Greetings hearty adventurers and well met! What you are reading right now is the first in a series of modules that takes place in Karathfen, a small, backwater province of the declining Empire of Hothrondor. While later modules will reveal much more about the setting, The Stronghold of Arolon is suitably generic to fit into any campaign world with ease. This module is to serve as an introduction to new players and new characters alike and has been designed with the intent of being the party’s first major excursion into the dangerous, yet profitable, world of adventuring.
A party of 4-6 first level PCs should be apt to handle The Stronghold with the amount of challenge that was intended. It is my hope that this adventure emulates classic designs while still applying modern, practical adventure design theory. Consequently the adventure is deadly indeed, ripe with opportunity for PC death. This should not be disheartening to the players, but should reaffirm just why not many folks take up the adventuring path. It would be a good idea to inform players before hand that they will be challenged, but a party that works together, play smart, and picks up the clues should have little trouble besting the adventure.
That said, feel free to scale the module as you wish. Too deadly? Remove some of the monsters. Too much treasure? Take some of it away. None of it is crucial for success, but is merely a reward for a game well played. I imagine I’m preaching to the choir about this, but do what you need to do to make this adventure yours. An adventure with a touch of personal detail is an adventure well remembered!
While this was designed for use with Old D&D (BECM or Rules Cyclopedia), I think you’ll find that it can be easily translated to 1E/2E AD&D and Hackmaster.
However you play, have fun! That’s what this crazy hobby of ours is all about.