As I mentioned in my previous post, we got together last Sunday and played around in my megadungeon. Things didn't go according to plan, but they did go well.
First off, I'd never been to the venue - a new used English bookstore with beer on tap, run by a pair of foreigners - as it just opened about 2-3 weeks ago. Our usual start time on Sundays was 1pm, so I suggested we all meet there at that time. Place didn't open until 2.
I met Jeremy, though, so we hopped into Starbucks, he updated the Facebook page with the info on his smartphone, and we rolled up his characters. Brian, new to the group and found out about it through this here blog, also got there, and tried to call me, but I'd accidentally given him my wife's number, not mine. My wife's and my numbers are only one digit apart, and I rarely have cause to call my own number, so I've made that mistake before.
Anyway, at 2, Jeremy and I had finished the char gen and talk, and headed back to the book store. Brian was there waiting for us. After introductions, I got myself a beer, they got cokes, and we got set up. About that time, Pat, Alex (from the board game group, not the 4E group), Bill, Greg from the FB group, and a dude named Dan I'd never met before online or off, all showed up. Wow, didn't know if we'd have room!
But then they informed us they were gonna play a board game instead of D&D. Figures. Alex doesn't like OSR type games, and Bill's really only interested in 3E D&D, so I knew their interest would be low. Oh well. We decided to just have Jeremy and Brian run all 3 PCs they'd rolled up (Brian had made his in advance) simultaneously, rather than using the extras as reserves.
I was testing JB's idea that Thief skills should just automatically work if the Thief has time to do the job (sorta like Taking 20 in 3E), but if the Thief didn't have time they had to roll. I'm not sure I like it. I've actually placed enough keys around that failing an Open Locks roll would just mean search a bit more and come back later. Both Jeremy and Brian did a good job of roleplaying how to bypass the traps they encountered. We had one instance of climbing, but they could have used a rope and grapple in that situation if the Thief didn't want to risk the roll. And the only time the Thief tried to be stealthy was in an area with a non-animated skeleton, and another area with Yellow Mold. So the rule seemed to be overkill. Don't think I'll be using it again.
On the DM side of things, I realized one failure of making this dungeon piecemeal and converting stuff from the old dungeon to the new. They ended up finding a treasure box, locked but completely unguarded, with 1000pp, and a bunch of gold and silver (dont' remember exactly how much). Mistake on my part filling in the encounters, but I had written it down, so I let it stand. That, plus the bandit treasure they got by killing the 3rd level Cleric leader in one hit with a Potion of Giant Strength/thrown feast table combo, and the monster XP (I was still using the OD&D 100xp per hit die thing) meant they all went up a level. I'd started them on 2500 xp per character, they each earned around 2600 xp for their actions.
Jeremy and Brian both posted on FB that they enjoyed the game. I really enjoyed running it. They had some really creative play, and I had fun throwing challenges their way, working in random encounters, and trying to give them just enough info in any situation that they were wary of traps/ambushes, but not overly cautious. No PC casualties, although Brian's Cleric was down to 1 hit point at one point, and his Dwarf got beat up a bit as well, while Jeremy's Barbarian managed to make it out with only 2 or 3 points of damage total for the session.
And they both want to play again. They had a few rumors of Key Treasures and are hoping to get their hands on the famed gem, The Eye of the Frost Troll in the future.
Theatre: Here Be Monsters
1 hour ago