Sunday, November 22, 2015

Actual Play Of The OD&D Adventure - B3 Palace of the Silver Princess With The Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Game

I spent most of my day playing Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea with friends, and running a module that has caused more then a few legends around the age old school gaming campfires. I'm talking about B3 Palace of the Silver Princess. Yes Wiki has the whole sorted affair of the naughty artwork bit; "It is notable as being the D&D module that was recalled on the same day it was released, then rewritten and re-released some months later. The original version, with an orange cover, was written in 1980 by Jean Wells.[2][3] When the orange version was recalled (and most copies destroyed), the module was rewritten by Tom Moldvay and released with a green cover. Writing credit on the second version was given to both Moldvay and Wells, although there was very little of Wells' original content in Moldvay's version."
 I'm going to concentrate on Moldvey's version of the module. Which when I ran it completely changed it.

B3 is a mess and the plot doesn't match maps and some of the levels at all. There are standard monsters in places where they shouldn't be, and on the whole it needs some major work. Right out of the gate B3 is a bit a mess but what I did was take the module and whip around some of the elements and have the entire adventure location trapped in time within the red light and the PC's stumble upon the palace, its inhabitants, and the adventure in progress. There's a feel to it as if the spell just went snap and the trap has been sprung upon upon the palace and its inhabitants. This sort of a feel works and works very well. It became just another location within the bounds of local legends of Hyberborea. The plot is straight out of mythology and legend; "The plot of Palace of the Silver Princess revolves around a country frozen in time by a strange red light. The only seemingly unaffected location and the apparent source of the glow is the royal palace. The adventurers must restore the flow of time and save the country."  I slowed the corrupting nature of the red light, gave the players the opportunity to loot the dark fairy tale of a castle adventure location. There are some really good bits scattered throughout  B3 and those I brought to the fore. I can't say that this was an original idea. Many of the ideas I lifted straight out of the Dungeon of Signs blog review. Well sort of.

I had the evil cleric, his were wolf bodyguard and the orcs become a major issue. Because the palace had become unstuck in time and the presence of Arikof the Hundred Eyes patron of Forbidden Secrets & the lost was there causing all kinds of havoc the PC's had their hands full. Vampire roses and archer bushes claimed two PC's lives and they really had a fight on their hands. The players are convinced that the Eye is somehow related to their experiences with a Red and Pleasantland I think I might have pushed the dark fairytale aspect a bit too far but I'm going to run with it.

The PC's actually encountered their other characters from the Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign I ran a month or so ago. This both surprised them and horrified them because at some point they know that they're going to return to the LoFP version of the Silver Princess. They're afraid that they might be caught in a time paradox because of the chaotic nature of the magick of the place.

So after tangling with a number of the obstacles, and NPC's of the Silver Princess module the PC's were able to leave with some loot and most of their lives. All in all it was mostly a good day but they left behind the corpses of their comrades. That's never a good thing.

Where else does the causality and weirdness of the Silver Princess adventure locations  touch? Well only I know that for the moment and the players are going to have to deal with it when the time is ripe.
The palace of the Silver Princess is a place of horror, highly dangerous magick of the Abyss, and worse all wrapped up in a dark fairy tale waiting to be sprung again.

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