B2 – Keep of the Borderlands by Gary Gygax

B2 – Keep on the Borderlands by Gary Gygax

I have personally played through this module about 2 dozen times and DM’ed it a good 3 dozen times in the past 30 years or so. In most instances of me being a player, the DM had set it up that our gaming group was travelling toward some city and that we were privy to rumors of a serious monstrous threat to a large keep that “bordered” the lands of good and evil. There were some other instances as a player that we started in the Keep itself. To expedite the game, starting in the Keep is a good method but I also like the option of travelling, knowing the land, a few random encounters along the way (good or bad), and just having a good time at the table with some friends. Now, As a DM, I always used the method of travelling to the Keep because this enabled me the ability to let NPC’s join the party because the party will need them especially if they are just 1st or 2nd level.

KotB is like B1 – In Search of the Unknown an introductory module for new DM’s and new players. This module is a bit more tougher on a DM because now he/she has a lot of decisions to make concerning the various factions that reside in the Caves of Chaos, the evil NPC priest, and the most important of all things, time management (especially if the party is in the Caves of Chaos area with a ton of monsters running around).

THEME: The theme of Keep on the Borderlands is very simple. As it is explained in the module, the players are leaving their various cities or abodes to seek fame, fortune, and/or possibly their deaths by travelling to the Borderlands that is described as corrupt, full of evil monsters, and rich full of treasure for the taking. The players will learn one way or another that the best place to enter the Borderlands is an area where a large and majestic Keep has been built to prevent the overflow of evil monsters from running rampant into the more peaceful countryside.

NOTE: The theme is extremely open-ended to allow the DM no restrictions on how the players start the game, meet each other, journey together or separately to the Keep, and role-playing with random NPC’s along the way. If a DM chooses this course of action, the DM must ensure they read up and familiarize themselves with the area the players will be playing in and travelling. This is the most opportune moment to ensure the players are prepared because this module is very deadly without some type of strategy in facing the monsters at the Caves.

THE KEEP: The Keep is huge and is well stocked with supplies, weapons, and NPC’s to defend it well. It is basically a small city with all the amenities as usually encountered in a locale of its kind. This is perhaps one of the best parts of the module that it provides the DM a really detailed area where the players can interact almost anywhere and get some type of result which in most cases will be positive. There is a Loan Bank that can exchange money or gems at a 10% fee, store a players wealth for free if left for a month, provide loans to players with an interest rate of 10%, and so on. There is a smithy, an armorer, all sorts of stores that provide equipment for adventurers in need, stables, the Inn, the Tavern, guild houses, and a church/chapel. It is very specifically stated that the majority of the inhabitants of the keep are LAW-ABIDING citizens and that any behavior that is indicative of criminal/boorish activity is extremely frowned upon. This is not the place to cause trouble.

NOTE: The map of the Keep is well done as is the description of the aforementioned places above. There is a ton of role-playing ideas provided the DM has fleshed them out or just reactive to how the players themselves deal with the civilians within the Keep. It should be noted that there are many guards in various locations throughout the Keep to include the Tavern to ensure there is no trouble from any of the many visitors that come there. Over the many years of being a player and a DM, I have had my share of experiences of players who were playing thieves and they wanted to pickpocket some of the civilians (I say let them do it….LOL). I MUST emphasize that the DM read very carefully about some of the main NPC’s in the Keep because there are some evil elements that have embedded themselves into the populace (the evil cleric and his acolytes in the PRIVATE APARTMENT area) and also allows the player characters to interact with the more influential and powerful lawful citizens (the Curate in the CHAPEL).

NPC’s: KotB can be a very deadly module and I have seen TKP’s with groups because they were too quick to rush to the Caves of Chaos not really knowing what they were going to face. The TPK’s could have been alleviated had the players been just a little patient and learn from those who have resided at the Keep for many years. Also, the DM will have to adjudicate the strength of the players group and decide if NPC’s will complement the group to make it more balanced (less challenging) or even be ruthless by allowing the evil priest to join the party and really throw them for a loop. If the players encounter the Curate in the CHAPEL, there is no doubt that the players will be suspicious of the evil priest tipping him off to where he will either avoid the players or slip away in the middle of the night to alert the residents in the Caves. If the players do not encounter the Curate or basically ignore his concerns about the evil priest, the evil priest could possibly join the party without the players having any idea of what is to happen later.

