Adventures In Rhymargg Session 3, Ruins Of Zenopus

  Descending once again into the catacombs,  our brave adventurers came to a room filled nearly four feet high with accumulated trash and debris.  They heard something making scratching noises, but couldn't locate where the noise was coming from.  Attempting to dash across the chamber, no one failed their dexterity check to see if they tripped, but halfway across the five giant rats proceeded to attack.

  The rats apparently had an appetite for hirelings, as Thodric and Gilgard the torch bearers were the randomly chosen focus of the attack.  Thodric almost shuffled off this mortal coil, but Valerius came to his rescue, and the rats were quickly dispatched.  Fearing that more of their kind might arrive or be hidden in the debris, the party decided not to search through the rubbish, and thus missed some treasure.

 Discovering a room containing an old forge and an anvil with strange runes carved into it, Valerius was keen on trying to start a fire to see what would happen.  With only a torch to use, nothing significant occurred, but firewood is on his shopping list once they get back to town.

  Coming across a chamber that had apparently been undisturbed for a long time,  four hidden skeletons assaulted the party, focusing on Valerius at first.  Saren surmised that it was the sword Valerius was wielding from the looted tombs, but who's to say for sure.  Springing to the offense, poor Indel (true to his D&D comic roots) was severely skewered by a skeleton's blade, a natural 20 causing double damage.  Having only four hit points, the thief was reduced to -8, and even after some healing potion was only up to -3.

  With one hireling dead, a PC incapacitated, no healing potions left, and running out of torches, the PC's wisely decided to return to town to recuperate and restock, and try and hire some more help.

  We changed from hand-written character sheets to Dyson's folder-style BX sheets, a definite improvement.  I also made an insert explaining what rolls needed to be higher numbers to succeed, and so on, something the players greatly appreciated.

  More to come...

The Wish Book

  To have these days back again, when a kid could look in the Sears WishBook Christmas catalog and find D&D there in all it's glory...

  The Mentzer Basic and Expert sets, The DMG, PHB, MM, and MM II (apparently even Sears didn't like the Fiend Folio!), and even miniatures!  Now throw in Star Frontiers. Traveller, and Star Fleet Battles, all with miniatures!?

  And then you turn the page and find the Stat Trek RPG and Space Opera!  Sears was awesome (to use the parlance of the times) back in the day!  But, like all fads, it had to come crashing down.  The 1985 catalog was notable for it's total lack of D&D goodness, never mind any other RPG goodies.

  You could still get Crossbows and Catapults though!  Yeah., I had the same reaction too.

Trampier's Treasure

  Stuffed in the back of the Monster Manual is one of my favorite works by David Trampier.  It's one of the rare cases where a full-page illustration was used, but as it appears next to the list of treasure types, the piece really conveys the feeling of overcoming adversity and the reward of lost treasure.  The protagonists are not Elmore heroic types, being rather mundane, everyday looking fellows, and you can tell that guy on the left is feeling he just won the lottery.  It may not be today's definition of a worthwhile RPG goal, but who could resist the lure of fabulous treasure and the opportunity to live a life of luxury. Thank God old school D&D is a product from the time before political correctness became intrusively pervasive, else the game may have been something totally different.

 Orcs have feelings too, you know, and maybe your adventurer should take some court-ordered sensitivity training.

Yeah, that'll be the day!

Adventures In Rhymargg Session 2, Ruins Of Zenopus

  Session two was much longer than the first, though several distractions made things take even longer than it would have, but that's OK.  We're doing this to have a good time, and no one feels rushed to get anything specific accomplished.  The players really started to get into the dungeon a lot more this time, and I can sense that they're getting somewhat attached to the characters.  This surprises me a little as they PC's are just pre-gens, but the players are putting a lot of themselves into making them their own.  I guess you don't need to "make your own" all the time to enjoy a character!

  As  we left the party, they were trying to be more cautious since the trapped chest debacle.  The next area they explored contained a statue that was facing the door they entered from.  None of the other doors would budge, but they quickly figured out that the statue needed to be rotated, facing whatever door they wanted to open.  Valerius was convinced that the doors would lock behind them once they closed, but was unable to persuade Thodric the torch bearer to test the theory out.

  After checking what was behind each door (and they even listened first before opening them!  I'm so proud!), they chose a direction and proceeded, though Valerius forget to check if the door did actually lock behind them.  Forcing open a door to another room, they came upon a woman, chained to the wall, apparently unconscious.  Valerius being the noble fighter that he is, went forward with Thodric to investigate, failing to notice the ogre until it's club smashed into him, sending the warrior sprawling across the room.  Poor Thodric thought he was done for, but then Indel drove the monstrosity back with some well placed arrow shots.

