Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keep on the Borderlands: Environs of the Caves

So, if you followed my WotC blog you know that I'm currently running a 4e game based on Temple of Elemental Evil. I've messed around with the plot a bit, added some new villain groups, and shifted around some NPCs. I run the game twice a week at work, during lunch, though Player's Handbook 2 has zapped many a session as of late. Luckily, we can finally play again tomorrow.

In addition to the campaign at work, I've been hankering to run a game based on Keep on the Borderlands. I love being able to run D&D at the office, but I sometimes miss the depth and complexity that four hour sessions allow. With one hour sessions, I try to keep things a little modular and fast-paced, so that every session has a nice beginning and end point.

Anyway, tonight I put together an overview map of the Caves of Chaos. As with my Temple campaign, I've changed a few things around to keep things interesting and to have a bit of fun with. A straight conversion of the Keep is fine, but I want to add some more depth and backstory to the dungeon as a whole. In addition, I want the campaign to have a strong sandbox element within the bounds of the Keep, the Caves of Chaos, and the area around the Keep.

So, a few things I changed:
  • The ravine of the caves is far larger. It looks much more like something out of this image, rather than a narrow box canyon.
  • I placed a small lake in the middle of the ravine, flanked on both sides by steep ridges that form a barrier between the ravine's entry and its rear area.
  • There are several sites of interest in the ravine, including the ruins of a small fort once occupied by an order of knights tasked with watching over the caves, a few strange pillars dedicated to the Lords of Chaos, a mysterious wizard's tower, a necropolis, and a small hut where an undead ferrymaster takes pilgrims of chaos across the lake mentioned above.
  • A strange mist hovers over a region at the far end of the ravine. A ring of standing stones surrounds the mist. No one has ever entered the mist and emerged to tell the tale.
  • I came up with a background for the caves, explaining its history and why humanoids congregate here, but it's not quite ready to go.
So, that's what I did with my Monday evening.


M.S. said...

Sounds great, your previous post about borderlands-style adventuring has been really inspiring. I hope you post more details later. :)

Cheers, Marcus

PatrickWR said...

Very cool stuff, Mike. I actually read Keep on the Borderlands for the first time ever (I'm a bit younger than the prototypical old-school grognard) and wrote a brief review over at my blog.

Greg Gillespie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick Marshall said...

I would very much like to know more about your customization of The Keep on the Borderlands. I am currently working on customizing it for my historical-fantasy Scottish campaign, including reinterpreting the monsters in Scottish mythological terms and injecting an appropriate story dimension.