Reblogging Someone’s Reblog Of My Post About The Red Hand of Doom
I have heard lots of good things about the WotC D&D 3.5 mega-adventure The Red Hand of Doom and have recently acquired it. However, since I’m not all that excited about running 3.5 again, I have been wondering how easy this adventure could be run for a Labyrinth Lord group. Conversion isn’t my main problem, as I’m quite comfortable with 3.5 and Labyrinth Lord, and could thus easily make all the necessary system conversions.
What I am wondering about how well this 3.5 adventure would convert to the base assumptions of Labyrinth Lord. Reading the adventure, it does feature random encounter tables and due to the open-ended nature of the adventure would probably work just fine as a more of a sandboxy adventure.
I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll actually get started on this project. Red Hand is still a very plot-driven adventure, and thus I couldn’t run it in the vein I’ve been running Labyrinth Lord for the past couple of months (i.e. as a sandbox with each session as a self-contained adventure, with players coming and going in a revolving door fashion).
I’d argue it could be done in that fashion, if you treated it—if you’ll forgive my ridiculous comic book analogy—less like a Justice League “the ongoing adventures of seven awesome dudes as they stomp this cult into oblivion” campaign, and more inspired by Grant Morrison’s amazing Seven Soldiers series—an assemblage of heroes, who may never meet, inadvertently stopping a colossal threat bit by bit by bit, until the tremendous climax which brings together everyone for one glorious moment.
Break the storyline up. Find different points that the PCs can undermine the Kobold horde, rally the civilians, and save the day. Instead of heroes swooping in and doing all the work, maybe the heroes put one piece of the puzzle in place one week (say, earning the trust of the villagers and gaining their military support), and the next piece in an unrelated adventure the next (say, stumbling upon Kobold scouts, and knocking out the horde’s resource-gathering in the process). Don’t push the reveal that all of the PC’s actions have been interconnected until you’re far enough into the story where there’s no stopping the dominoes falling, and the PCs are ready and itching to stand together and fight.
Or, to put it another way—instead of thinking of it as The Red Hand of Doom, think of it as RH1-5: The Red Hand of Doom Saga. :)
And as for sandbox-y style play, who’s to say every part of the sandbox isn’t inspired by the Hand in one way or another?
This sounds like a fabulous idea, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more about it as it develops!
You know, I wasn’t entirely sure if I could ever actually pull off The Red Hand of Doom as a sandboxy Labyrinth Lord campaign, but this just made me want to make this an actual thing. Thank you, twogeeksinapod, I salute you!
(Although I would personally argue that the Red Hand didn’t inspire sandbox play as much as it was inspired by the sandboxes of old, but other than that minor gripe this is pure gold.)