Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm gonna do it.... !!!!!!

One of the guys in my new Pathfinder group runs AnonyCon in Stamford CT. He asked me if I was willing to DM a game there. For the reasons described in my other post, my houseruled game would be difficult to DM. I was thinking of doing a AD&D game (if I did it at all), just because it was the game I had some of the most fun with ever, and I haven't played it since the late 80's/early 90's and want some nostalgia play.

I've decided to do it. I am going to run AD&D, because I haven't run it in over 20 years and have the itch. To add to the challenge, I'm going to run the "Red Hand of Doom" module, originally for 3.x. I'll convert it, both as a way to re-familiarize myself with AD&D, and as a way to ensure that no potential players know whats coming.

Plus, I am going to do this in coordination with TARGA, an organization created to raise awareness of traditional adventure roleplaying games. I ran my rum-and-coke influenced mouth the other week ago on their mailing list with ideas and critiques, so now I feel obligated to put my money where my mouth is.

I'll probably give out TARGA fliers, info, and CD's to people who show up. I figure that since Red Hand was a great 3.x module, showing how 3.x games can be backwards converted and still be fun is a nice way to get newer players into older games.

I will spend a lot of time converting the module, and after the event I will post the conversion notes and stuff on my blog so others can do the same thing if they want.

So once I decided to do it, I went to the old books and stuff to see what I had. The DM's and Player's screens were still there, intact. I used to have AD&D official player character record sheets, the orange ones which were joint sheets. There was one for Magic-User/Illusionist, one for Cleric/Druid, etc. I remembered telling myself 20 years ago that I was going to save one of each and not write on them, just in case I could ever get access to a photocopier somewhere (much harder to get access to one as a 16 year old kid in 1986). Sure as shit, when I checked there was one of each saved. Damn I'm good. Work photocopier here I come!!

I've also managed to pick up an additional PHB and 2 more DMG's over the years, to add to my one of each. Now the players can share a PHB between them.

I've never run Red Hand under 3.x, but always wanted to, which is another reason I want to run it here. I have no idea how long it will take to play out. As such, I will hopefully playtest it once it is converted. I may make the duration open-ended.

More details as I get further along. I'm kinda excited.


  1. Do you mean to use just a part of RHoD? I ran the entire campaign for my group in 3.5 (we all loved it), but it was over 40 sessions long and took us a year...

  2. Wow. Well, I will run it but modify it for AD&D. Combats are a lot faster, there will be no mini's or battlemats, so that should speed things up.

    I may skip sections in it as well. I'm actually curious how a 3.x module like this converts over to AD&D. The xp conversion will be interesting. Since treasure = xp, I will have to up the treasure in the game a bit, to better reflect AD&D standards.

    Also, AD&D wasn't so combat-focused, which is what takes a lot of time in 3.x. Defeating the encounter isn't necessarily expected or assumed to be always through killing them. I may tweak each chapter's mission goals to be less combat focused.

    It's gonna be interesting...

  3. Good luck, this sounds like a great project. 1st Edition was my guiding light all through high school, and I still think its sense of quirky earnestness is what's missing from recent games.

    You know... more crack than wall.

  4. If you get pictures, please let someone on the TARGA list know and maybe a little rundown for the TARGA blog.

    Thank you very much for helping raise awareness regarding TARGA, it is very much appreciated!

  5. RHoD may work great with AD&D rules, but I have to agree with JG when it comes to the length of the whole thing: think about it like T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. It's actually a whole campaign waiting to happen, with a lot of stuff happening in between the encounters/locations described in the actual book. It's a sandbox of sorts, so don't expect a scripted game - that's not going to happen, unless you railroad the group heavy-handedly.

  6. Go Joe! AD&D still loves you, man!

  7. If you're going to pick and choose, I'd recommend the gloriously frantic and against-the-odds Battle of Brindol (we ran this in a single 5 hr session, playing fast-and-loose with the rules in order to make it more dramatic/cinematic - a great success). And even though we finished the campaign over a year ago and are using different characters in another DM's game now, the players still talk about dusting off their old PCs in order to go back and settle their account with the Ghostlord...


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