NOTE: Role-playing is important in the Keep. Let the players explore and chat it up with the residents. Give the players some time to learn about where they might be going. Let them make decisions on hiring some henchmen. If the group is too small, make it obvious to the players that there is strength in numbers. I think it is very important for the players to know that they are NOT the first group of adventurers to go to the Caves of Chaos.

AREA MAP: Unlike B1 – In Search of the Unknown, KotB provided an area map for the DM to allow the players to travel to the Caves of Chaos and stumble upon some set encounters that have no bearing on their destination. These set encounters are just experience points, treasure, and magical items. The primary encounters were the Mound of the Lizard Men, the Spider Lair, the Raider camp, and the Mad Hermit. Each of these encounters is going to be normally hostile unless the players are extremely creative and acute in role-playing especially with the Mad Hermit and the npc’s at the Raider Camp.

Note: As a DM, while the players were at the Keep trying to learn as much as possible about the Borderlands, I threw in rumors about the lizard men and the Mad Hermit. The raiders camp held a few kidnapped NPC’s that if released would give the players a reward for finding them ALIVE or use them as henchmen (if they perished in the Caves, no reward). The Spider’s lair contained the desiccated remains of an elf of which I left clues that revealed her to be the daughter of one of the provisioners in the Keep. So, I tried to keep everything tied together to give the players more than enough reason to go back to the Keep and make more allies.

CAVES OF CHAOS: The starting area for the Caves consists of 4 special areas. Each of these areas is controlled by a faction(s) of humanoid monsters or by one lone monster such as the Ogre cave. The other three areas are controlled by 4 separate tribes of kobolds, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, and their allies. Before the players arrive to the Caves, the DM will have to plan ahead and decide how each separate tribe reacts to one another, who are allies, who are enemies, who do the gnolls support, who do the bugbears support, and so on. Once the DM makes note on the humanoid tribes that reside in this area, the DM must then figure out how the evil cleric from the Keep will be entered into that equation. There is also an ogre to deal with and a minotaur that resides inside the Caves as well as a slew of other nasty creatures like stirges, giant rats, undead, and evil spellcasters. There are a lot of intelligent monsters in this area and they are not stupid. If they see a threat to their power struggle, they will come out full force and annihilate the players. The ogre chooses the side that pays him the most but will sometimes just take the gold and go back to his cave. I must note that the Caves themselves are layered in three levels and that it is very important the DM keep track of where the players are at any time wandering monsters are encountered. Should I also mention the medusa that is being kept prisoner as well???

NOTE: The DM will really need to jot down the notes on all the questions I mentioned above especially with the alliances and enmities the opposing factions might have with one another. I, as a DM, made the minotaur the boss over the gnolls and hobgoblins. The goblins were allied with the orcs in trying to eradicate the kobolds (because we all know that kobolds are not humanoid in nature, they are reptilian) but this was also to protect them from the hobgoblins and their gnoll allies from being eradicated themselves. The evil priest was left alone because the undead creatures protected him and his acolytes although the minotaur felt that one solid frontal assault by his minions would kill the human presence and destroy the undead (but feared it might weaken his small force to the other factions and the ogre). There are many ways to play out this scenario but this is the one I like the most for the majority of the groups I ran through KotB. The DM if anyone must keep in mind that these factions in more than one way have been fighting each other and alongside each other for quite some time now. They are battle ready 24 hours a day.

LENGTH OF MODULE: KotB encompasses a large area. You have the Keep which consists of 27 possible areas of exploration; the Area Map consists of 5 possible areas of interest to include the Caves of Chaos, and the Caves themselves with 64 possible areas of exploration. It took my groups about a good month to complete and that was 4 sessions of between 8-10 hours of play. I suspect with less experienced groups will complete it in less time when they suffer a TPK.

BOXED TEXT: I am a huge fan of boxed text however with KotB, it is not really required. The majority of the caves are very simple in nature and that includes its contents as well. The DM can easily create notes for some of the more difficult rooms especially those of the evil cult that resides within the Caves. There are some rooms that have special properties and might affect the characters adversely.

MONSTER GENERATION: As the players are exploring the Caves, they (especially the dwarf if there is one in the party) will find that the caves are not on one level. Some of the caves are deep in the ground while others are further up near the surface. A wandering monster chart is part of this module but has some significant flaws such as the harpies and/or blink dogs being in a cave three levels down. The deeper the players go in the Caves, the more powerful the monsters encountered. A judicious DM might just want to choose what monster is encountered and lower the number encountered. Again, the Caves are extremely dangerous to a low-level party of players.

