A blog about my 2nd edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign using Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.

Please note that there are spoilers throughout.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Converting 3.5E Adventures to 2E - Thought 2


Using the 2E morale rules in the Rise of the Runelords campaign adds an extra dynamic that is fun. While the original published adventure might say the Evil Henchmen #3 fights to the death, using the 2E morale rules gives a number of possible outcomes which allows the adventure path to leave the rails.

What happens if the Evil Henchman instead surrenders? Does he give the PCs valuable information? What happens to him afterward? Does he make a reappearance? Does he seek revenge?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Encounter Conversion: B13 Erylium the Quasit

The "Boss" monster of the Catacombs of Wrath in Burnt Offerings is Erylium. In the published adventure she is a quasit with levels added. One of the key elements of the encounter was her ability to fly. A 2nd edition AD&D quasit does not fly so I changed her to an Imp, increased her toughness based on the mechanics given for doing so in the DM Options: High Level Campaigns (-3 to +3 to AC, hit points per hit dice, Thaco, damage and saving throws), and added a few more special abilities based on Erylium's relationship with the Demon Goddess Lamashtu.

Imp, +1 Toughness
AC 1
Move 6, Fl 18 (A)
Hit Dice 2+4 (15 hp)
Thaco 18
# of Attacks 1
Dmg 2-5
Special Attacks See Below
Special Defenses See Below
Magic Resistance 25%
Size T (2' tall)
Morale Average (8-10)

- Can polymorph into a large spider or giant rat

- Stinger tail does 2-5 damage plus poison (save or die)

- Able to detect good, detect magic, or become invisible at will

- Once per day can use suggestion and monster summoning I

- Immune to attacks based on cold, fire, or electricity and resist all other spell attacks as if it was a 7 HD creature

- Bonus of +1 to all saving throws

- Can belch a wad of phlegm with a range of 1/2/3. Anyone hit must roll a successful saving throw vs. poison or be reeling and unable to attack because of nausea for 1d4+1 rounds. Those who make successful saving throws do not suffer any ill effects.

- Can only be hit by silver or magical weapons

- Regenrate one hit point per melee round

Converting 3.5E Adventures to 2E - Thought 1

As I have been reposting the session summaries of our 2E game that I originally posted at Ode to Black Dougal I have been thinking about other posts I can make. One that quickly came to mind was about the process of converting a 3.5E adventure to 2E.

My first thought about these conversions was about how the different design parameters between the two rulesets would alter the difficulty of the encounters. The main thing that I was thinking about was 3.5's basic premise that a baseline encounter involves 4 characters and 1 level appropriate monster. 2nd edition does not have this same baseline.

These different design assumptions will likely require that when I convert an encounter I will have to focus not on making a one-for-one mechanical conversion but instead on keeping the same themes and flavour as well as making the encounter challenging and fun. Sometimes this will require me to make the opponent encountered tougher or increase the number of opponents in the encounter.

2E Rise of the Runelords - Session 6

Note that there are spoilers for Paizo's Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

Session 6: Return to the Catacombs of Wrath

This adventure was played on January 6th, 2010, and featured:
• Kobb “One Tusk”, the half-orc mercenary,
• Toran Stargazer, the young thief from Magnimar,

and introducing:
• Arug, the Alaghi pitfighter (the replacement character for the player of the now deceased Vardinil the elf)
• Kobb’s henchman, Kurzek Irontusk, a half-orc fighter/thief, and
• Toran’s henchman, Vicoren Shieldheart, a cleric of Desna.

Summary: Fearful that Nualia might emerge from the caverns below Sandpoint and seeking vengeance for the death of their fallen comrade, Vardinil the elf, the party re-enters to Catacombs of Wrath.

