Running X2 in ACKS: Thoughts?

Howdy forum.

So I’ll be running X2: Castle of Amber this weekend with ACKS. This is our group’s second attempt at doing an old-school game: we also had a pretty unpleasant experience with Labyrinth Lord earlier this summer. I’m honestly just curious if anyone here has run the module (with ACKS or anything else) before and has advice, thoughts, whatever.


The only thing I can say from having the module (but not playing through it) is to make sure you’re familiar with the overall plot so that you can drop clues (and/or red herrings) to the players. It has a number of things that the players have to do to advance the plot, but they’re not always obvious.

Be aware of the locations of each key and each copy of the scroll. The keys are in the room with the Rakasta (room 3, I believe); the fountain in the indoor forest with the giant amoeba, the chapel around the neck of the bone golem; and in the room titled “Bobbing For a Key” in the dungeon. You only need three of the four to open the gate.

BTW, the whole “Gate of the Silver Key” thing is very much taken from Lovecraft, while most of the module is taken from Clarke Ashton Smith.

As for the scroll, there’s on in the library, one in the amber golem if you smash it open, and I’d say at least one or two more.

I also like to have the killer trees somewhat ambulatory so that they can chase the characters if need be. The colored rooms, like green with the giant, blue with the salamander, etc., are always fun if a bit whimsical even for X2.

Finally, I would try to flesh out Averoigne or at least know how to simplify it so that it doesn’t get in the way of the climax. You would probably do well to consider the foreign province to be twice the adventure as the castle itself, if you really want to get into things. And a working familiarity with the original works by Smith comes in VERY handy! Good luck!

Micah Blackburn was running X2 for a while. I think he modified Averoigne quite a bit, but the Castle was run pretty straight. You can find it here:

Cool, thanks for the link; that was super helpful.

I’m glad to hear it! My play reports show the party on the move through the castle and highlight a lot of my changes. I completely pitched their homework in favor of something I made up (post apocalypse fantasy where the Ambers escaped before it could be ruined). It was a hit with some of my players but a bit frustrating to others.

There are more play reports to come. With the new baby though I’m off blogging for awhile till I can devote time to it.