Note: Anyone who has completed this module would well know about the medusa that is being kept prisoner by the evil priest. When I hosted this game as a DM, the medusa is extremely hostile to all creatures in this dungeon and if let loose will attempt to escape while turning everything to dead stone if possible. I had her set loose by an acolyte hoping that she will spare his life since the players had just managed to kill the evil cleric. Of course, she turned him to stone and she escaped with no problems and even managed to turn the ogre who lived outside into stone. Even though she escaped, this allowed me to create an adventure hook for her later on in another module as a very vengeful enemy.

GAME CONVENTION POSSIBILITIES: This is certainly not a tournament module per se because of the length it will take to complete HOWEVER it could be modified to serve such a purpose. Possible scoring would certainly be based on ROLE-PLAYING ABILITY, KILLING OF MONSTERS, FINDING TREASURE, AVOIDING TRAPS, SETTING LOOSE PRISONERS, DESTROYING THE EVIL TEMPLE, and/or DESTROYING A FACTION COMPLETELY.

SUMMARY: Unlike B1 – In Search of the Unknown, Keep on the Borderlands is NOT a hack and slash module however with great risk of being a TPK, it can be treated as such. I like this module because it added new elements not found in B1 such as the pre-constructed Keep, NPC’s to role-play with the players, an Area map with encounters not related to the adventure (this also allowed the players to explore without really having to railroad them straight into the Caves), the concept of factions among various humanoid races, the ability to overcome physical conflict via parley, and unknowingly meeting the evil bad guy (evil cleric) and allowing him to join the party under the guise of being an ally. My main issues were the wandering monster chart and the minor role of monsters such as the minotaur (who in my opinion should have been more of a factor as far as its physical presence and the medusa. Either way, any and all issues with this module can easily be changed by a DM to fit his/her needs and have fun. Keep of the Borderlands is a very fun adventure provided the players and DM have an open mind on how to deal with various challenges using the mind via brawn. Gary Gygax’s intellectual genius shines very brightly with this module.

ROOMS/AREAS of INTEREST:

The Keep of the Borderlands is broken down into three areas of significance; The KEEP, the AREA MAP, and the CAVES of CHAOS. As a player of this module, I can remember that we normally just went straight to the CAVES after we were finishing up exploring the KEEP. It was not until I ran into my mentor who taught me the finer arts of being a DM that we played the module in its entirety.

THE KEEP: The Keep is simply a stroke of genius. Everything that a player could possibly find is within this Keep. The Keep is comprised of some 27 areas of which some are basically duplicates of another area. For the players, only a few locales within the Keep should be of any importance unless the DM has another plan for the players. The only areas that I think are pertinent to the module as a whole are the TRAVELERS INN, the TAVERN, the CHAPEL, and the PRIVATE APARTMENTS.

NOTE: Depending on the DM, the players will either be leaving their respective home cities or whatnot and may be travelling to the Keep or the DM may have the adventurer’s just start in the Travelers Inn or the Tavern. I always had the players travel a good distance to the Keep because it served two purposes; experience points and rumors of the area of where they are soon to be exploring.

THE TRAVELERS INN: This is where the players will be resting throughout the adventure provided they return back to the Keep after every excursion into the Borderlands wilderness or the Caves themselves. This also gave the DM an ample opportunity for the players to meet other NPC’s that could be hired to accompany them to explore the Borderlands.

THE TAVERN: The Tavern is an important place for the players to lounge around and do some role-playing with some of the permanent citizens of the Keep who are more less providing security for the Keep. This is also another ample opportunity for the DM to insert a NPC or two looking to explore the Borderlands area if offered enough gold or whatnot. This is one of the better locales within the Keep to learn some rumors as well. It is through these rumors where the players might learn about the MOUND of the LIZARD MEN (SEE NOTE), The SPIDERS’ LAIR, The BANDIT CAMP, the MAD HERMIT, and of course, the CAVES of CHAOS. The players might also have the opportunity to meet the PRIEST that resides in the PRIVATE APARTMENTS with two of his always silent acolytes by his side.

NOTE: The Mound of the Lizard Men is basically an unknown area that exists on the AREA MAP. My mentor had it where we learned a rumor about these lizard men from an NPC that had joined the party to avenge the death of his family when their farm was raided by the reptilian horrors. The PRIEST and his two acolytes are spies sent by their evil cultist leader who resides within the Caves of Chaos. They are here under the guise of a benevolent religious travelling group spreading the “good” word while actually maintaining strict surveillance of all of the Keeps permanent citizens and all visitors. If the players actually begin a dialogue with the PRIEST here in the Tavern, it is VERY LIKELY he will offer to join the party in their quest to rid the Borderlands of the humanoid threat in the Caves.

