We finally got to resume our dungeon crawl through the Temple of Elemental Evil (see here for last session). Below is a bullet-point snapshot of what went down...
- Harold returned to the fold. For awhile there, he was spending every weekend with his girlfriend Carrie. Luckily, there was space at the table because he brought her to play with us. She'd never played D&D before but had played Changeling. Not sure exactly how that happens, but ok. Carrie played Melanie's character: X'fritl.
- There was a moment where I thought I'd lost everyone's character sheet (again!). Thankfully, they were tucked in some RPG book upstairs.
- We all went through a re-cap and re-introduction because it had been so damned long since the last time.
- Monsters were killed (owlbears, bugbears, trolls, etc.) and humanoid cultists were either tricked or hypnotized. Speaking of evil priests, I changed a few things around so that one of the lesser head priests had just murdered the high priest of that level in order to have his way with a nubile envoy from another temple. It was an interesting diversion for a minute... until both their throats were slit.
- Sure enough, the party wanted to descend into the 3rd level of the dungeon before they'd cleared out the 2nd. Not having read that far ahead, I did my best to wing it. Either porting parts from the 2nd level to the 3rd or reading the boxed text for the first time... aloud to the players. At least there was only an hour of game time left by the time they explored that 3rd level.
- Fire's a bitch. A temple space devoted to the elemental evil of fire contained several salamanders which took awhile to kill. Kaazor took another PC's life. Harold's old character Verdilo was chewed up and spit out (or possibly swallowed).
- After the salamanders, an iron box containing a super-powerful magic sword was discovered and went to Sir Basil, the paladin. Incidentally, every battle Basil would try to throw himself in harm's way as a monster or humanoid was about to do damage to another party member. This happened about 5 or 6 times. From then on, I decided he'd have a 33% chance to take the hit for another PC or his hireling Milo.
- Harold created a new character - Murak the dwarf. He picked up a trident of yearning and attempted to drown himself. Luckily, he was saved.
Even though interesting things are happening, I'm ever so slightly starting to get bored with The Temple of Elemental Evil. It's my own fault, really. Never made it my own. I'm going to introduce something weird into the mix... something I've been meaning to do for awhile, but time just gets away from me towards the week's end.
Because next Saturday is Ben's last game for a couple months and it's difficult to keep a diverse and newly formed group together around the holidays, I think next time will be our last session with the ToEE. Plus, I'm itching for something fresh. Who knows, maybe Bell Bottoms, Black Sabbath, and Beltane (here) or the newly compiled and modified WEG Star Wars d6 RPG (here).
P.S. Oops, I forgot about something. I did have a chance to use my new O5R Advantage/Disadvantage system. Just once.
After opening a door and getting attacked, Verdilo (being a gnome) scurried between the troll's legs and stabbed him in the thigh. It was inventive, cinematic, and tactically sound. For me, it goes to show that little things aren't really worth worrying about. But when something is noticeably advantageous (or the reverse), it should get special treatment. Verdilo hit thanks to the +4 and did a small amount of damage (due to his size, naturally).