But what's remarkable about Mike Carr's module is not just its signature dungeon, Quasqueton, but all the additional material included with it. I continued to use a lot of this support material for years after I'd stopped using B1's dungeon itself. A good case in point is the list of potential PCs/henchmen & hirelings found at the back of the module.
Literally for years did I use this list when I needed to quickly create a NPC on the fly or when a PC had died and his player wanted to jump right back into the game without much delay. Looking over it, more than three decades later, some names still jump out at me:
- Alho Rengate: He was a hireling of a PC played by my sister (whom I tried unsuccessfully to convert to roleplaying) but she found his name hard to say and simply called him "Mr. A."
- Evro: Though listed as a human in the list, the name was chosen by a friend of mine for an Elf character he played for many years. Evro was eventually slain by an arrow of slaying elves shot at him by a PC half-orc cleric/assassin and Evro's character record sheet, in testament to its long years of service, was given a Viking send-off in another friend's backyard.
- Farned of the Great Church: Though this cleric survived only briefly, his epithet last much longer. "The Great Church" is how I describe the state religion of the defunct Thulian Empire in my Dwimmermount campaign.
- Harg of the City Afar: Again, the character in question didn't last long, but his epithet was evocative and I've often included references to "The City Afar" in my games, though no one has ever visited the place (that'd sort of miss the point).
- Mohag the Wanderer: He served as a Conan-like NPC who'd occasionally appear to save the PCs' bacon. Yes, I am mildly ashamed of this now, but only mildly, because Mohag was an obnoxious SOB who roundly mocked the PCs for their folly. I had a lot of fun with him.
- Tassit, Servant of Saint Cuthbert: This cleric was a henchman of my paladin, Sir James, until he met his death at the hands of trolls.
In Search of the Unknown is an amazing module. I still glean new insights from it even now. That's not something I can say about many packaged adventures (or gaming products more generally, to be honest).