Sandboxium - Exploring Quasqueton

Today I’ve played my second session at the Principality of Sandboxium.

The group is formed by a charismatic Mage with two hirelings, a Fighter, an Assasin, a Bladedancer and two dwarven cousins (Vaultguard and Craftpriest). The Mage obtained a map leading to an old fortress (Quasqueton) and there they went.

I used “B1: Into Search of the Unknown” as basis for the adventure. It was funny to populate the dungeon with monsters and treasure; level 1 is disputed by beastmen at the eastern side and undead at the western rooms and corridors. Level 2 is a Troglodyte/Kobold infested place.

They have explored half level 1, liberated some gnomes, killed some orcs/goblins/hobgoblins and had great fun. There were some tense moments when the fighter had to choose between letting some hobgoblins use their composite bows or make a bold charge against them. He charged, made some great rolls (and good use of the cleaving rules) and saved the day. He even survived the attack of a hobgoblin chief with a mace +1.

At Rogahn’s secret bedroom they found Melissa’s corpse. They recovered and buried it, and then went to the city again (indeed, to the Keep on the Borderlands) to sell, buy and reload.

Funny thing, just when they were leaving the dungeon, the group was attacked by a group of wandering orcs when they were low on hit points and spells. But then, the Mage, who can speak Orcish, actually talked to the orcs, saying they have killed their hobgoblin masters and they were willing to leave the fortress without a fight. And then it was the moment to use that great Reaction table :D. I rolled, and the result wasn’t inmediate fight; I ruled the orcs replyed to the Mage politely (for an orc) and retreated. I loved that!

Now, the group has rested and is again at Quasqueton’s gates. And this time, they have a cart, a group of 0-level workers… and they are committed to take that great marble statue worth 5,000 gold pieces they found in their last visit! :smiley:

It’s being a great campaign ;).

Ah, B1, a highly underestimated module, in my mind. Although it is nominally a ‘beginner’ dungeon, the fact that it is largely unstocked means that you can drop it into any level with little work and save yourself a lot of time due to not having to draw the map.

In the sandbox campaign I’m preparing for the latter half of the year, I plan to use it as a ‘dynamic lair’ that the players can stumble upon accidentally on their way somewhere else. I know its supposed to be a full scale adventure, not just a random encounter, but I like the idea that it will throw them off their guard and give them an opportunity to pursue their current goals or side-trek and spend time delving into Quasqueton, with whatever consequences that entails. It’ll be stocked once they find it.

I have another module I plan to drop randomly as a dynamic lair as well: The Tomb of Horrors. It’s going to pop up whenever it pops up, no matter what level the PCs are. I figure it will make for a great object lesson in knowing when you’re outclassed and when to run…

Indeed, stocking the dungeon has been very interesting; first, I considered just using some of the “prepackaged” stockings some people posted at the dragonsfoot forums, but in the end I just took the monster and treasures lists and filled the blanks myself.

This way, I was forced to develop a story around the monsters list I had, and ideas flowed from it easily. As you said, B1 is an underestimated module I’m finding very rewarding.

Concerning using Tomb of Horrors as a dynamic lair… your alignment is obviously Chaotic, Mr. Luther! :smiley:

I’m not chaotic, just real old school! Let the chips (and characters) fall where they may! It forces the players to do a bit of research and make some preparations before they go blindly diving into some old cairn they run across while on the road.

I’m actually going to introduce two guys to old school D&D in the next couple of weeks and am torn between B1 and B2. B1 is more fun for me, but B2 is a classic as well, with many sessions worth of material crammed into 32 pages and is easily divisible into chunks. I’m also debating whether to use my B/X set or ACKS. The former will really give them the feel of the original game, but ACKS will give them a few more options. Decisions, decisions.

Well, in the meantime, I want to hear more about how your game is going…

When I was preparing my campaign, I read again both B1 and B2. I also had some doubts about using one or another as the first adventure. Then, I talked with some friends and one of them (a great guy, by the way) just said “but B1 is an awful adventure! B2 is so much good!”.

And then, obviously, I had to choose poor old underdog B1 ;).

I think that B1 and B2 can play really well off each other! I used to think that B1 was subpar but when you put some work into and stack it alongside B2 it begins to get very interesting. I am using both of them, I am also dropping T1 into the mix and so far it is running well!