We got to play last night. Lucy and Dave came first and we finished up their characters. Then Josh and Alex came and we eventually got down to business, resulting in only about 2 hours of actual play time.
In that time, they got sent on their "quest" (no need for them to follow it up if they want, but it's there if they choose) to find the Chalice of Winter, a lost artifact that the king of their home city-state claims is necessary to save the realm. Find it within a year, or be forever banished from the city-state of Samos was the message.
Well, they found out a few rumors about the Chalice, and learned of the Library of Cadmia where they could research more. They sailed uneventfully north for a week to the Library, got good reactions from the librarian/monks, and left Alex's Illusionist there to aid with the research while the rest sailed east to the Zephyrus Archipelago to do some raiding.
The very first island they came to was one of my keyed locations, a small pirate stronghold. Alex's Cavalier and Josh's Thief went ashore first and checked out the apparent fishing village, and found out it was a pirate stronghold. The Thief retreated, but the Cavalier stuck around to get some info, and eventually got taken to the leader, The Hyena. He attempted to make a bargain with the Hyena (neither side intended to keep it, of course), and was released.
Using clever tactics (Josh's Thief riding his trained giant squid) they scuttled one of the pirate's galleys and drew them out into a night battle.
I was a bit rusty with the rules--I haven't run a sea battle in Classic D&D for over 15 years--so despite having read over the rules several times in the past few months, I forgot a few things. So Alex's ship got off a few extra catapult shots before he should have. Oh well. Josh's illusionist was making the pirates think their sails were on fire, Alex's marines were peppering the enemy with heavy crossbow and ballista fire, and the giant squid/Thief were hindering a ship by stealing the oars away. The Cavalier on his hippogriff managed to kill one of the captains in one swoop attack.
The pirates surrendered, and Josh, Alex and Dave had a debate about whether to execute the leaders or recruit them to help attack the Hyena and the rest of the pirates in the stronghold.
The good parts of the night were that we finally got organized and got to play. The bad parts were that as captains of ships, Josh and Alex did pretty much everything, while Dave and Lucy were mostly spectators. Especially in the sea battle. Alex was also complaining again, both about the short time of the session and the general lower power level of Classic. Finally, we were playing at my place, and my son was not wanting to go to sleep because of all the people around (and the colorful dice on the table) which made my wife angry.
Well, they have two more ships now, so if we get into any more naval engagements, Lucy and Dave can also captain ships, so that should help that problem. I've also got a good idea now what they want out of the game, so I can tailor my prep work more to what they want out of the game. Also, Dave has found a coffee shop with a back room with a nice big table that we might be able to reserve for gaming. Finally, we're done with character creation so we'll be able to play for the whole session. So hopefully things will go a little better next time.
The Beginning of Something Wonderful
3 hours ago