  Every one sprang into action, and the two men-at-arms Norgard and Balmat were instrumental in taking the beast down, Norgard striking the ogre's knee with his hand axe, and Balmat delivering the coup de grace with his spear.  Once victory was theirs, they examined the poor woman, and Saren delivered the best line of the night...

  "Wait, so she's passed out, but is she alive?" she said with a straight face.
  We, of course, haven't let her live that one down yet.

  After everyone settled down from Saren's impromptu comedy routine and consoled the ogre's former prisoner (who was too traumatized to speak at the moment), the party found a four way intersection where two directions were purposely blocked with debris.  The  only open way led to a partially collapsed chamber, and the characters noted that the architecture was different, being an older and more ornate style than what they had encountered before.  Several stone sarcophagi led them to believe this was part of the underground necropolis rumored to exist below the town.

  Valerius decided to start opening the sarcophagi, something Saren (being a cleric) had trouble with, believing the dead should stay undisturbed.  Valerius' opinion won out, and the grave robbing commenced.  This time a sleep gas trap was avoided by very carefully prying the stone lids off with poles.  They have learned to be more careful!  A golden ring, a silver necklace, and a finely crafted long sword (which might become significant later) were the rewards received.  Saren was able to successfully turn the only skeleton that was animated, but the last sarcophagus held a nasty surprise for Valerius.

  Clutched in the bony hands of the interred skeleton was a jeweled dagger, one that reacted violently when Valerius removed if from it's owner's grasp.  It flew into the air, and pursued the poor fighter around the crypt, and eventually forced the party to flee the area, the sound of the dagger repeatedly striking the heavy door they closed behind themselves fading into the darkness as the exploration went on.

  The catacombs continued on, and another chamber full of smashed wooden coffins led to the lair of two ghouls, busily feasting on what remained in the caskets.  Saren tried to drive the ghouls away, but they were too much for her.  The party decided that it was time to unleash Grimslade the magician's true power, and so he cast his one memorized spell, Sleep.  Too bad no one told them the dead don't sleep.

  The ghouls ripped into the group, Indel being the first to discover their paralyzing touch.  Norgard attempted to rescue the poor thief, but was brutally knocked down himself, the party assuming he too was paralyzed.  Once one ghoul was defeated, the other failed it's morale check and fled.  Saren attended to Indel, and then moved to Norgard, but it was too late.  The brave man-at-arms had bled to death during the melee, reaching negative two hit points ( he only had two to begin with).

  At first they treated it like any red-shirt's death, an "Oh well." and a few shrugs, let's move on. When I mentioned that Balmat the other man-at-arms was watching their reactions intently, they changed their tune.  Valerius gave Balmat part of the ghoul's treasure, a bag filled with ten gemstones, and decided that the rest (a bag filled with 50 platinum pieces) would go to Norgard's family.

  By this time the woman was finally able to talk, and the party decided to take her out of the dungeon, since they were near the entrance.  Along the way a metal gauntlet was discovered, a tiny ivory figurine of a wizard in one of the fingers.  They were not sure what to make of it, but Valerius finally decided to try on the gauntlet.  He suffered no ill effects, but it didn't fit well at all.  That little miniature could become very important in the future, depending on the characters actions.

  Lemunda (the ex-prisoner) was taken to the surface, and then the party descended once again into the catacombs.

More to come...

Len Lakofka's Pyrologist

  Len Lakofka put out a fanzine in the Seventies about the Diplomacy board game called Liaisons Dangereuses, and by 1976 there were articles about OD&D being published.  One, in issue #74, was about a sub-class of magic-user called the Pyrologist.  I've been working on updating the class for my Rhymargg campaign, as it fits one of the historical figures very well.

  What's interesting is the strong clerical connection with the class, and there is even a healing spell (cure burns) in the available spell list.  I'm thinking of adding several cleric spells to the Pyrologists's repertoire, to keep that connection alive, since there is no multiclassing in B/X D&D.

  I also need to come up with another name for the class.  Pyrologist is just too Roman for my tastes.  Any ideas?

