How would the Haunted Keep from B/X look different if I used Dark Dungeon 2nd edition instead of D&D? And would the difference make a real difference?
I continue my conversion experiment at room #3. Again, here's the Moldvay map for reference.
Room #3: contains a secret safe in the wall with a sleep gas trap. One of those traps that always leaves me wondering why it wasn't set off by the first band of wandering orcs passing by. But just suppose it's there as it is, then I would need to set a rating for the trap to be found, and one for how hard it is to deactivate it. In both cases I'll say it's 9+ as that is the typical rating. And if it goes off, the room will fill with gas. I'll say that people who run or cover their faces need a 6+ on Con not to fall asleep. And those who are to daft to react need a 9+ on Con. The sleep will last up to a few hours. Enough for wandering creatures to come in and eat the napping heroes for breakfast, I guess.
And there is treasure. 400 silvers. Now I run into yet another difference. 400 sp in Dark Dungeon would be an ok treasure. But a few rooms further on I see a jewel worth 1100 gold. That's a fortune in DD. So that won't translate one on one. I figure the best thing is to change silvers into coppers, gold into silver, platinum into gold. So there are 400 coppers here. Hardly worth falling asleep for.
Room #4: Here are two prisoners, and four hobgoblins who stand guard. The room is well in the back and can't be reached before negotiating most other rooms in the level, no matter if it's number 4. The prisoners are unnamed in the key, but for story purpose I'll say that one of them is Morgan's brother Paul. That would give a sense of accomplishment if the heroes can save him.
The hobgoblins in D&D are AC6, HD 1+1, HP 7/9/4/5, MV 90', #AT 1 D1-8.
With last posts tables that would translate to:
Mace or Axe 2 (weapon class 2), but I'll up their skills to 3/3/3 and 4 respectively
Dex 1, but I'll vary that to 0/0/2/2
Ring mail and helmet (armor class 2)
Actually I'll need few other stats, although Wil and Con might be 1 or 2 if I need to know. I'm surprised to see that Dark Dungeon actually has fewer stats.
And there is treasure. 500 sp and a necklace worth 1100 gp. That becomes 500 copper and a necklace worth 1100 silvers (55 gold). Under the rug is a trapdoor to level two of the Dungeon.
#5 The chapel with a rat man statue. And a dozen goblins sleeping in bunk beds. If I were to game master this, they would be aided by the hobgoblins from #4 or vice versa if there were any trouble. Nasty attack in the rear if the heroes don't watch their backs.
The goblin D&D stats are: AC 6, HD 1-1, hp 5 each, MV 60', #AT 1 D 1-6.
In DD that becomes: Club or Knife 0 (I'll vary that 0/1/2), weapon class 1, armour class 1 (leather, but I'll vary that to 0 or 1). You might feel that accomplished ruffians like the goblins have no real fighting skill, and it surely would bother me. So I would'nt be angry if you'd give the goblins skill 2 or 3 in their combat prowess. That would only make sense.
Room #6: is empty.
Room #7: contains a green slime. I'd really give the heroes a few hints telling them there are traces of goblin bones in some putrid green sunstance on the ground. And something dripping down. That might alert them to the blob on the ceiling. The slime itself is a 2 HD monster, so it would have a surprise attack with skill 2 (effectively 4+ on d10, or 9+ on d10+2+3) if heroes don't pay heed. Fire can kill the thing, but otherwise it will dissolve a hit hero into green slime. It can't be scraped off, but a prayer to Raphael might remove it – let's say at 12+
Green slime is a very nasty critter if you don't know how to deal with it. Personally I would rather scare the players witless for a scene than kill one off. Or else I'd use an NPC or monster for that. And there follows another difference between Dark Dungeon and D&D. At least in how I play the former, and how the latter is portrayed in the rulebook. D&D is harsh and deadly, with life and death in the hands of the dice – and the preparation of the Game Master. Dark Dungeon is scary, and might be deadly – but story effect should prevail. At least how I see it.
Room #8: has scary scummy water and a heavy statue of an iron maiden. There is no real danger.
Room #9: has four spying goblins behind a secret door with a spying hole. You can find the stats for them at room #5.
So far for level one of the Rodemus Ruin. I'd like to add some stats for Paul and the other prisoner, for story sake. Let's say Paul is also a somewhat capable fighter, but still a teenager.
Paul Ironwolf, Str 3, Con 2, App -1 (low charisma runs in the family), sword 3, short bow 2. He is wounded, maybe even tortured, but willing to fight and join. And he could wear hobgoblin armour to become a more effective aide to the party.
The second prisoner is an older man named Neérmynde. He is confused and bleeding from the head. But if the heroes help him, he might turn out as an ally. Perhaps he is a dabbling mage.
Neérmynde, Int 3, Wil 3, fire magick 3, Animal Shapeshifting 3, latin 3, read & write 3
There, maybe next post I'll figure out how I would proceed to the next levels in Dark Dungeon.