Thursday, November 11, 2010

26 Years Ago TODAY! Part 2

Twenty-six years ago today, on a fall day much like this one (cool, crisp air; sunny) I woke up after a long night of dungeon building to get ready to run the adventure I'm sharing with all of you today.

My good friend Norman and I planned to get some gaming in.  It's Veteran's Day in the US and there's no school.  Today, I'm not at work because I now work for a school district.  :)

Anyway, Norman had his new fighter (or perhaps a paladin or cavalier) named Brandon Broadblade all rolled up and he was ready to go.  He had a squire sidekick and I believe BB was 2nd or perhaps 3rd level.

Brandon was the son of Duke Brandorian Broadblade, an NPC in my Queston campaign and the ruler of Fort Doom, one of the great holds of the Fyrkingdom.

Brandon had been sent to "clear out" the last resting place of King Grothegarka'an (an ancient king).  It was being used as a secret outpost by bandits and at least one sorcerer/necromancer/etc.

Thus, our hero, gathered his weapons, put on his armor and mounted his horse  to ride to the BarrowRock.

I obviously had something important planned for the "BarrowRock" because I mention "see endnote" in the text of my adventure.  There is no endnote, so whatever that was is lost to memory.

I know that Brandon entered the barrow and avoided many of the traps.  I know that he and his squire slew many brigands and juju zombies.  (Note: you can really tell I was tired and a little punchy when writing up some of this adventure!  Enjoy!)

I also know that he fell victim to the chute in room 3 on level 3, sliding all the way down into the unfinished fifth level...

...and that's where the adventure ended.  :(

Looking back on it now, I'm very disappointed in myself for not "improvising" on the spot.  Or I could have allowed Brandon to catch somewhere halfway down.  The key states that the chute goes right through room 6 on level 4.  He could have gone on from there...

Alas, I didn't know what to do when he missed his "easy" and "hard" avoidance rolls (Note: I used to have a sub-system for saving throws... maybe I'll find those rules sometime...) and down he went.

I've matured in all those years as a person and a DM.  I know that there's no sense in ending the adventure when the "key" runs out.  Hell, that's what random tables and geomorphs are for!  Perhaps someday in the future, I'll finish this thing -- maybe rebuilding it in its entirety -- and then Norman and I can pick up where BB "dropped off"...

I still think about an alternate universe where BB is stuck in limbo somewhere just before entering a nebulous, unformed fifth level of the "Barrow".

Download the adventure here

PS: there were several blank, yellowed, unused sheets of paper in the folder with the adventure.  This morning, I got up and took a shot at mapping the dungeon to see how Jacquayed it was.  By my estimation, its so-so.  The beginning is a bit of a railroad, but then you do get choices and you can avoid some encounters altogether.  You can also find multiple paths down into the other (undeveloped) areas of the dungeon.  All in all, an interesting exercise.  :)

I look forward to your comments.  I know that I enjoy reading and looking at other peoples adventures from those long gone days...  Enjoy and happy Veterans' Day!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this... the adventure and the story behind it.

The Happy Whisk said...

Hi Jim - Thanks for sharing this story. I liked reading it and joined your blog today. Hi. I'm Tim's wife from Gothridge Manor. So nice to meet you, Jim. I'll be back ...

Jim said...

@Whisk -- nice to meet you. Glad you enjoyed the story. :)