Keep on the Borderlands - your experiences?


First Post
Played it as DM and PC a lot.

A semi retired halfling PC of mine opened a tavern outside the walls down by the river despite the warnings from the keep. It got burnt out by troublesome lizard men once and has been the scene of trouble more then once. It went on to become a permanent featue of that DMs campaign that I ran into once again years later as a PC.

As a DM I've tied it into more then one campaign with B1 being slapped down on the map (there is a cave of the unknown unless my moldy memory is mistaken) and even had the palace of the silver princess down the road at least once.

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First D&D experience with B2 and the red boxed set. My brother and I and his friend played this over and over and over. And that was before we even knew how most of the rules worked :). Then we started to understand the rules, so we played it again... over and over....

My thief would spend his time sneaking around the ramparts of the keep, and eventually we decided to take out the noble/captain (too many years have past) and take over the keep.

I really need to pull that out and run a 3E campaign for my nephew and friends who recently started playing. And in a couple of years for my son and his friends... over and over and over.



Brother Ezra said:
They became so iconic that in EVERY campaign afterwards, when the characters were interested in looking for rumors, they would simply look at me and say "The dog-men live in the lower caves, right?"
Oh the memories - and what does BREE YAK mean?
I must have run this 4 times and as a 6th grader I was older than the rest of my players - the campaigns never lasted long enough to finish it, I remember the Hermit wipeing out at least 2 parties (1-2 people each) This was the first I ever ran and still remembered with great fondness. The only player I am still in contact with is my sister (at 32 she still plays a bi-monthly game)
All we ever did was sidequests- killing lizard men, fighting the hermit, punching NPC's for fun etc. only once did the PC's make it to the right caves - they would go in hit a trap then look for and easier cave - TPK by ogre.


Had to dig deep to find this thread - on a nostalgia trip today :)

Like pretty much everone this is where I started DMing D&D (don't think that my home designed game "Castle" really counts, heh heh). Of course, when I started how was I supposed to know that you don't read everything to the players? Or that there is a difference between game-time and real-time? ("Dad, hurry up! The round is almost over!") I avoided any future gaming issues with my parents by boring them stiff with my utter ineptitude during that first session...

My first kill as a DM was here. Poor old Vandar Lightfoot. The crab spider (in the goblin caves?) got him. I made the player rip up the character sheet and throw it in the bin. He never played again. Odd.

And my second. My sister's wizard Wizeowel ran into the wrong end of a kobold's spear in the entry area to their caves. Of course, she was later raised from the dead and went on to be the first epic character in my game and totally owns everyone now. That kobold has a lot to answer for.

The ogre was a badass and so concerted efforts were made to finish him off. I replaced him with some draconian-types. Players not impressed. The minotaur killed more PCs than I can recall and nobody ever finished him off. The EHP on the other hand, was eventually deposed and his temple was revealed to contain a secret portal to the Star Wars universe, naturally.

The hermit provided hours of amusement - nobody ever saw him as a threat, just an excuse for poor Monty Python humour. I would have him appear in other adventures too, behaving in much the same erratic fashion. This carried on until about 10th level, when one of the players took me aside and asked me to stop because it really wasn't all that funny anymore.


First Post
This was the first adventure I owned. I never got the opportunity to play all the way through it, but I did run a part of it for my brother. My brother was not a gamer and never played the game again, but he was confined to bed for awhile and was a captive audience. He enjoyed the time he got to spend with me during that week. Sadly, he passed away in 1998.



First Post
Was it just me or in KoB did G. Gygax just invent some wicked rules on the fly.

Stuff like roll d6. 1 or 2, sorry pal, you're DEAD. Oh, you have high Dex? Too bad. Can't remember anymore which traps/encounters they were. Also seemed like the best strategy was hire 10 men-at-arms. Compare/contrast to todays much refined game (as much fun?).

We were always rolling convenient barrels of oil around and lighting them. Plus 3rd level wizards ought to be able to cast 3rd level spells, right? Such was our logic. God it was fun.


I got dice older than you.
When I was a kid, I played through it twice. Both times it was pure hack'n'slash goodness. Went through a bunch of characters, but "we finished it".

Recently, I ran it, but instead of using it as a simple hack'n'slash, I set it up as a prelude to war. An evil magicuser was using the caves as a staging point for his humanoid troops, which were kept in line by the minotaur and the ogre until they were ready to march. The evil priest in the Keep was the magicuser's right hand man, and was marshalling undead forces as well.

When the party got to the keep, they stumbled into the plot, and the game became an exercise in spying and harrying the enemy.

It worked well.


First module I ever played or ran.

Bree Yark means, "Hey Rube" (ie. "All Goblins within earshot please report to serve a beat-down on the non-Goblins")

Damn fine module. I've placed it in the Stonelands, Vaasa, and the Storm Horns, and also in at least three separate homebrews.

Most creepy moment: running a Vampire Drow Fighter-Magic User, his Alu-Demon wife [modeled after Joan Jett], and their half-ogre Barbarian (all 1e) as they killed every living thing in the Keep and the Caves (turning the humans into half-strength vampires).

1986 has never seemed so remote.


First Post
those were the days. . .

my first time playing, too. red box moldvay times. i also recall using lots of oil. i think we eventually finished it.

my very first character: a thief. we go to one of the first orc caves (i think). i go first and search for traps & find nothing. twenty feet in, pit trap, fall in & die. wow, that was fast. still fun, tho. lost my second PC (magic-user) to the gray ooze while swimming for the goblet.

tried running it many years later and telling my group, "i know you all remember this one, but no illegal knowledge." hah, that didn't work.

maybe time to resurrect that one for my current group--maybe one of the three players has done it. . . the other 2 are still fresh gamers (mmm fresh meat). anyone got any 3E conversion advice?


Unattainable Ideal
I remember this being for that new-fangled "Basic Set" but it worked fine with our rules. Somehow the party got the Castellan to go along with them and for a couple of episodes they just watched him kick the crap out of everything in the dungeon till I got wise.

"Castellan can't come with you today. He's, uh, busy."

Whadda maroon. Boy we had fun.

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