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 Post subject: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:19 am 
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Branching from this thread.

After going back and forth in the aforementioned thread, I compiled a reading list of Keep-related products. These include the original B2, TSR's Return to the Keep on the Borderlands, and two Kenzer products: Little Keep on the Borderlands and Frandor's Keep.

So far I've made a careful read-through of the original module, taking note of things that stood out for me. B2 is a pretty straightforward sandbox, but there are some hidden gems.

For starters, on p.6 (Background), the flavor text states:
Quote:
The Realm of mankind is narrow and constricted. Always the forces of Chaos press upon its borders, seeking to enslave its populace, rape its riches, and steal its treasures.


Nice! So right away I'm thinking more Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay type chaos than just "That guy has a different alignment than me!" Imagine that beyond the Keep isn't just woods and hills with orcs and ogres, but a wasteland where savage men howl prayers to demons and the taint of corruption (mutation) is seen as a blessing from their wild gods. These tribes might be brought to heel by a warlord and forged into an army, fighting alongside the likes of orcs or worse. Maybe it's happened before?

More to come, but that's something to chew on for now.

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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:07 am 
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I think that, if you are going to DCC-ify B2, you should be aware that some of the Brave Halfling products seem to be directly inspired by that module.

While The Ruins of Ramat has some tangential connection to the lizardman mound on the wilderness map, The Vile Worm maps pretty directly to the mad hermit and The Treacherous Cobtraps maps to the giant spiders.

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:48 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I think that, if you are going to DCC-ify B2, you should be aware that some of the Brave Halfling products seem to be directly inspired by that module.

While The Ruins of Ramat has some tangential connection to the lizardman mound on the wilderness map, The Vile Worm maps pretty directly to the mad hermit and The Treacherous Cobtraps maps to the giant spiders.


Thanks for the info! John is true old-school, so I'm not surprised if some of his stuff nods toward the Inner Bailey. :D

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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:17 am 
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Looking over my notes from the B2 read-through, I'm left wondering about the multiple humanoid lairs in the Caves. Originally, I suppose it was deemed a good way to introduce fledgling gamers to the various monsters that they would encounter throughout their experiences with D&D. In a "traditional" D&D world, having all these monstrous humanoid races exist is pretty standard fare. Casting my mind back, I'm reminded of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos' map. with the territories of different humanoids marked: Bugbears, to the SW Goblins to the East, etc. The idea being that such creatures were not only common enough to have multiple types in a relatively small area, but their populations were stable enough to have "turf."

I'm of two minds on this.

On the one hand, it is a pretty classic trope for the original game. It's a part of the game's history and -dare I say- tradition that players will deal with most if not all of these different races at some point or another.

On the other hand, are all these different monstrous humanoid races ("MH"s for short) necessary? The answer, IMO, is that it depends.

I can imagine a campaign setting where it matters that hobgoblins are racially distinct from orcs, but for the most part one could just as easily make them different tribes of the same race and give them slightly different gear or tactics. In Middle Earth, you see runty, skittering goblins as well as the brutal Uruk-hai, but they were all essentially "orcs." There was factionalism, sure, but it was more tribal than racial.

(Side Note: For the purposes of B2, I would not include the lizardmen in the mound as a "standard" MH, confining this question to the Caves of Chaos.)

So the design question becomes: Should there be oodles of MHs crammed into the Caves or not? And on a broader note: How "faithful" should a DCC-ification be to the original content?

I can't speak for everyone who might read this thread, but for me, if you want to run the original B2 with DCC, it's simple enough to convert. There are very few things in the module that standard monsters, items, and rules cannot cover. If you want to make something a little more "weird" or "gonzo", you are probably better served using the original text as a springboard and taking off from there.

So, to answer the original question about MHs and the Caves: I'm inclined toward losing the "variety Pack" design. That said, there is value in the compartmentalization of the lairs, since it helps avoid the idea of having the entire complex come down on the PCs' heads all at once. YMMV, of course.

Further thoughts to follow.

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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:22 am 
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I would suggest rolling on the humanoids charts in the DCC core rules, and then apply the same results to all the humanoids in the caves, so that they become different members of the same evil cult, culminated in the temple.

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:39 am 
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I like that there are different MH types. It gives a progression for starting players. Begin with kobolds or goblins, not Bugbears.
It also gives a reason why they do not really work together. But to each their own.

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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:15 pm 
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@Raven Crowking: I like the idea of using the DCC charts to make something unique

@Blood Axe: That partially speaks to the compartmentalization I mentioned before. I don't disagree entirely, but it goes back to how much one deviates from the original premise and format of the adventure. I could see moving away from the sandbox and into a more event-driven scenario.

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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:15 pm 
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I'm certainly interested to see what you come up with.

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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Me, too. Any new news on this little project?


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 Post subject: Re: B2: DCC-style
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:36 pm 
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This is an old question that seems to still have some legs to it.

I have been using the Greyhawk (1983) boxed set under Dungeon Crawl, and I chose to deal with the proclivity of the old D&D standard humanoids and “Monster Manual” standard encounter tables. I chose to include a number of the common humanoids as playable races, moving them from the monster category. I wrote up character race options for koblods, gnomes, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins and gnolls. I used the Greyhank names for these in their write-ups, instead of the “Monster Manual” names (Celbit, Noniz, Euroz, Jebli, Jebline, Kell). I also split elves into three playable races, Olve (high elves), Sylve (sylvan elves), Vey (gray elves). I add others as I see fit, but those are the main additional races of Greyhawk. I treat all of these in their write-ups as the three races in the Dungeon Crawl book, stating alignment propensity and other such details. These required a new occupation table for the setting, of course.

So, when The Keep on the Borderlands was lined up for the players' characters to take part, if they wanted along the road, the Castillan, which I called Castillan Anthonius van Noort, was troubled by losing contact with the Keeps' trade partner to the North. It was found by the characters that some monstrous demonists subjugated the humanoids, which may or may not mean killing the humanoids depending upon how the characters approach the locations. That is an example of how this sort organizing of the old races develops in game. This set-up actually helped with a lot of the peculiar stratification in many of the states and regions of Greyhawk. The actual monsters (unique monsters) in the setting are no longer pulled from the “Monster Manual” or the old standard encounter tables, and the old common humanoids are easier to have running states and all, as they do in Greyhawk. So, an enclave of euroz (orc) may or may not help against horrors that are spilling from an abysmal lair, just as men in the Scarlet Brotherhood would there.

That is the monster overview how I chose to use the older modules and Greyhawk under Dungeon Crawl. I also did up patrons and all of that stuff specific to the setting, which dovetailed with a bunch of background things I have been using for a long time. So, it wasn't that much to write-up anew, as it may otherwise seem.


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