BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

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BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Big Ulf » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:38 pm

Hi all, think this is the right forum for this but apologies if not.

Nephew is keen on taking D&D more 'seriously' and getting a new group of like-minded friends together to start a D&D campaign anew. I'm the uncle and will be DMing the first few modules (and maybe more, we'll see!).

I don't have a lot of time so am thrilled to be able to use only pre-existing modules and we'll be using the BECMI (or maybe B/X with Blackrazor's B/X Companion) rules set.

Nephew has already participated in B2 (Keep on Borderlands), B10 (Night's Dark Terror), B9 (Castle Caldwell), AC2 (Treasure of...), and X6 (Quagmire) so I don't want to use any of those.

I'm open to using some of my favourite 1st ed. AD&D modules (N4 - Treasure Hunt or the U1-3 trilogy for example), but also happy to use any of the B series I haven't yet used (heard good things about B4 and B5 for example).

All the kids will be 11-12 years old. B2 was always good because they could retreat to the Keep and regroup/get new characters if needed, although I can work out places like that in any module I guess.

Any high recommendations from the ones I listed, or others that stand out for that age group?

thanks
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:25 pm

B11: King's Festival was a pretty good introductory module; the adventure itself is pretty straightforward and interesting, with possibilities for expansion, and it has a really good section for first time DMs as well.

B8: Journey to the Rock might be a good one for that age group as well.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Big Ulf » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:37 pm

thanks, been DMing for a long time and was wary of the later entries in the B series (B11 and 12), especially after the great B10 could have ended the series on a big high. So it's worth it?

Will take a look at B8, thanks
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:08 am

At about that age I enjoyed a lot the Palace of the Silver Princess... I still remember many detail of that early adventure, although if I'd play it nowadays for the first time probably wouldn't impress me much...
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Blackleaf » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:18 am

Isle of Dread, The Lost City and Dwellers of the Forbidden City are all quite good although I find the latter two a bit too sketchy. I feel that Isle of Dread gives you more to work with.

But I'd also suggest you check out the UK TSR series particularly When a Star Falls which is probably my favourite TSR module.

For AD&D your instinct to use the excellent Treasure Hunt is a good one, I'd also add Under Ilefarn.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:26 am

Big Ulf wrote:thanks, been DMing for a long time and was wary of the later entries in the B series (B11 and 12), especially after the great B10 could have ended the series on a big high. So it's worth it?


B11 is well done. B12 is ostensibly a sequel to it, but it is not quite as new gamer friendly, IMO, and isn't as well organized. The plot also doesn't really tie in as well with the setup in King's Festival as it ought to, IMO.

Now that I think of it, the Thunder Rift modules are fairly good "intro" modules, at least the first couple of them (The Silver Sword and Rage of the Rakasta come to mind). I think the Knight of Newts was not very good, and I can't recall the others offhand so can't recommend them. They all had big maps and cutout character counters so are pretty good for kids, I'd think. The latter two DDA series modules (3 and 4) also had this setup, which was becoming a standard format at the time, but again, I wouldn't recommend those two modules. The plots are not very good.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Big Ulf » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:53 am

thanks gang
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby RobJN » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:32 am

I'll second the nomination for B11: A good straightforward save the princess cleric and bash some orcs adventure :D No muck-y politicking, no Big Mystery to uncover, no Nefarious Instigator to unmask.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Big Ulf » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:31 pm

thanks again, after looking at B11 I decided to go for it. A good length, although I do wonder if I should have just given it to my nephew as the first module he runs as a DM. Other options were either Horror on the Hill (clone of KotB, but yeah having a dragon at end isn't too bad - but it looks like as long a module as KotB was and I don't have the time to do it justice)...or adapting U1-3 from AD&D to to a nice Saltmarsh campaign. Maybe later.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby ghendar » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:38 pm

Big Ulf wrote:
All the kids will be 11-12 years old. B2 was always good because they could retreat to the Keep and regroup/get new characters if needed, although I can work out places like that in any module I guess.


That will be tough with B4 as written.

I like B5 Horror on the Hill. Are these kids who will like a lot of hack and slash? if so, B5 is as good as any.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Dartamian » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:13 am

B5 Horror on the Hill is a great module, but can turn into a long grind.

U1 is a nice starter module, it eases the party in and builds up the intensity.

B11 works well as an introductory module, especially for those new to the game.

T1 always works nice if they are interesting in interacting with some NPCs.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Big Ulf » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:18 am

Thanks gang -

Here's the thing: I don't have a lot of spare time but it's my nephews and their buddies, and how great is it to be the guy who introduces some of them to a game that could change their lives. So I'll make the time.

They would like hack and slash for sure, but I suggested this to them when they were fighting over video games. I wanted to put them in an environment where they had to work together and use their imagination. My older nephew took to it like a duck to water, and he quickly outdeveloped his buddies. He wants to get "serious" now and his original pals have fun, but could just as easily be doing something else. So I suggested he ask some of his newer friends and voilá, we have a party of 4-5, 3 of which are newbies.

Would like to keep encouraging creative thinking over running in with swords, which is why B2 would be great. But he's already played it.

So might start with B11 and skip B12, then go to the U1-3 series. Hm, not a bad idea...
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby BotWizo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:13 pm

I would say B1 is a good exploration module.
B4 was fun but the campaign will spend a good deal of time there.
B3 was interesting, and fun to play at a younger age.
B7 was not really for younger players since they typically will just try and smash the bad person, so the trickery might get lost on them.
You already ran the other top B choices I would have.

You may like the x series modules for your follow up.
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Re: BECMI for 12-year-olds: starting module

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:09 pm

If I were you I'd try the Curse of Xanathon: first you investigate in a strange city, then you hack and slash, they you find that just hacking and slashing is not enough and go back to investigation until you find the "clever" solution.
If your group doesn't have the rght level, you can manage the power of the baddies (apart from the one very bad, of course!)
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