I. Introducing the new henchmen. During the party’s recovery in The Rusty Dragon following their last ill-fated adventure into the catacombs, the party is met by an old friend and mentor of Toran, Vicoren, who has come to Sandpoint to find the young lad and try to keep him out of trouble. Kobb is also accosted by Kurzek who is the brother of the half-orc that was slain by the party a couple of sessions ago. Kobb defeats Kurzek in battle but spares his life in return for Kurzek's service. DM Note: After the previous session we discussed having backup characters ready in the event of more character deaths. I use the house rule that replacement characters begin with 50% of the dead character's XP. I offered that the backup characters could be henchmen for the current characters and actually earn the 50% but the trade off is that the entire XP pool would have to be divided between more characters. A couple of players decided to go that route.

II. Sheriff Hemlock. As the party begins their preparations to return to the vile cathedral under the Old Light, they meet Sheriff Hemlock on the street. He is worried that Shalelu, the elven ranger, has not returned from scouting the lair of the goblins thought to have led the assault on Sandpoint. He also inquires if the party has asked Father Zantus about the Cleric of Nethys (god of magic) described in the ledgers recovered from the hideout of the Green Daggers. Finally, he warns the party to try to stay clear of Justice Ironbriar who views them as unlawful vigilantes. DM Note: I am trying to drive home the vigilante justice thing and may prove interesting later :)

III. Introducing the new PC and another hook. The party then proceeds to the Cathedral where they ask Father Zantus and Naffer Vosk about the cleric of Nethys. It turns out Naffer was accosted about a month ago by an assailant that matches the description. The ruffian demanded Naffer’s vestments, holy symbol and robes. Being a former pirate, Naffer fought the assailant off and managed to pull a stone pendant of red marble from around the neck of the would-be thief. Vicoren identifies the pendant as a “cairn charm”, a stone often hung inside ancient tombs found in the Fogscar Mountains. The party is also introduced to Arug, a hairy Alaghi, a race of shy and peaceful forest-dwellers. DM Note: This is from the Complete Humanoids Handbook. I was originally hesitant to allow the PC race but decided to focus on the "say yes" style.

IV. Other preparations. The group completes other preparations before entering the catacombs such as buying a vial containing an antitoxin and whatever silver weapons are available in Sandpoint. Toran also begins investigating Sandpoint’s marriage customs. DM Notes & a Spoiler: Man am I looking forward to how this plays out especially with the beginning of the next adventure in the path, The Skinsaw Murders.

V. Into the Catacombs. The party enters the catacombs and investigates a previously unexplored stairway where they are attacked by a hideous flying head with dark wings and crowned and bearded with writhing tentacles. Proving his worth to his new companions, Arug circles around the flying abomination and quickly slays it with a mighty strike with his polearm.

Exploring another passageway, the party enters a room occupied by a twisted, monsterous goblin wielding a sword, a handaxe and a dagger with its multiple twisted malformed limbs. The room contained eleven deep pits covered with rickety, fragile wooden covers and each containing shuffling undead. After a fierce battle, the twisted goblin was slain by Kobb. DM Note: My big regret from this session was that I didn't make the mutant goblin try to push someone into a pit. I focused too much on using the creatures "mutant" abilities to make him seem weird when pushing a PC into a pit would have made the encounter more tactically interesting and frightening.

VI. The Queen of the Catacombs. The party entered a strange spherical chamber with metal walls that rippled with silent black electricity that seemed to form incomprehensible runes and words. Levitating in the room were a number of objects and the Imp that had slain Vardinil the elf. A fierce battle ensued. Arug was poisoned by the Imp’s stinger tail but was saved by Vicoren and many other party members were grievously wounded. After all of the silver arrows were spent and the party was considering a full retreat, the Imp was final slain. DM Note: I thought I was taking it easy on the PCs by not using her "at will" Invisibility every round but I recently read in the 2E DMG that you can't use it and attack in the same round (pg 64) so I feel better now. I am still trying to get up to speed with some of the 2E rules.

Body Count: A vargouille, 11 zombies, a mutated goblin and a tough Imp.

Treasure: The party recovered:
• a longsword, handaxe and silver dagger from the twisted goblin,
• a scroll from an ancient study, and
• a bottle of wine, a scroll, a book, an iron wand, a magical dagger, a miniature tiara, and an obsidian unholy symbol of Lamashtu from the room where they fought the Imp.

