The final AD&D session of 2013 saw seven people playing, and the regular range of character levels from 1st to 9th. It also saw the group discovering What Lay Beyond the Orcs of the Bloody Eye, as - after rather destroying the first group they met - the group then negotiated their way past the other orcs. Mostly with, "Let us past or we will slaughter you", It worked pretty well.
The group actually found itself with no clerics when it began, so Shane had to hire a new henchmen to accompany the group. Paul turned up a little bit later, bringing with him his 5th level cleric henchmen, and the group was slightly better for healing. However, the major source of healing for the group was now Shane's 7th level magic-user, who had hired an alchemist and brew potions of healing. Every 2 days, for 200 gp each. So, given Shane will be playing something else next week, I expect he'll come back with quite a few potions in a fortnight's time. Or, maybe he won't - he also expressed an interest in researching some spells, find familiar in particular.
All of this downtime activity from Shane is pretty new to my campaigns; it's never something I did with Meliander, my 13th level wizard, but a large part of that came from the nature of the campaigns. Meliander lived in a campaign where he was mostly busy adventuring, and - in addition - none of us were really that familiar with the crafting rules.
It's also due to one of the many sections of the AD&D rules where Gygax was horrible at describing the procedure. Not so much as in what was required (though this is somewhat lacking), but in just being horrible to the players. The list of ingredients for the suggested scroll in the DMG? By no means is it easily attainable - other suggestions are even harder! Yes, Gleipnir may have needed six impossible things to craft, but there's a big difference between the ingredients in a myth and the ingredients in a game - especially one played with pen and paper. Computer games would later take up the torch of collecting ingredients from slain monsters and putting them together to make magical items, but in AD&D it's a level of detail and messiness that the game doesn't need.
At least, my game doesn't need it. Yours might differ.
At some point I'll probably have to work out some territory acquisition rules and the like...
Meanwhile, down in the dungeon, the group found the Chairs of Doom.
Okay, they're not actually called that, but in a room on one of the lower levels, they found four wicker chairs. Yes, one of the group sat in the chairs. For once, they weren't man-eating chairs: instead, each pair of chairs teleported you from one to the other. The group started making plans for how to use them - put one near the entrance to the dungeon, and they could bypass a lot of encounters... (and have monsters randomly teleport to the entrance! They did consider this, and decided not to put the chair in their home!)
The next set of chairs were more standard - superglue chairs. All of which led to Paul's cleric teleporting back to town without his armour - picture a slightly portly cleric, running around in rust-stained padding, looking for a new set of platemail.
This game can be so much fun!
Thoughts from an Australian Board Gamer and RPGer
- [+] Dice rolls