Sunday, September 16, 2018

Review & Commentary On B11 King's Festival (Basic D&D ) By Carl Sargent For Your Old School Campaigns

"Someone has "borrowed" a cleric, and without him, the fabled King's Festival cannot go on. Unfortunately, it looks like the orcs have him, and your characters must rescue him."

I had an email request for B11 King's Harvest & while I have covered B11 in the past I wanted to do a fresh blog post on this classic module.  B11 King's Festival is by Carl Sargent can be seen as one of those modules that attempted to revive the Basic Dungeons & Dragons line of product at TSR during the '89 era. I have a very storied history with this module because of its Basic Dungeons & Dragons roots. The fact that its deeply rooted in Mystara or more importantly in as an  introduction to the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. This module can be seen as the Grand Duchy of Karameikos lite in a sense. The whole adventure centers around the region as a whole. The dungeon master has enough details to fill in all of the little layers of B11 with each of the classic elements of Dungeons & Dragons. All of the ins & outs of dungeon crawling along with investigative old school play is highlighted in B11 King's Festival.

While B11 King's Festival seems like its a straight forward adventure module, B11 in fact supplies all of the classic Dungeons & Dragons elements in one very tightly run adventure package. There's enough here to keep a minor Basic Dungeons & Dragons campaign going for months of game play. The overview of the module has the plot revolving around the major big bad at the center of the module. The truth is that B11 King's Festival if used right will put the PC's center stage for the royals in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos & not simply as flavor of the month. That is if they survive the experience & here's where the module really shines. This is another Basic D&D module that takes the PC's into the Dungeons & Dragons Mystara experience. The fact is that on the whole B11 King's Festival by Carl Sargent is a good set of 1st through 3rd guidelines on actually making, creating, & running a classic Dungeons & Dragons adventure. Scattered throughout B11 are tables, references, charts, & advice for actually becoming a better player & dungeon master. Today B11 King's
Festival almost seems forgotten & that's a shame because its a quality low level dungeon crawl adventure romp as much as an introduction adventure module.

For running B11 King's Festival through an OSR retroclone system there are a number of OSR systems on the table including B/X Rules Cyclopedia Dungeons & Dragons. B11 is a fairly easy to run introduction to the Basic Dungeons & Dragons game on its own. All of the classic D&D elements are here in force & the module moves quickly at a brisk pace. The dungeon master is going to have to be on his or her game when running B11 King's Festival. Taken as a whole the module will leave the PC's right in the middle of & at the attention of the royals of
the Grand Duchy of Karameikos! This might not be a good thing depending upon the module's event's outcome. PC's may want to tread this path carefully.

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