Later, I ran it again using Labyrinth Lord rules.
Today I will be running Red Hand of Doom using Labyrinth Lord rules for a friend of his and his kids again. Some notes for myself regarding the fall of Drelling:
“Goblins on the western shore!” Join Captain Soranna and her militia as they cross over?
Five rounds later:
Warnings of “road blockades, hobgoblins and ogres up in the north” by Teyani Sura, a Lion of Brindol. (Maybe one of the players will eventually want to join them?)
When the attack on Drellin starts, the fight is hopeless. The stats will be useful for future encounters, however. The stats are Open Gaming Content based on the Labyrinth Lord OGL.
Massacre at Drellin’s Ferry, first wave:
In the aftermath, looters:
Happening upon a battlefield, where ettins just killed some dwarves with mercenary pay to a nearby hold. (Will the party deliver the 6000 gold to the dwarves?)
When helping some wounded refugees, one female “travelling sorcerer” with a bandaged arm is very curious and asks a lot of questions. In fact, she’s a spider woman spy.
Tracked by barghests (goblin werwolves) near an abandoned farmhouse.
Assassins on their trail!
Last time I talked about the way I use The Red Hand of Doom in my game. Basically, I use it for interesting encounters and as plot inspiration. The last time I also worried about treasure a lot and decided to hand out treasure “as written” and changed some magic items as appropriate. This time I went the other route. As treasure is important for experience points in classic D&D, and since there is a dragon to fight at the end of every chapter, I decided to simply go with what the Labyrinth Lord manual says when it comes to treasure. I also decided not to fiddle with the dragon stats themselves. I think this worked very well.
The big encounter I had prepared was the battle at Skull Gorge Bridge:
When the party saw the dragon flying overhead, they decided to avoid the bridge and check out the Cinder Hills. Oh no, my precious encounter!
Ozyrrandias’ hoard remains untouched:
Those where some damn lucky rolls!
Anyway, the party discovered the big camp and decided to ambush a patrol in the forest in order to gather some intelligence.
Based on some of the encounters in the book I decided that there where three “standard” encounters—all of them without treasure—and I asked the players which sort of patrol they wanted to ambush.
Heavy patrol with vanguard:
You’ll note that I decided to move away from monsters wielding weapons all doing 1d6 damage. Hobgoblins deal 1d8 damage because they’re monsters. Different rules apply.
The party decides to attack the heavy patrol and manages to finish the main body before the vanguard returns and thus smashes them easily, taking a prisoner who then tells them all about the map they found in Koth’s keep.
The party then decides to follow Saarvith into the city of Rhest. One of the players wants to convince the black dragon Regiax to join their cause. (Me thinking: “WTF!?”)
Since I haven’t prepared anything for the city of Rhest, I will need to think fast. So… A green razorfiend? A sort of doped lizard superman? Hm… Also, they want to talk to the guy and the reaction roll comes up “uncertain”. Ok, they know the names of Saarvith and Regiax, they know about the Red Hand, so the green dude decides to take them to Saarvith. I also need to come up with a suitable name… Uh… Garslix!
Saarvith is a goblin ranger… A fighter, I guess? Using the D&D 3.5 challenge rating as am indicator for the hit dice to use… It turns out that doing these on-the-fly adaptations is easy to do!
Anyway, one player wants to trick Regiax and presents him with the dragon skull they found at the keep. Saarvith wants to trick the player and tells him to cross over in a small boat and present it in person. The player hesitates and the others tell him: “it’s a trap!” Saarvith promptly looses his patience and orders the attack. The players win initiative and shoot Saarvith. He dies before being able to do anything. The dragon dives into the water. The razorfiend does not loose morale. Fight!
The party wins and takes Garslix prisoner. I really like the maneuver house rule: you can always propose a maneuver when you hit somebody. Opponents can either accept the consequences of the maneuver or elect to take the damage. That means that once you reduce people to near zero hit-points, they’ll gladly accept whatever you want to do to them.
What about the treasure? It’s in Saarvith’s cabin, surrounded by water, with six ogers and an ettin inside.
