Thursday, March 22, 2018

Storm King's Thunder Retro-Conversion - pt. 1 (SPOILERS)

Storm King’s Thunder
Retro-converted to OD&D
(Includes spoilers)

I’ll be using a combination of the original three booklets and the Greyhawk Supplement (1974-mid-1975).

The main problem with retro-converting from “5E” is that the new version has this ridiculous notion that you should level up after fighting just a few goblins and taking their paltry treasure. If awarding XP only for treasure gained -- as most interpret the OD&D rules -- then no one can level up by the point the adventure says they should be 2nd level. If awarding 100 xp per Hit Die of monster, as some interpret the OD&D rules, then a thief is halfway to 2nd level and a cleric is close to that -- and that is assuming only four characters. I’m increase the number of goblins encountered and double treasure, and it still won’t be enough to level anyone.   

I would put Nightstone on a peninsula (maybe the castle can stay on an island) with twice as many buildings. The current map looks like a tiny hamlet, and as such would not have a castle and temple with it. 

Players should not expect such a cakewalk as to encounter these goblins separately; these are starting locations for goblins and they will rush to join any nearby fight they can hear or see.

1. Drawbridge
There is a 3 in 6 chance of spotting the tracks. 
2D. East Tower
2 goblins: AC 7 (leather); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 3, 2; #At 1 morningstar; Dmg 1-8. In addition to the locket, the goblins guard a sack of 25 gp.
2E. West Tower
3 goblins: AC 6 (leather & shield); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 3, 3, 1; #At 1 spear; Dmg 1-6. In addition to the perfume, one of them has a sack of 16 gp.
3. Square
2 dire wolves: AC 7; MV 15”; HD 3+3; hp 18, 10; #At 1 bite; Dmg 1-8. 
4C. Southwell Farm
There wouldn’t actually be any farms on an island this tiny, so this is just an aviary where the village’s roosters are/were kept. 
3 goblins: AC 6 (leather & shield); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 3, 2, 1; #At 1 short sword; Dmg 1-6. The ring is actually worth 300 gp.
4E. Summerhawk Residence
The hidey-hole is found as a concealed door. The pouch also contains 2 gems worth 10 gp each.
4F. Agannor Residence
Only thieves have a chance of unlocking the front door, but any class has a 2 in 6 chance of getting through the shutters (one try per PC). There is also a locked box containing 75 gp.
4G. Nesper Farm
Blik’s pouch has 23 sp in it instead.
4H. Xelbrin Residence
There is a locked box containing 64 gp and 17 sp instead of the pouch.
Temple (this is actually a shrine, not a temple. There’s no way a community this small could support a temple)
5B. Bedroom and Steeple
4 goblins: AC 6 (leather & shield); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 5, 3, 2, 1; #At 1 spear or 1 short sword; Dmg 1-6. A locked box holds 40 more gp.
6. Graveyards
This area needs more variety of foes to fight; I’m tossing in 5 skeletons here to give the cleric a chance to turn undead. AC 7; MV 6”; HD 1/2; hp 3, 2, 2, 1, 1; #At 1 club; Dmg 1-6.
6A. Nandar Crypt and Graveyard
Kudos to the writers for putting an unbeatable monster here; that’s very old school. Of course, a restriction needs to be put on the monster so it cannot leave this area so the PCs have a chance to run away and survive. It would also make old school sense to have Nandar interred with a silver dagger, perhaps one held in a jeweled scabbard worth 600 gp.
7B. Hayloft
2 goblins: AC 6 (leather & shield); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 2, 1; #At 1 pitchfork; Dmg 1-6.
8. Nightstone Inn
8A. Dining Room
There is a 4 in 6 chance of noticing the goblin is freshly killed.
8B. Kitchen and Pantry
2 goblins: AC 6 (leather & shield); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 5, 1; #At 1 short sword; Dmg 1-6. A small chest holds an additional 46 gp.
8F. Kella’s Bedroom
Kella Darkhope is a robber: AC 7 (leather); MV 12”; T 3; hp 9; #At 1 short sword or 1 light crossbow bolt; Dmg 1-6. SA backstab for x2 damage. She doesn’t have a flying snake on her arm; she has a poisonous snake (bite - save vs. poison or unable to do anything for 1-6 days) in a chest in her room, guarding 16 gp.
10. Windmill
4 goblins: AC 7 (leather); MV 9”; HD 1-1; hp 5, 5, 4, 3; #At 1 light crossbow or 1 broadsword; Dmg 1-6 or 1-8. They also have 16 sp between them.
11. Bridge
Jumping from one part of the bridge to the other has a 4 in 6 chance of success. Damage for missing is 1-6 points.
14. Nandar Keep
To keep the Keep from being overrun easily, it needs more surviving guards.
14A. Great Hall
8 veterans: AC 3 or 2 (plate, & shieldx4); MV 6”; F 1; hp 8, 6, 6, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3; #At 1 halberd or 1 long sword; Dmg 1-10 or 1-8.
The ring is worth 1,500 gp.  
14D. Upstairs Hall
I’m adding a warrior here: AC 2 (plate & shield); MV 6”; F 2; hp 10; #At 1 bastard sword; Dmg 1-8.
14E. Master Bedroom
The flying sword is a nonmagical trap that springs once. The chest contains an additional 1,175 gp, and the necklaces are worth 400 gp each.

Note: Lawful PCs should not get any XP for looting anywhere in town. If they did not loot, the guards offer them the 1,175 gp as a reward for slaying/capturing/running off all the goblins.

After Nightstone
As I said, there’s no chance of anyone leveling in this scenario -- but it does put them in a better position to adventure in a real dungeon, like, oh, say Quasqueton. They can use Nightstone as a base of operations to go In Search of the Unknown from. This works out even better for the “Special Events in Nightstone” since, as written, there was no reason for the PCs to stick around after killing off the handful of goblins originally here.   

Seven Snakes (encountered after someone hits 2nd level, NOT before their first “long rest.”
Xolkin Alassandar, swashbuckler: AC 1 (plate & Shield +1); F 5; hp 21; #At 1 Longsword +1; Dmg 1-8. SA Ring of Protection +1 and Potion of Invulnerability. His gold ring is worth 500 gp.
6 bandits: AC 4 (chain & shield); F 1; hp 8, 8, 4, 3, 2, 1; #At 1 short bow or 1 long sword; Dmg 1-6 or 1-8.  

After two of the PCs have leveled up:   

Ear Seekers
Gurrash, Orc War Chief: AC 1 (plate & Shield+1); HD 5; hp 30; #At 1 Morningstar +1; Dmg 2-9.
Norgra, Orc Eye of Gruumsh: AC 2 (plate & shield); Cl 2; hp 8; #At 1 morningstar; Dmg 1-8. SA spell - Cure Light Wounds.
20 orcs: AC 4 (chain & shield); HD 1; hp 8, 7 x5, 6 x2, 4 x2, 3 x5, 2, 1 x4; #At 1 heavy crossbow or 1 broadsword x6, 1 battle axe x7, 1 spear x6; Dmg 1-6 or 1-8 x6, 1-8 x7, 1-6 x7. 

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