16
Jul
10

DexCon After Action Report, Part 2

Saturday saw a major upswing in attendance. The halls were crowded, as were the gaming tables. The signup sheets for my sessions, which had been almost empty, finally started to fill up.

My Saturday afternoon game was packed, with eight people squeezed around a small round table. Character creation was slowed by having only two sets of the core rules, though that’s mostly because people took a lot of time to equip their characters. Strange that it takes so long even with Red Box’s limited list of gear! But they finally sorted out their possessions and special abilities—mostly combative knacks in the vein of “two-weapon fighting,” “quick shot” and “weapon master”—and the fighter-heavy party trekked out in heavy rain to the Chateau.

This was unquestionably the best of my D&D sessions at the convention. The players had a strong dynamic and were interested both in role-playing their characters and in exploring and looting the depths. After negotiating with the Chateau’s orcish guardians (aided by an excellent reaction roll), they delved into the dungeons, where it took them some time to realize that the map they were drawing of their exploration was identical to one of the pre-drawn maps they’d received at the start of play. They eventually found their way to the vastness of the Grand Stair that wound down through the center of the dungeon. A random encounter there turned into something resembling a set-piece battle, and a wild plan involving a rope and elementary physics saved the day from an otherwise invincible opponent.

One noteworthy situation that arose here was the trouble of resting in the dungeon. Distrusting the orcs, the party decided to hole up in a small dungeon room. As the room they picked had no door, they set guards in the hallway outside, and took apart some furniture from a nearby room to build a bonfire in the hall. Naturally, this brought multiple waves of wandering monsters down upon them! They only reconsidered this stratagem after a preponderance of the PCs had been paralyzed by ghouls.

Saturday evening was a slower session, with only five players, two of whom had played in the afternoon game. The resulting continuity resembled a real campaign, with the returning PCs farming out magic items to the new players and sharing maps and information about the dungeon. Sadly, their chosen path took them through empty room after empty room, while the random encounter die refused to cough up any monsters. Had this been a session at home with my own gaming group, that would have been fine—exploring a new area is a more meaningful reward in long-term play—but these people were paying to play a single adventure, so I fudged things to drop an encounter in their path. Things warmed up considerably after that, and the players seemed to have a good time despite a near-TPK at the end. (How many paralyzed adventurers can fit into a carrion crawler’s stomach? Roll 1d4!)

Sunday was spent on a final visit to the dealer’s room, where I acquired a copy of The Swordswoman and some old AD&D modules on the cheap, then headed home; I’m not a fan of Sunday convention gaming, as I prefer to get home early and take some time to decompress. I think I’m finally finished decompressing!

All in all, it was a good experience and a viable experiment. I plan to give it another try next February at Dreamation 2011.


13 Responses to “DexCon After Action Report, Part 2”


  1. 1 Naked.
    July 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    MAGIC ITEMS????

  2. July 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Indeed, there are many magical items buried beneath Chateau d’Ambreville! Had you attended the DexCon sessions, some of them might have found their way into your hands…

  3. 3 Naked.
    July 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Do we have an opportunity to ambush these people as they are leaving?

  4. July 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    No. (This is only fair, as that was my answer when they asked the same thing about you.)

  5. 5 Naked.
    July 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Well, we haven’t got any magic items.

  6. 7 Naked.
    July 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I just want to point out, without in any way intending to influence the gods/DM of this world, oh no, certainly not, that the only magic-item Handsome Hans has acquired in the course of three levels’ worth of adventuring, is a Hand Axe +1, which was looted from the corpse of a slain companion. No, this is not grousing.

  7. July 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Magic items in old-school play become more prevalent as you go deeper into the dungeon. Most of your character’s adventures have been on the Chateau’s uppermost level, hence the relative dearth of magic.

  8. 9 Naked.
    July 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I rather think the lesson learned is to kill one’s companions, or get them killed, who already have them.

  9. July 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    You are free to take any lesson you like from the situation!

  10. 11 Naked.
    July 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    *sizes up Karvenn and Martin le Black*

    Sorry for hijacking the forums today. Where is everybody? Quiet in here.

  11. July 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    We’ve actually found a bunch of magic arrows, rings, and other tidbits, you just never want them because they are below the lordly stature of handsome hans.

    And stop looking at me like that!

    And happy Friday bitches!


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