I initially posted my first (and so far only) edit of the B2 Chaves of Chaos a few weeks back (here). Tonight we finally got to play it out.
It was largely a playtest of some of the new classes I've added to my Outland Player's Handbook, a supplement for B/X D&D that I am creating and using to tailor the game to my group's tastes. As such, we spent a good deal of time putzing around at the beginning while everyone figured out what they wanted to roll up. We had 3 players, and each player controls 2 PCs that each have 2,800 XP (a nice number I got from Hill Cantons Compendium). I let them trade one of their PCs from the last game to make a new one with one of the classes or races I had that were not available before.
Greg traded his Half-Fiend "Master" in for a Jotunn (Human?) Berserker "Fozzy Kill Face". Managed to find the most imbalanced character, as ususal. He kept his Orc "Quasimoto".
Jen traded her Cleric "Larry the Demon Hunter" for "Malice", a Redcap Black Mage (Magic-User Subclass). She kept her Half-Fiend "Half-Not-Fiend".
Nicholas traded his Human Fighting-Man "Sauce" for a Redcap Berserker "Red Sauce", and kept his Half-Fiend "Alfredo".
We spent a bit of time updating saving throws to the new Fort/Ref/Will tables I made, rolling hp, and all that boring stuff. They chose weapons, but for regular equipment I told them to just write it down if they wanted it in the middle of play, so we could move on.
So as far as how the Caves went...
- One alteration I made since we were together celebrating Nicholas' birthday, was to put a laser gun in the pile of rocks immediately inside the cave. As luck would have it, he even searched and found it! You should have seen the look on his face when I drew a picture of what he found and showed it to him. He even role-played it a little too well, to the extent of looking down the barrel and wiggling the trigger. A green ray scorched his face, causing 5 damage, but he survived and now knew how it worked.
- The cannibal kobold babies thing worked out really well. They didn't know what the hell to think. Jen charmed one and kept it as a pet. The rest were laser gunned or set on fire with flaming oil. The look on their faces when they asked one of the remaining kobolds what was up with the babies after they had all surrendered was priceless. "They were just hungry", she said. The players all looked at each other like, "What did we just do?!?!" They felt so bad, they let all the surrendered kobolds go without cutting off their left ears, which was their initial plan.
- Quasimoto sent the kobolds back to the keep with a note he wrote, saying how the kobolds were okay and to treat them nicely. LOL! No one at the keep knows who Quasimoto is or gives a shit about him. I am thinking the party will probably arrive back at the keep next session to find some guys cleaning up kobold guts at the entrance to the keep. I'll have to give this one some thought, though.
- Fozzy Kill Face died in one round after charging blindly around the corner into room 1 and taking two spears to the face for 9 damage. This wasn't really a good thing on it's own, but the lesson the group learned was an important one. This isn't a video game. If you abandon caution for no apparent reason, even against kobolds, it can end badly.
- The sorcerer fight went pretty decently. They sent a lackey into the room, and he came out, screaming in horror and running down the hall, as a beholder came into view. A quick shot from Red Sauce's laser gun dispelled the illusion. They proceeded into the room to finish the job, met a little resistance with a sleep spell that put down two of them, but prevented the sorcerer's escape and got the loot. They also mowed down his harem as they tried to flee.
- Jen did a great job with her character. She wanted a trident for a weapon, so I said, "Sure, why not?" She captured a rat for later sacrifice, but eventually fed it to her new charmed pet baby kobold instead.
- Got off to a slow start. I could see their eyes glazing over as they dealt with the first two combat encounters, which were pretty generic fights against giant rats and kobolds in play. I should have done a better job setting more of a weird tone straight away.
- No one tried going into the rat tunnel. I hate it when they don't explore the things I create. But such is the nature of the beast; I'll just have to get over it and recycle the poop tunnel for something else.
- I need to figure out a way to spark their creativity. The players seemed stuck in a rut of moving or attacking, and not much else. I'm not sure how I can encourage the more creative and explorative style of B/X D&D. To their credit, they did break out the oil flasks a few times at least. Yet no one used the d30, which still hasn't been rolled in two sessions now. Not much creative use of equipment, no one tried a single combat maneuver, etc. Is there a tutorial out there for how to be a good old-school D&D player? Not that they are bad, or weren't having fun, but I just feel like they could be getting so much more out of it. Maybe I am just under the illusion that they are "doing it wrong" because they aren't doing it like I would. /shrug
- The Exceptional Strength table is horribly broken. Fozzy Kill Face (18/92 STR) was one-shotting everything and I don't think he missed once. He managed to stack the +4 attack/damage bonus with the standard +2 base attack bonus with the +1 favored weapon bonus with the +1 dual-wield bonus. That's a fucking +8 to attack rolls (equivalent of THAC0 11) as a level 2 guy. I'll probably scrap the exceptional strength table and the fighter's favored weapon bonus. They get enough attack bonus just from the base attack bonus, which is equal to their level.
- Had to stop before they went to explore Old Jedd's cave. One of them needs to get mutated!!!!!
- A number of things I didn't have ready, like the death and dismemberment table. I need to get to work!
- I think I over compensated for them only having 3 players. They had 2 level 2 characters each and 2 hirelings each (total of 2 archers, 2 shield-bearers, a cook, and a porter. I think I need to get them back onto one character each, or make their alternate characters level 0 or something. Not sure, but it was awful crowded in them caves, and it depersonalized their characters a lot by them having 2 each.
More work to be done!
Here's a pair of the awesome PCs:
|Fozzy Kill Face - Berserker|
|Malice - Redcap Black Mage|