tower of zenopus playtest report

I ran my second short playtest game last night. Instead of using B2, I ran a on the fly conversion of the sample dungeon in the back of the Holme's Basic book. If there was a monster that wasn't in the playtest docs, I just substituted something that felt equivalent. For example, instead of the 2 ghouls I used the wight from the playtest. It proved to be a push over - dead in one round. 

They then ran into 8 dire rats. Fear dire rats, they are tough with their d6 damage plus a possible d6 disease damage. They got chewed up pretty bad by that. I do wish that disease and poison work differently. Just doing hp damage is bland. 

They pushed on after a short rest to regain a few hp and surprised the evil magic user and his charmed fighter (substituted with the evil priest and gnoll from the playtest). The fighter successfully resisted his hold person spell and so they were able to beat them fairly easily with only the wizard taking some damage. 

All the fights were done without any sort of grid or minis and the party even had to map the dungeon themselves. It played really well and we all had a great time

Sounds good. Thanks for the intersting post.


Nice to see Bargle making an appearance! I take it that it WAS Bargle?

Sounds great! Thank's for sharing!

I've been waiting for more of these kinds of reports, with people running old school dungeons (or newer retro clone OSR modules), to surface. I'm frankly surprised there haven't been more. I haven't actually gotten the chance to playtest the rules myself yet, but it seems to me that most old 1e/2e modules would be fairly easy to run with the Next rules! Smile

Sounds good. Thanks for the intersting post.


Nice to see Bargle making an appearance! I take it that it WAS Bargle?




Nope, this is actually before Bargle.  The evil magic user in this dungeon is unnamed.

Sounds great! Thank's for sharing!

I've been waiting for more of these kinds of reports, with people running old school dungeons (or newer retro clone OSR modules), to surface. I'm frankly surprised there haven't been more. I haven't actually gotten the chance to playtest the rules myself yet, but it seems to me that most old 1e/2e modules would be fairly easy to run with the Next rules! 



Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of B2 and I wanted to do a more straight forward dungeon and this has always been one of my favorites.  It's small and is a free download here-  www.wizards.com/dnd/files/Basic_1977.pdf

I was also curious if I could run an old module designed expressly for 1st level play without having balance issues.  B2 has hordes of monsters in it and can handle higher levels with ease, but I found the balance not to be a problem with using a smaller and easier dungeon.  They still wanted to go back to town after 3 encounters.  Pretty much just like old school D&D.  Being able to easily convert all my old modules to 5e is big selling point.  

Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of B2 and I wanted to do a more straight forward dungeon and this has always been one of my favorites.  It's small and is a free download here-  www.wizards.com/dnd/files/Basic_1977.pdf

I was also curious if I could run an old module designed expressly for 1st level play without having balance issues.  B2 has hordes of monsters in it and can handle higher levels with ease, but I found the balance not to be a problem with using a smaller and easier dungeon.  They still wanted to go back to town after 3 encounters.  Pretty much just like old school D&D.  Being able to easily convert all my old modules to 5e is big selling point.  



Thanks for the handy link. I with you a little on B2 The Keep on the Borderlands though I do confess a little 'nostalgic' love for Gary Gygay's work which friends and I had a lot of fun playing many years ago (and YES, I do have my very own, old, beat up copy of it).  I do really like that it seems like it would be relatively easy to convert older material for D&D Next.

Like Mchensley stated in the OP, there are some pushover encounters but others can be more than challenging.  In the playtest I ran there were 4 characters played (all but the Human Cleric of Pelor).  After a few encounters with the hobgoblins, the party left & took a long rest.  When they returned to face the Hobgoblin Warlord, she had moved her troops into defensive positions & kept 4 guards on duty outside her chambers at all time, and in positions to be granted Advantage if they surrounded the PCs.

These softened up the PCs and by the time they battled through these, they we a little weakened.  The battle with the 75 HP Warlord proved very harrowing for my group.  They took some shots, returend in kind... and by the end of the fight, 2 of the 4 characters were 'dying' in the negative HPs.  I can see the Ogre encounter being potentially deadly if the PCs don't take special precautions, scout, use Advantage, lay a trap or ambush, etc.  There are a lot of encounters like this in the playtest; if not careful, a group can meet their demise.