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As I try to get a handle on the incredibly numerous variations within "basic" and "original" D&D, I've come across a few sets of books that are related by some common title that doesn't seem well documented. I found six books whose covers are emblazoned with an indigo banner that says "Challenger Series." It doesn't seem to be related to any actual level of play, since one of the books (the Creature Catalog) is "suitable for all levels" and another of the "books" is a DM's screen.

Yet another book, "The Night Howlers" is both "Challenger Series" and a "Creature Crucible."

What, if anything, does "Challenger Series" signify? (And is there anything more to "Creature Crucible" than "it's a book of monsters"?)

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Retagged, these were for BECMI Basic not OD&D. – mxyzplk Mar 29 '13 at 12:09
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Challenger Series more of a generic category for products designed for use with the Rules Cyclopedia. My guess is that the reason for the terminology is because the books were an alternative/supplement to the Entry Level products that were used with the boxed D&D beginner's set. [source]

I believe this to be a comprehensive list of all Challenger Series products:

  • Poor Wizard's Almanacs [AC1010]
  • Poor Wizard's Almanacs II [AC1011]
  • Poor Wizard's Almanacs III [AC1012]
  • Joshuan's Almanac
  • Arena of Thyatis [DDA1]
  • Legions of Thyatis [DDA2]
  • Eye of Traldar [DDA3]
  • Dymrak Dread [DDA4]
  • Character Record Sheets [DDREF1]
  • Dungeon Master Screen [DMR1]
  • Creature Catalogue [DMR2]
  • Wrath of the Immortals
  • Champions of Mystara

The adventure modules take place in the Mystara campaign setting.

As for The Night Howlers, it looks like it's the fourth in a series of Creature Crucible books. The crucibles detail the society/background of non-typical character races, and provide rules for playing them. I'm not entirely sure why it's not in the lists of Challenger Series products I found.

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Note also: it's all stuff that is usable in the Mystara setting, as well. It's all a subset of the Mystara setting. – aramis May 27 '11 at 21:15

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