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The Forgotten Smugglers' Cave: Index of Posts

An index of posts describing the Forgotten Smugglers' Cave, an adventure for Holmes Basic characters levels 2-4.                    ...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Storytelling with B2

A few nights ago my 4-year old son asked if we could finish reading the "castle book", by which he meant the module B2 Keep on the Borderlands. A week earlier, "The Warrior" had approached the gate, talked to the guards and the Corporal of the Watch, eaten fruit off the menu in the Tavern, met a Dwarf, stayed in a private room (his choice) at the Inn and bought equipment from the Provisioner. I used a few pictures from the module to help illustrate this, including the one above from the back of the module, and the two-part picture by DSL of the guard on the battlements hailing the mounted traveler on the drawbridge. He's been watching the 1967 Spiderman lately, so I thought he could handle the same level of danger/adventure.

We started with a recap of the previous week's story. Now the Warrior had a meeting with the Castellan, who asked him to investigate the rumors of menacing caves in the woods, and gave him a potion of healing. He met the Dwarf by the fountain and they headed out. I showed him the Wilderness Map, pointing out the various features (road, river, hills, woods), and the numbers and the clearings that they would need to explore. He wanted to start with #1, so they headed south to the "stream" and wondered how to cross. After some discussion, they crossed near the islands where it turned out to be shallow and rocky. Heading into the swamp, they found a large dirt mound with a dark cave on the north side, around which were footprints in the mud with claws instead of toes. The Dwarf lit a torch, but didn't want to go in first. So the Warrior took out his sword and walked in a little way until he saw a pair of eyes and heard a voice growl, "Leave us alone". Of course, the Warrior didn't leave, so a Lizardman came forward out of the dark. I showed him the picture from the Monster Manual:

Many more eyes appeared behind him in the dark. The Warrior thought maybe he should "poke" the Lizardman with his sword, but the Dwarf suggested there were too many so they backed out of the cave. The Lizardman followed them and asked if they would be interested in a job getting rid of some spiders in the woods to the south, in exchange for a gold necklace. The Warrior agreed and they walked south into the tamarack stand. 

In the woods they eventually reached a clearing in the middle with lots of webs around. As Warrior walked into the clearing a large spider dropped on the Dwarf's shoulder and bit him! The Dwarf killed the spider but fell over, poisoned. Meanwhile two spiders came scurrying towards the Warrior. One sprung at him but he caught in the air with his sword. The other tried to bite his leg but he stomped on it and then stabbed it. The spiders dispatched, he checked on the Dwarf, who had a numb arm but was able to walk. They searched under the webs, where, among animal bones, they found the skeleton of an elf with an old shield. The Dwarf told the Warrior that an elf from the Keep once disappeared across the marshes. They put the skeleton in a sack to bring back to the Keep for burial.

At the edge of the woods they were met by a group of the Lizardmen, who gave them the necklace after verifying the spiders were dead. The Warrior and Dwarf then returned to the Keep and told the Castellan what they had found. The Castellan's Advisor was grateful to learn what had happened to his cousin, the elf who had perished, and let them keep the shield, which was magical, in return. And the Warrior wants to sell the necklace to buy some "fire fighter and police equipment". : )

Until next time...

Continued in: Storytelling With B2, Part II


  1. That's awesome. I've never seen someone converting a module into a storybook.

    I've done the reverse - I "ran" Return to Brookmere as a game session for a single player at a friend's sleepover, using nothing but my memories of the book and a single d6 - but not seen a module become a bedtime story! That's very cool.

    1. The Endless Quest books are a good idea; I have a few and might throw some in the mix.

  2. Hey that's a great Idea! I'm going to try that with my 5 year old. Hmmm Have to think about what might suit a girls tastses in adventure...

    1. Have a young female adventurer go rescue that poor Silver Princess from the curse and reunite her with her Prince.

  3. Thanks, all. It wasn't planned in advance - we started one night when I was looking at B2 and started showing him some of the pictures. The old modules will work well for this since there's not much descriptive text to read; just a few cues.

  4. That's awesome!

    Sounds like so much fun! Give him a couple of years and then introduce the dice...