DM Notes:

The battle with the Imp was a tough one as it was last time as well. For the Imp I started with the standard Imp from the MM but made it tougher and I also gave it the ability to cast Monster Summoning I as a cleric of Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters. Given that the Imp had an AC of 2 and could only be hit by silver and magical weapons and the fact that the combat took place is a room affected by a permanent Levitate spell, the party had difficulty hitting.

Other creatures encountered were a vargouille, zombies and a mutated goblin.

For the vargouille, I didn't have a 2E version so I just used a 1E version.

The zombies were straight from the 2E MM but they were down in pits and quickly dispatched with oil and fire during which I rolled zero wandering monsters even with all of the smoke and stench of burning zombies.

The mutated goblin was a 2 HD bodyguard with 3 attacks (lots of arms wielding a longsword, a handaxe and a dagger) and an acid breath weapon that caused 2d4 damage (save for half) that was usable three times.

The player of Arug, the Alaghi, did a great job roleplaying the character's fear of magic and unnatural things. With his ability to grapple and possibly pin the Imp he could have made the combat a rather quick affair but the character was too afraid to enter the obviously magical room and greatly limited his combat effectiveness.

2E Rise of the Runelords - Session 5

Note that there are spoilers for Paizo's Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

Session 5: The Catacombs of Wrath

Session 5 took place on December 10th. This was the last session we had before everyones' hectic holiday schedules interfered with the campaign. My notes for session 5 are much more sparse than the previous sessions. It was a short session with a bunch of role-playing at the start and a short but vicious battle at the end.

This session saw our brave heroes:
- Met with a local mage and head of the village school to find out which of the items they have found to this point were magical. He offered to identify the items for free if the party would keep an eye out for leads about a large book that was stolen from the school's library. There was a number of magic items including various items of protection.

- The party then went to the Cathedral. Father Zantus was not back from visiting some of the outlying farms so the party spoke with Naffer. He recounted the sad tales about the Late Unpleasantness involving Nualia and Jervis Stoot. He also told them that Daylin from the Green Daggers had died.

- After hearing Nualia's story, the party went to talk to Hannah, the midwife, but she wasn't there. A passerby mentioned that she was often in the countryside in the mornings collecting herbs.

- Visiting the locksmith, the party pressed him for more information about the key but he insisted that he had told them all he knew.

- The party then returned to the catacombs below the Old Light. Cautiously proceeding down a previously unexplored hallway they first found an ancient shrine with a roughly carved black altar with a pool of filthy water on the top.

- They then proceeded through a set of double doors into a large cathedral. There they were confronted by an Imp.

- A ferocious battle ensued during which the Imp summoned a Sinspawn from a pool of roiling liquid, summoned a group of goblins, and displayed a number of other supernatural abilities - including poisoning Asreal with its stinger tail. Asreal fell to the ground precariously close to death (instead of save-or-die, I used save-or-nearly dead. He ended up nearly dead). All of the party's attacks appear to be ineffective. Toran heroically saved Asreal from certain death. Unfortunately, Vardinil, the elven fighter/magic-user was not as lucky as he fell before the summoned goblins' onslaught.

- The remaining members of the party quickly fled back through the Glassworks back to the surface and apparent safety.

- After recuperating for a few days, Sherrif Hemlock returned to Sandpoint with six troops from Magnimar and Justice Ironbriar, who reprimanded the party for dispensing vigilante justice.


DM Notes:

Looking back there were two key points:

1. The players and characters learned that things were dangerous. The party had been in trouble a couple of times in previous sessions but they really got their you-know-whats handed to them by the Imp. I think the players were a little stunned about how badly this encounter could have gone. They were lucky to just lose one character. The lack of much magic weaponry really hurt them. In the published adventure the Imp is actually a quaist with some levels and a template. I went with an Imp though because its ability to fly is an important part of the encounter. However, I didn't use a standard Imp from the Monstrous Manual. I will post my conversion in a future post.