THE CHAPEL: The Chapel is one of the more identifiable buildings inside the Keep. There is no doubt in my mind that the players will visit this building from time to time to get healing done while the players are exploring the Borderlands. The key NPC here in the Chapel is a 5th level cleric aptly titled the Curate. This cleric is actually a bona fide Lawful NPC and will assist the players provided they make charitable donations from time to time. The cleric is very distrustful of the priest (see TAVERN and PRIVATE APARTMENTS for more information) but is really vague on why he is so distrustful except for the fact that he serves another religious organization (the DM decides what it can be). The cleric will not join the players group as he is one of the more important permanent residents of the Keep. If the players do some excellent role-playing, they might be able to convince him to let one of his loyal acolytes to accompany the party for some treasure and converts.

NOTE: If the players encounter the cleric in the CHAPEL first before they encounter the priest in the TAVERN, it is possible they might let on to the evil priest that the cleric has some distrust of him for unknown reasons. This in turn will allow the evil priest with his two acolytes to leave the Keep in the dead of night and head off to the Caves of Chaos to inform the cultist leader that the players are headed there. If this happens, the players will be in for a rude shock when they find a good portion of the inhabitants prepared for them as it was done to my group as a player and those groups when I was the DM.

PRIVATE APARTMENTS: There are a few of these in the Keep but the two largest ones are the dwellings of a Jewel merchant and the PRIEST. The players, in any case, should not really encounter the priest in the apartment but as they wander through town asking the permanent citizens questions, they might learn that a wandering priest lives there with two of his acolytes.

NOTE: If the Priest is encountered before the players meet with the cleric in the CHAPEL, he will join the party as they travel to the Caves of Chaos. At the most opportune moment when the players are involved in combat versus the residents of the caves, the priest will then attack the players supported by both his acolytes. If the fight is a losing battle, he will flee deeper into the Caves to warn the cultist leader and his minions.

THE AREA MAP: The AREA MAP is comprised of various set encounters (Mound of the Lizard Men, the Spiders’ Lair, the Bandit Camp, and the Mad Hermit) and possibly random encounters as well depending on how long the players will explore the wilderness area. The wilderness area is very diverse in its makeup with swamps, rivers, forests, and hills. If the players stay in the Keep long enough, they might learn a few rumors about the set encounters on the Area map. The Area Map is a great place to explore because it allows the DM to improvise if the players decide to go out on their own before visiting the Keep. Gary Gygax added another location which is completely devoid of any information called the Cave of the Unknown. This area is for personal use of any DM who wanted to add something else unique to the Area Map. The players might be able to obtain a rough map of the Borderlands from various sources at the Keep but it will not reveal anything of great interest since the Borderlands are practically unexplored for the most part. It is possible as they are role-playing with the permanent residents of the Keep and acquiring rumors in the process, a rough map can be generated for some of the specific area encounters. I did not make it too easy on the players and let them explore as they see fit so they might be able to accumulate experience point and respect the untamed wilderness as it fitfully is.

MOUND of the LIZARD MEN: As mentioned earlier in this review, the Mound is unknown to the general inhabitants of the Keep so the DM has two options and they are: the players will either discover them as they search the Borderlands area or they might hear a rumor or two while staying at the Keep. I used the Mound as a jumping off point for another module in my 15-part campaign (I2 – Tomb of the Lizard King). As a DM, if the players discover the Mound and eliminate the lizardmen within, they will eventually find some disturbing clues about an imminent lizard men threat in some far way land known as Eor. The only other purpose for the Mound is to allow the players to earn some experience points, some treasure, and magical items.

SPIDERS’ LAIR: Most players that play D&D in my groups have an aversion to spiders therefore for this particular encounter; I changed the large spiders to large Black Widows. I have a strong belief that black widow spiders generate a universal fear because of their deadly, infamous reputations in real life and a favorite movie of mine aptly titled Curse of the Black Widow (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_the_Black_Widow). Depending on how rumors are learned in the Keep, the players might learn about a rumor of an elf adventurer that has disappeared. If the players do defeat the black widows in their lair, they will find the remains of that missing elf. This is a very dangerous encounter because of the Save versus poison or die. Black widow spider poison is much more deadly than that of a plain large spider.

