So, tonight at my job I was drawing up a map. (I have the fortunate luxury of being able to do such things on my job) This map was to a dungeon that I was going to run my younger brother through (age 18) for his first game of Dungeons and Dragons, using the first edition of the Advanced rules set. Also joining the game will be one of his friends, one of mine that I haven't seen in a while, and possibly a few others.
I originally had wanted to use the Moldvay basic rules, both out of its simplicity and out of a desire to tread untested waters for me. However, as I have four Players Handbooks for First Edition, as well as my friend having three of his own, I decided to go the more practical route and go with that edition. I thought it would be good for everyone in the group, new to First Edition (except my friend), to be able to hold the book in their hands. They could experience the texture of the binding, of the pages, the sweet-dusky smell of the pages and see the gritty art. Such things are draws to me, making the game not so much a collection of rules but a living, vibrant thing.
As for the game's content, I plan for the group to begin in a small town in one of the many empty hexes of the Flannaes. Perhaps I'd use the old, tired and true, tavern opening. After all, it will be my brother's first game. Who would I be to deny him that most iconic of beginnings?
I plan to put a few adventure hooks here and there. Perhaps there would be bandits outside the town limits. Maybe there would be a small den of goblins to the north. Maybe there's a mad hermit, giving dire fortunetelling's to those who seek him out? Of course, there will be the ruins of a long lost civilization, buried in the woods, and beneath them would be a much newer construction - one built by monsters and evil spirits. That, my friends, is where the dungeon comes in.
To construct the dungeon, I've stuck to the tried and true "Random Dungeon Generator" in the appendices of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Now, I don't use the randomness full scale. I take what makes sense out of my rolls, and whatever else I want to do.
In any case, the game is scheduled this Friday, and I still have a lot to do. Need to fill the rooms, monsters, treasure, dressing etc...