Anatomy of a Campaign: Legacy of New Lago - Part 3

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When deciding which modules I wanted to add to my campaign I began with Dungeon's list of the top 30 modules of all time. Here is the list in its entirety...

  1. GDQ1-7: Queen of the Spiders: Compiling the giants G series, the drow D series, and Queen of the Demonweb Pits
  2. I6: Ravenloft
  3. S1: Tomb of Horrors
  4. T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil
  5. S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
  6. I3-5: The Desert of Desolation
  7. B2: The Keep on the Borderlands
  8. Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
  9. S2: White Plume Mountain
  10. Return to the Tomb of Horrors
  11. The Gates of Firestorm Peak
  12. The Forge of Fury
  13. I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City
  14. Planescape: Dead Gods
  15. X2: Castle Amber
  16. X1: The Isle of Dread
  17. Forgotten Realms: Ruins of Undermountain
  18. C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
  19. N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God
  20. A1-4: Scourge of the Slave Lords
  21. Judges Guild: Dark Tower
  22. S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
  23. WG4: The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun
  24. Forgotten Realms: City of the Spider Queen
  25. DL1: Dragons of Despair
  26. WGR6: City of Skulls
  27. U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
  28. B4: The Lost City
  29. L2: The Assassin's Knot
  30. C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness
After looking at the list some of the names jumped out at me. Classics that I had head of, but had never played in or run before. They were...

G Series: Against the Giants
I6: Ravenloft
S1: Tomb of Horrors
T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil
B2: The Keep on the Borderlands
S2: White Plume Mountain

Going back to the basic idea that I wanted this to be an episodic campaign where the party gathers items of great power, I knew that I had to choose the modules that such items in them already.

The first module to jump out at me was White Plume Mountain. For those of you unfamiliar with the adventure let me give you the general plot. An ancient wizard who many had believed to have been a myth has stolen three powerful artifacts; Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor. The party follow the only clue left by the offending mage, a letter which leads them to the volcanic White Plume Mountain. Once there they must pass through some great traps and battle some strange creatures to recover the items. Basically this module was absolutely perfect. It was even updated to 3.5 by WotC in 2005. Its lead villain, Keraptis, even got me starting to think about my big villain... more on that later.

The next module I decided on was Keep on the Borderlands. Somehow this became #7 on the list, but just about every gamer I've ever talked who played it rated KotBL as the best or second best module they had ever played. I could think of no better way to begin the game than this adventure, but it needed some tweaking. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but rather because it didn't fit the formula of the game. Some quick changes took care of this and it fit seamlessly into the game. Just to show you how good it is Kenzerco made their own version of the adventure called Little Keep on the Borderlands for Hackmaster 4th Edition.

Of all the modules on the list the one that I most wanted to run was Ravenloft. I had never played it, nor ran it, but everyone raved about it. Those who said the Keep was the second best module all set Ravenloft was number one, and I was determined to find out if it was true. Ravenloft has also been converted to 3.5 and even expanded to be an entire campaign. I stuck to the Old School 1st edition Ravenloft adventure for the most part, but did use the 3.5 book for stat conversions.The adventure was very easy to adapt to the campaign format. I simply had the players sent there seeking the symbol of Ravenkind. Though the adventure did not quite go as expected I will say it was a lot of fun to play. Strahd is a classic villain, perhaps the greatest in D&D. His character also left his mark on my BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy)

These adventures were a lot of fun to run and I highly recommend integrating them into your game if they fit. Here are the letters I used as props in during the adventure. You should have seen the players faces when they read the first letter from Ravenloft!

Speaking of that letter from Ravenloft check out this amazing video done by a guy running Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (The 3.5 adventure/campaign).

So that's it for now. In part 4 we'll look at the dreaded BBEG.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 01, 2009 at Saturday, August 01, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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