When D&D Stopped For Me

  After my gaming group in high school broke up in 1989 (more on that in a future post), I still kept up with D&D material published by TSR.  I was hoping I would eventually find a new group, and I didn't want to be left behind by not purchasing the latest and greatest from the Game Wizards!  It was the dawn of Second Edition, and the flood of products just kept increasing every year.  At the beginning of 1994 I moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee, and my purchases slackened up tremendously.  I could no longer afford to keep up with all the material.  Here's 1988 (last year before 2E) and 1994 D&D releases for comparison.

Dungeon Master Design Kit
H4 The Throne of Bloodstone
OP1 Tales of the Outer Planes
REF5 Lords of Darkness
Greyhawk Adventures rulebook
WG7 Castle Greyhawk
City System Accessory, boxed set
FR3 Empires of the Sands
FR4 The Magister
FR5 The Savage Frontier
FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards
I14 Swords of the Iron Legion
FRC1 Ruins of Adventure
DL15 Mists of Krynn
DL16 The World of Krynn
GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim
GZA6 The Dwarves of Rockhome
GAZ7 The Northern Reaches
GAZ8 The Five Shires
GAZ9 The Minrothad Guilds
GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar
Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms Campaign Setting, boxed set
OA5 Mad Monkey vs. Dragon Claws

Monstrous Compendium Annual Vol. 1
Encyclopedia Magica, Vol. 1 A-D
Deck of Encounters Set 1 (Unofficially CR4)
Deck of Encounters Set 2 (Unofficially CR5)
Deck of Psionic Powers (Unofficially CR6)
PHBR12 The Complete Paladin's Handbook
PHBR13 The Complete Druid's Handbook
DMGR6 The Complete Book of Villains
HR6 Age of Heroes Campaign Sourcebook
HR7 The Crusades Campaign Sourcebook
Council Of Worms, boxed adventure
Temple, Tower, and Tomb
Treasure Chest
City Sites
Fighter's Challenge 2
Wizard's Challenge 2
Fighter's Screen
Priest's Screen
Thief's Screen
Wizard's Screen
Fighter's Player Pack
Wizard's Player Pack
Priest's Player Pack
Thief's Player Pack
The Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels, boxed set
City of Splendors Campaign Expansion, boxed set
Elminster's Ecologies, boxed set
FOR5 The Elves of Evermeet
Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast
Marco Volo 1: Departure
Marco Volo 2: Journey
Marco Volo 3: Arrival
Book of Lairs
D&D 6th edition (?)
Poor Wizard's Almanac 3
Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure audio CD Campaign Setting, boxed set
Monstrous Compendium, Mystara Appendix
Hail the Heroes audio CD
Night of the Vampire audio CD
Planescape Campaign Setting, boxed set
Monstrous Compendium, Planescape Appendix
Planes of Chaos Campaign Expansion, boxed set
The Eternal Boundary
Well of the World
In the Abyss
The Deva Spark
Ravenloft Campagin Setting, Revised, boxed set
Monstrous Compendium, Ravenloft Appendix 3: Creatures of Darkness
Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales Campaign Expansion, boxed set
Adam's Wrath
The Awakening
Hour of the Knife
Howls in the Night
RR8 Van Richten's Guide to the Created
RR9 Van Richten's Guide to the Ancient Dead
ALQ5 Ruined Kingdoms
ALQ6 Cities of Bone
ALQ7 Corsairs of the Great Sea
ALQ8 Caravans
CGR3 The Complete Shairs Handbook
City by the Silt Sea Campaign Expansion, boxed set
Monstrous Compendium, Dark Sun Appendix 2
DSE2 Black Spine
Forest Maker
The Will and the Way: Psionicists of Athas
Rogues of Lankhmar
Red Steel audio CD Campaign Expansion, boxed set

  The last new D&D product I bought was in 1995, FOR6 The Seven Sisters.  By this time TSR was releasing updated versions of the DMG and PHB, and there was just no way I was going to replace those volumes a third time.  Hell, I could find things faster in the 1E DMG than the "more organized, better indexed" 2E version.  Since I wasn't actively playing anyways, I never bought anything after The Seven Sisters, there just wasn't any point.

  I heard a few years later that TSR was bought by Wizards of the Coast, and that about ended it for me.  Just like when a small auto manufacturer is bought out by another, the resultant fusion is rarely better than what was before, and I felt that the days of D&D as I knew it were just about over.

  When 2000 rolled around and 3E came out, I remember looking over the new manuals at Barnes and Nobles, and I saw a game that called itself D&D, but I didn't recognize it.  As the old car ads used to say, this is not your father's D&D.  I never really felt anything for 3E, and now with 4E it's the same story.  Call me old fashioned, call me a grognard, what have you, I just can't get into new D&D.  The magic is gone.

