OD&D DMs Guild Treasures: 5 BECMI Modules That Deserve the Big Book Treatment

There are a number of players, old and new, who have affection for the original Basic and Expert (and more) B/X or BECMI rules and modules. Already, Goodman Games has given both Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of Dread a modern shake, converting the modules into big book versions with 5E conversions and reprints of the originals. This got me thinking about five other modules that could get the same kind of treatment, which could be of some interest to players inside and outside of the BECMI venn diagram.

Goodman Games has also done Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, but that is an AD&D module and we are not talking about those here. It should also be noted that B1 In Search of the Unknown is already reprinted in Into the Borderlands. Note: I did not use science or sales as measures, just what I think are the interesting adventures to the modern audience. Also, I may cheat by combining two or more modules.


B7 Rahasia

I never played this one but the reception seems positive on it. It was written (and re-written) for TSR by Tracy & Laura Hickman. You may recognize the names as the authors of I3 Pharoah and I6 Ravenloft. They also had something to do with a barely remembered property named Dragonlance, you likely never heard about it. Just for being some early work by the Hickamn’s I think Rahasia should be in consideration.

B4 The Lost City

I did play through this one and have run it as well. Right away I was captivated by this module as it is far more than just a huge dungeon crawl. There are politics and factions here and the inverted natures of the dungeon is a lot of fun to play with. I can say The Lost City is a great time to play and to run. Note: As someone reminded me, this module is on the list for conversion.


X2 Castle Amber

Quirky, weird, and a little French, Château d’Amberville is a fun-house style of adventure that has cosmic horror themes seeded in it. Tom Moldvay wrote this one and it was remade into the Mark of Amber boxed set. Castle Amber is one of those modules folks shake their head when mentioning, but in general it was well received. Some of its inspirations might be tricky to license, if indeed they need to be, and are a touch problematic. But I think those issues could be overcome.

X4-X5: Master of the Desert Nomads & Temple of Death

If you are not sold on these modules by the names alone, I dunno what to tell you. David “Zeb” Cook wrote these two modules about a war in the arid lands of Mystara and the dangerous mastermind behind a rampaging army. As a campaign for more military minded players, these modules would work well. There are many wilderness encounters, which make for a great change of pace.


CM1-CM4: Test of the Warlords, Death’s Ride, Sabre River, Earthshaker!

Are you a fan of MCDM’s Strongholds & Followers or their Kingdom’s & Warfare? It is possible that you were also a fan of the original Companion Rules as well. The adventure CM1 Test of the Warlords was the first Companion level adventure and it lands 15th level characters in Mystara, where the King of Norwold has called the player-characters to serve that kingdom. Success can mean being given lordship over land and people to rule as you will. The other modules continue this theme in the same part of the world. The Pathfinder game has done adventure paths with this theme and I think updating the CM mods to 5E might find a significant audience.

Honorable Mention: B3 Palace of the Silver Princes

While I think this could be a great module to update, I suspect the odd publishing history might work against it. The original release was marred by a controversy over some of the content and an infamous landfill conclusion. The fact that there are two versions would be interesting as whoever was doing could restore both. Would they then update both versions to 5E? Good question.
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Sean Hillman

Sean Hillman


Unless they have changed the policy, the problem with DM's Guild conversions is that you are not allowed to include the original module. You simply have separate document you need to have alongside the original module with any changes. It would be much easier if they just allowed full integration (The way the GG books do it).

They could probably make a decent amount of money if the hired an established designer to do an official conversion and included it all in a single document. I would buy them.

The Glen

B5 Horror on the Hill
B7 Rahasia
B10 Night's Dark Terror
Eye of Traldar
X1 Isle of Dread
X2 Castle Amber
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads
X5 Temple of Death
X9 War Rafts of Leon
X10 Red Arrow Black Shield
CM1 Test of the Warlords
CM2 Death's Ride
CM3 Sabre River

The single best module is X10 Red Arrow Black Shield
RA/BS hasn't aged well since it predates the Gazetteers. Would need some serious revisions.

If i had to nominate one that hasn't been mentioned is Legacy of Blood, a tautly written mystery in the outlands of Darokin where even if you find the villain early doesn't solve all the problems.

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