The Keep on the Borderlands: An Old School D&D Experience

Old School Essentials, Dungeons & Dragons B/X on ...

Old School Essentials

About the adventure

We're traveling back to the 1980's! The module that started it all for so many gamers: Gary Gygax's "The Keep on the Borderlands" - a frontier castle guarding the Realms of Law from the Forces of Chaos. We'll be using the 1981 Basic/Expert Set D&D rules - Race as Class, 3 Alignments, the whole shebang. If you grew up in the 80's, this is your D&D. If you've come into the hobby in the last couple of decades, you'll be amazed by what an old-school ruleset has to offer!

Professional Game Master

Josh Ervin (Ironic Hero Games)


59 Reviews

Game Designer

30 years as a TTRPG player

30 years as a Game Master

423 games hosted

Brings Thousands of Digital Minis, Hundreds of Virtual Battlemaps, Large Swaths of D&D Beyond Content to the table

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Josh Ervin (Ironic Hero Games) profile

Additional Details

How to prepare

You'll definitely need a mic. I prefer people have a webcam, as everyone being able to see each other and interact is big part of the fun of RPGs. Other than that, all the rules, tokens, maps, etc. will be brought by me. No software installations or accounts needed - everything is just a link or a PDF you can download. Other than that, just bring your imagination!

What I provide

I have the original rules and a mastery of them! I'll be using the Goodman Games reissue of the module featuring "B1: In Search of the Unknown" and "B2: The Keep on the Borderlands" I've got digital tokens from Forgotten Adventures - And maps from Jon Pintar (DM's Guild) made specifically for this module - And form-fillable Character Sheets that track everything you need! I intend this to be a long-term campaign, so if we end up fully exploring the module, I have plenty of other old school modules to continue with... The Tomb of Horrors Expedition to the Barrier Peaks Whiteplume Mountain The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth Against the Cult of the Reptile God Temple of the Frog The Secret of Bone Hill ...and many more!

Gameplay details

This is not your father's D&D...oh wait, it IS your father's D&D! B/X (Basic/Expert) Dungeons and Dragons were the boxed sets released in 1981. That game they're playing on Stranger Things? Freaks & Geeks? Community? - it's not 5e, it's this. Rules are faster, simpler, and honestly far more deadly. Few characters make it past level one - but it only takes about five minutes to roll up a new character, so it's not that big of a deal! Thrill to the completely random and arbitrary rules - want to pick a lock? Roll a 1d100! Want to kick down a door? Roll low on a 1d6! Want to stab somebody? That's when the 1d20s come out! If it sounds complicated, it's actually...not? Trust me, if you've never played, you'll be surprised at how quick and intuitive the rules are compared to newer systems. We'll be using form-fillable PDFs to track characters, and Owlbear Rodeo for the dice rolling and VTT.

Content warnings


Safety tools used


How will character creation work

I'll schedule a free session with each player individually to make 1st level characters. It doesn't take long, and there aren't too many choices to make. There are only 7 classes - Cleric, Dwarf, Elf, Fighter, Halfling, Magic-User, and Thief. If you are a fan of the Old School Essentials retroclone of B/X, I can also offer some of the compatible Advanced classes from that line.

Players can expect

  • Combat/Tactics: High
  • Roleplay: Medium
  • Puzzles: High
  • Experience Level: None

Player reviews (59)

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The Keep on the Borderlands: An Old School D&D Experience

59 Reviews

Price per player-session
You will be charged when a session starts


  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Number of players: 2 to 6 players
  • Experience required: None
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