Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
Post Reply
Corrilwynn
Skobbit
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:37 am

Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Corrilwynn »

Fellow RPG enthusiasts, I am suffering from the "paradox of choice," and I seek to enlist your aid in helping me make a decision on which adventure to run.

In a couple weeks, I will be introducing four of my nephews to tabletop RPGs. They are ages 11-15. We will be playing every couple of weeks over Roll20. I have material on my shelves from all editions (except 4th) of D&D. I've settled on C&C as my ruleset of choice for its old-school feel, simplicity, emphasis on story over mechanics, and ease of conversion of all editions of D&D. I want my nephews first experience with RPGs to be super awesome and memorable. I've decided to go with a hexcrawl sandbox (either in Wilderlands or Mystara) to let their creative minds run wild.

My question is, which of these adventures would be the best introduction for my nephews to this great hobby?

Keep on the Borderlands
Return to the Keep on the Borderlands
Dungeon Crawl Classics #28: Into the Wilds
Temple of Elemental Evil
The Lost City of Barakus
The Umbrage Saga
Stoneheart Valley
Something else?

Also, would you run Wilderlands or Mystara?

Thanks for helping an indecisive fella out.

User avatar
Aramis
Lore Drake
Posts: 1693
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Aramis »

Corrilwynn wrote:Fellow RPG enthusiasts, I am suffering from the "paradox of choice," and I seek to enlist your aid in helping me make a decision on which adventure to run.

In a couple weeks, I will be introducing four of my nephews to tabletop RPGs. They are ages 11-15. We will be playing every couple of weeks over Roll20. I have material on my shelves from all editions (except 4th) of D&D. I've settled on C&C as my ruleset of choice for its old-school feel, simplicity, emphasis on story over mechanics, and ease of conversion of all editions of D&D. I want my nephews first experience with RPGs to be super awesome and memorable. I've decided to go with a hexcrawl sandbox (either in Wilderlands or Mystara) to let their creative minds run wild.

My question is, which of these adventures would be the best introduction for my nephews to this great hobby?

Keep on the Borderlands
Return to the Keep on the Borderlands
Dungeon Crawl Classics #28: Into the Wilds
Temple of Elemental Evil
The Lost City of Barakus
The Umbrage Saga
Stoneheart Valley
Something else?

Also, would you run Wilderlands or Mystara?

Thanks for helping an indecisive fella out.
If they are new to gaming, I am not sure a complete sandbox is the right approach out of the gate. I would begin with a fairly tight module, then open it up after they get a feel for the rhythm of the game.

The modules you have listed are all well thought of. What I like to do for a sandbox is take bits and pieces of modules I like and have them laid out in my mind. Then let the players drive towards whichever piece strikes their fancy. So I might take the evil temple and the minotaur from B2, the village of Hommlet and moathouse from Temple of Elemental Evil, bits from Into the Wild that interest me etc. then I just shuffle the pieces around as they interact with them. You would be surprised how much of a consistent story emerges from these "random" elements.

But as I said, a bit more of a story feel might work better at the outset, and then you can evolve into more hexcrawling. One starter module I always recommend is U1- Sinister secret of Saltmarsh. Haunted houses, pirates, mysteries, monsters! Also, it breaks into pieces so would accomodate some of the mixing and matching I mentioned: open with the haunted house, then a bit from B2, or maybe some other stuff, then back to [spoiler] in Saltmarsh. Also, the module does not come with a pre written Saltmarsh town, so use Hommlet or Restenford (from module L1) or whatever you prefer.

Another great starting module is N1- Cult of the reptile God, but that is a) a bit creepy for younger kids and b) a bit difficult not to get slaughtered so I would start with a few pieces cobbled from the above modules first to season them a bit then move into N1

(these modules are all available at rpgnow, I think)


As for setting, both Mystara and Wilderlands are great. Wlderlands is set up as the ultimate sandbox, so you might prefer that, but it has some gonzo elements to it, whereas Mystara is more conventional.

Remember to encourage the kids to just describe their actions in everyday language, then you interpret it in SIEGE terms, and then just have them roll a die. That kind of free flowing activity (rather than a whole bunch of looking up rules) will probably do a lot to ensure an enjoyable first experience

User avatar
kreider204
Unkbartig
Posts: 830
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:01 pm
Location: NE Wisconsin

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by kreider204 »

Welcome!

One that comes to mind is B3: The Palace of the Silver Princess. It's not my favorite module in general, but I do think it makes a good intro module, especially for younger players. It has a bit of a fairy-tale feel to it, and the adventure has a pretty straight-forward story with clear goals. It's available via drivethrurpg if you're interested.

EDIT: Oh, and I'd pick Mystara over the Wilderlands for a first setting. A good classic feel, not too much genre-mixing.

User avatar
Relaxo
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3350
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:00 am

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Relaxo »

Welcome to the crusade!

You could always set out an even number of modules and simply roll for it.... :D

For first time players, a dungeon crawl is a good start because if it's too freeform sandbox of a game, they can be baffled by too many options. In a dungeon, what to do next is more straightforward.

