I’ve been meeting up with a few of the players from the online game OD&D game I play in weekly1 so that we can play random D&D like games. Playing D&D online is always fun, but playing in person is still a much more enjoyable experience. Most of the games thus far have been run by Evan, who runs Game Peices
Evan made up the rules for his game, which are based around using a 2d6 dice roll to resolve most everything. It’s a strange system. There are no hit points: when you are hit you roll a saving throw (a 2d6 roll) to see if how badly hurt you are. You can spend a ‘hit die’ to add its result to your saving throw. In this way you might have a better chance of avoiding being “Eviscerated”. Thus far the game has had a bit of a meat grinder feel. I’m not sure if it is actually anymore deadly than a by-the-book game of D&D, but it seems that way because a character death feels a lot more binary. I lost my first character in the inaugural session. I lost my second character in our last session, the 3rd game we played. In fact, everyone lost their character: it was a total party kill.
There is something satisfying about a good TPK. My character had been grievously wounded something like 3-4 times during the course of the session. I was basically a walking corpse, unable to do much of anything. I couldn’t even carry my gear anymore. The whole party was in rough shape. We fought monsters we shouldn’t have fought. Were trampled by a dinosaur. Tried and failed again and again to set some giant spiders on fire. It was all a suitable build up for our final trial, fording an underground river. We tied our characters together, because we thought that would be safe. Instead, our characters and henchmen all drowned together. It was failed roll after failed roll: someone makes it across, but is pulled back into the river by someone else who is drowning. So on and so forth till we were all washed away.
The Pahvelorn game has branched in to a few new games. Nick is running an LotFP game dubbed Dungeon Moon, that takes place on a moon that is completely a dungeon. Brendan has taken a break from running Pahvelorn to run something he has dubbed the Finchbox. ↩
At today’s D&D Encounters session my poor cleric Gretzyln was vanquished by those most evil of elves, the Drow. He was supposed to be a hardboiled deep gnome ex-dungeoneer turned fanatical cleric of Pelor, the sun god. I thought it was a cute idea: a guy who spends his whole life living underground leaves that life behind to worship the sun.
Gretzyln was not alone in his fate: it was a total party kill. I didn’t think this blog would earn its name so quickly.
There were 5 people playing at session today: two wizards, an avenger, a vampire, and my cleric. It’s probably not an ideal mix for a party, but that’s always a possibility when you play in these sorts of pickup games. I didn’t think it was particularly out of whack. We were facing off against some sort of Drow necromancer, her henchmen, and some skeletons she animated during the course of the fight.
I’m not completely sure what went wrong. The monsters were all higher up in the initiative order then us, so we did spend a lot of time reacting to them rather than getting out there and messing them up. I had to heal two of our party members (back from death’s door) very early on in the encounter. The skeletons, though there were a lot of them, never really gave us any trouble. Our wizards were well suited to deal with them. We probably could have done a better job trying to avoid the Drow and all their ranged attacks, but I didn’t feel like we were ceding that much of the fight to them. Then our DM started rolling like a man of fire, and our attempt to chase down the Drow and finish them off ended in ruin.