I finally started a new fantasy RPG camapign - old school D&D; although, I'll be using modified Sword & Wizardry rules and the mercurial magic random table from Dungeon Crawl Classics.
One of the players was reading an extra S&W book on hand and was shocked to see that it was just like Dungeons & Dragons from the 80's. How could they do that, he asked? I told him about the open gaming license of WotC D&D, the OSR, etc.
Despite the hefty price tag $75, I've decided to run Dwimmermount based on everything I've read about it on Grognardia by +James Maliszewski. But it will most assuredly be my Dwimmermount - I'm changing things up here and there.
My table had 5 players, all of them opting to begin play with 4 zero level characters. That means 20 PCs began in Muntberg, chatted with some possible hirelings, one hedonistic cleric making plans for a debauched celebration upon his return, and then made their way - with "crank master" Karn, Muntberg's drawbridge operator, along for the ride. One of the PCs actually convinced Karn to pay him 2 gold pieces in order to join the adventuring party.
They met some orcs with a metal detector, disabled a laser eye above the double iron door entrance to Dwimmermount, and many were burned in a second altercation with even more orcs who used alchemist's fire . Oh yeah, one thief was dissolved from the inside by a green slime that fell from the ceiling. And another's life was drained from him at the touch of a shrieking phantom coming through the wall.
Out of 20 PCs and 3 NPCs who set out on this journey, the party ended the session with 9 PCs and 2 NPCs. So, pretty much 50%. Here is the list of survivors...
- Nopers, Fighter, Dwarf
- Daycy, Fighter, Human
- Iron Fist, Fighter, Dwarf
- Cheye, Magic-User, Human
- Mabnezer, Druid, Half-Elf
- Dormud, Cleric, Dwarf
- Sir-Yut, Ranger, Human
- Kalbana, Cleric, Human
- George, Druid, Human
- Sage, Magic-User, Human
- Poncenbee, Figher, Human
It was fun to get back to old school D&D again and I enjoyed running something that I've never ran before. I haven't used experience points to track levels in years, so that's a conscious decision I wanted to make.
I also wanted to keep advantage/disadvantage and inspiration (with modifications) from 5e. Whenever a spell is cast for the first time, I have the player roll on Dungeon Crawl Classics' mercurial magic table to see how that spell will affect the world whenever it's cast by that particular magic-user.
Here's my favorite line of the session, in regards to interrogation: "Nothing good in orc is ever said."
Someone picked up a magic sword that not only yielded a +1 bonus to hit and damage foes, but also protected its wielder from harm once per day (up to 5 points of non-magical damage). I intend all magic swords to be sentient with a personality all their own. I'm rolling now (as I type this) on the tables in The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence...
(22) Foreign Speaking and (5) A sorcerer named Zar'toro created the sword; he wove spells into its steel, making sure it would be able to face the coming war between Law and Chaos. Which makes sense, because after the sword was picked up I rolled its alignment as Neutral. Now, should it speak French, Latin, or something else...
I plan to follow-up with session #2 in June. I honestly can't wait - wish like Hell I could swing a weekly game, but with a sleep-deprived wife and 5 kids... it just ain't in the cards.