2. Justice Ironbriar impressed upon the party that they could not act with impunity. We will see if this has any impact on the party's actions in the future. It also sets up other interesting aspects for future encounters!

2E Rise of the Runelords - Session 4

Note that there are spoilers for Paizo's Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

Session 4 - The Missing Key

This adventure happened on November 22nd and featured:

- Kobb “One Tusk”, the half-orc mercenary,
- Toran Stargazer, the young thief from Magnimar,
- Asreal Nom, the savage human ranger, and
- Vardinil, the elven fighter/magic-user.

Summary: While making preparations to re-enter the caves under the glassworks, the party encounters a different problem and hands out some vigilante justice.

I. Getting Ready: Session 4 began with the party splitting up and heading to various places in Sandpoint to take care of a few things before returning to the caves. Kobb remained at the Rusty Dragon Inn to have breakfast, Goalrath finished his morning devotions and met Kobb at the inn, Asreal went to the apothecary to find a remedy to the bad dreams he has been having and to help him sleep, Vardinil, after memorizing his spells, went to the village's academy and met the headmaster who is a former adventurer and mage to seek help with identifying some of the items the party has found, and Toran first went to the jeweller about buying a present for Shayliss and then went to a small shrine attended by a learned monk to try to find out some information about Sandpoint's history.

II. The Break-In: On his way to meet the others, Toran saw two ragged looking thugs ransacking the locksmith's shop. He quickly retreated to a shadowed spot to keep and eye on the thugs. When the dwarf locksmith arrived, he began shouting for the town guard and the thugs fled the scene. Toran darted after them, keeping far enough away not to be spotted but close enough to tail them. After the thugs fled into a disreputable tavern, Toran went and got the rest of the party and then returned to the tavern to try to find the two thugs.

III. A Chase on the Docks: Being unsuccessful finding the two thugs in the tavern, the party went out the backdoor and out onto the docks directly behind the tavern. After a few moments of investigating, the party spooked a nearby half-orc who quickly tried to flee. Jumping from dock, to barge, to boat, the chase ended with the half-orc turning and fighting the party. After the half-orc pushed a couple of party members off of the barge they were fighting on, the party decided that trying to capture him would be too difficult so the battle ended with the half-orc dead, a few party members soaking wet, and a number of dock workings looking on.

After explaining what had happened to the town guard, the party returned to the locksmith's shop, where Volioker, the locksmith, asked for their help to recover the only thing of any importance to locksmith that was stolen - a plain copper key.

IV. The Hideout of the Green Daggers: Following a clue they recovered from the dead half-orc, the party found an abandoned manor that was now being used as a hideout for small upstart gang of thieves, the Green Daggers. Many of the thieves were dead or dying from a "blinding sickness". After defeating a number of thieves and the thief/magic-user leader, the party found a number of clues indicating that the thieves started to get sick about two weeks ago. They were recently hired by a cleric of Nethys (god of magic) to recover a copper key from the locksmith shop in return for a cure for the blinding sickness. The cleric had picked up the key that morning left a number of doses of the cure but the doses don't seem to be working. The party also discovered a ledger detailing a transaction where the gang bought a charmed giant bird and then sold it to "Aspis".

Body Count: The half-orc on the docks, a couple of Green Dagger thieves that ambushed them in the hideout, a pair of identical twin halflings that used potions of invisibility to get the jump on the party, and Cyrathas, the elven leader of the Green Daggers.

Treasure: Most of what the party recovered was the possessions of Cyrathas, the leader of the Green Daggers.


DM Notes:
This was the first major diversion from Paizo's Rise of the Runelord's AP. I have been throwing some other hooks at the party but they have been so focused on Nualia's plot that this is the first one they have taken. I used the adventure from Dungeon #114 - Mad God's Key and adapted it for Sandpoint. I think it went well. It also allowed me to throw out a hook for Asreal's player to do some stuff related to his background (the giant hawk).

Conversion of the Mad God's Key
a 3.5E adventure from Dungeon #114

I typically use a very simple conversion process for NPCs to adapt a 3.5E adventure for my 2E campaign.

