OD&D Keep on the Borderlands, some observations

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don’t really know. It’s hard to say.

I don’t think of Forgotten Realms as very much of a points of light setting. Too much civilization. It’s similar in feel to Mystara, in that powerful empires squabble over borders instead of vast swaths of uninhabited wilderness peppered with small settlements that can be overrun fairly easily.

On the other hand, most of areas in the computer game “Baldur’s Gate” was wilderness, so my impression of the FR may be flawed.
Yeah, particularly in the Sword Coast things are very much Point of Light: small areas of normality surrounded by howling wilderness full of Monsters. The area is the size of Europe, and the largest political units are fragmentary city states.
 

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Yora

Legend
Maybe a little of both. I prefer the sparseness of B2 not because of nostalgia, but because it is sparse. I don’t have to worry about remembering names and plots and subplots etc etc etc. I do things on the fly as the adventure progresses. I feel like I have freedom to place people and places into the game without screwing up a predetermined plot.

B2 the way it is is very much a feature to me rather than a bug.
Modules are meant to be different from adventures. (Though they precede adventures.) They are modular content to add to campaigns, not stories themselves.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Modules are meant to be different from adventures.
Some are (A series). Some aren't (Castle Amber, White Plume Mountain, etc). Some modules were designed to be standalone adventures. Then you as the DM decided which ones you liked, and which ones you'd tie together with your own plot ideas.

For example, I've run campaigns where I've used T1, X2, S2, then ended with T2-4.
Or the one I'm doing now, which started with my own adventure, then UK2 and UK3, then I1, then the G series.

Lots of modules are standalone adventurers
(Though they precede adventures.) They are modular content to add to campaigns, not stories themselves.
Modules are adventures. But adventures =/= campaigns.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
Modules are meant to be different from adventures. (Though they precede adventures.) They are modular content to add to campaigns, not stories themselves.
I think that's an unnecessary nitpick in terminology. The modules were modular in the sense that they could be plugged into a campaign, sure, but they were definitely adventures in the sense that adventurers undertook them and/or the situation/plot unfolding within them (because, yes, most definitely imply stories of some sort within them - particularly the G series). If anything, the main distinction I can pick up from the context of the terms in these modules (and this is particularly coming from G1) is that the "module" is the publication in the DM's hands and slotted into their setting and the "adventure" is the sequence of events that proceed from the adventurers interacting with it. And that's... not really much of a distinction. Not really enough of one to require a separation of terms between module and adventure when referring to a premade scenario/site for a DM to use as the basis of running one or more sessions of D&D.
I think you could argue that the term module fell out of vogue as they became more tied to published settings like Forgotten Realms and were somewhat less "modular" with any campaign setting. Though, clearly, by the aforementioned A series, that was already slipping away given the amount of setting inherent in those modules.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I don’t really know. It’s hard to say.

I don’t think of Forgotten Realms as very much of a points of light setting. Too much civilization. It’s similar in feel to Mystara, in that powerful empires squabble over borders instead of vast swaths of uninhabited wilderness peppered with small settlements that can be overrun fairly easily.

On the other hand, most of areas in the computer game “Baldur’s Gate” was wilderness, so my impression of the FR may be flawed.
I'm not a Forgotten Realms fan and haven't owned anything related to it, other than the Starter Set, since owning the 3E FR Campaign Setting.

But as presented, Phandalin is surrounded by trouble and the town is even under siege from within. Running to get help would mean days of travel through at least somewhat hostile territory (after all, the goblins stopping cart traffic on the main road is the start of the adventure).

If one zooms back, no, not a points of light setting, but for someone like me, who's just run Phandalin in isolation, it definitely works that way, IMO.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not a Forgotten Realms fan and haven't owned anything related to it, other than the Starter Set, since owning the 3E FR Campaign Setting.

But as presented, Phandalin is surrounded by trouble and the town is even under siege from within. Running to get help would mean days of travel through at least somewhat hostile territory (after all, the goblins stopping cart traffic on the main road is the start of the adventure).

If one zooms back, no, not a points of light setting, but for someone like me, who's just run Phandalin in isolation, it definitely works that way, IMO.
Even zoomed out, it really is a PoL setting: the 3E FRCS is a bit of an aberration, because they reduced the map.scsle to make everything closer together, whereas 5E went back to Greenwood's original map scale. The distances between civilized areas in the Sword Coast is huge, and the back country is chockablocl with dragons, trolls, Yuan-Ti, giants, undead, etc, etc.
 

I'm not a Forgotten Realms fan and haven't owned anything related to it, other than the Starter Set, since owning the 3E FR Campaign Setting.

But as presented, Phandalin is surrounded by trouble and the town is even under siege from within. Running to get help would mean days of travel through at least somewhat hostile territory (after all, the goblins stopping cart traffic on the main road is the start of the adventure).

If one zooms back, no, not a points of light setting, but for someone like me, who's just run Phandalin in isolation, it definitely works that way, IMO.
That makes sense.
 

People’s tastes may vary, and it is possible that a lot of people really like B2 because it is so sparse on details. There is a lot of potential to improve what’s there. What if, instead of a mad hermit, there is a witch who was chased out of the keep, and hides in the forest, nursing her grievances against the Castellan?

I saw where one DM broke the areas of the Caves of Chaos into separate dungeons, and scattered them around the map.
to be sure, the 'open sandbox' nature of it is appealing to many. As a newb DM way back in 1980, I remember preparing to run it and littering the wilderness map with lots of critters from the MM, mainly wild animal types since there were already so many humanoids and the like in the CoC...
 

The module describes the priest as a jovial person, a fine companion, and a good listener, but no details are given to what he looks like.
From Hollywood, I immediately think of a fat, jolly Friar Tuck, but what if he is more like a good-guy character played by Tom Hanks or George Clooney? Tall and in shape and good-looking?
 


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