Keep on the Borderlands - your experiences?


Keep on the Borderlands was my very first experience with D&D. Me and my brother were playing while a friend DM'ed. I had a magic-user named Merlin ;) , and my bro was playing a good halfling fighter named "Evil D" (don't ask). We didn't have spells quite figured out yet, so my 1st level mage had one spell - shield. I'd walk behind the halfling, cast shield and let him do all the work...

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Blue Sky

I played it once, but we never got all the way through it. Let's see if I can remember the highlights. These may not be in order of occurance...

I remember the CN Drow in our party talked to a farmer, barely beat an ogre one on one that was menacing him, and and then stole the farmer's bracelet.

There was the time my dwarven cleric was having a ... difference of faith with the dwarven fighter. Botching my knowledge (religion) roll twice I decided that whatever he had done was a capital offense, and tried to kill him. The party was nice enough to have me raised, afterwards.

Then the kender wild mage botched a charm, and me and the party barbarian both fell in love with her, prompting me to challenge him for her hand. There's another raise dead.

I remember the wild hermit, and his pet cougar. We quickly were taken down to negatives, only to be saved by the kender's pet goat, Fluffy. The DM rolled a crit on the cougar for her. We loved that goat, after that. Oh, and that's another raise dead.

Ran into a party of ogres, once. Yep, there's another raise dead.

We spent more time in the temple, for healing, than we did on the actual adventure itself. The guards started mocking us each time we left, telling us they would keep the light on in the temple for us.

I remember the party once, after the barbarian botched his survival check, had to turn to my trusty dwarf for directions. We ended up camped on the tundra for 3 days, and barely made it back to town alive. Of course, this is after we leave, travel south for 2 hours, and only then realize that we didn't know where the caves were, forcing us to return to town and ask directions.

The one time we actually made it to the caves, the kender wildsurged and polymorphed the goblins and kobolds we were fighting into trolls and ghasts. We only got out alive because the DM allowed us to call upon Moradin to transport us to the keep.

And if you think all that was bad, just wait until the Castle Amber thread starts up...


ran it, played it, use it, abuse it, etc...

so many times i almost blur the experiences together.

you can find part of it in the story hour in my sig.

personally, i like B1 In Search of the Unknown more... but i got that module with my boxed set before i got B2 KotB with another boxed set.

but the first boxed set i got had neither. ;)

Original D&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other editions are just poor imitations of the real thing. :D

it was never Basic to me. nor did it need to be Advanced. :p

Sir Trent

Loved it

I can't remember any module I've enjoyed more. I've played it and DM'd it many, many times, including a couple of months ago to introduce a new generation of players to the game.

My first time playing was in this module. My first character (and elf named Magnum, Lol) did his level best to die in the ogre cave. We did stay with it and clean it out, then later returned to clean it out again and use it as our base of operations. We tried to kill the hermit but never could get him, we did take out his puma though.

This module might be considered overly simplistic to some, but to me it's the perfect beginner module.


Of all the classic modules, I've DM'ed this one most - NEVER played it myself. I've DM'ed it at least 3 times in my memory.

The most recent (and adult) version of it I ran was about 6 years ago; the Caves of Chaos were the rally-point for all the humanoids in a huge wooded area, and the 1st level PC's (playing 2nd edition AD&D) accidentally stumbled onto it, and decided to explore before warning the nearby fort that was in danger of being overrun.


I upgraded the heck out of that module - and the PC's were 3rd level by the time they left. Over all the forces were the minotaur, a self-styled Hobgoblin King, and a massively fat Kobold King who formed a Triumvirate of Evil in order to deal payback to the dastardly humans & demi-humans. The players executed some very bold maneuvers and some beautiful hit-and-run tactics in that place. Bless 'em. :D

Y'know, I just may pick that module back up for a special project... :D

Silver Moon

Quasqueton said:
Keep on the Borderlands Did you Play or DM this adventure (or both, as some did)?
Boy did we ever! Like other posters to this thread, we ran it multiple times. I played the first two and was DM for the third one.

Quasqueton said:
What were your experiences?
You can read them for yourself, as I started a "Story Hour" thread of our early years over on the Dragonsfoot board. "Borderlands" is Module #5 (Chapters 23-27) and also Module #12 (Chapter #48). We also did it as Module #49, which is not yet logged. The link is as follows:

Quasqueton said:
Did you complete it?
Between the three runnings of it I'd say yes.

Quasqueton said:
Did your PCs ever take on the Keep itself?
No, but the Keep's Captain of the Guard became and is still a member of the adventuring party.


First Post
Next to Château D’ Amberville, Keep on the Borderlands is one of my Favs! I’ve often wished to myself that they (the powers that be.) would re-release them in updated versions. But alas I have a feeling that it was more the time and the place than the material (no I’m not saying that the material wasn’t great) that made those modules so memorable.


Kid Charlemagne

I am the Very Model of a Modern Moderator
diaglo said:
personally, i like B1 In Search of the Unknown more... but i got that module with my boxed set before i got B2 KotB with another boxed set.

My first adventure was B1 as well... For decades, I've used place names from the back of that adventure for cities and lands in my campaign world...

Dr Awkward

First Post
Lots of memories of the Keep - but the one that stands out the most is not what happened in the game, but where we played it. When I got my first D&D set , my best friend and I played EVERYWHERE - no matter where we were, there was some RPGing going on.

At the time, my stepfather had a boat, and would insist that we go out fishing with him on Saturdays. So D&D came with us. We'd set our rigs up and leave 'em, then get back to hunting goblins and kobolds and cleaning out those caves.

I still wonder to this day if that was the only D&D game ever run in the middle of the Delaware Bay... :)

- DocAwk


Kid Charlemagne said:
My first adventure was B1 as well... For decades, I've used place names from the back of that adventure for cities and lands in my campaign world...

it wasn't really my first adventure... just the first module i had. ;)

first adventure was a homebrew.

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