At low levels I keep the hit points as given in the published adventure. I higher levels I take between 50% and 75% of the given hit points.
I determined Hit Dice by dividing the hit points by 5. I then round up or down depending on how things are going or how evil I feel.
Thaco was calculated as 20-Hit Dice
For the most part AC = 20 - 3.5E AC, however if it is important I actually calculate based on the 2E rules.
And special abilities are approximated.

For example, the final encounter we had in session 4 was against Cyrathas, an elven mulitclassed rogue 1/sorcerer 2. So I wanted him to have some thief abilities and be able to cast magic-user spells.
He had 13 hp as given in the adventure

HD = 13 / 5 rounded up = 3
Thaco = 20-3 = 17
His AC was given as 15 so I used 20-15=5

Special abilities:
I used the base thieve abilities for a 1st level thief as printed on my 2E DM screen and didn't worry about making any racial or dexterity based adjustments.

For spells, in the adventure he has Burning Hands, Shield and a bunch of 0-level spells. So I just kept both of the 1st level spells as they have 2E equivalents and used Cantrip to replace the 0-level spells.

For magic items, I used the 2E equivalents for what he had in the published adventure.

Did all of this add up to a 1st level thief / 2nd level magic-user? Not exactly but he used a magic wand (Grease) to great effect, lost his Burning Hands spell when he was hit while trying to cast it, lit a pool of lantern oil on fire by knocking over a torch using Cantrip, drank a potion of healing and generally made for a fun encounter.

If you have Dungeon #114, my quick and dirty conversions resulted in the following encounters:

Chapter 1:
The Looted Locksmith - didn't convert as the two thugs fled and were not fought.

Barge End & Wharf Chase - lots of DEX and STR checks jumping from docks, barges and boats. Irontusk (AC 6, HD 4, hp 20, club & studded leather). He was killed - lots of explaining to do to the town guard!

Chapter 2:
G2 - Stirges (from the monsterous manual)
G4 - replaced Krenshar with a guard dog that was quickly made friendly by the Ranger
G9 - the Diseased Green Dagger Junior Gang Members were not converted because they were not fought.
G10 - Daylin (Half-elf, AC 5, HD 1, hp 5, shortsword & leather armour, level 1 thief skills) - he successfully hid in shadows and hit with a sneak attack on the Elven Fighter/Magic-user.
G11 - Spiked Iron Sphere trap - save vs magic wand or take 2d6 damage - this hit the thief after he opened the door without checking for traps. Fun!
G13 - Dalta Gwyn (AC I misread it in the adventure and used an AC of 7, HD 3, hp 13, shortsword, light crossbow, leather armour) and Collapsing Stairway trap - save vs breath weapon or fall taking 2d6 damage - the trap was sprung by Kobb the half-orc and he was severely hurt. More fun!
G19 - Tisa and Risa (twin halflings, AC 4, HD 1, hp 6, shortsword & leather armour) I gave each of them a potion of invisibility that they used just before the party came into the room. After the battle, Asrael the Ranger fell down one of the pit traps (save vs breath weapon or fall down to the 1st level and take 1d6 damage).
G21 - Cyrathas (conversion above).

2E Rise of the Runelords - Session 3

Note that there are spoilers for Paizo's Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

Session 3: The Glassworks

This adventure happened in mid-November and featured:
- Kobb “One Tusk”, the half-orc mercenary,
- Toran Stargazer, the young thief from Magnimar,
- Goalrath Shadowmoon, the elven cleric of Sarenrae
- Asreal Nom, the savage human ranger, and
- Vardinil, the elven fighter/magic-user.

Summary: The party explores the glassworks, rescues Ameiko and learns a bit about what is going on.

I. Goblins in the Glassworks: Session 3 began with our heroes quickly dispatching eight goblins with the aid of a well placed sleep spell. Unfortunately, two goblins that avoided the effects of the spell fled through a nearby door. Looking around the room the players saw the body of an old man who had been killed and had molten glass poured over him.

