Last week, with just two players available, I hauled out Barrowmaze and Barrowmaze II, and allowed the players to create new 0-level characters to go exploring. They stayed as near to the surface as possible, exploring barrow mounds and having random encounters, until at last the survivors reached 1st level. Then they skedaddled back to Helix.
(As an interesting aside, they actually managed to start on the Barrowmaze II hexmap, thus ending up in more dangerous territory and discovering some nice treasures.)
Tonight, with the same two players being the only ones who could attend, and being asked to allow their characters to do something other than the Barrowmaze (which they frankly view as a death trap!) I offered them another dungeon - Stonehell - to the west toward the mountains, while the Barrowmaze was towards the east. I made each player roll 1d20 on both the Barrowmaze and the Stonehell rumour charts. They decided to attempt Stonehell on the basis of the rumoured kobold market.
One session in, the PCs have largely explored only the upper ravine area, but they had a lot of fun. Coal is dead (nearly taking the warrior with him), one PC is hoping to raise a wolf cub (he is a halfling keeper of the hounds, and lost 9 teeth to critical hits during the battle with the older wolves!), and they still haven't dared to enter the dark archway that leads to Stonehell proper.
It amazes me to hear some folks say that Dungeon Crawl Classics doesn't mesh well with megadungeons - or vice versa. So long as the players have options, and so long as the area is interesting, my experience is that they work very well together. I have had a lot of fun with DCC and Barrowmaze, and tonight's fun with Stonehell is fresh in my mind as I write this. DCC characters are bad-asses compared to their Labyrinth Lord equivalent, but the unknown effects of die rolls can change a battle from a cakewalk to a nail-biter.
That Helix just became this unhappy village smack-dab between two of the most dangerous places in the world (at least, so far as these PCs know!) also helps bring the world alive for the players. What a place to call home!
Nice work on this adventure setting by Michael Curtis!