The Armor Class Debate

  Is descending armor class better than ascending? Is it easier on a gamer's fragile little mind to use addition or subtraction?  Is it easier to compare numbers that are close in value or very different in value?  Are round numbers easier to compare than odd numbers?  The debate rages on, and probably will forever.

  I'm no mathematician, in fact I have always had trouble with math.  I just don't do it like everyone else (if I'm adding 1469 to 1762 I start with the thousands, then the hundreds, then the tens, then the single digits.  Yes, I know it's wrong. Yes, I know it's harder.  I don't care, it's how my brain works, and you have to go with what you have.).  Personally I couldn't care less what method someone uses (my preference is THAC0), what's really important is this...

  The man-lizrd brushed aside Grimslade with a mighty swipe of it's ragged sword.  The magician never even finished his spell, and as he slumped against the wall, quickly losing consciousness, the final image he saw was the wretched beast barreling down on poor Thodric, the lowly torch bearer.

  Thodric pulled forth his dagger, his only weapon of any consequence.  As the brute charged with a furious shout, he hurled the blade with every ounce of strength and resolve he had.  The rest of the party was down, either passed out from their wounds, or worse, ... dead.  If he failed, then their condition was no matter.  Death would come for them all.

  Bobby grabbed the d20. "What do I need to hit?" , he said.

  "You need at least a 15", came the reply.

  The die rolled across the table,  six pairs of eyes following every bounce and tumble.  The fate of the party rested on this single roll, and the anticipation hung in the air like a thick fog.

  With it's energy spent, the die stopped, the numeral 17 emblazoned on it's top surface.  A shout and cheers rose up from all around the table. 

  Thodric pulled his dagger out of the man-lizard's corpse.  It took some effort, as the blade had bit deep into the creature's flesh.  "Now where does that cleric keep her healing salve?" he thought as he stumbled over to the survivors.

  My players don't care what mathematical formula I use for Armor Class and attack rolls.  They just wanna know what number needs to show when they roll that d20.

Grenadier 2013: Adventuring Party

  This set has two versions, each exactly the same.  The earlier version is from Grenadier's D&D line, while the later version (The Adventurers of the Golden Quest)  is labeled as part of their Dragon Lords series once T$R decided to manufacture their own line of miniatures and took away Grenadier's license.  The D&D version has the superior artwork, though in this case that's not saying much.  The fighter is using his two-handed sword to ... trim the bushes?  Inquiring minds want to know.

  The Dragon Lords box shows a close-up of the half-elf, who is having the worst hair day of his career.  Is the Golden Quest for some conditioner and magic hair spray?  If this is what happens when an elf and a human mates, then no wonder there are no quarter-elves running around.  An evolutionary dead end and fashion faux pas in one package.  The gods really are cruel.

  The inserts are about the same, but the Dragon Lords version comes with a nifty bonus, a product endorsement from one of the founders of D&D, Dave Arneson himself!

 I have many problems with the individual figures themselves. The dwarf looks too tall(and no visible beard!?),  the monk has his face covered like a ninja, the halfling looks more monk than the monk, and then there's Choff.  She is supposed to be a ranger, though her helmet looks like something she borrowed from the kitchen.  And she is flat chested, I mean FLAT chested.  If the insert didn't say so, who would know she's a woman?

  Now, Mr. Hedge Trimmer is done very nice, and the other figures are of Grenadier's usual nice quality, but I just don't picture this as  a set many people would get to use a lot.  Your money is probably better spent elsewhere, unless you have a thing for flat chested women, then this is right up your alley.  And remember, It's Dave Arneson approved!
2 Stars Overall

Summon DM's Familiar

  Sitting unused in the garage was a Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT laptop, a whopping 120mHz processor powering the  Windows 98 equipped beast.  I decided to see if it would make a useful DM's tool, so out from the forced exile she came.  I dressed her up with an appropriate wallpaper, and went about converting the Ruins of Zenopus dungeon into electronic form.

  I put each room description as a separate text file, with all the pertinent information contained there.  I also made some .jpg "DM Screen" tables I could switch to quickly using an image viewer (IrfanView, in this case).  As a bonus, the screen itself acted as a barrier to the players seeing relevant details without being in the way like a traditional DM's screen.  I found it quicker and easier to switch between text files of the rooms rather than sheets of paper or note cards.