II. Rescuing Ameiko: Continuing on the party found some stairs down into the basement where they slew Tsuto and rescued Ameiko. She told the characters that Tsuto was working for his new love Nualia and that they were going to destroy the village and slaughter the inhabitants. They found Tsuto's journal which had a number of disturbing revelations. They also discovered a passage way that led to a cave complex below the Old Light - an old ruin which looks like a huge lighthouse.

After taking Ameiko to safety, the characters returned to the cave complex where they battled a number of fearsome aberrations (Sinspawn). Kobb was seriously injured (-2 hit points, another house rule) so the party returned to the surface and found aid for him at the Cathedral.

The party then spoke with a few NPCs to try to learn as much as they could about the origins of the cave complex. The local sage, Brodert Quink, told them about his theory that the Old Light was a ruin from the ancient empire of Thassilon and that it was an enormous war machine capable of hurling fire more than a mile.

The session ends with the party making plans to return to the cave complex.

Body Count: The party killed eight goblins, Tsuto and three Sinspawn.

Treasure: Once again this session was too long ago for clear recollection but I believe that the bulk of what was recovered was Tsuto's possessions.


DM Notes:

In the published adventure Tsuto is a half-elf multiclassed as a rogue/monk in the adventure. I don't have a good 2E monk class so I re did him as a 3rd level thief with the assassin template. He was equipped with blinding powder, a shortbow with 3 arrows with type A poison and 15 normal arrows, 2 potions of healing, a ring of protection +1, and a fragile glass vial filled with type J poison. Unfortunately, I was rolling poorly so the party quickly took him out even with a couple of goblin helpers.

The other conversion was the Sinspawn - another new creature in the adventure.

No. Appearing: 2-8
AC: 7
Mv: 9
HD: 3
No. Attacks: 2 claws & 1 bite
Damage: 1-4/1-4/1-6 + wrathful bite
Special Attacks: Wrathful Bite - save vs poison or be affected as a Confusion spell for 1d6 rounds.
Special Defenses: Spell Immunity - immune to sleep, charm and hold spells. Sneaky - opponents have a -2 penalty to their surprise roll.
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: Medium
Morale: Fearless (20)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some Preliminary Fresh Thoughts About 2E

As I mentioned earlier, it has been a number of years since I ran/played 2nd edition AD&D. Back in university we were poor students and stuck to the core books strictly due to the economics. Now that I have disposable income, when we decided that the Rise of the Runelords campaign would use 2nd edition, I went out and purchased all of the Complete [Insert Class] Handbooks for all of the classes in the Players' Handbook (so no ninjas, barbarians, monks, etc). I did this for three reasons:

1. I wanted to go for the whole big, messy 2E experience.

2. I wanted to give the PCs as many options as possible and to see if they were able to unbalance things so far as to break the system. And,

3. I like buying D&D books.

Out of the Complete Handbooks, the only things I have excluded have been for flavour reasons. I am trying to make the square peg of 2E fit onto the round hole of Paizo's Golarion setting which uses the Pathfinder system. This has led me to exclude things such as Amazon kits just because there are no Amazons in Golarion. However, I have also taken a very open view as to what to include - an example is the Alaghi pitfighter from the Complete Humanoids Handbook. I do not believe that Alaghi are a race included in Golarion but I didn't figure it would break anything.

How has it held up so far?

As I mentioned in my into post, I am really enjoying it. It is a very different experience than B/X D&D due to both the adventure path structure and the rules.

While I will post some more thoughts on the rules as we go, so far I am really enjoying the wonderful mishmash of rules. With the caveat that we are still at low level, I find the 2E ruleset to be quite tight and efficient. All of the options we have used so far have fit very seamlessly into the core systems.

The most common options we have used so far have been nonweapon proficiencies, kits and the combat options from the Complete Fighters Handbook.

Nonweapon Proficiencies and kits are an excellent way of adding depth to a character that does not interfere or dominate the standard class & race system. Your character is still mostly defined by their race and class but a whole new layer of detail can be added with these two simple subsystems. Nonweapon proficiencies do not exclude characters from trying anything but instead define what they are good or accomplished at. Kits are a great way to develop a characters backstory and roleplaying elements again without stepping on the toes of race and class or being overtly limiting mechanically.

