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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A late Pacificon D&D game writeup

I had a good time with old school gaming at Pacificon a couple of weeks ago. 

 First up was a game of Seastrike I ran on Friday. It turned out that all four people that signed up were players I know and enjoy playing with.

 On Sunday, I ran three little brown books D&D as it if was spring of '75 pre-Greyhawk, with a return to the Pits of Gorm, one of my old dungeons from my high school campaign from the seventies as the map and some of the original encounters.  Other encounters I developed just before or during the game. Used plastic D&D 3rd figs and Terraclips 3D scenery for good but portable visuals. Set it up for six but ended up including the first alternate who was friends with one of them for a party of seven. Also made it an experiment in using the Chainmail man to man miniatures rules for the combat, which was something I never did as a DM back in the day, except for one session as an assistant DM. It worked fine for the party of first level characters, started arbitrarily with 3D6 X 100 prior XPs so there would be a chance to level up during the game. 

We rolled up characters, did a cursory setting and tavern introductions meetup where we created some backstory linkages, and I ran a brief travel bit to the dungeon. We then played through the castle ruins and first level with them just at the point of reaching the second level dungeon and with one character having just hit second level, and the rest getting close. Nobody died but there were a couple of really close calls. 
The two funniest moments were the Amazing Sword of Law and the Grisly Improv Trap of Stupidity. 

The sword incident began with me rolling up a treasure on the spot with a couple of random items in it. One was just a potion. The other a +3 Lawfully aligned sword. DING - DING -DING go the greed lights. But, the guy that picked it was was neutral, takes a die of damage and drops it, and then it's "So which of you fighters is lawful?" Nope,not one of the three. Only the cleric is Lawful. So it becomes a bit of a race between the cleric and a fighter for who can change class or alignment first and be able to use the thing. The cleric conceives the idea of grabbing it and running out of the dungeon to go become a fighter. But rather than have things blow apart at that point, I reminded him that that would  be a very chaotic act and deny him use of the sword anyway.

The trap didn't begin as one. There was a room with a terrible pentagram with chaotic inscriptions around it on the far wall opposite the entrance and a spike in the middle impaling a skull for a bit of grisly color. 
One of the more chaotically inclined players says "I'm pulling the lever". 
"What lever?"
"The skull on the spike."
"Yeah, I pull on the skull to see what happens."
I didn't have anything specific in mind for that when I laid out the room. It was more or less intended to provide a research opportunity for the guy with an interest in demonology and a generally evil magic bit. But I knew that the action should have a dangerous reaction. So since the skull was impaled but not anchored to the spike he pulled the skull off the spike and then got to roll a save vs magic against the compulsion to slam his own head against the spike so it would penetrate his eye socket and into the brain. Fortunately for him he made that save. 

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