Barrowmaze and Labyrinth Lord

Barrowmaze CoverTuesday nights are normally my Dungeon Crawl Classics game night with my online group. Between a vacation for one member of the group and school/finals for another it seemed best to take a two week break from the DCC game. But for the rest of us, we decided to step into the early depths of Barrowmaze for a two week break.

I’ve posted a bit about Barrowmaze here at The Iron Tavern before. Last summer I ran parts of it with the Swords & Wizardry ruleset. Regular readers know I am a big fan of Swords & Wizardry and post about it semi-frequently here. Iron Tavern Press even uses the S&W ruleset as its default rules assumption.

But for this Barrowmaze Delve we will be using Labyrinth Lord. The biggest reason is that a lot of the folks playing already use the Labyrinth Lord ruleset in other games. Their familiarity will let me focus more on the game than on the rules.

Others will notice I released a Labyrinth Lord conversion sheet for Kajak’s Kave. So I thought a little more time with the ruleset could be beneficial if I decide to convert some of the other Iron Tavern Press products to LL as well.

Preparation Steps

So what does one do when they decide to run Barrowmaze about 5 days before game time? Since I’ve read and run it before, a lot of the heavy lifting was done. I just needed to be sure my resources were close at hand and I would have the information at my fingertips. I typically don’t prep a whole lot for games, but I do like to have what notes and resources I do need easily accessible.


First, I needed to re-read the LL rules. Now I started on Moldvay, so LL is an easy fit for me. But I gave the rulebook another read so I had the rules more clearly in my mind and so I could look up rules if I needed to.

Part of this phase also involved started a Barrowmaze Delve info sheet to help my players know which optional rules we’d be using and which we wouldn’t. Nothing major here – no AEC, just the main LL book. Max hit points at 1st level, group initiative, variable weapon damage, and morale checks when I remember them!

Labyrinth Lord CoverSome of the key things regarding surprise and such were jotted down as notes on the folder I will be using to hold some of my printed reference sheets.

Speaking of which – I did grab a Labyrinth Lord screen. It was for the AEC rules, but a few small tweaks and it was good to go. The biggest thing I wanted on hand as the Attack tables and Saving Throw charts. We are using descending AC as written. It has been a long time since I’ve run something with descending AC!

Index Cards

I tend to use index cards a lot when running a game. They make great name displays for face-to-face games, handy for not passing, NPC characteristics, and even session notes. The prep on this front was primarily gathering up my spare index card holder, making sure I had my different colored cards, and pre-labeling one for rooms explored, so I know which rooms need re-stocked. I still need to make up a few initiative cards, but that will likely happen as the hangout launches.

The Module

I had already read most of Barrowmaze and run some of the early portions of it. I re-read the unique characteristics of Barrowmaze. A few of these items made it to my notes on the folder to remind me of them when I run.

Then of course I read the early sections of it, where they are most likely to go first just to have those sections fresh in my head.


I will be using G+ Hangouts and Roll20. While I don’t use minis when I run online, I do like to have a map for some form of context (though I am tempted to have them map it out, but that takes so much time). So I bought the map pack and then loaded up Gimp to make a Player version of the map to use in Roll20. Now I have a version where the secret doors and trap indicators have been removed. I also split the into two sections to keep things snappy in Roll20.

In addition, since this is only a two week session, I modified a map the party of adventurers will have that help guide them to the main entrance of Barrowmaze. In a longer campaign I wouldn’t do this, but I want to see them get to things quickly – so this modified map they will find in character will help facilitate that.


In the info document I shared with the players already, I also included a map of the starting town, Helix, and listed a couple of places in town. Some of this is so their characters can have a bit of relevant background. And also so we can jump right into the game.



And that is how I prepped for a Barrowmaze Delve. We shall see how it works out, but I think I have things positioned well for a great two weeks of gaming before we return to our DCC campaign!

Review: The Twice Robbed Tomb

The Twice Robbed Tomb CoverAuthor:  Perry Fehr
Publisher:  Purple Duck Games
Cover Art: Ryan Rhodes
Price: PDF $2.00 – at RPGNow / at
Pages: 10 (incl. cover)

The Twice Robbed Tomb is a Labyrinth Lord adventure from Purple Duck Games. Written by Perry Fehr the module comes in at 10 pages including cover and OGL licensing page. A variety of artists receive credit, including Ryan Rhodes, Darkzel, Storn Cook, and Malcom McClinton.

Pheniket the Pharaonic’s tomb was uncovered nearly 50 years ago. Through this discovery the almost completed plans of Pheniket have begun to come to fruition. With “treasure maps” and “keys” being sold in town leading unsuspecting adventurers to the tomb to find loot not carried out from the tomb, the party is likely to find themselves in search of lost treasures.

The module contains the tomb’s background and a merchant peddling maps to the tomb. A rumor table is also included for characters that do some research in town before headed out. The monster’s in the module are standard with a strong undead theme for the tomb.

The art in the module is predominantly color, save for one black and white work. The latter is naked succubus which is why this particular module has an adult label at RPGNow. A player’s map and Labyrinth Lord map are both included. Player’s maps are always a nice thought for those of us who play over virtual tabletops.

The Review

A lot of adventure is packed into the ten pages. With the main plot hook occurring in town and some short travel needed to reach the tomb a Labyrinth Lord could easily expand on that portion if desired.

The temple itself is ten encounter areas. Each is well detailed and includes boxed text as well as the monster stat blocks. Several of the rooms were quite interesting with features that stood out. I risk spoilering the module if I say too much on this aspect, but the adventure is more than just a room-by-room clearing.

Of note is that the maps used in the module are the same as the maps used by The Falcate Idol, a DCC RPG release from Purple Duck Games. This made reading the module quite interesting in seeing how one author populated the maps versus another author.

The module is listed as being appropriate for 4 characters of 3rd level or 6 or more at 2nd level. Tackling the adventure with 4 characters seems like even then it might be tough, especially given the nature of some of the monsters included. At the very least if I were running this, I would strongly encourage some hirelings.

The Twice Robbed Tomb looks like a great adventure for Labyrinth Lord. I could easily see using it for a side-trek as the party passes through a desert town or possibly something that fit more into a grand campaign scheme!