April, 2006

The first role-playing adventure I ever played was Keep on the Borderlands.

Into the Wilds has the same cover artist, the amazingly talented Jim Roslof.

I have the best night job ever. :)


At 1:24 PM, Blogger Jeff LaSala said...

Great stuff!

But funny story: My friend Richie bought Keep on the Borderlands when he was a kid (10-ish, I think)...you know the time, the impressional age where D&D is the best thing ever. When he opened it up, all it had inside was the cover sleeves and the map: no actual module. He thought that's all there was to it. He was confused and distraught and abandoned gaming for like a year before he met a friend who had the same book...and realized he'd just been gyped.

So while we look at this module and reminisce, he's got a bad association with this particular one.


At 2:26 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Lot of fun memories of "Borderlands" ... amazing how the Caves of Chaos could hold so many evil monsters in its own little communist ecosystem. It all seemed to work well when I was twelve - clean out the hobgoblin caves, rest up, then move to the bugbear caves next door. Then the minotaurs, then the orcs ... strangely the monsters never noticed when their next-door neighbors got butchered by a bunch of sword-wielding maniacs.

Looking forward to "Into the Wilds"!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Jw said...

I must say, I know next to nothing about all this, but I love the old-skool look to these covers. Not just the illustration, but the entire layout strategy. I approve!

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Grimbones said...

“…amazing how the Caves of Chaos could hold so many evil monsters in its own little communist ecosystem.”

Nods. This was a large part of my consciousness in the design in “Into the Wilds.” I think it came out more “realistic” …. at least as realistic as a outpost for bat-ridding goblins can/should be. :)

At 10:55 AM, Blogger saurus said...

strangely the monsters never noticed when their next-door neighbors got butchered by a bunch of sword-wielding maniacs.


I never thought of that before but man, that is so freekin true...

Stupid bugbears and their pit traps...

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous esdb said...

Keep on the Borderlands! Now that takes me back.

Whatever happened to that module I had? Hmm. You know, I think the neighbor kid stole it, darn him to heck.

Oh well. I got revenge for it. I throttled him in Magic about 50 times. Good times. ;)

Does Wilds share crossovers with Keep other than cover art (and, well, duh, same game)? Are you drawing on the Gygax power?


At 12:33 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Heh. Thanks for the question Eric. I’ll get you that five bucks at GenCon. ;)

Comparing Keep on the Borderlands and Into the Wilds is like comparing two makes of cars. They both have similar components, and they both do the same thing, but the experience can be radically different. (I’ll leave it to the players and GMs to assign the makes and models. ;) )

To be clear, despite the cover similarities, Into the Wilds is not a remake or imitation of Keep on the Borderlands/Caves of Chaos. I did try to evoke similar themes, using the things that Keep got right. Modern gamers are not the same people you and I were years ago, and the modules, even “retro” modules, need to address this.

For instance, unlike most DCCs, Wilds has a developed starting village, a place for PCs to gear up, investigate, and get their bearings. This is a lot like Keep on the Borderlands.

Also, there are 3 distinct group of villains, each with their own lair: one atop the rocky spires, one in the old dwarven ruins, and one in caves at the base of the spires. Again, a lot like Keep on the Borderlands.

The execution is different though. There is a meta-plot (that harkens back to my brother’s love of Wasteland) that needs to be solved, leading to a hidden complex. There is a curse that needs to be lifted. There are some surprise villains, shifting alliances, and a deep dark wood that needs exploring.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of this adventure.

As for channeling the power of the Gygax, there are a few hidden references for the old school kids. But telling any more would spoil your fun.


At 1:03 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

Keep was my first module to. I remember when my folks got me the Basic boxed set for Christmas when I was in 3rd grade. It was packaged inside. Looking forward to Wilds.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous mnts said...

Speaking of hidden references and Keep on the Borderlands--I noticed that the mad hermit encounter from Legacy of the Savage Kings looks very similar to mad hermit from the older module.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muhahahaha! ;)


At 3:50 PM, Anonymous esdb said...

Sounds awesome. :)

I'll only take your five bucks if its in something alcoholic and you let me buy the next round.



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