  Now, instead of a dust collector, I have a useful tool for game sessions that requires minimal set up, and is much neater than several pages of written notes and tables.  The fact that the laptop is not really useful for regular duty is a plus, as I don't have to co-opt someone else's time online while we are having a game session, or when I want to work on the campaign.  I don't even have to worry about using up all the laptops hard drive space, as all the information fits on an SD memory card.

  I've decided to name her Pseudo-dragon, after the familiar in the Monster Manual , a fitting name I think.

Adventures In Rhymargg Session 1, Ruins Of Zenopus

  Session One of the Rhymargg campaign was rather short, taking about two hours of real time.  Since the players were all new to the game, there were a lot of explanations that slowed things down a bit.  One of the confusing aspects to my group was what was a good roll of the dice.  Was a low number good, was a high number good, aspects that an old-timer like myself has understood for so long that I forgot just how confusing it could all be.  Thusly, session one had the party covering only two rooms of the dungeon, but everyone had plenty of fun!

  The dungeon is the sample from the Holmes basic set, with a few modifications here and there.  For those without the Holmes set, here's the pertinent background information.
  The wizard Zenopus constructed a tower on the low hills overlooking the town.  Rumors have it that Zenopus constructed underground catacombs that linked with the town graveyard and the ruins of an ancient city below the current borough.  Eventually Zenopus disappeared one night as some holocaust engulfed the tower, and it remained abandoned for several years, until th persistent hauntings  forced the town council to action.  A great catapult was rolled through the city streets, and in a fury of destruction the sorcerer's citadel collapsed to the ground.

   There is still an entrance to the underground catacombs, though only the foolish do not shun it.  That's where the PC's came in, Valerius the fighter, Saren the cleric, Indel the thief, and Grimslade the magic-user.  I provided them with some henchmen to help them along the way, Thodric and Gilgard the torch bearers, and Norgard and Balmat, men-at arms.

  Down into the depths they went, eventually encountering six goblins.  The goblins stayed out of the characters torch-light at first, but when Saren attempted to intimidate them with her holy symbol, they reacted violently, attacking with wild cries of "Bree-yark!".  The party dispatched three of goblins before the rest retreated out the room, but with only two party members still conscious after the melee.  Since clerics in the B/X rules don't receive their first spell until second level, I inserted a multiple dose healing potion into the goblin's treasure, the party really needed it.

  After everyone had recovered from the fight, they took to exploring the goblin's possessions, finding a chest that was trapped with sleeping gas.  Since everyone was gathered 'round the chest, they all fell victim to the trap, except Saren.  Luckily there was no random encounters while the group was incapacitated, and they swore from then on to be more careful and cautious.

  More to come...

Cedar Point In 1969

  I can't look at a well done map without being transported in my mind to the location depicted.  My imagination takes the elements presented and fleshes them out, like looking at a framed house and seeing it completed as a home, curtains in the windows and all.   There's a magic to superbly crafted maps, something the captures the very  essence of a place at a certain time.  No matter the changes that may occur over time, the snapshot a map provides freezes time itself, if only in our imaginations.

  Today's map is of Cedar Point amusement park in 1969.  It's huge, 6592 x 4197, but so worth the effort to peruse it's contents in detail.  This is a time before Cedar Point became the huge Thrill Park it is now, when a family could enjoy a more relaxed excursion.  If you've been to Cedar Point anytime in the last decade, you'll be amazed at what used to be, and while I never went there until the mid-seventies, it was much as this map depicts.  Enjoy your stroll in the past, I certainly did!

Humble Beginnings

  We've started a new campaign, one I'm calling Rhymargg (more on the name later), sandbox style and using the B/X D&D ruleset, of course with some house rules.  Right now I have three players, all newbies to RPG's, so things are going slowly, but it's great fun to watch them figure things out.

  The characters are all human, Valerius the fighter, Saren the cleric,and Indel the thief.  There's a fourth, Grimslade the magic-user, controlled by me and ready as a backup should someone else join.  All are pre-gens to help things along, and ease the shock should one of them fall prey to the dangers of the dungeon.  Bonus points if you recognize the names from the old D&D ads in Marvel comics!  I went with one of each of the four archetypes to introduce everyone to the four basic styles of characters right off.  Of course they have some henchmen, two men-at-arms and two torch bearers for assistance.

I'll detail how the adventures going, and highlight some of the house rules we're using, as the campaign develops.  Right now the first session involved exploring two rooms, and fighting six goblins that almost resulted in a total party kill right off!  Baby steps, as they say.

  About the name Rhymargg, I based it on the main inspirations I'm using for the campaign, being GYgax, ARneson, Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, and GReenwood.  Sorry Moldvay and Mentzer, but you have to share an M, just couldn't make it work with two M's.

