Sunday, July 4, 2010

Running Stonehell Dungeon

I posted yesterday that our Dungeons and Dragons sessions began with B2, Keep on the Borderlands.

I realized, after five players experienced seven PC deaths in the first session, that an exploration and problem-solving adventure Keep on the Borderlands is not. Several of the players are used to a hack-and-slash game anyway (two of them play 4E when they are at home in Victoria, BC) and the monster-laden Caves of Chaos only encourage them to employ the same approach, while using the Swords & Wizardry rule-set. Because characters are far more fragile in old-school D&D, a different approach is required, both from the players and the DM.

Through what the players suppose is the magic of time travel, the players have been transported back in time, with the box canyon of the Caves of Chaos replaced with the canyon housing Stonehell Dungeon. The Keep on the Borderlands is now just a lonely grass-covered hill, with no evidence of recent civilization to be found in the immediate vicinity of Stonehell.

So far, there have been only two combats in each the two subsequent sessions. The remainder of the time has been in exploration and speculation on what each of the discoveries could mean. Questions on what the hell is going on, that has resulted in such an abrupt change in scenery, have been met with shrugs by me -- I tell the players it is as much a mystery to me as it is to them as to what has happened. But they are speculating that something within the Dungeon will provide clues on how to get back to their own time.

They have already discovered a statue of Sir Vispera, the founder of the Knights Imperious within the box canyon of Stonehell Dungeon. Since Vispera died some 300 years before they were born, this has led them to believe that they have been transported several hundred years into the past. They also found an abandoned temple, dedicated to some snake-demon, which they have linked to the Serpent Wars and Sir Vispera.

It will be interesting to see what happens in session four. They have just now entered Stonehell Dungeon proper, having spent two sessions exploring the box canyon itself.

Well, i'm heading back to the beach. I will try to blog some more photos, and another session recap, later today or early tomorrow.


Christian said...

I like the traveling back in time part. Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Grendelwulf said...

I did a time travel once to the Temple of Elemental Evil in its prime. What fun!

Of course, yours may not be a travel back. It could be anything from a flashforward to a parallel world. Is the snake cult re-emerging? Could they interfere with events of the past?

Great fun ahead, most certainly.


Rick Marshall said...

Oh, I'm going to enjoy following your adventure sessions if you continue to post them. It will be interesting to compare how someone else runs this dungeon.