Pat, Josh and myself were the only ones to show up for board games last night. Lucy and the other Korean gals were busy, Alex had to work late (as always), and Chloe canceled at the last minute.
Anyway, Josh had asked me to bring my Classic D&D stuff, and I did.
Because there were only the two players, Josh ran both his lvl 2 Magic-User Mork, and his 1st level (but with some XP) Fighter Mindy. Pat's Fighter had died fighting a bear, so he ran both his lvl 3 Cleric Sarda and a new Fighter he rolled up on the spot.
I decided to try out the "shields shall be splintered" house rule, as well as the idea that any 'special maneuvers' or 'called shots' would be handled with a normal attack roll, with the defender deciding to accept the penalty or else take normal damage, unless the attacker rolled a natural 20, as I've discussed before.
We started where we'd left them (Amy's in Ireland for a year, so we just ignored her character and assumed Pat's new Fighter had been there all along). They'd pissed off Cliodna, Queen of the Elves of the Blackwood, but still wanted to get their magic items identified. So they went to the village's blacksmith (who happened to be a Hero-Magician), hoping that he could ID their stuff and would have some magical gear for sale. [Too much 3/4E lately, I think...]
Anyway, he told them how to identify the stuff themselves. Use read magic on the scroll, sip the potion, and just open up the bag and look inside. The scroll was cursed, and I had Josh roll randomly by the book. He rolled to lose 1 magic item, and he had that ring of wishes and 2 potions of healing. Another d6 roll with a result of 1-2 would have meant the ring went bye-bye, but he rolled a 5, so a potion disappeared instead. Pat's Cleric ended up with 5 sling stones +1 (in the bag) and a potion of animal control.
As they were headed back out to confront the hobgoblins again, one of the elves stopped them and asked them to reconsider. If they did a favor to Cliodna, he assured them, she'd be happy to perform a favor for them in the future. Being typical greedy human adventurers, they didn't want favors--they wanted magic items that would help them take out the hobgoblins and kobolds on Whitebeard Mountain (and get that magic sword they'd heard rumors that the hobgoblins had).
Well, that worked, and they went back to Cliodna, explained their plan, and agreed to take out the other orc tribe plaguing the elves in exchange for some magic items (one potion or scroll for each survivor if they brought back the orc chieftain's head).
They go to the orc caves, and the first room in there's a giant horned chameleon which doesn't surprise them, but they manage to surprise. I let them know they had the options of getting a free round of attacks, or just sneaking by without it even noticing them. They eventually decided to try to lure it closer, then try a sleep spell, running when that didn't work. They came back and put a sling stone through its eye using the called shot house rule, then ran away again. About this time, I reminded them that they had a potion of animal control.
Pat's Cleric downed it, and with the help of the giant lizard, and throwing severed orc heads around in strange doorways (also avoiding a trap by sheer dumb luck--2 in 6 chance to dump anyone passing over into a pit, but no luck for my dice...) they cleared out the orcs just one turn before the potion wore off. When they got to the chieftain's throne room the lizard was on its last legs, and they were out of spells and sorta wounded. Josh had Mork use a wish to restore the party to full strength (hit points and spells memorized) and I allowed it (having discussed how greedy or metagame wishes tend to backfire, while altruistic wishes with in-game intentions tend to be allowed, at least by me).
With that, the lizard and a sleep spell took out most of the orcs. Two lost morale finally at the end, so there was one captive (the lizard ate one surrendering orc at the PC's command). They found the trade goods that had been stolen, as well as a box of gems, and took the gems, prisoner and chieftain's head back to Cliodna (who sent people to recover the trade goods).
No PC deaths, clever play especially by Josh, although Pat also had some good ideas, a bunch of dead orcs, and a nice treasure netted them an even 8000xp. Divided 4 ways, and that was not only just enough for the new Fighter to level, but put the other 3 characters over the top as well. So now Sarda is 4th level and Mork is 3rd level, meaning they each get 2nd level spells. Josh thought about it a lot and chose ESP, as it's good for dungeoneering and scouting.
They were rewarded by Cliodna with their choice of potion or scroll. Pat's Fighter got a potion of water breathing, and his Cleric got a scroll of snake charm. Josh's Fighter got a scroll of protection from undead, and his Magic-User got a 'special' scroll (using the borrowed Holmes idea) that turned out to be a scroll of petrification (rolled on the wands table).
Only one special attack was attempted (Pat put out the lizard's eye before it was controlled by the potion), but Josh's Fighter went through about 5 shields (replacing his lost shields with orc shields whenever a combat was finished). I'm liking both of those rules, even though we didn't get much chance to try out the special attacks one.
MERP - The Court of Ardor in Southern Middle-Earth
41 minutes ago