P.S. Coolest uncle ever!
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781

User avatar
Snoring Rock
Lore Drake
Posts: 1003
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:00 am
Location: St. James, Missouri

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Snoring Rock »

I have a group on year 2 now and they were new to RPG's. I started them in the Wilderlands BECAUSE they were new. They did not take to hex-crawling right away. It took some time. Now they have favorite places to go ; City State, Thunderhold, Tegel. They have base camps in each of these locations they use to base long-term adventures from. I think the sandbox thing is up to how the CK runs it and how the player interact with it.some time. They have now developed favorite place to go; City State, Thunderhold, Tegel.

For a more structured, linear adventure set, I would us Paizo/Pathfinder Adventure Path (Burnt Offerings). It is easily kept to one quick adventure across a few locations and then to a dungeon. Another first off would be a home brew of your own that is short and sweat.

Crucible of Frey (Necromancer Games) has a an easy linear feel as well. B1, and the others you have listed are fantastic choices too. I would throw in something quick and easy and see where they go.

User avatar
JediOre
Red Cap
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Missouri

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by JediOre »

I'd go with B2, The Keep On the Borderlands.

I've started several gamers here. A close second was mentioned earlier, B3 Palace of the Silver Princess. That would be a good choice.

If you go with B2, I'd have "Into the Wilds" be further down the road off map several days travel. I've always thought Gygax's module would be nicely paired with Harley's adventure that was inspired by this classic work.
In the words of my good friend Trevor, "Hey, put an arrow in that flying mummy! What could possibly happen?"

User avatar
Rigon
Clang lives!
Posts: 7202
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Conneaut Lake, PA

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Rigon »

I like N5 Under Illefarn. It's an intro module for Forgotten Realms, but could be used anywhere really.

R-
Castles & Crusades: What 3rd Edition AD&D should have been.
TLG Forum Moderator
House Rules & Whatnots
My Game Threads
Monday Night Online Group Member since 2007

User avatar
Aramis
Lore Drake
Posts: 1693
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Aramis »

Rigon wrote:I like N5 Under Illefarn. It's an intro module for Forgotten Realms, but could be used anywhere really.

R-
I hear that one is "mind-blowingly" good.

;)

PeelSeel2
Ulthal
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Wayne, NE

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by PeelSeel2 »

B2. Currently running it for my son and his friends. :-)

Treebore
Mogrl
Posts: 20660
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Arizona and St Louis

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Treebore »

I would combine Keep on the Borderlands with Assault on Blacktooth Ridge. Between teh two plenty of little caves to explore along with a nice little base of operations to get started with, and then its easy to expand as needed from there.

As for setting, I don't see how you could go wrong with WL or Mystara. Personally I prefer WL, but that is because so much of it is left basically "blank". So I feel I can do whatever I really wish most of the time. With Mystara, I feel I have more setting "history" I have to take into account when I add things that aren't for Mystara. Even though when you get down to it, Mystara is probably more of a blank slate than WL is.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

User avatar
Rigon
Clang lives!
Posts: 7202
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Conneaut Lake, PA

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Rigon »

Aramis wrote:
Rigon wrote:I like N5 Under Illefarn. It's an intro module for Forgotten Realms, but could be used anywhere really.

R-
I hear that one is "mind-blowingly" good.

;)
Yes, yes it is. ;)

R-
Castles & Crusades: What 3rd Edition AD&D should have been.
TLG Forum Moderator
House Rules & Whatnots
My Game Threads
Monday Night Online Group Member since 2007

Corrilwynn
Skobbit
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:37 am

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by Corrilwynn »

Treebore wrote:I would combine Keep on the Borderlands with Assault on Blacktooth Ridge. Between teh two plenty of little caves to explore along with a nice little base of operations to get started with, and then its easy to expand as needed from there.

As for setting, I don't see how you could go wrong with WL or Mystara. Personally I prefer WL, but that is because so much of it is left basically "blank". So I feel I can do whatever I really wish most of the time. With Mystara, I feel I have more setting "history" I have to take into account when I add things that aren't for Mystara. Even though when you get down to it, Mystara is probably more of a blank slate than WL is.
Where on the A series map did you place the Keep? How did you tie together A1 and B2?

Thank you everyone for the recommendations.

It's been about 15 years since I ran any sort of old school game, so I decided to go with the A series since it's written for C&C and I think that will make it easier to learn the system that way. I'm also going to use Aihrde. I just want to keep it simple and get comfortable with the rules and the old school style before adding/converting too much. I also think B2 is about the perfect starting adventure, so I want to plug that in, though.

I'm thinking I'll start my nephews on A0, The Rising Knight. They'll probably be townsfolk in Malforten who volunteer to hunt down Gritznak. After that I'll have to get them to the Keep and/or Botkinburg

tylermo
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2579
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Please help me choose an introductory adventure.

Post by tylermo »

Good choice! I've read a signficiant portion of A0-A12, and I'm pleased with it. As for actual game play, my group is now part way through A3. Troll Lord's adventures are priced right compared to some others in the industry. Let us know how it goes.

Post Reply