D&D: 5th Edition Investigates the Keep on the Borderlands

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Two classic adventures are coming to 5th. The Borderlands await bold heroes with challenges, old and new.

When word came to the office that soon we’d have an adventure featuring both Borderlands and Keeps, I immediately started referencing Tiny Tina’s legendary assault on Dragon Keep, where a team of vault hinters, and the heroes of Pandora play a D&D-esque game with a grieving 13-year-old explosives expert to try and help her deal with the loss of a friend.

I had just started explaining about Butt Stallion when I noticed that my antics weren’t receiving the usual disdainful glances and pained groans I’ve come to interpret as affectionate regard, but in their place a kind of apprehensive cautious backing away.

That’s when I realized that the news is about the legendary modules B1 and B2, Into the Unknown and Keep on the Borderlands.

It could happen to anyone, really. Butt Stallion or no, this is some pretty exciting news. According to a post from Goodman Games, the first on their series of classic D&D modules, updated for 5th Edition will be shipping soon.

We’ve previously covered Goodman Games’ partnership with WotC to update 1st Edition Modules to 5th, and we’re seeing the first fruits of this effort. With an April release date, it won’t be long before adventurers return to the Caves of Chaos and the Caves of the Unknown in search of fortune and glory kids, fortune and glory.

via Goodman Games

Editing, writing, and art are complete, and we’re almost done with layout on the hardcover. The current layout weighs in at 368 pages. We still need to add a few things and anticipate it will close out at around 380 pages. Wow, that’s a big book! The hardcover includes the following:

  • Restored scans of two complete printings of the original B1: In Search of the Unknown. Specifically, the second and sixth printings, one featuring the original monochrome cover and the other featuring the later color cover by Darlene.
  • Three complete monster and treasure assortments for stocking the dungeons of In Search of the Unknown (which are “un-stocked” in the original 1E edition).
  • Restored scans of two complete printings of the original B2: The Keep on the Borderlands. Specifically the second and fourth printings. These are distinguished the change in monster stats between the two printings (Dexterity scores were included in early printings). The later printing also features six interior illustrations that were not present in earlier printings.
  • A complete, “pure” 5E conversion of In Search of the Unknown, including tables for stocking it with creatures.
  • A separate chapter with a few new encounters for the Caverns of Quasqueton, all inspired by references in the original work.
  • A complete, “pure” 5E conversion of The Keep on the Borderlands.
  • A separate chapter with a few new encounters for The Keep on the Borderlands, all inspired by references in the original work.
  • Appendices with 5E stats for newly introduced monsters, hirelings and followers, and magic items.
  • A chapter of introductions and testimonials.

We are also ready, at long last, to reveal the preliminary cover design for Into the Borderlands.

So there you have it friends. As we’ve seen previously in the Tales from the Yawning Portal, 5th Edition rules play very nicely with the old modules. They bring old school mechanics into modern design, and yield up a cool new mix. April isn’t too far off, and we’ll no doubt hear more about what’s next from Goodman around then.

Happy Adventuring!

  • dave long island

    Nostalgia overload!!! Outstanding. outstanding, outstanding!!! Keep me coming Goodman Games! Do The Village of Hommlet next!

    • Aurion Shidhe

      I would love to see the return of Burne and Rufus! They mentored many a fighter and magic-user back in the day.

  • euansmith

    I think that there is something magical about the old D&D Module artwork; naive, and yet, committed.

    • bobrunnicles

      I love it – I was very happy when Goodman started putting out DCC modules for 3rd Ed with all-new Erol Otus artwork on the cover 🙂 Really took me back!

    • marxlives

      It does have a very underground or indie feel to it.

    • Aurion Shidhe

      I miss Jeff Dee’s artwork from those old modules. His drawing of Elwita, the female dwarf fighter in the Slave Lords modules was the first time we had seen an obviously feminine dwarf with a thick flowing beard. And his work on the Melnibonean and Norse mythos in the Deities and Demigods book made me a lifelong fan.

  • Boondox

    This is cool. But 380 pages for two modules? If it’s an update to 5E why are there two complete scans of each of the older modules? And why an entire chapter devoted to introductions and testimonials?

    • Tom Evans

      It allows for OSR Gamers to play the original modules like the A series and S series reprints back in 2013.

      It’s one part new content and one part historical.

      • Boondox


      • bobrunnicles

        I for one love rereading older modules – my original copies of B1 and B2 are getting pretty battered these days, be really nice to see them again in pristine condition and accompanied by that ‘new module’ smell 🙂

  • Tom Evans

    I hope this doesn’t get a second delay. It was originally slated for September 2017, then pushed to “End of year 2017”, I’m cool with waiting till April, but I’m concerned that another delay won’t be good for sales.

    • dynath

      I’m kinda glad it got pushed back, its not competing with other dnd modules.

  • Benedikt

    I hope this doesn’t get a second delay. It was originally slated for September 2017, then pushed to “End of year 2017”, I’m cool with waiting till April, but I’m concerned that another delay won’t be good for sales.

  • nick


  • misomiso

    What is the art of the girl with the ax at the beginning of the article and what is the aruthor talking about re ‘Tiny Tina’?

    • Aurion Shidhe

      Only the greatest first-person shooter video game of all time. Borderlands (and its sequels). FPS video games make me vomit in my mouth just thinking about playing them (I’m an old isometric view guy) but Borderlands is worth the play through.

  • Vepr

    Love seeing this old stuff brought back. Thank you to those doing it.

  • Aurion Shidhe

    We just finished a run through KotB that our GM had updated himself. It will be cool to see how it compares.

  • GiftoftheMagi

    Like having an old friend back.