Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekend Gaming: Descent!

Sumer of 1982 I was in Jr. High.  My good friend Jon Cook was our regular DM only by dint he had been playing longer than my 2 and half years and he owned most of the hardcover books.  He also owned a copy of D1-2 Descent into the Depth of the Earth.  I remember flipping through it thinking how much fun it would be to run this adventure.  In my mind, it really was what made Advanced D&D "advanced".  That hex map was above and beyond anything I had seen up to that point.  I told myself that once I knew more about the game I would run that adventure.

Well, this weekend some 36 years later I finally made good on that promise.

The Order of the Platinum Dragon rode a mine cart down, down, down to the underdark (before it was even named such) and began their quest to find the drow responsible for getting the giants to raid the human lands.

The first session went great with the Order making it to the first checkpoint.  They tried to bluff their way through, but that only got them so far.  They had to fight their way out of the checkpoint.  They are now holed up in a side cave looking to heal.

(The Order, surrounded on all sides by Drow)

I have a bunch of material from a variety of sources. Enough to keep us busy for a while.

My wife even had to comment on how much fun we all seemed to have!  It really was worth all the weeks of prep and years decades of thought.  This is going to be great.

The boys are already plotting on how they can get the houses into a civil war to gain the advantage.


Bachman said...

Fantastic post. The Greyhawk Underdark is a great resource!

Tim Emrick said...

I started to run D1-2 in high school, but we didn't get very far because that was around the time the group fell apart due to starting jobs and other conflicts. In retrospect, it was probably too "advanced" for my group anyway.

Martin R. Thomas said...

Tim, can I ask you how difficult it is to convert from AD&D rules to 5th Edition? I haven't played a ton of 5th Edition, but I'm running a group through an old AD&D module (S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcant) and I am basically using a retroclone for the rules (I opted for Labyrinth Lord with the Advanced Edition Companion) but it makes it much easier for me as a DM because I don't have to convert anything in the module. However, my players just don't seem to be "getting it" and said that they have no interest in learning a new system (this is a chill Friday night beer-and-pretzels game) and asked if we could switch to something more familiar (which to them means either 3.5/Pathfinder or Savage Worlds). I'm trying to reduce the amount of conversions and prep I'd have to do, so I thought maybe 5th Edition would work, but I wasn't sure how complex the conversions were if it was easy enough to do on the fly. I'd love your insights since you're doing this for your campaign right now.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

5e plays like a "Best of" D&D. I find it very easy to convert and players of previous editions usually find something they like and can relate too.

Characters might feel weaker to the hard core 3.x player, but everything is scaled accordingly.

Martin R. Thomas said...

Thanks so much! I appreciate that.

I've also learned that other than the rules, recently this group has revealed to me that they basically just don't like old 1st Edition style dungeon-crawls with problem solving and traps and "save or die" kind of situations. I grew up with the Moldvay Basic and a bastardized version of Basic/Expert/1E and playing through the old modules, but most of my players seem to have started with Dragonlance and it's colored their perspective of what D&D is like.

Thanks again. I'm strongly considering switching to 5th Edition to help these guys have something more familiar. I'm mainly concerned about switching from descending to ascending AC but my guess is that I'm probably thinking it's more difficult than it really is.