Saturday, September 19, 2020

Again, the Giants?

 My players are slowly creeping towards the more dangerous areas of the West Marches, now that the lowest level party member (my 6 year old who only sort of participates) is 3rd level, and most are in the 4 to 6 range. I've got the next ring done (although I think I still need to convert a few zones from 5E notes to Classic -- while just pulling open my monster book is often good enough, treasures are too low if I leave them at 5E levels), and they have made a few tentative in-roads into that band of challenge. So I'm working on the next ring out. 

The Giants modules are going in this region, even though they're a little tough for the intended level. But since I have at least one player who's played many of the classic modules before, I want to switch them up a bit. Rework a few things, maybe make some map changes. And no, I won't give out too many details of what I'm doing, since a few of my players read this blog. Suffice it to say they won't be exactly the same. 

Also, since West Marches is player-driven in terms of plot, I will not likely be sticking the D and Q modules anywhere. And while I'll likely retain connections between the three giant strongholds, there won't be as much metaplot to discover (maybe, I could change my mind on that). 

Today I read through Glacial Rift, and really, even if I wanted to play them straight, the upper level is a bit bland. There are some interesting encounters and situations there, but a LOT of them are similar. Want to spice things up a bit. Also, will probably switch out some of the treasures to again provide some uncertainty/discovery for my veteran players. 

Plus, as I've mentioned before, Gygax can be a bit verbose. These modules are fairly compact, but at the table, I really don't need all that level of detail for most of the areas. So I'll be spending some spare time in the next few days doing some mods to the module.


  1. I ran my group through a 5e Greyhawk campaign using the original Saltmarsh, the A1-4 Slaver Series, and then G1 distilling them each down to a 5-room dungeon concept. We're not much in to dungeon crawling with 5e, and found that for a 2-3 session adventure (with 1 session belonging to the hook, the prep, and the journey, and 1-2 sessions for the 'adventure') the 5-room format really works well.

    Distill the core of each module down to what makes it tick in the 5-room format, and it becomes a fresh-but-familiar adventure.

  2. That's not a bad idea, but a lot of general hexes in my game have small easy to manage dungeons (not necessarily 5-room style, but easily managed in a session or less). Then certain hexes get the full on dungeon treatment (usually my renovations of classic modules).

    I should probably use more 5-room style locations in other hexes, though, so thanks for the reminder.