, the stereotypical adventurer, is the chronicler of the trio. I laughed when he suggested to bring supplies that many adventurers would buy to prepare for their adventures, but were typically useless and extra weight. I got to read about Blackrazor, Whelm, and Wave, the magical weapons sought after in the original adventure module. I had always wanted Blackrazor as and adventurer, but realized its power was to great and used for evil. There were some slow places in the novel, but anyone who has played D&D will enjoy revisiting the story and the adventure itself. At the end Escalla has purchased the village of Hommlet, which was my first dungeon module purchased. It leaves the story for a possible sequel.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sean Helms

    I know...it's just another D&D book. Nevertheless, the characters Paul Kidd has brought to life are some of the best I've enjoyed; they are repeat folks who mesh great together and are quite humorous at times. They are: the Justicar (a grumpy ranger/priest), Escalla (a witty and wonderfully cheeky Pixie), Cinders (a sentient Hellhound pelt with a dry wit and penchant for setting fires), and Polk (a know-it-all teamster who talks endlessly as he gives the Justicar unwanted pointers about proper h I know...it's just another D&D book. Nevertheless, the characters Paul Kidd has brought to life are some of the best I've enjoyed; they are repeat folks who mesh great together and are quite humorous at times. They are: the Justicar (a grumpy ranger/priest), Escalla (a witty and wonderfully cheeky Pixie), Cinders (a sentient Hellhound pelt with a dry wit and penchant for setting fires), and Polk (a know-it-all teamster who talks endlessly as he gives the Justicar unwanted pointers about proper heroic conduct). Justicar meets Escalla and end up rescuing her from trouble of her making (she great at that) and they end up adventuring together on a quest that takes them to a volcano, which is the lair of an unhinged wizard. I won't elaborate and therefore avoid spoilers. Anyway, even if one doesn't get into D&D books, you should give the ones by Kidd a chance because they are a lot of fun.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paulgtr234

    What a fun ride. This story is about the very best aspects of table top role-playing games - characters that have fun with real stakes on the line. Justicar and Estrella are brought together by coincidence and begin to develop a friendship through dangerous adventure. This is not Shakespearian prose or storytelling that is deeply analytic of the human condition. Its just a fun romp through a classic D&D dungeon with characters that have just enough depth to make the reader care about them. Well w What a fun ride. This story is about the very best aspects of table top role-playing games - characters that have fun with real stakes on the line. Justicar and Estrella are brought together by coincidence and begin to develop a friendship through dangerous adventure. This is not Shakespearian prose or storytelling that is deeply analytic of the human condition. Its just a fun romp through a classic D&D dungeon with characters that have just enough depth to make the reader care about them. Well worth the read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Loya

    A fun romp in a fantasy world. I felt like I was right there with the characters. It gives me the same warm fuzzies I get when I play D&D. Only reason it gets 4 stars, and not 5, is that a couple of jokes pulled me out of the setting and back into the real world. I love the exchanges between the 3 primary characters. Cinders is my favorite! The narrator does a great job with this one, if you opt for the audio book. I definitely plan on reading more in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Darrell Keller

    Decent read. Pure brain candy, but a good escape from time to time. A few plot twists (no spoilers) from what you might remember from the actual module, but overall worth reading. 4 stars for a well-written book. It is a little slow to start, but once the adventure begins, the pace quickens.

  19. 5 out of 5

    F. William Davis

    What a fantastic adventure. Our heroes are superb, their relationship and their banter is consistently a pleasure to read. It's not your standard LotR party, rather a circumstantial pairing of characters and their goals. The story is unashamedly a D&D adventure and executed brilliantly. I was fully engaged in the plot throughout. What a fantastic adventure. Our heroes are superb, their relationship and their banter is consistently a pleasure to read. It's not your standard LotR party, rather a circumstantial pairing of characters and their goals. The story is unashamedly a D&D adventure and executed brilliantly. I was fully engaged in the plot throughout.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Max

    Audiobook version. Fun but pretty disposable stuff, which, really is what you show up for when you decide to read an official D&D book, I'd say. The characters are charming enough, but the plot is rote, and the narrator has to say "The Justicar" so many times that you may lose your mind. Audiobook version. Fun but pretty disposable stuff, which, really is what you show up for when you decide to read an official D&D book, I'd say. The characters are charming enough, but the plot is rote, and the narrator has to say "The Justicar" so many times that you may lose your mind.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Abbott

