Monday, August 28, 2023

Playtest Session Recaps

Keeping it short and sweet:

Session #1 (8/13/23): Two brave novice adventurers - a half-elf magic-user/cleric of the Far Wanderer and a gnome fighter/cleric of Boreon - came to the town of Warnell seeking fame and fortune. Following up on some rumors they headed for the abandoned Perlammo Salt Mines and explored about a dozen rooms in which they encountered some goblin squatters, located a central lift-shaft and evidence that somebody is both maintaining and using the lift, discovered a couple of secret doors and a lost treasure room, and found a map showing the entire mine in cross-section. Both survived, but the half-elf got very lucky and only barely avoided the effects of a cursed scroll.

The half-elf's player isn't able to make the next session, so it will be up to the gnome and his new group of companions (i.e. the players who weren't at this session) to pick up where they left off: will they attempt to roust out (or befriend) the goblins? Will they venture down to one of the deeper levels shown on their map - the dormitory, the chapel, the deep mine, the experimental mine, or the caves? Or will they just spend a few hours wandering around and not accomplish much of anything at all?

Session #2 (8/27/23): Since his half-elf companion was called away on important business, the gnome rounded up some new adventuring companions - a human magic-user, a gnome thief, and a half-orc fighter - and the party of four set off back to the mines to continue exploring. They managed to explore 10 rooms on the main level in which they fought some creepy monsters including a rope-like kampfult and some winged vipers, found a set of stairs and an open shaft leading down, learned about a lotus blossom processing operation in the lower mine (and killed their lookouts), and recovered some good treasure, including a few non-cursed magic items (a magic dagger, a potion of gaseous form, and a scroll of 3 MU spells). Once again nobody died, but there were some close calls - the magic-user spent most of the session with one hp, and the cleric burned a couple joss factors to ensure he didn’t die from snake-venom (though he actually rolled well enough that he didn’t need them). Nobody has hit 2nd level yet, but the two gnomes are both getting pretty close and another expedition as successful as this one would likely put one or both of them over the top.

Session #3 is set for 9/24, with 3 of the above 4 returning and possibly some new players joining them (a couple of yesterday's players said they are planning to invite some of their friends, and a couple other people who weren't able to make either of these dates are still interested). While they're likely to continue exploring the "abandoned" mines, maybe they will also be tempted - now that they're all flush with cash - to pay a visit to the Grand Casino of Boreon north of town in an attempt to parlay their winnings (or blow them completely). And now that word of their discoveries is getting out, they may soon find that they're not the only party of adventurers interested in the site. Only time will tell...

If anyone reading this is in the Los Angeles area [edit to clarify: these games are being run in-person at a local game store, not online - sorry for not making that more clear and getting a couple folks' hopes up to join] and wants in on session #3 let me know - there's still at least theoretically room for a couple more players (since it's TBD whether or how many of the potential new players will actually materialize), and the entire party is still 1st level so there are no issues with adding more members. There is still a LOT of adventure left to explore, so as long as people remain interested and available this could go on for a while, but we'll see. [FWIW 4 of the 5 players so far had some prior experience with AD&D but none of them are hardcore fans like me and none of them had played it anytime recently; the other player is an AD&D n00b whose only previous D&D experience has been with 5E. All of them have had a lot of fun so far - or at least that's what they're saying to my face.] 


  1. Sounds very cool. Are you running an online game?

    1. So far it's all been in-person. I've never been able to get comfortable playing online; too set in my ways (see also: still playing 1E). Which isn't to say it won't ever happen.

  2. I think it’s fantastic that you’re playing. Please continue with the session reports when you have a chance.
    : )