Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And So It Began

It all began this last Sunday at The Source Comics and Games, inspired by TARGA's International Traditional Gaming Week. I sent out an email on Friday afternoon when it finally became clear that I could pull this off; I also called and bugged a few people directly. In the end, I walked into the Source with two confirmed players, Coffee and Dawn, and two "possibly/probably" players, Bill and T.J. However, St. Gygax must've been smiling down upon me---already in the store were three fine fellows I know from the Minnesota Indie Game scene: Chris, Shane and Paul. They were there to play a very cool game called In a Wicked Age; however, one of their players didn't show, so they joined us. I also put up a sign inviting anyone interested to join us, and thus we gained Autumn. Finally, just as we were getting started, Bill and T.J. did indeed show, so in the end we had 8 players. Not too shabby!

We used the 3LBB, pretty much straight up. Characters were made simply by rolling 3d6 down the line and only then deciding what class to play. No rerolls, no whining. There was some disbelief at the lack of concrete ability bonuses, but everyone soldiered on, and we ended up with the following initial list (in no particular order):

  • Paul: Torren the Cleric (lawful)
  • Chris: Prem the Magic User   (chaotic)
  • Shane: Gorlim the Fighting Man (lawful)
  • Bill: Albar the Cleric (lawful)
  • Dawn: Delara the Cleric (chaotic)
  • Autumn:Steel Leaf the Elf (neutral)
  • T.J.: Arp the Dwarf (neutral)
  • Coffee: Bahb the Fighting Man (neutral)
Steel Leaf started off as a Fighting Man, Arp was of course a Fighting Man. I kept it to the basics, but in the future I fully plan to let players play whatever race takes their fancy. Everyone started out with max HP. Also, I forgot two bits from Men & Magic: 
  1. Players can shift spend some ability scores to increase others, usually at a 2 or 3:1 ratio. I'll let anyone who so desires correct that next time.
  2. Intelligence over 10 allows for extra languages. So Prem, who has an Int of 16, can actually speak 8 languages. Goodness. We'll fix that next time, too.
We played through almost all of James Maliszewski's excellent The Ruined Monastery, found in Fight On! #1, in three hours of racous fun. Seriously, we had customers and staff from the store wandering  over just to watch us play. Some highlights (WARNING--SPOILERS AHEAD!):
  • Albar bit it in the first room, in the third round of combat, killed by a giant rat who really, really wanted to eat his eyeballs. So much for platemail. Needless to say, his fellow Adventurers made sure his equipment went to a good home. Bill made a new character (Mob the Neutral Fighting Man, who had a helmet) and joined the group before they even left the room...
  • Mob set a tunnel wolf's head on fire.
  • In the old dormitory, where there's a long, narrow crack in the tiled floor, it became obvious that something is creeping around on the level below. Something large with a horrible, deep moan that had no compunction about biting Gorlim's 10' pole in half when he poked it around down there.
  • Prem, frustrated with three less-than-forthcoming goblin prisoners, threw one on a pile of books covered with yellow fungus. Not an attractive death. Needless to say, the remaining prisoners were suddenly more helpful. Well, until Arp kicked one in the head...
  • Steel Leaf, obsessed with moss, was mildly burned by green slime while trying to collect a speicmen in the Moon Pool room. The group followed Bahb's suggestion to burn a path through the slime to the pool, in order to see if there was any treasure to be had. Indeed, a relic of St. Gaxyg the Grey was uncovered which, in Torrem's hands, proved helpful in later encounters.
  • Prem, though handy with a knife and a tossed goblin, held on to his single spell until just the right moment, sending a feisty chaotic cleric to dreamland in a room with  a mysterious door...
And thus we ended. 

Too. Much. Fun.

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