1E Looking for stories: high-level AD&D1
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  1. #1
    Chaotic Looseleaf
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    DMZ2112's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    SE PA, USA

    Looking for stories: high-level AD&D1

    I'm looking for folks to share stories they have of 15th-to-20th-level adventures in 1st Edition AD&D. Preferably campaigns that began at 1st level (or at least below 5th) and that occurred before 1990, but I'm flexible if you think you've got a good one. I'm likewise open to 2nd Edition campaigns, Companion- or Master-tier D&D campaigns, or to campaigns in other (similar) rulesets, if they are particularly traditional.

    'Adventures' is here used in the general sense, not to mean 'modules,' although module play is not explicitly excluded.

    'Traditional' here means whatever you think it does, but I'll specifically exclude Spelljammer and Planescape campaigns (although not for lack of love!).
    The dungeon master is not a god. Gods are NPCs.
    "I think it all began when some sages started talking of the World Tree,
    and were allowed to go on doing so. Madness, sheer madness.
    Give me the Great Wheel, and I know where I stand."
    ~Lord Snelgarth, Ed Greenwood's The Herald
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  2. #2
    Pit Fiend (Lvl 26)

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Aloha, or
    Campaign started with T1-4. I threw some twists in (to add elements from PC backgrounds into the adventure). Long story short, they finished it at level 9 with Blackrazor. One of the PCs wanted a holy avenger (as all paladins do), so his divine message was to take blackrazor, freeze it frommthe breath of a white dragon, and smash with Whelm. Then reforge it in a lost temple of Helm. So naturally that led to white plum mountains to get whelm. Finished that at level 11ish. Then did my own adventure to find and hunt down an ancient white dragon and get it to breath on blackrazor so they could smash it. Level 13ish by then. Then had to find the lost temple of Helm, which naturally was overrun by demons (after a long trek through mountains and giants). Probably level 16-17 by the time we finished it. Thats the highest we ever really went. Most PCs were retired by then. Then end goal was to take out a demon lord partners with Zugtmoy but it never happened)

    But exploration in 1e is always a fun challenge even at high levels, and demons are a great opponent for high level PCs (along with undead like vampires and ghosts, whose level draining and aging attacks are frightening). Its also fun to incorporate how strongholds and regional politics enters the game. For example, one of the PCs (a bard who was granted lands) had to manage a war at the same time he was adventuring.
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  3. #3
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    My BECMI campaign had a few characters hit Immortal status, but I dont really remember much of the actual sessions. I think I cribbed/copied a fair bit from Dragonlance, complete with Fizban showing up.

    As for 1e, we had a campaign that lasted as far as 16th or 17th level, though by that time we had crossed into 2e. Thats a little clearer in my head. The PCs fought (and defeated) Orcus (whom, as a form of apology, is my favorite Demon Lord), dabbled in Temple of the Elemental Evil and Queen of the Spiders (I wasnt terribly good at running modules back then, so we all sort of lost interest and moved on), had a Lich as a recurring enemy, and fought many, many dragons.

    Some of the PCs tried their hands at the traditional land & lordship endgame. But after running a castle for a while, they decided that they liked being roving adventurers more.

    For the longest time, the campaign was set in Waterdeep, before the PCs decided to move to Shadowdale.

    The campaign crossed over into 2e, playing through the Avatar trilogy (by that time I was marginally improved at running modules and we actually finished them).

    My one big regret for that campaign is that I never gave them a proper epic ending. I pretty much said Hey guys, Im tired of trying to find stuff to challenge your characters; its time to start a new campaign, so make new characters. Not the greatest end to the tale, and that's entirely on me.
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  4. #4
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    My 1e campaign ran forever, with me starting with a level 1 paladin who died by level 3, and eventually taking over as DM when our current DM left. That campaign was a mish-mash of Greyhawk on one side of the world, Mystara on the other side, and Hollow World within, because those were the books I owned (I allowed them to teleport with ease in order to make adventuring locations easy). It really didn't have much of a cohesive story, especially since the players got together irregularly (I think we only had the full group maybe a dozen times in about 8 years). We continued playing 1E well into 2E, as we didn't care for the new rules at first.

    At higher levels, I ran Test of the Warlords, which set everyone up with a domain to run. This helped keep the game together, but eventually they fell to the dark forces of the Thyatis Empire (or the other one, I don't remember), and their lands were lost during an invasion by a lich who led an army of chromatic dragons with giants for shock infantry. They returned to Greyhawk and attempted to establish a base there, but it was also lost during the Greyhawk Wars. Eventually I adapted several high level BECMI adventures (Five Coins for a Kingdom, Malestrom, Vengeance of Alphax, and Twilight Calling) into an epic tale that I wish I could remember more of.

    Finally, when the party averaged around 30th level, I flat out said "you can either face an army of level draining undead, or I can finish this campaign with an adventure where you either become gods or are erased from existence." They opted for the adventure, which involved Boccob sending them back in time to stop his apprentice, the demi-god Zygag, from stopping the Twin Cataclysims (which would forever change the history of the Flannaess). They managed to stop him, but not until after he made some small changes in time. Boccob rewarded them as promised, and I used the effects of the small changes to transition us into 2E.
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  5. #5
    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    dark rural wet rainy Britain
    An elven cavalier who at 13th level had the title Murderer of Angels, Slayer of Demons. How did this happen? Said cavalier went on a quest to find a way to resurrect another elf. In the seven heavens, tricked into slaying a solar for Lolth by one of her priestesses. To avenge being tricked enters the demonweb, defeats Lolth but spars her, temporarily switching places. Lolth is a mere mortal. Finding the god of death and being told no resurrect, a battle ensues and the death god is slain permanently. Without a resurrection for the other elf's spirit had been merged into the plain, Lolth is given back her divinity but not the same powers, making her now CN. The cavalier then sulks in a corner a LN fascist where all must obey.
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  6. #6
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Slaying a deity is pure high-level AD&D 1e play. I think I had a barbarian that defeated Ares at some point. Because Deities & Demigods/ Legends & Lore was just an extra Monster Manual, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draegn View Post
    A Finding the god of death and being told no resurrect, a battle ensues and the death god is slain permanently.
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