Lu played Mélusine, the third level fighter/haberdasher from her usual delves.
S. played Silas Girdwood, a magic-user speaking exclusively in rimes (including OOC chatter).
F. played Nimué, an elf fighter/lady of the lake, the first elf in the campaign so far.
Oh, and Silas brought his Mule, Gilda.
Props are fun!
What Happened?Things started a bit slowly - everyone was hanging out at the Blue Rabbit Inn for a while as the new players finished rolling for characters and buying equipment and I answered a few questions. Eventually, Mélusine bought a few beers to the new arrivals and gave them the usual sales pitch - Wanna go on a HIGH ADVENTURE? Ever heard of Castle Redvald? - the newcomers were thrilled at the prospect of getting out and doing stuff already, and quickly agreed to follow the experienced adventurer's lead. They decided to set out to Redvald on the following morning.
• At the front doors, Silas wished to reclaim his lost throne, while Nimué asked if she could get rid of the stalker knight that had been following her around the countryside. The talking skull laughed, and let the party enter.
• Using the latest map, Mélusine decided to first go check out the well in the north-east. They sent the wizard down as the elf was wearing plate, and he confirmed that there is an underground river down there, and no easy way to avoid plunging in the cold water. While he was down there, a pair of possessed (glowing eyes, zombie-like behavior) Masked Ones attacked the other two. Two rounds later, the elf was dead and the player was quite surprised, but took it well as we all laughed at the poor elf's misfortune. Mélusine quickly dispatched the monsters and checked the elf to see if there was any chance of saving her. Turns out, there was not, but as we generated a new character for F, a brilliantly disgusting idea came to her: what if elves reproduce through post-humous parthenogenesis? And so, the dead elf's body burst into disgusting fluids to reveal a slowly growing, bird-like monstrosity which quickly grew to elf-size and revealed the same features as her "mother". She was confused for a few seconds, then proceeded to strip down her mother to loot her stuff, confirming her status as a proper murderhobo. Mélusine was disgusted but pleased to trade one party member for a new one, and the wizard was scared and confused until he was finally brought back up.
• After this episode, the party decided to reach the Ogre's lair to use his kitchen table as a make-shift raft. On the way there, they faced the Burning Giraffe. Mélusine and the Newborn Elf ran away, while the magic-user cast sleep on it, which miraculously worked. About half an hour was spent discussing the finer points of animal rights, whether the Giraffe was secretly a cursed prince and what kind of bits they should harvest from it for magic items. A bunch of Priests of the Broken God found them, so the party decided to offer the head to their group for the reward, and skinned the beast to have a fire-proof scales cloak made later on.
• At the Priests's hideout, some negociations led to the party agreeing on a set of various magic potions in exchange for the Giraffe's head, and no gold (although an alternative bounty of 5000GP was offered). Then, giant locusts attacked the camp, and the party decided to bolt out of there, setting fire to the room and leaving everything inside to burn to death.
• After a quick trip to the Ogre's lair, where they saw strange remains floating in the air, got spooked and left without taking anything, they went back to check the bodies and confirmed that they had indeed finished off the remaining priests left in Castle Redvald. Between that and the massacre of the Horned Ones earlier in the campaign, I really gotta get off my butt and start thinking about how the level is going to be affected by this. Of course, they took the gold, and figured that they had a sufficient booty for today's session. They went back to the well to get the Mule back, which of course wasn't there (RIP Gilda), shrugged it off, and went home.
• The Blue Rabbit Inn now sports the taxidermized head of the Burning Giraffe over the bar, and most people in Blightburg now of the company's prowesses by now.
• With no further support from within Castle Redvald, the weird cult that was hanging around in the region is going back to its home monestary. For now.
• Elves are vile, disgusting creatures of chaos.
What happened according to Mélusine
• F. had a blast, which is always good to hear after someone's first game. She was worried about having no prior experience of play and "messing up" but quickly figured out how the game works.
I think OD&D is a great starter game, as it focuses almost entirely on imagining stuff - there's no "game awareness" at all if not brought by other games.
• Having a map and a player who's knowledgeable about the dungeon's explored areas really give the world a sense of "actually being there" that is probably the whole point of having persistent campaign environnements like a megadungeon - not the first time I noticed it, but everyone made note of it this time.
• I'm getting a bit bored of OD&D's combat mechanics - I love the atmosphere and idea of it: the sheer freedom, the lack of crunch modifiers, the speed of play, etc. Yet, I feel like the combat system in particular could be sped up by skipping either the attack or damage roll, since they feel a bit redundant to me when considering the game is not about the blow-by-blow action.
The procedural stuff (open doors, lights, exploration turns etc.) is perfect for me - I actually use it all the time, regardless of whether I'm playing OD&D or not, so that says something.