Sunday, October 1, 2023

Running B1-9 In Search of Adventure '87 With Castles & Crusades For a Mini Campaign

 "Threshold. The northernmost town in the Duchy?and your last stop before your adventures begin. Threshold, the gateway to mysterious castles, lost temples, deadly caves and caverns. You have heard the stories and legends now you wish to see for yourself."

This product provides a complete campaign adventure that will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 3rd level and possibly beyond, drawn from the first nine modules of the B-series adventures."

So I've been thinking about running a Mystara game using Castles & Crusades for a mini campaign for a group of fifth edition  players who have never experienced the classic BECMI adventure setting before. According to B1-9 Insearch For Adventure wiki entry; "In Search of Adventure is an abridged compilation adventure module published by TSR, Inc. in 1987. In Search of Adventure was edited by Jeff Grubb and Jon Pickens, and was published by TSR in 1987 as a 160-page book.[2] The module's cover art is by Keith Parkinson. with an adventure  compolition that ties modules B1–B9 include: B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 The Keep on the Borderlands, B3 Palace of the Silver Princess, B4 The Lost City, B5 Horror on the Hill, B6 The Veiled Society, B7 Rahasia, B8 Journey to the Rock, and B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond into one package." 
How does B1-9 do this? Well the adventure elements " 
In Search of Adventure can be strung together in one of three new overarching plots using an adventure flow chart, depending on where the players head off from their starting point in the town of Threshold." 
The key is the town of Threshold and the Vaults of Pandius website in very handy; "
Vaults of Pandius has a nice collection of maps that folks have created with some nice additions that situate published adventure locations. (B1-9 Karameikos is a good one.)"
Because Castles & Crusades is geared around lower tier PC's levels 1-3, the real hook is going to be converting the monsters and treasures over to C&C. This however is quite easy given The Castles & Crusades Monster and Treasures has this covered. 

So why use B1-9 Insearch of Adventure as an introduction to Mystara? Especially given that it is in point of fact a compiliation?! The critic Ken Rolston summed the module up quite nicely; "Ken Rolston briefly reviewed B1–9 In Search of Adventure for Dragon magazine No. 128, commenting that it collects the "choice bits" from the previous modules.[1] He noted the "good, old-fashioned dungeons by world-class designers like Gary GygaxDoug Niles, and Tom Moldvay".[1] Rolston also described two of the compilation's "exceptionally fine adventures": Rahasia, which he called "a classic low-level FRPG scenario by Tracy Hickman of Dragonlance saga and Ravenloft fame", and David "Zeb" Cook's The Veiled Society, which he called "a rare example of a political and diplomatic adventure in an urban setting for low-level D&D game characters".[1] Rolston concluded the review by saying, "Aside from the intrinsic value of these adventures, they are perfect for introducing new players to FRPGs through the simple, well-presented D&D Basic game system."  And it's this compilitation format that allows the DM to get the maximum out of these modules. And even Lawrence Schick, hit's  these high points within his book  Heroic Worlds; "Lawrence Schick, in his 1991 book Heroic Worlds, stated that In Search of Adventure compiles the best parts of the B-series of modules, and is "Quite a good deal"" 
Karameikos itself is an excellent fantasy city and works quite well with Castles & Crusades. Will this work out into a solid on going mini campaign? Only time will tell?! 

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