I’ve been remiss

So much for writing a blog post a month! In fact, so much for most of my resolutions for writing this year. Originally I’d planned to try to post here at least once a month, at UK Role Players every other month and at Modus Operandi every three months (cross-posting articles as needed). That’s a total of four articles (five if you count May). I’ve managed two (one of which also went on UK Role Players). That means I’m missing two for this blog, one for UK Role Players and one for Modus Operandi.

So, with that in mind, this article will be one of the missing ones for this blog. I’ll work on an espionage-themed one for UK Role Players/Modus Operandi shortly (honest!)

At first I wasn’t too sure what to write about here but I thought you might be interested in a little rundown of our AD&D game that we’ve played this year. As you may recall, at the back-end of last year myself and the other GM in our group got a hankering to play some “old school” games. Not these new fangled retro clones that all the kids are making nowadays (;)) but the real deal. We narrowed it down to three systems: AD&D, Star Wars (d6) and Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (1st Edition). I’m about to start running Warhammer this week and Star Wars is also on the agenda for when we want a change of pace. First up though was AD&D.

We used the “4d6 drop the lowest” method for generating attributes and freely assigned them as we saw fit. As you’d imagine, we didn’t end up with any overpowered characters but nor did we get any unplayable ones. Our party consisted of a human paladin, a dwarven cleric, a halfling thief, a human ranger and an elven mage. On the playing side we also had three players who had never played AD&D before and at least one who hadn’t played it in over a decade (me). Getting to grips with THAC0 and whether we needed to roll over or under were the only issues but the GM had come up with a simple “cheat sheet” to aid with THAC0 for those who needed it.

Aside from those aspects, the system actually stayed out-of-the-way for the most part. We made some non-weapon proficiency rolls during our stay with my halfling failing miserably at trying to impress the innkeeper with his cooking skills (well, he did eat most of the stock!) and the elf getting into a drinking competition with the dwarf for some bizarre reason! We investigated a local cave system, helped integrate some mongelmen with the local community and solved a missing person/murder. All in all we felt pleased with ourselves. Having learnt from our experiences, we then decided to head off to the Haunted Halls and further cement our name/reputation.

This was to be our undoing though. Moving from room to room the halfling (i.e., me) became a little blasé about checking for traps and the like. I’d check one door but not the next and that sort of thing. Unfortunately, one of the “next” doors leapt out and bit him right on the arse! Or, rather, the trapdoor beneath the party opened and we all fell down. The halfling and the elf died instantly, the dwarf was unconscious, while the ranger and the paladin were hurt but awake. Thankfully, the paladin remembered that the halfling was carrying three vials, two of which were potions of healing and the third a potion of reduction. However, when she went to retrieve them, two of the vials had smashed in the fall and only one remained – but which one? The tension mounted as the paladin poured the liquid down the dwarf’s throat… and he started shrinking! It was at this point that our immersion (to use the one word that is bound to cause “fun” conversions over on UK Role Players) was broken as we all started laughing ;)

Eventually though, the dwarf returned to normal size (and consciousness) and the remaining members of the party were able to climb out of the trap – thankfully the halfling had enough food to last them a few months (but only ten days for him personally ;)). They returned to the village and rested – for quite some time. Meanwhile a human druid and a gnome thief turned up looking for some adventurers to go with them to aid the druid carry out a task he had been set. Yes, the replacements had turned up :)

Giving caves and caverns a miss for a while we headed south into the forest, where the druid (my new character) with obtaining an item from a giant without using force. Along the way we met a gnome who was trafficking in fairies that he had used magic on to turn them into wooden sculptures and a couple of bandits who were trying to force a leprechaun into giving them a wish.

Finally we made it to the giant who we found was quite amenable and was willing to trade the item (a cauldron) in exchange for a story. A story was told but he wanted a little more. With a little digging we ascertained that he was quite keen on joining the King’s army so we headed to the local town to see what we could do. The army wasn’t possible but we were able to persuade the local lord to hire the giant as a guard on the road north (which was near to where the giant lived) and even got a lot tailor to made up a tabard with the Lord’s livery upon it. The giant was very pleased and immediately donned the tabard and began practising his “Stop in the name of the King!” commands. With the cauldron in our possession we headed north and delivered it as the druid was tasked.

That seemed like an excellent “pause point” so Warhammer is up next. For that I’ve been, happily, re-reading everything and I can’t wait. Hopefully, it will be as much fun as our AD&D sessions.

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