(Spoilers inside) Anyone run Caverns of Thracia? A few questions


I am prepping to run Caverns of Thracia in BX. But I’ve run into a few issues:

  1. This seems … absolutely brutal. Just on the first floor there are so many chances to get wiped out by groups of powerful enemies. I know the players should be avoiding combat if possible, using tricks and tactics, etc. I’m definitely going to recommend at least 8 PCs plus henchmen. But those who have run it, how did it go? And what level were the PCs to start?

  2. The treasure amounts are so, so low. I totaled it up and got a total GP value of 3700 for the first floor. That’s after killing or avoiding many, many monsters with several hit dice apiece. I’d like to increase the treasure amounts (sprinkle in some potions, scrolls, and bulky valuable art pieces) but I’m just not sure what to target. “Everyone should be able to level up, plus 50% extra since they won’t find it all,” a rule of thumb I’ve seen online, would mean multiplying all the values by 6, which feels extreme.

To give an example: room 20 has a paralyzation trap, 3 2nd level fighters in plate and 2 2nd level clerics. The treasure in this room is worth 300GP, and if you do get into a battle (or even get spotted) the fighters blow a whistle to warn enemies in the next ~10 rooms. If you’ve run this, did you adjust things like this?

Very excited to run this, my players are excited for a challenging old school module and know about all the OSR tropes etc. I just want it to be a fun challenge and not a total slaughter.

Just an update— I simulated some battles with 8 PCs and they weren’t as brutal as I imagined. I might leave the enemies as is but multiply the treasure to some degree and would love input on that

For calculating treasure amounts on the first floor I multiply the XP a fighter of 1st level needs to level up with the number of player characters. To account for the fact that there might be quite a bit of attrition because someone is certainly going to die an take a bunch of Xp with them, I usually add +50% to the amount.
Tldr: Assuming I have about 5 players per session I get 5 x 2000 x 1.5= 15k g.p. for a first floor.

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Thank you! This is helpful