Today I managed to play through my first old solo adventure testing out the flexibility of the current D&D rules and I have to say I think it went fairly smoothly.
As I mentioned before my new 1st level Fighter; Konnor played through Rogue Mage an old solo adventure from Warlock Magazine. During the course of the adventure I substituted Monster Manual stats for the common creatures (Goblins & Giant Snake) I encountered and made up some of the other creatures stats on the fly. Where I needed to I generally substituted their Hit Dice as a bonus to be applied to every "to hit" roll save and stat test and that seemed to work reasonably well for the most part. In addition I realised I would have to make up DCs for saves that I was required to make during the adventure so rather than making them variable I just decided at the outset that every save would have a DC of 15. Again that seemed to work fairly well and I only failed the important saves during my play-through.
My gauge for saying it worked well is that I didn't have to figure out or change very much on the fly and when I did the current rules provided some pretty easy answers that didn't require me to break the flow of the game. In hindsight my only challenge was that I shouldn't have chosen a non-TSR adventure first as it meant that I was dealing with a lot (eight) of creatures that weren't in the Monster Manual. The thing I did like about using what was essentially a short Fighting Fantasy novel written for Basic D&D is that the treasure haul was fairly meagre and doesn't feel like it makes the character unusable or overpowered for my next adventure.
So without any further ado, how did Konnor do?
Rogue Mage starts out with Konnor having been tried and convicted for thievery after falling on hard times. Before his sentence can be handed down the Guild Of Magicians takes Konnor into custody and offer him a pardon if he can track down a rogue mage from their order and recover an artifact stolen from the Guild. It's that or the noose so Konnor is off to find the mage!
Outside of town the mage's lair is cut into the mountainside and guarded by goblins, after defeating the guards Konnor journeys into a maze stocked with dangerous monsters (acid spitting Ant-Men, Octopus/Man hybrids, Slime Monsters and a giant snake that can camouflage itself as a pile of treasure). Once through the maze a chase begins with Konnor catching up to the evil wizard and after scorching him with a scroll that shoots fire, Konnor 'bravely' stabbed him in the back.
During the short adventure Konnor managed to acquire a +1 Short Sword and roughly 200 GP worth of treasure. He also found 3 potions of healing scattered around but used all of them, plus the one he started with just to make it through to the end.
Mission accomplished, and Konnor walked out with 950 XP (enough for 3rd level) and 6 of his Hit Points left. As an aside a 1st level Fighter with no CON bonus has 10 Hit Points and I burned through about 29 during this adventure so if Konnor had failed to find any of those healing potions he wouldn't have made it.
So let's see what Konnor looks like now, and why:
I levelled up twice and decided that I would increase Konnor's Fighter level because it seemed like those were the skills he had used, but I also multi-classed into Wizard because (meta-reason) my next adventure requires a level 1-3 Elf or Magic-User by the old Basic rules, and this seemed the best way to maintain continuity with one character. I did fairly well on my Hit Point rolls thankfully (no CON bonus) but may become a bit squishier next adventure anyway. I'm assuming that if Konnor is ready to spellcast at a moment's notice that he cannot carry his shield so his Armour Class will be moving in the wrong direction.
Konnor's next adventure will be "Ghost Of Lion Castle" another old school D&D solo adventure written by Top Secret game designer Merle Rasmussen. I've got one more adventure planned (Lathan's Gold) for after that and then my well will have run dry for D&D solo adventures. If anyone can recommend any additional adventures (that I can actually get my hands on) please let me know.
I'm also considering formally stat'ing up some of the Fighting Fantasy monsters I encountered if that's of any interest to anyone, let me know.