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Keep on the Borderlands Dungeon Module B2:…

Keep on the Borderlands Dungeon Module B2: Dungeons & Dragons Introductory… (original: 1980; edição: 1981)

de Gary Gygax (Autor)

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Título:Keep on the Borderlands Dungeon Module B2: Dungeons & Dragons Introductory Module for Character Levels 1-3
Autores:Gary Gygax (Autor)
Informação:TSR Hobbies, Inc. (1981), Edition: 1st Edition, 28 pages
Coleções:RPG - "Red Box" D&D, Sua biblioteca

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B2: The Keep on the Borderlands de Gary Gygax (1980)


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Packaged for several years with the introductory Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, The Keep on the Borderlands is the "classic" role-playing supplement that is owned by more people than any other. This adventure was the first exposure to D&D specifically, and role-playing in general that large numbers of gamers experienced, serving as a gateway that transformed many people into long term gamers.

There is a lot to like in this adventure module. It contains a surprising amount of material for a mere 32 pages - including a base of operations with a small but somewhat functional community for the PCs to call home, a somewhat sketchily described wilderness area, and an extensive dungeon complex for the heroes to adventure in. In addition, the supplement includes charts for ease of play, equipment lists, advice for a novice DM for running a D&D game, and tips on expanding on the material presented and creating one's own gaming material.

Unfortunately, the module is annoyingly incomplete in other areas. Not only is the Keep given no name, none of the inhabitants of the place have individual names - they are instead referred to as the Blacksmith, the Scribe, the Curate, and so on. This may never become apparent to the players, as the DM could simply name all of the inhabitants himself, but it seems to me that saddling the DM with this task is counter to the positioning of the adventure as an introduction to the game for those new to running a game.

The residents of the Keep are also given precious little personality - they are almost all supposed to be good at their chosen profession, and some are described as "gruff" or given other quirks like "prefers small beer", but when it comes to guiding a DM on how the various personalities are to interact with the PCs, the DM is left adrift. How do the inhabitants feel about nonhumans, for example, or adventurers in general are questions that are left completely unaddressed. These types of oversights wouldn't be so glaring in my eyes if the text didn't describe in painstaking detail where each resident of the Keep stashed their personal savings, an element that probably would only come up in play in the somewhat unlikely event that the PCs decided to rampage through the Keep sacking and looting the fortress.

There is also precious little advice on how to move the PCs from the Keep itself to the Caves of Chaos (the main adventuring area) - while one could come up with a plot in which the evil inhabitants of the Caves are raiding commerce near the Keep, or have been attacking nearby residents (which the DM would have to invent, since no there are no friendly NPCs living outside the very well guarded gates of the Keep), or some similar situation, there is nothing in the text of the module that guides one towards this sort of story development. Further, while there are some hints about various alliances and some potential internecine conflict between the various residents of the Caves, there is little guidance on how the PCs might discover these facts, or exploit them to their advantage. Once again, for a product that was clearly intended to be an introduction to the game, these sorts of gaps are inexcusable.

And these criticisms don't even begin to consider the sorts of complaints based upon verisimilitude that one might consider: with no farms or known nearby source of food, how do the inhabitants of the Keep stay fed? For that matter, what do the inhabitants of the Caves live on? The ruler of the Keep is described as a Castellan. Who does he answer to? And so on and so forth.

In the hands of an experienced DM who could flesh out what is provided by the text, this module could serve as a great launching point for an ongoing campaign. For a new DM, it could be a serviceable introduction, but has so many incomplete elements that playing it will likely leave both the DM and players with a somewhat hollow experience. ( )
4 vote StormRaven | Apr 24, 2009 |
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