Monday, May 29, 2023

ACKS Greyhawk: From Hommlet to Nulb

Here's the area map of Hommlet and Nulb referenced in the post:

One of the issues the players must contend with as they shift from exploring the Moat House to the Temple of Elemental Evil is the distance between Hommlet and Nulb.  The Temple of Elemental Evil is that little rectangle south of Nulb.  Since each hex is about 10 leagues or 30 miles, it's a full day back and forth between the dungeon and safety in Hommlet.

Nulb is a raucous, lawless pirate town.  The area is too remote from the town of Verbobonc, 3 solid days away, for the laws of Verbobonc to carry much weight in the area.  The population consists of scoundrels, brigands, and river pirates.  Staying in Nulb is possible for the player characters, but could be challenging for parties containing "lawful stupid" characters, and our player character group is full of clerics and paladins.  Cover up my plate mail so the locals can't see I'm a paladin?  That's nonsense!  So the cooler heads decided the party probably shouldn't stay in Nulb.  (Several games into exploring the dungeon, the players have re-thought the whole problem of stealth and being undercover and are taking a more circumspect approach to exploring, so lawful stupid can be fixed).

They considered rebuilding the moathouse, and even appealed to Lord Burne of Hommlet for dispensation to restore it and turn it into a hangout - he's considering their request.  It's a bit remote for their purposes of having a safe place to retire between adventures - it's only an hour or two outside of Hommlet.  One of my rules for this campaign is that the players need to start and end each session in a safe place so we can support episodic play and allow people to drop in as available.  The player roster is up to 9 players, but it's not uncommon to fire up a game night with only 3 or 4 players available, so the cast can change week to week.

Their ultimate solution?  They decided to build their own wilderness camp.  They were rolling in cash after overthrowing the New Master and claiming some bounties for ridding the moat house of bandits.  The players bought wagons, horses, some mercenary retainers, tents, supplies, even a few canoes.  They avoided Nulb entirely, staying within the Gnarley Woods and camping on the western side of Imeryds Run, the small river flowing through Nulb.  I'm a stickler for tracking rations, consumable supplies like torches and oil and arrows, using marching orders, night watches, and so on.  Strict time records must be kept!  Google Docs has become the player's friend.

It took two game sessions for the players to figure out the camp logistics, set up camp, and explore the Temple surface ruins (outer works) and then explore the Temple itself above ground.  They astutely chose to stay away from the tower in the north east of the ruins, and haven't been back there yet.  (Anyone familiar with T1-4 probably knows the tower - it's a Gygaxian locale that can slaughter an inexperienced group).  Inside the temple they discovered at least 4 ways down into the dungeons beneath the site.  I'll pick up with their first forays into the dungeons next time and these game reports will get up to date.


  1. Always have enjoyed your play reports and stuff. I look forward to reading more.

  2. Good stuff! Do Hommlet or ToEE include wilderness encounter entries? Or do the players get subjected to the AD&D style "30-300 Orcs" tables that I presume ACKS also has?

    1. I'm using the ACKS tables which are modeled on Moldvay\Cook basic D&D, so the wilderness encounter tables are very reasonable compared to AD&D. Although I should see if the Greyhawk folio covers this area, there are some Greyhawk specific wilderness encounter tables as well.