Tips for running Keep on the Borderlands using Scarlet Heroes? One thing I've noticed is that the stat blocks give HP and not HD. For conversion, I'm dividing by HP by 4 to get HD, under the assumption that the HD are d8 and thus have an average roll of 4. Running this for my gf, who is new to RPGs except for one successful intro session of SH.
They never used averages on rolls in the older modules pre-3.x D&D. That's a modern concept.
I would instead just replace the creature with something appropriate from the system you are using.
Interesting. So the HP in early D&D modules are max rolls?
I think they are just rolls. Some are high, some are low. 4.5 would be a better average but I don’t know that it makes much difference.
Since Keep is full of a bunch of standard monsters, just use the HD they have in which ever bestiary you are using.
Or you could reverse-engineer based on their to-hit/THAC0 numbers. THAC0 19 = 1 HD; 18 = 2 HD, etc.
Something I didn't realize, mostly because so many modules do just list hp, but which version of Keep on the Borderlands do you have? I was just paging through mine because
mentioned thac0 and I didn't recall thac0 being used.
In any case, my version has HD, hp, and no thac0.
The idea in listing the HP totals in the module was to save every GM in the world from having to roll handfuls of d8s. "There are 6 goblins with 1-1 HD. Roll d8-1 to determine each of their HP totals." vs. "There are 6 goblins with 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1 HP."
I never noticed that HD were omitted from those stat lines either, but, if you needed it for anything, you'd look it up in the game's bestiary.
Yeah just use standard HD.
What Ian and Matthew said--the stats for Shou are close enough for most of the demihumans and whichever other collection of OSR beasties you are using should cover any gaps.
Thanks everyone. I guess I wasn't clear enough, the HD/HP is just one thing I noticed, but it's easy enough to convert. I was looking for any other tips or sage advice on running this module using SH.
Ahhh! Got you. I will assume you have already read the 'how to' advice in SH, because that all applies: the greater speed because no need for party, et cetera. B2 was kind of a weird module because the party has to walk to work, and IIRC most other B series modules start with them onsite...so while I would have been aghast at this idea thirty years ago, I'd just skip straight to the Caves of Chaos intro. From there, it's up to your solo hero which caves to explore and in what order. (If your friend prefers to yomp about in search of the dungeon, then by all means ignore me. (grin) )
When running the Caves, keep a weather eye on how the inhabitants respond to events, because it is quite probable the hero will have to go back and forth a few times to rest, recover, resupply, and offload whatever loot and baggage they have seized. This is in the notes for B2, but it can't be overemphasized! Keep it dynamic.
And have fun!
+Henry de Veuve Thanks dude, perfect!
+Gajus Miknaitis Glad to help! Good luck with your game.
Yeah, the thing that will keep the Caves interesting is how the monsters react to being raided. Don't just leave them in their initial caves. Have them make alliances, or have weaker tribes occupy better living space cleared out by the hero, or have weak monsters without prime real estate and not much in the way of valuable heavy things just move out and leave the area. Don't forget that they can and will set traps to alert themselves to future raids and to damage raiders. That is, flip it around and consider it from the cave denizens' perspective: suddenly they're being stalked by an implacable psycho killer. B2 with a lone hero, from the monsters' point of view, is a slasher flick. How will they defend themselves?
+Adam Thornton I haven't run this module in decades, but possibilities that come to mind include having the Orcs or Hobgoblins send out a spoiling attack or two...or put a 'forlorn hope' at the entrance to the ravine to ambush returning heroes. Nothing quite like yomping around only to run into some ticked off Orcs who are coming for you 'cause you beat up their cousin and took his stuff!
+Adam Thornton "Stalked by a psycho killer" makes me think of one of the more provocative possible interpretations of the Red Tide setting (I am doing some reskinning to set B2 between Hohnberg and the Westmark), where the Shou, as a less advanced but sentient race, are the victims of colonialism. The descriptions of them as brutal, evil, and savage are sadly not so different from what was said of non-Europeans during our own colonial period. That read would resonate with my gf, but I'm not sure I want to introduce that kind of realism into my gaming. Part of the reason I do this is to take a break from real world issues. 😯
+Gajus Miknaitis There is that 'delightful' aspect of the setting, yeah. One way of dodging that bullet? Instead of Shou, lots and lots of zombies and skeletons! Or Constructs and golems.
Yeah, it put a bit of a damper on my Red Tide campaign when, on hearing the description of the setting, half my players immediately said "Oh, the Shou are Native Americans?"
So I hit them with trolls instead.
+Dave Sherohman One way of approaching it would be to have the PCs form an alliance with the Shou, for example against the Tide, as suggested in the Red Tide sourcebook.