Yesterday, I got together with Jeremy and Brian again, and they ran their characters through my Megadungeon one more time. [Read about their first delve here!]
This time out, they had a bit more of a plan. They heard a few new rumors in town, but were still thinking they'd like to get the Eye of the Frost Troll because it's just a cool name. The rumors said it, as well as the Wand of Skelmis, were in the Keep. But after buying a wagon and horses to haul loot, and hiring a teamster to drive it, as well as a pair of crossbowmen to help guard the pansy Elf, they decided to return to the former bandit stronghold (a structure in the first court yard called the Lesser Donjon on my map) and investigate the stairs leading down from it.
That took them to Level 1 of the dungeon proper, and they spent some time exploring it and fighting some monsters. They found a not so well hidden stairway that led down to not only Level 2, but deeper. They explored some of the second level as well. They had two near deaths, both Brian's Thief and his Dwarf were bitten by giant spiders. The Thief happened to have a potion of antidote, and so was fine after drinking it. The Dwarf almost missed his saving throw the third time he was bitten, but we remembered the +2 bonus to save vs. Crab Spider venom, which just put him over. So no PC deaths again, but some close scrapes.
Both Jeremy and Brian are building up personalities for their characters through play, which is something I enjoy watching. It's hard that each of them is running 3 PCs, though. So far, the Dwarf and Barbarian each are getting the most 'screen time' because they're the most heavy hitters and the group has not shied away from any combats yet. But the Thief and Elf who cower in the back most times are developing as well, and to a lesser extent so are the Cleric and Fighter. They didn't find a whole lot of treasure (they found too much last time anyway), but they covered a lot of ground, and have some new mysteries about the dungeon to investigate.
Hopefully next time I run the Megadungeon we'll have a few more players and that should help things out.
We're gonna try to get a rotating DM schedule of some sort going. In two weeks, Brian is offering to run a Pathfinder game (and we should be able to pull in a couple of the guys who don't want to play OSR stuff for that), and Jeremy is trying to make a Microlite/True20 cludge game that he can run as well. So, hopefully there will be more gaming in the near future.