Back In The Saddle

Have not posted any RPG remembrances. Instead, I have been making new memories with my sons. We started playing last July, and did not play again until Christmas. I am taking a two week staycation since gas is high and money is tight. We have played the last three days and I have been rapidly filling in information using various hexcrawl methods and suggestions. That really helps to plan what is available so if and when the players encounter it, things are ready to keep moving. I am still rusty as a DM, but digging through the various Monster Manuals and coming back to the DMG and other books (AD&D) have re-familiarized myself with the creatures and their statistics and game mechanics. Before July of last year, I had not game mastered anything in nearly 30 years. I had only played one marathon session as a player for the first time in about 15 years a few years ago. Reading about the whole OSR movement got me to harking back to the days of yore.

It has been a slow process with fits and starts. It is easy to get side-tracked and follow side links and get lost in learning about new things online on various RPG blogs, or reading about different types of tombs when building your own tables.

I find that building my own tables is fun but very challenging. I want to build tables that are level appropriate until the boys get better at the game. They are 15 1/2 and almost 21, so it’s not like they are little kids, but I want them to figure out the mechanics without getting totally slaughtered. They are both playing split class demi-human spellcasters, so they have the mechanics of figuring out the spells, etc. They are doing very well with minimal input from me.

Charm person seems like such a feeble spell that in my playing I have stayed away from it. However, my oldest has used it to great effect when they were in situations that it was good they used it. Having a creature that is basically a slave with inside information has been very good for them.

The youngest was mad at his brother and used it as an excuse for his character to go off by himself. He stumbled upon the clue they were looking for and nearly died trying to get back from his adventures. It was fun seeing him wracking his brain trying to figure out what to do to handle the situations he got himself into. I think he has learned his lesson to not run off into the forest by himself. While he can handle simple things, charging into a tomb at night without a torch lit, even for an elf is a bad idea. Statues in the dark seem like the undead when your mind is filling in the blanks. His 2nd level FTR/2nd level MU happened to stumble upon the tomb that only had 3 centipedes and a skeleton in it, and came out wounded, poisoned but alive. This after stumbling across a lair for 20 giant rats who by dice roll were not there and he got their loot before they got back. He had fun and learned his lesson at the same time. Meanwhile the parallel time line with his brother and the NPCs, they ran into nothing but the NPC they were going to get more information.

Then little brother’s Character, Fang, happened to come charging into them on his horse as he was riding like mad to get to the NPC Druid’s house for help. He passed out and fell off his horse at their feet, thus he was saved. He was passed out the next day, so big brother’s 2nd lever Druid/2nd level MU Half Elf, Descartes, and a 1st level Dwarf fighter and 3rd level human thief went back looking for an object they left behind that the sage back in town is willing to buy from them, hoping it is still there. Now, their rolls turn bad and they come to the burrow for the giant rats, but speak with animal allows them to pass without a fight. However, the next encounter at the edge of a large pond, a giant crayfish kill’s the dwarf’s horse. But a quick, entangle from the Druid/MU traps the crayfish, that failed its save and they kill it while entangled. There is more, but it was fun to watch them encounter the things that they encountered and they want more!

I am stocking hexes and making sure to cover all the bases for whichever direction they plan to head. I look forward to finding out how they plan to deal with the goblin lair they learned about. The NPC druid wants it out of her forest, and they will use a charmed goblin to help them find it. They won’t have the help they had fighting the last group of goblins, so it will be interesting….

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