Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands

A ruined monument to folly and ego, the Shadowed Keep stands atop an isolated bluff deep in a mist-wreathed forest. Sacked by marauding goblins decades ago the place was thought abandoned, but shadows now creep among the forest’s great boles and footprints have appeared on the single, overgrown track leading to the keep. Travellers have begun to disappear with alarming regularity from the nearby road and the local folk fear some slumbering evil has claimed the ruin as its own.

The Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands by Marc Radle

The Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands by Marc Radle


Dare you brave the terrors of the Shadowed Keep to crush that which lurks within or will darkness shroud the surrounding lands?

Designed to be easily inserted into a GM’s home campaign, Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is an excellent starting locale to test the mettle of neophyte adventurers.

Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is designed for the medium advancement track. 1st-level PCs completing all the challenges of the place can expect to reach 3rd-level by the time they have exhausted all the keep has to offer.

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 Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands Session Reports

Creighton ran Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands as part of his Borderland of Adventure campaign back in 2012. The posts below are the session summaries of those sessions!

 Praise for Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands

“If you’re like me, then you are a sucker for old school on-the-frontier dungeon crawls. Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is more than an homage to those days of yore. It plays and expands on the theme with intriguing characters, compelling stories, and cunning encounters. There is such a wealth of adventure packed into this ruined little keep that it will keep your players engaged session after session, and keep them coming back for more. So make a run for the junk food and pop, come up with pithy character hooks, don’t forget to buy a 10-foot pool, and always keep your wits about you. It’s that kind of adventure and more.”

 —Stephen Radney MacFarland

“There is lots of content within these pages. The Shadowed Keep is an old school romp with bandits, undead, goblins, ogres traps and mysteries. As a GM this offers me the chance to run an old school game with modern thinking, editing and structure which makes it extremely easy to run.”

–Pierre Hall (five stars)

“it is all about the details in this particular adventure – the whole adventure makes for such an immensely detailed place, the foes and their tactics are so detailed that actually RUNNING the adventure is a blast, especially with all the things to show your players. Even better, the module provides quite a challenge… we had a surprisingly awesome time while clearing out the keep…I’ll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars for this very old-school module.”

 -Endzeitgeist (five stars)

“…beginning GM’s pay attention. You can do little better than this module, that caters so well to organization and provides everything you need to run the encounters in a nice, clear format that’s a snap to navigate.”

–DM Jeff (five stars)

“Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is an excellent adventure in terms of quality of design and possibilities for use. Every single room within the keep is extensively described and detailed, making the GMs job much easier, and the flavor of which change or grow as the PCs get deeper and deeper into the adventure, which avoids the feeling of repetitious or mundane. Don’t expect the same old thing when you enter a new room, because you will possibly be very surprised at what you find.”

 -Roleplayers Chronicle (9/10)

 “If you’re looking for a new module to kick off a 1st level PFRPG campaign, definitely check out Shadowed Keep on the Borderland from Creighton Broadhurst and Raging Swan Press. It has a little bit of everything and an open feel that gives your players room to explore at their pace.”

-Game Knight Reviews

  “Following the background is a footnote suggesting how a GM might incorporated the Shadowed Keep into their own campaign, among which is put forth what is probably my favourite part of the module’s potential: once the party has cleared the keep, they might endeavour to claim and rebuild it themselves.  Given the thorough detail and flavour of the environs throughout the module itself, I love this prospective aspect and feel that it could serve as the foundation for a campaign in and of itself.”  

 —Gozuja (five stars)

 “I think Creighton Broadhurst presented one of the best old-school adventures I’ve seen recently, so naturally I give it 5/5 points, and highly recommend it.”

-Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros (five stars)

“Overall, Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is an excellent way to kick off a new Pathfinder or D&D 3.5 campaign. It has a cool, old school feel – Creighton has said it’s his homage to the Moathouse from T1 on his blog – and presents a detailed adventure setting, full of memorable and fun encounters. Highly recommended.”

-Richard Green (five stars)

 “This is a brilliant re-visit of the old “Dungeon Module T1” concept. Others have given very detailed reviews which I agree with.”

–Daniel H (five stars)

“Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands is easily one of the most thoroughly detailed and entertaining modules I’ve ever read. The attention to detail is staggering and far surpasses any other module I’ve ever read in my almost 30 years of playing RPG’s in general and D&D in particular. I don’t normally review products I purchase, but in the case of Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands I am making an exception for such an exceptional module. I highly recommend this module to any aspiring GM.”

–David T (five stars)

 “The Shadowed Keep on the Borderland is an excellent starter module…Raging Swan has captured that old school feel but has put a modern slant on their offering with greater detail, layout, extra DM information and guidelines making this the best of both worlds.”

–Auxmaulous (five stars)

“Yes this is worth the $ but it does open me up to wanting MORE from this publisher.”

–Rachael S (five stars)

“I highly recommend this for any GM who wants an adventure full of flavor and excitement.”

Keith E (five stars)

“Overall, if you are looking to start a campaign from scratch in a temperate frontier-type setting, this would be ideal.”

–Megan Robertson (five stars)

“This is a fantastic, engaging low-level adventure from Raging Swan. I usually find low-level adventures to be tedious at best, but Raging Swan has made a challenging, interesting adventure with memorable characters and settings. Well done.”

–Jennifer J (five stars)

Get the PDF at the Raging Swan Press Shop


A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Creighton Broadhurst

Released 19 March 2012; Pages 94

PDF ($9.99) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23

Soft Cover ($13.99/£9.99) Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon US, d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Noble Knight Games, Paizo, RPGNow

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Download the Free Version d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23

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14 thoughts on “Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands

  1. With a title like Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands, my old school party was extremely excited to try this adventure.

    It is extremely well written and there are lots of timeline elements to keep the inhabitants busy, giving the keep a ‘living’ feeling.

    And as with many Raging Swan adventures, environmental conditions and their rules are presented to make the GM’s job so much easier.

    Since this adventure is an homage to the original, I replaced the keep in the original with the Shadowed Keep!

    Caves of Chaos, here we come…

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Derek. I’m glad you enjoyed Shadowed Keep so much! I hadn’t thought of pairing it with the Caves of Chaos–good idea!