I find the combat options also fit in very nicely with the base combat mechanics. In all of the cases I have seen so far in our campaign, if your character wants to try something a non-standard action it is handled very elegantly using either the standard attack roll or the base attribute check with maybe some modifiers. Very easy.

2E Rise of the Runelords - Session 2

Note that there are spoilers for Paizo's Rise of the Runelord adventure path.

Session 2: The Heroes of Sandpoint
This adventure happened in mid-November and featured:
- Kobb “One Tusk”, the half-orc mercenary,
- Toran Stargazer, the young thief from Magnimar,
- Asreal Nom, the savage human ranger, and
- Vardinil, the elven fighter/magic-user.

Summary: The party explores the village of Sandpoint, meets some residents and tries to figure out what is going on.

I. Noble Favours: The session picks up where the first session ended - battling goblins. The characters rescue a local noble, Aldern Foxglove, from a large goblin who was riding a fierce, hairless, dog-looking creature. Nobleman Foxglove subsequently rewards the party and take a particular interest in Asreal who stood toe-to-toe with the goblin and placed himself directly between the goblin and Aldern. He invites Asreal on a boar hunt and to his residence in Magnimar. Asreal gently but firmly declines.

II. Heroes Around Town: While investigating how the goblins entered to village, the party was received as heroes wherever they went. Word of their prowess at repelling the goblins had spread amongst the villagers.

While discussing the attack with Sheriff Hemlock and Father Zantus it is discovered that the grave of the former head priest, Father Tobyn, who died in the fire five years ago was dug up and the remains stolen during the attack. Next to the excavated gravesite was the grave of Nualia Tobyn and on it was fresh flowers.

III. Compromising Positions: The young rogue, Toran was approached by an attractive Shayliss Vinder, daughter of the owner of the General Store. She asked him to help her get rid of some huge rats in the basement of the store. When he went into the basement, her true motivation became apparent with a cot set up in the back corner. After a few amorous moments, Shayliss' large father came down the steps and discovered young Toran in a compromising position. A good tumbling check later, Toran was past Ven Vinder and fleeing up the stairs without his pants.

IV. The Protectors of Sandpoint: Sheriff Hemlock asked the party for a meeting at the village garrison. There he introduced them to Shalelu, an elven ranger and unofficial scout for the village. He asked the party to stay in the village and keep up a high profile while he travelled to the nearby city of Magnimar to get some troops to protect against any further goblin raids.

A few days later, a servant at the inn where most of the party was staying came and asked them for help. It seemed that the innkeeper, an exotic lady named Ameiko, had gone missing and a suspicious letter from her estranged brother, Tsuto, was found in her room. Following the lead in the note, the party searches the family's glassworks and finds the workers slaughtered and goblins frolicking amongst the gore in the workroom.

The session ended just as the party engaged the goblins in combat.

Body Count: Besides the opening combat this was a roleplaying heavy session. The party killed a Goblin Commando and a Goblin Dog. The party took no casualties.

Treasure: This session was too long ago for me to accurately recall what the party recovered. I do know they were paid a reward by Aldern Foxglove.


DM Notes: The initial encounters for Rise of the Runelords are with Goblins so the conversion has been pretty straight forward. Of course, the published adventure has a number of classed goblins and I wanted to retain some of the flavour so I have given some of the goblins special abilities. There is also a Goblin Commando riding a Goblin Dog which is a new monster in the adventure.

Goblin Warrior 1 = Normal 2E Goblins
Goblin Warchanter = Normal 2E Goblins + the ability to use the spell Taunt twice per day + armed with a whip
Goblin Commando = Goblin Leader as per 2E Goblin entry.

