It was 1983. I was 10, maybe 11. I hadn't hit puberty yet, so I was still cute. In my aunt and uncle's nicely finished off basement, I was playing Against the Cult of the Reptile God
with my cousin and I had no idea what I was doing. Not only was it just my second or third time playing Dungeons & Dragons, but I was also a very clueless child. As the memories trickle back to me, I recall not "getting it" much of the time and having to be led about by the hand through this adventure by my patient cousin.
Now, years later and a tad more intelligent, I unearthed this old gem and had a lovely walk down memory lane with it. I recalled this being an old favorite of mine and now I see why. It includes many of my favorite elements in a fantasy adventure game. It kicks off with an intriguing story, there's plenty of fighting, a touch of mystery, a quaint village to investigate, a creepy dungeon to infiltrate, a few kooky characters for comic relief, and a sincerely sinister ultimate evil to defeat.
Where does Against the Cult of the Reptile God
fail? Well, the "touch of mystery" I alluded to is a very
light touch for anyone who can read that title and for anyone with a pair of working eyes* who could see that cover with its pair of lizardy type warriors (stink-mongering troglodytes), it's pretty obvious that you are going to fight reptiles of various sorts. The mystery as to who is heading up this cult, what kind of being is this "reptile god", that mystery lingers a bit longer. But even that is fairly easy to solve by about the halfway point:
It's one of those nasty snake ladies called a naga.
In searching for a picture of a naga, I discovered tons of huge breasted snake women. Glad to see the hornball artists still hard at work!
(Hells bells, there are spoilers all over this review and if you seriously plan on playing this one, why the hell are you reading this?!)
Also, for a module designed for low level characters, this can be very difficult. There are a lot of tough monsters and traps awaiting what must necessarily be a fairly weak party of adventurers. Granted, the module is intended to last over the course of a few game-time weeks, so there's ample time to rest and heal up, plus there is the possibility of obtaining assistance from some of the townspeople.
But aside from those minor complaints, this remains one of the most complete and completely satisfying adventures created by TSR for the D&D playing public.
* Serious side note: D&D was a great game for the blind, as so much of it is played out vocally!