    This book is not good, but if you like Dungeons and Dragons, you might find it amusing. FYI, they don’t actually get to the mountain until more than halfway through. Also, the author is a little too interested in the fairy’s “bottom”. Kind if cringy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    James

    Very fun story with many tongue in cheek moments that poke fun at professional adventurers. Neat dungeon as well.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Lee

    The books started a bit stiff but the story unfolded well and it had an excellent ending.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rodney

    One of the best D&D books. Not too cheesy and not too serious. A Classic!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kat Stiegel

    It’s pretty slow to start and the characters aren’t all that likeable at first, but by the end they’re entertaining and engaging

  26. 5 out of 5

    Juraj Lahuta

    Good setup, good payoff, immediately after another good setup and good payoff. Only criticism is the monologue-ing villain at the end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tim Buege

    A fun read of a classic adventure from the early days of D&D.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael T Bradley

    Holy hell, did I enjoy this book. Years ago I loved Thomas M. Reid's Temple of Elemental Evil, and I've always tried to keep an eye out for these novelizations of old Greyhawk D&D adventures. Thanks to a recent library sale, I've found one! Huzzah! Ostensibly the story of the Justicar (a CG ranger, if I'm reading it correctly) and his ... sidekick (?) ... a reanimated deceased hellhound pelt (yeah, it's ... a bit of an odd book), and the party he picks up along the way (a pixie sorceress, and a F Holy hell, did I enjoy this book. Years ago I loved Thomas M. Reid's Temple of Elemental Evil, and I've always tried to keep an eye out for these novelizations of old Greyhawk D&D adventures. Thanks to a recent library sale, I've found one! Huzzah! Ostensibly the story of the Justicar (a CG ranger, if I'm reading it correctly) and his ... sidekick (?) ... a reanimated deceased hellhound pelt (yeah, it's ... a bit of an odd book), and the party he picks up along the way (a pixie sorceress, and a Foghorn Leghorn-ish caravenserai member) as they travel the land trying to dispense justice as needed. I'll admit, I preferred the first half of the book (before the adventure of retrieving the three macguffins from White Plume Mountain was introduced) better, but I still dug watching these characters figure out the traps / fight the monsters of WPM. Basically, to sum up their adventure: thank goodness they had the talkative fairy with them or else they would've been screwed, really. And MAN. The fact that they use healing potions when they're hurt! I loved that! I hate that in D&D books people rarely drink potions, and it's like ... every group I've ever run/played with, those potions are a CONSTANT need (unless you've got multiple clerics/etc.). Anyway, besides being a quick read, there's just really nothing WRONG with this book. It's not the best thing or everyone's cup of tea, but it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, and I found it pure joy. They also had the sequel at the book sale, so I'm excited to start on that one at a later date, as well!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Pettit

    Great! Dungeons and dragons (World of Greyhawk) fantasy novel. Humorous, good action and adventure about a Ranger "The Justicar" and a pixie names Escalla. A very unlikely pair working together on a good cause to rescue artifacts. Fun and easy read, and I believe this is a reread for me having read the printer copy years ago. I always love the DnD novels as the magic is all too familiar. Great narration for audible by Bernard Setaro Clark. I may have to dust this series and put them back in the Great! Dungeons and dragons (World of Greyhawk) fantasy novel. Humorous, good action and adventure about a Ranger "The Justicar" and a pixie names Escalla. A very unlikely pair working together on a good cause to rescue artifacts. Fun and easy read, and I believe this is a reread for me having read the printer copy years ago. I always love the DnD novels as the magic is all too familiar. Great narration for audible by Bernard Setaro Clark. I may have to dust this series and put them back in the queue.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Richard Radgoski

    I was initially not a fan of the main character, but as the book moves onward, The Justicar and the Faerie that joins him are actually really fun. The module does a good job of building up the political landscape of the what is going on at White Plum Mountain - the location of a dungeon that had been 'cleaned out' years ago by adventurers. Someone has reset the dungeon along with the original prizes, and our Heroes are set to deal with it. There are other reviews that get more into the novel - j I was initially not a fan of the main character, but as the book moves onward, The Justicar and the Faerie that joins him are actually really fun. The module does a good job of building up the political landscape of the what is going on at White Plum Mountain - the location of a dungeon that had been 'cleaned out' years ago by adventurers. Someone has reset the dungeon along with the original prizes, and our Heroes are set to deal with it. There are other reviews that get more into the novel - just know that I enjoyed this novel very much. The audio presentation was very good and Mr Kidd's handling of the game system in novel form was probably some of the best I've encountered. Nicely done!

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