I am going to run The Village of Hommlet (the old school AD&D classic) using Pathfinder rules. I have a few years of Pathfinder under my belt, so I feel moderately secure in retooling the adventure. I know, I just gave "karma" an opening to screw me. Anyway, have any of you DM's done this and do you have any suggestions of what worked or didn't work well using Pathfinder rules? Much obliged.
Ahh. Hommlet. From Temple of Elemental Evil if memory serves. Although it was about 4 years ago that I ran it.
It is an excellent game in every way. Plenty of interaction potential in the village, several dungeons scattered around the main temple, and finally a gigantic dungeon crawl.
Biggest thing to remember is that Wealth is different in Pathfinder than it was in 1e. So be wary of your PC's getting too much money. Another consideration is that the way monsters work has changed a bit. So a room full of orcs is devastating at level 1-3, but ceases to be a challenge at about level 4+.
Finally, the best advice I can give is to run it in the Pathfinder rules, and change as little as possible from AD&D. Deal with major problems before the game, and deal with little problems as they arise. If you enjoy ToEE and Hommlet, then be sure to try all the other AD&D adventures.
Scourge of the Slave Lords, Against the Giants, Forest Oracle, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, etc. are among the absolute best games I have ever played. Particularly if you enjoy the heart and soul of PF/D&D: Dungeon Crawling.
Oh very good then! I kind of had the same thoughts (handle the big things first). I didn't expect them to have any real issues with the bigger NPC's and was going to focus on the "lil" guys. Giving a bandit leader a few nifty feats really changes the gaming dynamic. My hopes is that they'll enjoy the village that they will want to go off to the ToEE or head off and away and do Against the Giants. I'm trying to stay as true to the original AD&D foundation as possible.
Old AD&D has a ton of excellent dungeon crawls from the old tournaments. If your players enjoy dungeon crawling, be sure to check out Expedition to Castle Greyhawk, Castle Ravenloft and Undermountain (3.5 dungeon crawls).
This list has a ton of excellent dungeon crawls. Some of them were among the best games I have ever played.
The key NPC's need some reworking for ToEE, but the grunts you can just wing.
If your characters are ever up for an intense challenge, run Scourge of the Slavelords. It was considered to be among one of the toughest ever AD&D games, and my 3.5 party couldn't beat it. The best part is that it has about 4 parts to it, and plenty of opportunity for roleplaying and story as well as hack and slash.
I ran the original Village of Hommlet module a very long time ago (25+ years ago). I don't think I have the module any more, sadly, as it would be nostalgic to convert it to PFRPG.
So many memories of that adventure...
Nobody wanted to play a cleric back in those days so we ran them as NPCs from the village's temple. I think they went back to the village 5 or 6 times for new clerics until the temple put their foot down (or ran out of lowbie clerics, I don't recall now).
They managed to hold up the bandit leader on the first floor with some of his men in their hideout behind a big iron door. The door had a peephole in it. The PCs got the idea of knocking on the door and when they looked through the peephole they would shoot the person in the eye with a crossbow (killin him instantly). I said the peephole was quite small and would require a natural 20 to hit. The players tried it anyway and lo and behold the PC with the crossbow rolled a 20! I told him he hit the peephole but it didn't penetrate it (I didn't want the bandit leader to get 1-shotted). I still get razzed for that (bad) call!
That's about all that I remember of the adventure to be honest. I may have to look and see if I can get a copy of it from somewhere. Good luck!
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And that's what I like about VoH; novice level. It gives a good feel of a backwater village, but there are all manner of opportunities for a group to grow and experience different feats from the bad guys. I just didn't want to overlook something I should have normally prepared for ahead of time. My big issue is handling...the boss if you will. He'll get several feats that might cause him to be a party killer. I look forward to running it so that the players really have to depend on their skill checks, feats and CMB/CMD (go Paizo!). One fighter can have a totally different feel from another and it will give my players the opportunity to say, 'gee, I didn't like how I built this guy. Can I change some things?" Of which i will say, "Of course!" But again, I didn't want to retool the adventure so that it inadvertently kill the group off. So any advicde about anything I should stay away from in the core rules would be appreciated. :-)
I would tell you when converting modules and setting material for use with Pathfinder to consider one question right off the bat: are you trying to design something which could be run as part of Pathfinder Society or a Pathfinder "official" table at Gen Con or something? Here is why: too many people get caught up in the details and allow it to completely ruin the game for both the DM and the players. I hear so many folks rage about things like the conversion of the in game money allocation between the original module vs the current Pathfinder system, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggestion such things are without merit I WILL suggest that these things are actually minor details which the DM should already be looking at with ANY module or published setting piece.
I've been playing the various incarnations of D&D since i was 12, and the only one I've missed was that abomination Wizards called 4th ed. <insert 4th ed hating RANT of your choice here>. I'm currently 42. In that 30 years the one thing I've learned is NEVER play anything straight out of the box. Read the module ahead of time and change anything, hell change EVERYTHING!, if need be to make the material more organic for your needs. There is absolutely no reason why your game has to, or even should, look like any one else.
I'll never forget running the Sunless Citadel (the first D&D 3.0 module released). By the time we had gotten around to actually running it everyone at the table had already seen it about a dozen times, so when I said "I think I'll run that next." everyone absolutely cringed! Yet when we actually ran it....no one even knew we were there! Why? Because I changed things. Honestly it didn't take THAT much work. I think I filled it with skeletons of both beasts and men (covered in rotting vines and mushrooms) and Mantis Men, and used the exact same stat blocks for the creatures which were already there as i did so. I even used a 1-1 conversion for the stuff already there. "Three kobolds in the room.... 'Ok guys, there are 3 Mantis Men in the room who appear to be eating the last guy who broke in here and have not seen you yet. What do you do?'" Thus the only differences were strictly cosmetic ones, and the party NEVER even caught on to the fact that they were in the same module they had seen a dozen times before. What they DID know however is that to this day, years after the fact, I will occasionally hear from them and they will mention "remember that one bad guy who did blah blah blah to us??" They LOVED it.
Being a DM is alot more than being lead by the nose through a module or campaign setting and stuck in the rut of the system rules. Breath life into it. Make it yours.
Although it is many years since I played through the Temple of Elemental Evil, I can still remember my rage at the inhabitants of the nearby village of Nulb. What a wretched hive of scum and villainy!
Also, the dark ale in Hommlet's Welcoming Wench is excellent.
...do you have any suggestions of what worked or didn't work well using Pathfinder rules?
1. Be aware of is that "EL" did not yet exist at that time, and the increased resilience of PF monsters over 1st Ed ones can cause sudden problems. Large groups of... well, ghouls, for instance... in an adventure are a bit too steep a challenge for the levels Hommlet was originally written for. That's not to say that the monsters need to be cut out of the adventure - but they should probably be encountered in smaller groups.)
2. The Sense Motive skill antedates Hommlet considerably. Be certain that any NPCs with a secret to keep have taken Bluff, and give some thought to the consequences of any sudden natural 20s on Sense Motive.
3. As somebody who has introduced Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and Against the Giants to many younger gamers that would have otherwise been bereft of them, I wish you good fortune.