...or, "the crown jewel of my RPG collection that bloody well shouldn't be considered as such." =)
The front cover describes the adventure thus: "The Jade Hare (a Dungeons & Dragons® Game Adventure by John Nephew, Special Thanks to Darin "Woody" Eblom) Wherein the Intrepid Adventurers Confront the Mad Warlock Abu-Ghabar and his Evil Minions to Recover a Priceless and Ancient Jade Idol." This is TSR#9259.
This is a small adventure that was published by TSR Inc in 1992. Apparently, it was included free of charge with purchases from the Mail Order Hobby Shop. I got my copy when I sent the registeration card of my Dungeons & Dragons Game basic set in 1994. It took a while, but they eventually sent it to me, along with a letter that had apologies for delay and puffing of Dragon Strike hyperReality video-enhanced role playing game. They later sent me a tape with one track from First Quest AD&D intro game, and then forgot about me. And then they got eaten by some mad coastal thaumaturgists or something. Meanwhile, I didn't have anyone to play D&D with, so this Jade Hare module was forgotten. In an envelope, with the letter. In mint condition.
Most others seemed to throw that one away. Okay, it is not that hard to see why people didn't seem to get too excited about the module. It is a very short adventure, intended to serve as an introductory adventure (or very basic module, anyway). It is probably intended to be played on one evening - including character generation!
The premise couldn't be more straightforward. This thing has a Dungeon. Oh yeah, and the locals babble something about a lost item. "Go to this wizard guy's goblinoid-infested dungeon and find the Jade Hare." "Whatever," say the players, "as long as we get XP and gold." There's a map and a couple of filler illustrations, eight pages total. As I haven't played this thing, I can't tell if this was interesting or not, but it sure doesn't seem to have Too Many Plot Twists. Bet my sister would like this, though.
Either way, people seem to have thrown this one away. And this was a relatively small-print item, which means that this thing is now fairly rare! I suppose I am now a real Collector since I'm faced with the collector's dilemma: an item you have doesn't have much other qualities except for that certain rarity. Estimated value according to Acaeum.com: $350? Doesn't seem that valuable to me. Anyway, I'm not selling my copy, but you can go to svgames.com and order an ESD PDF of this for $4.99 - that price seems far more realistic for this kind of short module.
My copy doesn't have covers. Apparently some rare copies came with a full-color cardstock cover with Larry Elmore artwork of a wizard, a water dragon and adventurers. This cover also has a text "A DRAGON MASTER™ Game Adventure" - Acaeum.com tells this curious trademark was a part of TSR's attempt to secure all "Dragon Whatever" trademarks to combat the potential torrent of "Dragon This" and "Dragon That" from other publishers (which, of course, was just paranoia).
John Nephew. The Jade Hare, 1992. TSR Inc., 1992.
FoulFoot. "Jade Hare". Acaeum.com, 12/1/2003. Online. <URL:http://www.acaeum.com/DDIndexes/ModPages/Jade.html>. Accessed 2003-01-20.