Another reason this session was a big deal was, of course, the descent into Level 2 of Xylarthen's infamous Tower. We had an unusually small group for such a serious undertaking. Will was playing Melvin, now 2nd level (I'll talk about that in a bit, too), R.M. was playing Kohenim the cleric, his son Max was playing Redwood the elven Fighting Man, and my son Max was playing the aforementioned Exis, also 2nd level. Melvin acquired the services of two thugs, um, I mean hirelings, named Alan and Zech. They chose the stairway in the former guardroom, aperoom, what have you, and down they went.
A Couple of Tangents
A while ago, Will mentioned to me his idea for xp's, that maybe it's not a bad idea to think of them as being given to the player as opposed to the character. He expanded on it in a post here. Actually, that whole thread was full of fiber, as it were. Go read it. Anyhow, after thinking about it a bit, I agreed with him. Especially given the "play once/month, Free Campaign" model we've got going on here, it seemed fair, especially to players like Will, who show up a lot. So, I grandfathered in the experience he'd built up with his other characters (there have been soooo many, after all...), and lo, Melvin was well into 2nd level.
Max's character I started off at 2nd level. I mean, c'mon, he's five...
As for Melvin's hirelings, I generated them using Robert Lionheart's excellent "Random Hireling Generator" from Knockspell 1. This is a great magazine, and a worthy colleague of Fight On! I bought the pdf of issue 1, but it's another that I'll eventually start collecting in hardcopy as well. Go read and buy!
- More giant weasels. I don't know what it was about Xylarthen and weasels,I'm pretty sure someone's gotten hurt everytime they've mixed it up with these large, mean, smelly rodents...
- In one room a door was opened, which disgorged a hideously cackling skeleton doing a good impression of the Grim Reaper. He laid about with his scythe until Kohenim turned him, at which point he leapt back through the door and slammed it shut. Perhaps judiciously, the party decided to leave it shut.
- In another room, while searching, they heard sounds outside a door they hadn't yet opened. It became clear it was a group of kobolds. The door was yanked open, revealing an exploratory horde of somewhere close to 10 of the little blighters. Negotiations began, until Exis became impatient. Striding up to the hobgoblin leader, he punched him solidly in the head, dropping the doglizard in his tracks. Needless to say, the rest panicked and ran. The backstage of this was Max saying, "I'm gonna punch him in the face." Pan to group of players looking confusedly. Says I, "Are you sure?" Max: "Yeah!" "Okay," says I, "Roll that 20-sider." Pan to a natural 20. Wide-shot: Whole table cheering a grinning 5-year old. Too cool.
- In yet another room, some cheeky hobgoblins demanded a toll to pass through the room. Again, negotiations were in hand when Exis decided he'd had enough. Another punch in the face. Another natural 20. Naturally the hobgoblins tossed out their toll-box and took off.
- Eventually, the kobolds were cornered and dispatched. Another nine hobgoblins were encountered, a fierce battle ensued, and Redwood the Elf was slain. The wounded party decamped with his body, and thereby mostly survived their first foray into the deeper levels of the Tower.
Max has just rejected going over to a friend's house in favor of coming with me, so I think another gamer has been born... :)