Return to the Isle of Dread

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My copy of the 5e conversion of the Isle of Dread has finally arrived and I’ve got a lot of reading ahead of me. These Goodman Games conversions involve a chunk of reprinting, but also a big chunk of conversion – and in this case that appears to include a lot of work to make the whole Isle more 5e-friendly (adding appropriate tables of trinkets and treasures, all the dinosaur conversions, etc) as well as general expansion of the material at hand (weather tables, more detailed lairs, shrines, and more stuff deep under taboo island).

The 5e conversion / expansion is downright impressive.

I keep two copies of Isle of Dread in my camping gear (one orange, one blue), along with some Carcosa supplements. I am slowly populating the hexes of the Isle of Dread with bits and bobs of Carcosa – and have replaced all the native tribes and humans with the coloured folk of Carcosa (obviously with extra emphasis of course on the Jale Folk, Dolm Folk, and Ulfire Folk, three colours that are not normal to our world or to the campaign setting in general until arriving at the Isle of Dread).

I use it as an episodic setting. I keep a tabloid-sized “player map” of the Isle (an enlarged copy from the blue-cover edition of the adventure) to show what’s been discovered by previous sessions and expeditions. Players come and go with their characters and expeditions and we keep a running list of neat places partly discovered and hooks for future expeditions. Every few years a new base camp is set up by a PC group, and for the next few years any pickup games set on the Isle use that as the base camp for the expeditions.

The biggest issue that comes up during these pickup games is that most younger players these days are familiar with D&D5e (and prefer it) instead of B/X D&D – so this conversion book does most of the work for me to run these same sessions in 5e instead of B/X.