The BANDIT CAMP: There are about a dozen or so bandits in this camp. The area where they are located (inside a forested region) is actually one of the primary reasons they can easily be defeated. If the players surprise the bandits and attack them from within the confines of the forest, the spearmen and bowmen bandits will almost be ineffectual with their ranged and melee (spear) weapons forcing them to fight with daggers and swords. This is also a great opportunity to release possible prisoners held for ransom and/or have NPCs join the party to fight the evil humanoids in the Caves themselves.

THE MAD HERMIT: The Mad Hermit is simply a NPC that the players might encounter on either good terms or bad. Being that the Hermit is mentally unstable, I gave him a percentile of 25% to dictate whether or not he will turn on the players each day he is with them. Provided he is remains stable and lucid, he could join the players with his pet puma and provide some comic relief from time to time. If he goes mad, then he will attack the players to his death. In my 15-part campaign, this NPC is the brother of a mad druid in the module C4 – To Find a King. If the Mad Hermit is killed in the first encounter with him, there will be subtle clues to this druid within the hermit’s dwelling inside the tree.

CAVES OF CHAOS:

FACTIONS: There are a few factions within the Caves of Chaos that prevent the humanoids from actually being a true threat to the Keep. If the DM really wanted to be a true and total antagonist, he/she would allow the strongest of the factions to organize all the humanoids and form a formidable fighting force of chaos. I have done this before and it worked out quite well. Basically, the players then would be helping the permanent inhabitants of the Keep by defending it against that large mob of monsters trying to break in and slay every living man, woman, and child. Either way will work provided the DM plans accordingly and allows for the players some marginal chance of success since this module is really a very dangerous one for a hack and slash group.

The Factions are:

The Kobold Faction
The Orc Faction
The Goblin Faction
The Hobgoblin Faction
The Bugbear Faction
The Gnoll Faction
The Cultist faction

Monsters not part of any Factions:

The Ogre (Cave E)
The Minotaur (Cave I)
The Medusa (Cell #64)
The Owlbear (Cave G)

I, as the DM, allowed for certain members of the factions to be spellcasters such as low level mages and low level clerics. This allowed the factions to heal those damaged members in the event the players retreated from the caves to heal up, rest up, spells, and so on.

Monsters such as the Ogre and the Minotaur could be bargained with provided that the players meet the demands of those hideous creatures and that in turn would call for questioning of the players alignments. The Medusa will try and slay any creature she encounters if she escapes from her cell to include the ones who release her. The Owlbear just kills and eats anything that comes near it.

Depending on the experience of the Dm and the players, this is a killer module. If the players treat the module as a hack and slash, they are going to end up getting killed by the factions that reside within the Caves. Even though some of the factions are not in good terms with one another, they will band together to annihilate an opposing force dedicated to slaying them. Now, if the players use guile and deceit, it is possible to bribe some of the factions to help fight alongside them but in turn might be attacked by those they just paid to assist them. Some of the weaker factions might just be content in wiping out a stronger enemy faction, pack their bags, and just leave the Caves for fear of retribution (and end up coming back later to haunt the players). The options to the players are almost limitless.

I, as a DM, used the Ogre and the Minotaur to control the stronger factions such as the hobgoblins, bugbears, and the gnolls. The cultist faction despises the evil humanoids for their petty bickering and war mongering because it brings unwanted attention from the inhabitants of the Keep. One of the main intents of the cultist leader is to send his small undead force into the Caves and start wiping out the evil humanoid presence with their dead bodies filling the ranks of the undead.

The players will have plenty of opportunities to make temporary alliances and add additional NPC’s to their ranks if they visit the right places within the caves. There are a few prisoners who are just itching to get a hold of some weapons and punish their captors for the abuse they have been receiving. The moment those captors have either fled the Caves or are slain, those NPC’s might just attack the heroes out of bloodthirsty spite.

As a DM who has hosted this module many times, I think it is very important to know where each leader resides in the Caves of Chaos. The times that I have played this module as a player, DMs have generally treated the monsters and the leaders as dumb, unorganized, and just outright lame as true threats. A few DMs played these monsters with exceptional intelligence and therefore making them very deadly threats if they are onto the players invading the Caves. Just remember that if the players DO NOT annihilate the inhabitants in one shot, they will go to other factions to shore up their defenses against the players.

Cave A – Kobold Cave

There are close to 60 kobolds that live in this cavern area alone. They have giant rats as pets that will help the kobolds defend this area. The sheer number of kobolds probably prevented the more powerful factions from wiping this colony outright.

