Keep on the Borderlands - your experiences?


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Celebrim said:
I personally think its a pretty poor module, that encourages extremely tedious largely undifferiented mass encounters with limited largely featureles terrain. That each tribe has a different alarm system is about the most creative thing about it. Even ran as well as I could manage with conspiracies, betrayal, mature maps, mini-bosses, etc. - looking back it just doesn't seem like alot of fun. Of course, the funny thing about that perspective is that the players always seem to enjoy the heck out of it. Whether that's due to the fact that its often their first experience with D&D, or whether its because simple hack-n-slash really is the heart of D&D, I don't know. I do know that I don't regret having the module basically memorized, whereas some of my other favorite modules to run (or play) I wish were still fresh and unspoiled so I could play them again.

I kinda feel the same way. Maybe not a poor module, but certainly doesn't have the "oomph" that Village of Hommlet does to me. I find Bs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 more interesting.
 

Celebrim said:
I personally think its a pretty poor module, that encourages extremely tedious largely undifferiented mass encounters with limited largely featureles terrain.
. . .
Of course, the funny thing about that perspective is that the players always seem to enjoy the heck out of it.

Perhaps the complexities you prefer are different from what your players truly like. I think most of the time, players either make up their own complexities behind simple plots, or ignore the intricacies of complex DM backstories (think of the South Park episode where it's revealed that Towelly is actually a robot from space and part of a conspiracy involving the military . . . when all the kids keep saying, "Yeah yeah yeah whatever, how do we get back our GameSphere.")
 


JohnBiles

First Post
This module is my origin story as a gamer. When I was 12, I got the Basic Set (Moldvay, I think) by selling greeting cards; if you sold enough boxes, you got a prize. I got the basic and later the Expert set that way.

A friend of mine tried to DM but wasn't doing well, so he passed me the job halfway through our first session in Keep on the Borderlands (we were wandering around mindlessly, trying to get to the Caves, having been too young and foolish to FOLLOW THE ROAD. People ambush you on roads, right?)

It was more fun than we'd ever imagined possible, though this was 26 years ago, so I only barely remember it now.

Over the years, I've accumulated four paper copies of the adventure (I'm not sure where any but the original came from!), colored in one of them when I went through an 'artistic' phase, and also gotten Return to Keep on the Borderlands. I've run the whole thing about 8 times, I think, including Return twice.
 

Serendipity

Explorer
Fancy a bit of thread necromancy, neh?

I've played or run this thing so many times it all tends to run together. The last time was as DM sometime in the early 90s, which happens to be the only time anyone went to the Keep or actually finished the adventure. Though I recall trying to find all (what four?) wilderness encounters over and over again and generally getting our asses handed to us by either the lizard men or the old hermit.
There was a point when I took one of my higher level PCs through it in a pique of overconfidence and wound up staring down the Medusa. That taught me......it was some time before anyone mounted an expedition to go find that character.
Good times.
 

I played it back in the day. How does one define "completing" this module? I remember we wiped out the kobolds and goblins, and took out the ogre, and the undead.
 

Negaman

First Post
My first adventure...back when I was 9 myself...I love it still, even though I've read and heard arguments about how much can be done to improve it...I think my most clear memory of it was that when my friends and I first tried it we had no idea that you were not supposed to read the ENTIRE room entry notes to the party. In hindsight its kind of embarrassing, and as the DM read the room notes we KNEW there was something wrong with telling the party about the traps to come and the tactics of the monsters, but for some reason (maybe because we also KNEW that this was the first time playing and we wanted to minimize surprises?--that seems way too charitable for me and my friends though...) we just kept on doing it. Even though we got through most of the dungeon, I lost about three elves myself. Not my best debut, to be sure...
 

Negaman

First Post
Incidentally, I just found a copy of the D&D Basic Set at Goodwill for about $3. The contents inside appear to be untouched! It even still has the dice and the crayon! Nowadays I'm playing D&D 3.5 (mostly as a GM for my 10 year old daughter and 13 year old son), and that is what my kids know, so I'm looking for a conversion kit for it to 3.5 (after this many years, SOMEBODY must have done one by now...). That is part of how I found this website in fact.
 

A

amerigoV

Guest
Wow - necro'd Twice! That is one undead you cannot keep down.

I actually ran a segment of it (the temple at the end) at a Con recently. I nudged it a bit to be more Temple of Tharizdun because if you compare the two modules, there is just a ton of similar description used.
 


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