Ok the short version of this was that it Rocked mightily 🙂
It was a Saturday night game and fully booked with with six players. I’d been running all day and had been on the beers the night before, so at game start I had hit the wall. Frankly I was almost “rabbits in headlights” scared, and the players were already there keen and looking up at me as I arrived. But I pulled my boots up, made my introductions and got into it.
Characters where handed out, and we ended up with a nice mix of Fighters, Elves, Dwarfs and Clerics from the pile of ten characters which had all the permutations of 5th Level Basic/Expert. Obviously no one was in the mood to play a Halfling or Thief 😉
I did my grand introduction about the Mad Tzar, a fiend of immeasurable evil shaking free of his prison in the Iron Moon suspended over the City of Eternal Shadow. Then the players got into it role-playing and exploring the city, before getting into a fight with 20 Zombies. Now in any other system, the players would have either a) run away and let the NPCs deal with it (there was a group of local Clerics who were on hand to deal with such threats) or b) complained bitterly about how the game was going to descend into a big grinding fight. Not so here, the players got into with gusto and relish and an epic zombie fight was embarked on! It was a good wetting of the feet as regards the system, as I think every one was a bit rusty. Even the D&D regulars used it as an excuse to test out which version of D&D we where playing (Labyrinth Lord). Of course they were triumphant, but one of the Clerics ,played by Andy, took a huge pounding, so there was a nice edge of danger there. Throughout the fight the banter and roleplaying continued in a relaxed manner which was good as well. In fact it must be said although admitly D&D is more combat heavy than alot of games I play, at no point did the players treat it as a figurine-less war game, which mightly heartened and impressed me.
Play then flowed from this fight as they made their way up to the Iron Moon via a masusleum dedicated to the 10,000 who died in the Mad Tzar’s previous reign of terror. I won’t say any more about it here, because I’m planning to write up and publish the adventure and because I didn’t intend this post to be an ‘actual play’ post. More me mulling over how it went.
Couple of other points arising from the game.
- Use of 5th Level characters, as suggested by Sacha, was bang on. Magic-Users and Clerics had enough spells and other classes where generally effective enough so that they had lots of things to do. Therefore no one sat arround bored.
- The online character generator I used was a great time saver, I really created this at the last minute, but some of the characters created were a bit odd. Clerics with no heal spells and Magic Users with no effective spells in their spell books. I should have reviewed and chucked out these duds before the game. DOH!
- Tournament adventures with a fairly set goal of “go here and save the world” can be very linear as the players spend less time exploring. In its current form they players only visited about 50% of the locations. Either I mix it up a bit and make the dungeon levels a bit more ‘twisty’ and less easy to navigate by taking a direct route, or I live with that. For a four hour con scenario it was bang on, who’s to say that a home group would explore more of the finer points. One to mull over and work out in play testing.
- Fireball spells really are the dogs bollocks 🙂
Overall we had a grand time and I was really surprised how straight forward the fun was. Looks like I’ll be doing regular D&D con scenarios from now on in.