TSR 5501 Star Frontiers Player Characters

  This set from1983 is a decent starter set for a Star Frontiers campaign, but the title is a little misleading.  Called Player Characters, this set of twelve figures includes two Sathar, which are assuredly not PC's in the Star Frontiers game.  That doesn't mean that a creative GM couldn't have Sathar PC's, just that other figures would probably been more appropriate.

  You get two each of Yazirians, Vrusk, and Dralasites, one with, and one without spacesuits.  There are four humans, three males and one female, but the human in a spacesuit that is rocketing off the surface is just about useless.  Yes, it looks nice, but as a playing piece it's utility is limited.  It's nice to see the scale of the different races, (the Sathar are HUGE), especially the Vrusk.  

  The figures are average in their presentation, with no real standout among the lot.  Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Sathar and the rocket dude replace with more PC oriented figures, which would have pushed the utility of the set up a notch or two.  It's a great set if you can get it cheap.

Three of Five Overall

Willingham's Dragon

  Appearing in the 1981 Basic Rulebook on the title page, this piece by Bill Willingham is one of my personal favorites.  Every magic-user character I ever played over the last thirty years (boy, that makes me feel old!) was based on this illustration, and the spell cast is a wonderful interpretation of Magic Missile.  The female elf actually has effective armor (obviously she didn't go shopping at Queen Victoria's Secret) instead of a chainmail bikini, and the fighter is actually using a bow instead of a gigantic two-handed sword that even Ahrnold would have trouble wielding.

  But then we get to the dwarf ( I assume  he's a dwarf, being short, bearded, and sporting a hammer), and I've never been able to decide just which side he is on in this melee.  He's facing the opposite direction of the other characters, and the dragon appears to be shielding him with it's leg.  Even his armor matches the dragon's natural scales, like it was made from older shed scales that happened to be laying about the dragon's lair.  It's always bothered me, and I've never been able to come up with a satisfactory conclusion.  Anyone else ever thought along these lines, or am I just reading too much into the picture?

From Dinosaurs To Dungeons

  It all started with my drawing of a dinosaur in Mrs. Kline's third grade class.  I was a huge dinosaur freak when I was little, with several books on the subject, and of course the plastic miniatures.  If it ended in -saurus, I was all over it.  Turns out I wasn't the only dino-head in class, as the kid next to me, David Antolovich, was just as much a geek-o-saurus as I was.  We became friends, a friendship that would last throughout school.
I had this very set when I was a kid.  The good old days!
  During summer break in1981, David invited me over to try a new game he had.  I was thinking another new Intellivision game was what he was referring to, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  David had the new Basic D&D set, and wanted to try it out.  Since it was his game, he was the DM.  The set came with B2:The Keep on the Borderlands, so that is what David used as our first adventure.

  I don't remember what character i ran, being almost thirty years ago, but I do remember the final encounter of the adventure.  After entering another of the seemingly endless rooms in the Caves of Chaos, my party came across a witch, complete with pointy hat, feline familiar, boiling cauldron,etc.  To say she was displeased with our arrival was an understatement, this bitch was pissed!  After tossing a few ultimately ineffective spells our way, she decided to beat a hasty retreat.  David proudly stated she was doing a summoning spell, smoke belched forth from the cauldron, electricity sparked through the air, and when the cloud cleared the result was... <roll of the dice>...

  A gnome?! (You could just hear the disappointment in David's voice.  The dice had betrayed him!)

  David declared that the roll was null and void (except in the state of Vermont, 10cent refund in CA), and rolled again.  This time the dice rewarded him with a goblin, a much better choice in David's opinion.  The poor little goblin did his best cover his mistresses retreat, and she did manage to get away.  We chased after her, but by then it was time for me to return home, and we never did finish that particular adventure.

  It was the start of a lifelong hobby, and we gamed all through school, usually with David as the DM.  While the group didn't last past high school as we all went our separate ways, I sure do miss those sessions.  We were so into the game that we never bothered to get into Nintendo.  While everyone else was trying to rescue the princess, we were rescuing the world from evil, sometimes even the whole universe.  Beat that Mario!

  I'm going to have to introduce my new players to the wonders and mystery of the Keep on the Borderlands. It's somewhere I think everyone should adventure in at least once!

  PS- There is no witch in B2 :The Keep on the Borderlands, I've checked.  David added her, and probably a whole lot more I don't recall.  Thanks for going the extra mile David!
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