A players once again decide to parlay. His character’s charisma bonus is +2. The dice come up with two sixes. That’s super awesome helpful. They basically agree to hand over the dragon hoard, accept the players as their new boss, accept 3000 gold to go and hire a total of 30 ogres in the Giantshield Mountains and meet the party at Witchcross in 16 days to fight the Red Hand of Doom. I like reaction rolls.
The black dragon hoard is rolled up at the table, by the players. They love doing this. Unfortunately, that also means I didn’t write it down. They did. They really love rolling up treasure.
What a find!
I based the goblin treasure on the D&D 3.5 write-up but kept it stingy:
I hadn’t figured out what those elf bane arrows would do, but it didn’t matter: the party elected to destroy them all. Works for me!
The ogres and the ettin get to keep their treasure, of course. There was no need to roll it up.
I started to run Red Hand of Doom using old school D&D rules last month because I had fond memories of the adventure. If you’re reading along as Zak S. bashes the module on his blog you will know of all the weaknesses this module has. It’s true! It’s verbose. There is a lot of useless info. There are “interesting” fights with waves of mixed enemies, but these waves are also staged, fixed, a railroad you need to adapt. So here’s what I’m trying to do:
So, last session I noted that the hobgoblins should have added nearly 6000 gold pieces to the treasure of Vraath keep. Well, as I ran the module today, I forgot all about it. It didn’t matter much.
One player decided to abandon her elf character and pulled a fighter named Sirius from the stack of old characters. It turns out he’s third level where as the others all hover around fifth level (20k XP is what we started the adventure with).
The party lures the manticore away from Vraath keep using phantasmal force to imitate the sorcerer and bribes it using jewelry worth 800 gold. I decide that it works and the manticore goes to fight the hobgoblins. I let the kids roll dice for manticore and minotaur and the manticore won, with 7 hit-points left. The real sorceror then showed up and cast lightning bolt to kill the manticore. The party realizes how powerful the bugbear sorceror is and attack him using hold person (he saves), a poisoned needle (he saves), and a melee attack which finally kills him before he can cast another lightning bolt. Yay!
They find all the treasure as written.
At the beginning of the session I mentioned rumors of a hydra along the main road (which they had avoided the last session). As their thoughts turned towards home and splitting up treasure, I said that they weren’t home yet. Which way did they want to take? Along the main road, of course.
In the end, the new fighter loses a leg due to the Death and Dismemberment table! As he survives, I tell them that if having a wooden leg is worthy of a pirate, then you can still fight with a wooden leg. Everybody nods.
Each character gains 476 XP due to the defeat of monsters and 940 XP due to treasure, plus a lot of magic loot.
I’m going to run Red Hand of Doom for Zeno and the kids. Their Labyrinth Lord characters got upgraded to 20’000 XP. That makes the three elves are level four, the dwarf and the cleric are level five.
I used the standard monsters from the Labyrinth Lord book:
A lot of groaning was heard when the monster line up grew in every round. One hell hound breathing fire, eight hobgoblin archers targeting the only enemy not in melee: an elf wearing leather armor… it was tough!
I left the treasure unchanged but noted that 4d6 hobgoblins come with treasure type XIX, which I randomly determined to be 6000 cp, 7000 sp, 3000 gp, 6 gems (1170 gp) and a jewel (1500 gp). I'll add this treasure to Vraath keep.
The party killed the warg riders and set fire to the stables. Then they managed to alert everybody using phantasmal force trying to lure the minotaur away but he decided to alert the manticore instead. This is when they decided to fall back. Luckily, they had approached under a silence spell, so no problem running away. And will the wargs killed, there is probably not going to be a hot pursuit.
The treasure type III for goblins underground means that 7 ep get added to the treasure.
Another treasure type XIX for the manticore and type XX for the minotaur -> a total of 3000 sp extra. No extra – treasure – for the magic user except for his spell book.
I think this will be going well!
Edit note: I marked the info I ended up not taking into account as deleted.