From behind my battered GM Screen (a black “no, it’s not 3rd Edition” edition AD&D one), I open my prized copy of Moldvay Red Book Basic D&D (bought by yours truly in 1981) and turn to page B56, The Haunted Keep. We’re playing 4e D&D, I’m using a 2e GM Screen and playing a Classic D&D dungeon. Oh yeh.
“You’ve each been convicted of a minor crime of your choosing and as punishment been ordered to serve 48 hours as members of the King’s Watch. Your sergeant has ordered you to head down the Old Road and clear out the Haunted Keep once and for all. Oh, and make sure you’re back before nightfall.”
We spend a few minutes deciding our crimes. Mahkra, my Wizard, was guilty of Possessing Overdue Library Books. Hairy Bob, the Fighter was convicted of Breaking and Failing to Enter (he is a failed Thief, after all). Squidgee Yellowpants (I kid you not), the Halfling Jester, was convicted of Being a Halfling Jester, and Parson Jeffries (the elderly Half-Elf Cleric) was found guilty of Thumping the Pulpit (which we’re sure is a metaphor).
As you can tell, we’re not taking this too seriously. And y’know what – it’s great!
A mere 45′ square, the entire of the Haunted Keep would fit into an average-sized 4e D&D room. There is a 10′ room. As GM, I decide that it contains a pie.
I describe the dimensions of the ruined Keep to the players and it re-ignites the discussion about whether a character can reduce the size of a Powers’ Burst and Blast Radius. Small rooms make using a power like Thunderwave (Close Blast 3) somewhat difficult. As Evil GM, I say no, at least not without spending a Feat slot. I make up “Shape Burst” and “Shape Blast” Feats on the spot, then tell the players that they’re Paragon level. Cruel, I know. Wizards’ will probably produce an Official Size Reducing Feat in the near future anyhow.
Because of this meta-discussion, my half-crazed Wizard opts to stand guard outside, and the players agree. He is the backup character, anyhow. The last thing they want is a Mentally Unstable Wizard going off suddenly in a confined space.
Hairy Bob, Squidgee and Parson Jeffries enter…….
Next time: Pits and Pendulums
Mahrka, Good Human Wizard-1
Str 9, Con 9, Dex 5, Int 14, Wis 5, Cha 7
HP 19 bloodied 8 surges 4×7/day
AC 13 (Staff), Fort 10, Ref 13, Will 11, Speed 6
Quarterstaff +1 vs AC, 1d8-1
Cantrips/w, Cloud of Daggers/w +2 vs Ref, Ray of Frost/w +2 vs Fort, Thunderwave/w +2 vs Fort
Icy Terrain/e +2 vs Ref, Freezing Cloud/d +2 vs Fort or Sleep/d +2 vs Will
Arcana +7, History +7, Insight +2, Nature +2, Religion +7
Durable, Human Perseverance, Ritual Casting, Staff Mastery
Rituals: Comprehend Language, Magic Mouth, Silence