Goblin Dog
No. Appearing: 2-12
AC: 7
Mv: 15
HD: 1
THACO: 19 (note that for monster I use the simple formula of Thaco = 20 - HD)
No. Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1-6 + allergic reaction
Special Attacks: Allergic Reaction - Any non-goblinoid creature that is damaged by a goblin dog’s bite attack must make a save vs poison or break out in an itching rash. Any creature affected by this rash takes a – 2 penalty to Dexterity and Charisma for 1 day.
Special Defenses: Nil
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: Medium
Morale: Average (10)

In the Beginning

Back in November, I began a 2E AD&D campaign running Paizo's Rise of the Runelords adventure path. I have been making a few posts over at Dragonsfoot about the campaign but I have decided to make some blog posts here as well. We are now six sessions in and I am really enjoying it.

We are about 2/3rds of the way through the first instalment and the adventure is quite good. We will see how it holds up as we go as we are not far enough along to have to deal with some of the issues involved with running an adventure path.

The group is made up of two players that I have been playing with for some time now and three new players. I have to admit that I am quite happy with how the group has meshed. So far this has been the funnest group I have had in a while.

Rules, Initial Character Generation and the First Session

For rules we are using:
2E Core
+ some of the Optional rules in the PHB
+ the Complete Handbooks (all material used from these must be vetted first)
+ some house rules

The house rules are basically:
- Humans gain two additional nonweapon proficiencies
- Ambidexterity, Blind-fighting and Two-Weapon fighting (and maybe a few more) can only be taken as Weapon Proficiencies instead of Nonweapon proficiencies
- Material components for spells are abstracted. Arcane materials have been added to the equipment list. They are the catchall for material components for spells. If your wizard casts a spell that requires a 100 gp pearl, I am not going to make sure you have it on your equipment list but I do want you to make sure you have at least 100 gp of Arcane Materials on your character sheet which can be used. If no cost is given for material components the cost will be 10 times the spell level in gps.

Initial Character Generation
We used 4d6, drop lowest and each player rolled two arrays. The player then got to choose which array they wanted to use. The resulting PCs were:

- Kobb One Tusk, a half-orc fighter with the sell-sword kit and specialization with a spear.

- Goalrath Shadowmoon, an elven cleric of Sarenrae (a Sun specialty priest from Complete Priest's Handbook plus allowed to use a scimitar and a few other minor changes).

- Vardinil, an elven fighter/magic-user. I allowed him to spend a couple of weapon proficiencies to be able to cast spells while wearing chainmail. He still has to make an INT check with a penalty equal to the spell level. If he fails he loses the spell. The player has also been warned that I reserve the right to screw with his character if he rolls a "1".

- Asreal Nom, a human ranger (Shoanti for those who are familiar with Paizo's world of Golarion).

- Toran Stargazer, a human thief focused on breaking and entering instead of traps and combat.

First Session
Following character generation the players wanted to get right to the action so we began a short session.

All of the characters were in the village of Sandpoint enjoying the Swallowtail Festival. Toran and Goalrath were eagerly awaiting the dedication of the new cathedral that had been built to replace the old chapel that was destroyed by fire five year ago. Kobb was enjoying some ale. Asreal was scanning the crowd. And Vardinil was listening to the speeches.

Suddenly the festival was interrupted by goblins rampaging through the streets - setting fires, butchering dogs and terrorizing villagers. The characters quickly joined forces and battled the goblins.

The quick session ended after the characters had defeated two different groups of goblins and were about to confront a goblin riding a fierce, hairless, dog-looking creature.

A Different Stream of Thought

This blog is for me to keep my 2nd edition AD&D campaign seperate from my regular blog at Ode to Black Dougal which focuses on my favourite version of D&D - the Basic/Expert version.

While B/X D&D is my favourite, I am really enjoying my 2nd edition AD&D campaign. It is using Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path as its core with some side-quests thrown in.

This is the first time I have run 2nd edition since I was in college, oh so long ago. It is also the first time I have ever run an Adventure Path.

I am hoping this blog gives me the opportunity to relate my thoughts about both 2nd edition AD&D and running an Adventure Path. I am hoping to include session summaries, conversion notes and general thoughts. I hope you enjoy.