Saturday, 17 May 2014

Retrospective 1 - Desperately Yanking the Starter Cord

These first few sessions were Important.
I remember being really worried about whether it would collapse at any moment.

My overriding motive was to be totally, insanely, completely reliable.
Every week, at the same time, D&D.
Even if I could only get two people in a session, I'd hold on tight. I constantly felt like I was at the edge of the precipice.
I knew that even a single flake-out early on would lead to the whole thing plowing into the ground before it had properly taken off.

The first session they woke up in a dungeon, naturally.
Goblin Hill from Better Than Any Man. Captured by cannibals, they stole some robes and escaped by luckily managing to head in the exact direction of the exit.
The next session Tom, as Olaf Tenderloin the Dwarf, had his kidney spiked out by a giant rhinoceros beetle. I think I was using an unrefined version of the Death and Dismemberment system, and it worked great!
It was Emmi's first time playing and she was actually really good, as totally new players often are.
I honestly believe that people have to be de-programmed from video game/late edition rulesiness in order to really "get" old school D&D, and she was a blank slate.
The third session saw the arrival of George and Jacob, two people who'd become the backbone of the game for a while. They were inventive and silly and really got into the whole "you can try anything" aspect of playing pretend with dice.

Better Than Any Man is a fucking great opening module by the way. I hope the thing I'm writing is anywhere near as good.

Session 9, pictured above, was played in a candlelit actual-dungeon under a bar called Garlic and Shots.
It was pretty legit.
Also evident in these recaps - an early Quest mechanic that I gave up on soon after. It was unnecessary, and too video gamey.

I also ran a really good couplet of sessions around a "vampire" murder mystery, whose actual culprit was a Devil of Wrath.
It was just one of those situations where everything lined up absolutely perfectly, lucking into a beginning, middle and end. Great fun.

Michael turned up in session 6 from somewhere or other. He was around for a long time, and actually never lost a character. He became the crazy Rune Wizard of legend mentioned at the end of this post about party upgrades.

Session 10 saw him being given a time travel scroll and a mission to go back in time to prevent an insect god arising.
He never really got the chance, he missed a session and by the time he came back everyone had moved on. I believe his character's still carrying it around to this day, albeit he himself eventually dropped out due to workload.

Finally, you can see that I originally just wrote down the main things that happened. You'll notice the recaps getting bigger and bigger over the next couple of years. Inflation, man.

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