A little more than a year ago, I managed to pick up an old, sepia colored copy of B1:In Search of the Unknown, an adventure module first written and published (I presume) to use with the Holmes Basic D&D set. B1 is a module I've never had a chance to run or play, and I was excited to try it out with my brother.
The module IS a little "tweaked" from the adventure as originally written. For one thing, I've chucked all the monster and treasure lists from B1 itself, instead making the adventure in the Level 5-7 (Expert) range. Tougher monsters, bigger treasures in other words.
Oh, yeah...I also decided to mix it up by making every false rumor TRUE, and every true rumor FALSE. Now THAT's a game of a different shade (especially considering I had to write up R and Z...the adventurers to whom Castle Q belongs!)! When I told the Doc about that he thought that was a crazy idea, "the false rumors are always the really extreme ones!" Yeah, that's what makes it more fun.
It also means I only had to stock half the dungeon. Two of the true rumors (now false) included:
- the dungeon is un-finished
- the dungeon has more than one level
Answering both those questions "no" made my prep time A LOT shorter.
Anyway, house rules were as follows:
- Straight B/X
- No variable weapon damage (all weapons do D6)
- Two-handed weapons add double their strength bonus, though still striking last
Um...is that it? No, wait we also used my three beautiful, random tables: B/X Headgear, 100 Reasons, and 50 Ways to Die. Remember those?
And wow, they worked great! Really. My brother does a little cartooning, so he drew each character's respective headgear on their character sheet to better picture them...and the relationships (I made him roll for Meaty's relationship with all four NPCs) really helped give Meaty interesting ways/reasons to interact with the other NPCs, as well as providing insight and backstory for his character. For example:
Carey the Clever (Halfling 6; headgear: hat with feather) - they met each other when meeting on the road, neither giving way, and fighting a duel with each other that ended in a tie. Considering that Carey is a halfling with no attribute above 12 (3D6 in order remember?), and Meaty has an 18 strength, AB was much more inclined to allow Carey his "clever" moniker. The little guy MUST have done something ingenious to fight the burly warrior to a stand-still.
Troy the Righteous (Cleric 6 or 7, can't remember; headgear: chain coif) - were once betrothed/engaged but one broke it off...they're now friends. From this relationship, we deduced that "Troy" was in fact female, the Lady Troy (or "Linda" or Lady Linda of Troy). This made for several interesting scenes in dungeon, when Meaty was forced to choose between pragmatic solutions and not being a total heel regarding his ex-lover. As the Lady Troy tended to stay close to Meaty and provide him with healing, it appeared she might still be carrying a bit of a torch for the guy.
"Grouch" Stonehelm (Dwarf 6; headgear: Roman-style helm) - best friends. What does it say when your best friend is a dwarf with a charisma of 3? Grouch was yet another victim of the 3D6 in order roll and was consequently one surly SOB. And yet he and Meaty were best friends. They worked well in tandem (being the heavy hitters, while Carey acted as a "floater" or "striker"), but eventually we decided they were best friends simply because they had out-lasted all prior adventuring companions. They definitely had a mutual respect for each other's melee might.
[BTW, the last guy's relationship never really came up in play, though I thought it might be interesting:
Some Magic-User, name un-remembered (Magic-User 7; headgear: short conical cap) - shares a secret psychic bond.
This never actually came up in play as AB took an immediate dislike to the "pansy" magic-user (though he used less complimentary terms). Usually relegated to the back of the party, Munio (I think his name was) was treated as a nuisance despite my attempts (as DM) to make him nothing but utilitarian/helpful. For whatever reason, ABle had a chip on his shoulder for this guy from the get-go...perhaps because he attached the moniker "the Magnificent" to his name...I really don't know. Regardless, AB was hostile towards the guy and I couldn't really figure out how to make the "psychic bond" work so it didn't get used.]
I will write more on the actual adventure...later. There's still some discussion with AB as to whether or not he wants to continue the mission or not (you'll see why when I post the next bit). But regardless, I'll give you the full run-down from last Thursday later this afternoon/evening.