Cave B & C – Orc Caves

Depending on the DM, there can be over 60 orcs residing in this area. As a DM, I allowed the female orcs to fight players characters if they felt their young were in danger of being slain.

Cave D – Goblin Lair

Same as the Kobold cave with just at 60 or goblins (including fighting females). There is a slight possibility that allies of the goblins will be encountered in the form of four hobgoblins.

Cave E – Ogre Cave

This ogre serves as a “hire me and I will crush your enemies” ally. Currently, he is in favor of assisting the goblins and the hobgoblins. The ogre has assisted others before provided the gold was good. There are a lot of nice items inside the ogre cave for a brand new adventuring group.

Cave F – Hobgoblin Lair

There are about 50 hobgoblins in this area. They are well armed and very organized. A few points about this area is the small prison where some allies for the players can be found including a crazy gnoll who has went insane. I allowed the gnoll to assist the party in the event they needed more firepower. I dismissed the notion that it will attack the players upon being released and armed because sometimes, monsters are not all that crazy. Another good area to examine is the armory. There are plenty of weapons and armor to be found here and may supplement the players and their allies.

Cave G – The Shunned Cavern

This is a very dangerous place to explore especially if the players have low level adventurers. The Owl bear and the gray oozes deal heavy amounts of damage and will spell instant defeat for the players if not approached with some type of planning.

Cave H – The Bugbear Lair

There are about 20 or bugbears in this lair to include females. They are a formidable foe to face by low level adventurers. There is a slave pen within this lair and again, provides to the players some help if needed.

Cave I – The Minotaur Caves

This small cavern area consisting of a few small caves is dangerous to the players because a minotaur resides here and it is extremely hungry. Some of the other inhabitants are a flock of stirges and nests of fire beetles.

Cave J – The Gnoll Lair

There are about 40 or so gnolls that reside in these series of caves. They are highly organized and prove very deadly to the players even if they are at max level for this module. They are well armed and well defended. If the players are using any type of visible light source while clambering to this area, the guards will notice and the entire gnoll lair will be on the defensive.

AREA K – The Shrine of Evil Chaos

There are a lot of undead that inhabit this area all created by the small cultist group that live here. If the evil cleric spy left the Keep because the party let on they were suspicious of him, he will have travelled here and let the head cultist know they are on the way to destroy them. There are about a dozen or so cultists (and a human fighter) in this cavern complex led by the cultist leader. They will have numerous defenses set up in the event they are forewarned about the players. Again, this is a very deadly area and a TPK will be imminent for any group who are foolhardy enough to attack it in low numbers.

The Evil Chapel and the Temple of Evil Chaos are two dangerous areas not because of possible monster threats but by the vile evil presence that created these areas. DM’s must really read on these two areas and be familiar to maximize the threat to foolhardy and/or greedy players.

Within the caves are a wight and if the players have never encountered a level drainer, the DM will have fun with this encounter. For what it is worth, defeating the wight is well worth the treasure it is protecting. There is also a gelatinous cube roaming the area. DM’s really need to pay attention to these two encounters because it might help the players with the greatest threat of them all, the medusa that is being kept prisoner by the cultist leader.

The Medusa is angry as hell because she is being kept prisoner by the cultist leader who intends on blinding her and sacrificing it to his evil god. The medusa is not happy with this particular arrangement and will parlay with the players to influence them to release her so she can get away from him. She promises the players not to turn them to stone and even has a way to turn those turned to stone back to flesh if they let her free to escape. Of course, this is all a lie and once she is released, she will attempt to turn ANYONE to stone as she makes her escape out of the Caves of Chaos area. She is highly intelligent and will avoid any undead who might be not be prone to her stony gaze such as the skeletons but no matter what, she will consider every living thing in this area her mortal enemy.

3 comments on “B2 – Keep of the Borderlands by Gary Gygax”

  1. Dwarin

    I am running Keep on the Borderlands right now and it’s one hell of a module. I agree with you in all accounts. It is very open ended and I keep filling it with small details as the players explore the keep and environs. I use the “less is more” approach in that I just detail things as I go along. For instance, at this moment, I don’t know how to link all the factions, although I have a vague notion of using the cleric of Chaos as a unifying force. He seeks something in the area, although I’ve yet do determine what. But it has been fun all along and the players, who are all first time AD&D players, are enjoying it very much.

  2. Wayne

    Preparing to DM this module after a hiatus of 20 years. This guide was VERY helpful. Thanks!

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